While Cornwall suffers a crippling housing crisis affecting almost every aspect of local communities, the Conservative Government’s answer is to launch a limited consultation on planning permission. The proposal highlights just how out of touch the Conservatives are on one of the most pressing crises facing Cornwall. The Conservative Government has a track record of making announcements on second homes and doing nothing. They announced doubling council tax months ago but the Bill has not been prioritised through Parliament, so it won’t happen until after the next General Election.
The Government’s feeble attempts to deal with the issues of the Cornish housing crisis contrast sharply with the package of direct measures taken in Labour-run Wales. The devolved Labour Government in Wales is already charging triple council tax on second homes and Cornwall Council has called on Government to be able to do the same. The UK Government announced another ‘consultation’ on a registration scheme for short term lets. Again, nothing has happened, despite this already being law in Scotland.
Local Labour parliamentary candidates Perran Moon and Jayne Kirkham have reacted to the Government’s proposal on planning changes for second homes:
Perran Moon, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Camborne and Redruth said: “Our housing crisis underpins so many of the challenges we face in Cornwall. We urgently need a comprehensive, joined-up package of measures to tackle the crisis. Such measures should include limitations on the number of both second homes and short-term holiday lets. Many measures are already being implemented in other parts if the UK and we need them here and we need them now.”
Jayne Kirkham, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Truro and Falmouth said: “A Labour Government will bring in a programme of council housebuilding, a Renters’ Charter and help for first time buyers. A joined-up approach to tackle Cornwall’s housing crisis. And devolve the power to Cornwall to take measures to manage our housing supply, so we will never again be reliant on Westminster in a matter so crucial to Cornwall.”