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Ynys Môn delighted to host Islands Forum

YNYS MÔN will welcome delegates from across the UK as it hosts the Islands Forum this week.

As Wales’ only Island community, Ynys Môn has been part of the forum since it was established by the UK Government in 2022.

Islands from Scotland, Northern Ireland and England also attend the two-day visit (May 7/8) which will be chaired by Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP.

The forum is seen as a way to provide regular engagement between the UK Government, devolved governments and island communities to ensure their needs and common challenges are reflected in UK policy, decision making and distribution of funding.

The agenda for this meeting will focus on housing, a priority for islands – including topics such as tackling housing shortages and putting vacant properties back into use.

Leader of Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn (Isle of Anglesey County Council) Councillor Llinos Medi said, “Ynys Môn, as Wales’ only representative on the Islands Forum, we look forward to hosting this unique gathering of island representatives from across the UK.” 

“It’s apt that the fourth meeting, held at County Offices in Llangefni, will focus on housing issues affecting us as island communities.”

“Ynys Môn, of course, currently faces a housing crisis with homelessness rising sharply of late and many of our residents unable to afford a home on the island. We hope that collaboration with other islands, as well as both UK and Welsh Governments will benefit all attending.”

Cllr Medi added, “I look forward to learning from Forum colleagues and sharing our own good practice as we provide affordable quality homes in our communities. We’re achieving this by building new Council housing stock, buying back old council-owned properties, revitalising long-term empty homes, and utilising the Council Tax premium.”

The Islands Forum helps to level up island communities by encouraging collaboration on common challenges such as skills, connectivity and infrastructure, as well as exploring shared opportunities, such as the transition to net zero. It also allows the UK Government to hear and learn from island communities to inform future policy. 

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Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove MP said, “Islands are distinct and vital parts of the United Kingdom, contributing a huge amount to our country. 

“The Islands Forum allows island communities to come together and work with government to address key challenges and opportunities.” 

“Following the success of earlier forums in Orkney, the Isle of Wight, and the Isle of Lewis, I’m delighted to be bringing the forum to Wales to Ynys Môn for the first time.” 

“This is an opportunity to hear from islands about their unique housing challenges, and to learn more about how they are tackling them in a pioneering and dynamic way.”

The Islands Forum will also include a visit to the Menai Science Park, in Gaerwen, where delegates will discuss housing issues as well as skills for young people; the Welsh Language and Culture; Anglesey Energy Island and achieving Net Zero.