The Local Government Association, the organisation representing almost all councils, is campaigning to get the Government to allow a surcharge on second homes - in effect a penalty charge because the home is not being used as a primary residence.
For many areas, Cornwall included, second homes are a blight. Houses are taken out of circulation and communities threatened. Houses prices often rise to beyond the reach of locals and village shops and schools close as the second home owners either never, or very rarely, use them.
Because of this impact on local communities, I agree that councils should be free to take action. It's one thing to say, as the Conservatives do, that there should simply be more houses built. I support the idea of local community building and restrictions that mean that some houses can never be bought as second homes. But it will never be enough to solve the problem.
So it's good to see the LGA asking the Government to allow councils to take stronger action. It's a shame, however, that Cornwall Council is not part of this action and that the Conservatives nationally are against it. At the Full Council meeting in December, my colleague from Bude, Nathan Bale, asked the Council to take action and they refused. It seems clear to me that Cornwall Conservatives are quite happy to have more and more second homes in the county.