Thursday, 16 May 2013

What Sheryll should do next

South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray has come fourth in the annual ballot for Private Members Bills in the House of Commons. This is the chance for a backbench MP to put forward legislation.

All the attention will focus on the person who came top of the poll - James Wharton - and the his proposal of an EU referendum bill. But the number four position offers a real chance for Sheryll to propose a change in the law that would really benefit Cornwall.

She won't be short of ideas, but here is something that would do a huge amount for Cornwall and the people here. A bill to require change of use planning permission when someone wants to turn a permanently lived in residence to become a second home would, at a stroke, help thousands of families in Cornwall who cannot afford to own their home.

In far too much of Cornwall, houses that come onto the market are bought by people from up the line who want to use them as second homes. This deprives local families of the chance to buy them and the part-time residence means that local shops and businesses are deprived of trade, putting their future in jeopardy. It wouldn't affect houses already used as second homes, nor would it permanently prevent such change of use. What it would do would be to allow local authorities to judge whether another second home is in the best interests of the long term viability of a particular community.

Cornwall Council recently voted overwhelmingly to ask for this change in the law. It's not a party political thing. But it is a change that would have huge benefits for Cornwall.

So come on Sheryll, why not go for it?n


Charles Boney said...

YES YES YES this would be a long overdue reform ... and I'm sure well supported by all on the centre/left but I doubt if an MP whose party still defers to the land owning classes would go for it..

Mavsyn Ridware said...

A bit off topic but - John Pollard? You must be having a laugh! This is the man who proposed the £2000 rise in councillors allowances. I thought you wanted a less profligate council Alex - is this really the right man for the job?