Dyfodol i’r Iaith, the Welsh language lobbying group, is calling for a new Planning Act for Wales. This call comes as a result of the crisis facing young people from Welsh speaking communities when attempting to buy houses and staying in their areas.
Wyn Thomas, a member of the board of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, who has extensively researched the housing crisis in Wales, says,
“The homes of our Welsh-speaking areas are at the mercy of the open market, with almost a half of the housing stock in specific areas used as holiday homes or second homes.
The linguistic impact surveys on new housing schemes are wholly inadequate.
Before a new Act is put in place, there should be transformational investment in the Homebuy Scheme, which is an initiative of the Welsh Government, so that young people can remain in their community.
House prices in the United Kingdom are generally the highest compared to wages in Europe. The situation is more acute in the Welsh-speaking areas, where average pay is relatively low, and incomers are taking over the housing stock. ”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith is calling for a Planning Act that will cap the percentage of holiday homes and second homes in local areas, and give local councils the power to control the housing stock in their areas. Such an Act could also make it necessary to obtain consent before converting a home into a second or holiday home.
We are extremely grateful to Castell Howell Foods, Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire, for their donation of £250 towards our fundraising evening with ‘Tri Gog a Hwntw’ from Llanuwchllyn, held recently at the Quins Rugby Club Carmarthen.
The group from Llanuwchllyn provided an entertaining and fun-packed evening of song. Many thanks to the group for travelling all the way to Carmarthenshire and thanks also to all who supported the evening. It also provided an opportunity to raise funds and draw attention to our work. Many thanks to all.
“A linguistic disaster” is how Dyfodol i’r Iaith describes the Government’s decision not to proceed with establishing a Commission for the Welsh language.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has called for such a body to lead language planning in Wales, following the principles of language planning that have been accepted worldwide.
“The Government has wasted seven years by not promoting the language properly,” says Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, “but they are now refusing to take the next necessary step to plan the future of the Welsh language according to recognized principles. ”
“Urgent plans are needed to strengthen the Welsh language in homes, and to strengthen Welsh-speaking communities, and to foster Welsh in the world of technology, but no-one takes responsibility for the whole picture.”
“The Government’s destructive ideas, such as making English compulsory in Welsh playgroups, prove how clueless the Government is regarding language planning.”
“We call on the Government to create an internal Welsh language planning body, if it is not willing to create an arm’s length body, to lead on basic linguistic issues. The need for language experts, rather than politicians, to lead on this is obvious.”