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New short lets and second homes policy - vague government pledge

The government has announced that it’s going to work on a new second homes policy with one particular council - if a devolution package is rubber-stamped.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says it pledges “closer working between government and [Cornwall] council on second homes policy” and to work more closely together “considering any changes to alleviate the challenges of second homes and short-term lets” - but it does not spell out any detail whatsoever about what that means.

Politicians of all parties on Cornwall Council have been sharply critical in recent years of the number of second homes and what some see as their preferential financial treatment in terms of council tax and impact on communities. 


The closer working depends on Cornwall, either in a council vote or a referendum, agreeing to have a directly elected mayor.

If this happens, the closer working on second homes policy will be augmented with additional funding for brownfield new housing, more money for transport and heritage regeneration, and devolved education budgets.

Critics of the proposed deal suggest that the government money on offer - £360m over 30 years - is the equivalent of merely 0.5 per cent of the county’s total budget for that period.

Junior housing minister Dehenna Davison says: “We set out in the Levelling Up white paper a framework for devolution and different levels that people could opt into and we always said that in order to access the biggest groups of powers and funding we would like to have that directly accountable leadership so we in central government can go spend the money on what they are doing and that is why we really believe in the mayoral model.

“But we have never imposed that on any local area, it has always been for areas to opt into that and Cornwall were very keen to do so and I am really, really pleased that they decided to. You would have heard what Steve the local MP was talking about, having a seat at the table in these big national negotiations Cornwall will be there with their mayor and attracting international investment. People all over the world know what a mayor is as a figurehead for a local area and a spokesperson for that local area and that is going to be really important.

“But also being on the start of a devolution journey with a mayor in place, if you look at other areas across the country with elected mayors - I’m talking about Teesside, West Midlands, and Greater Manchester - they started with a particular deal and since then there has been so much more progress, so much more powers given, so much more funding given so I think this is the start of a really, really incredible and positive journey.”

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  • George Dawes

    Vague until Klaus comes along and gives his orders - orders zat must bee obeyed. !!!!

    Did we really win ww2 ? Or was that yet another lie ???

  • icon

    No we lost
    ,listen to G/Rent Shelter and Acorn you cant just smell the Swastikas you can taste them


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