Caerphilly Council officers will be asked to draw up proposals to tackle second and empty homes to include financial penalties on owners, if a motion by a Plaid Cymru councillor is approved on Wednesday (January 26).
Aber Valley councillor John Roberts has submitted a revised notice of motion calling on Caerphilly County Borough Council to investigate measures to tackle the problem, including financial penalties.
His motion – to be discussed at the full council – has been backed by senior Labour councillors, Independents as well as Plaid Cymru councillors.
Councillor John Roberts submitted his original motion after it was revealed that there were 234 second homes in the county borough. There are also 1,200 privately-owned properties lying empty, blighting communities.
Councillor John Roberts, who has six second homes in his ward, said: “I’m pleased there is a strong willingness from the Labour group and Independents as well as the Plaid group to tackle this problem. Officers will now be asked to report back on options to tackle the twin issues, including financial penalties on owners of second homes and empty properties.
“With thousands of people on the council house waiting list in need of homes, this is an issue that needs to be tackled now. Personally, my view is that double council tax should be charged on second home and long-term empty home owners with the money raised put back into projects for all wards.
“The Welsh Labour Government has recognised the importance of tackling second homes and I’m pleased that here in Caerphilly that also applies.”
NOTICE OF MOTION READS:
There is growing concern about the impact of second homes on communities across Wales and the effect on the ability of local residents to buy homes in communities in which they have been brought up. In Caerffili County Borough there are more than 230 second homes already.
In total, there are more than 1,200 properties lying empty here in Caerffili’, some for more than five years or even a decade. They are often left to rot, sometimes causing huge problems for neighbours and communities. With nearly 5,000 people on the council housing waiting list, strong action is needed.
We call on the council to look at all available options, including financial penalties, to help tackle the growing issue of empty properties in Caerffili. We instruct officers to bring back a report detailing options as soon as possible.’