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.
Dyfodol has written to the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism calling for adequate funding for the National Library of Wales. Here are our arguments:
We oppose any further cuts which will threaten the future of an establishment essential to the history, culture and indeed the identity of the nation.
At a time when history, culture and their interpretation are so important and when sincere and necessary efforts are made to highlight marginalised cultures and viewpoints, we believe that the concept of a National Library which safeguards all of Wales’s cultures becomes ever more important in terms of defining our identity and our place in the world.
As an organisation which lobbies for the good of the Welsh language, our priorities are based upon the history, literature and objects that relate to the language; this is what we wish to see protected and interpreted for future generations. We also recognise that any threat to the Library is also a threat not only to the history of our language but to all the cultures of Wales.
More and not less staff and resources are needed if the Library is to function inclusively. We also note and regret the loss of jobs within an organisation which always used to place an emphasis on Welsh as the language of the workplace.
We cannot see any justification for this harm and would be pleased to receive your comments on this disturbing situation.