MP to launch second homes petition at Westmorland County Show
Written by John Williamson on 10/09/2018
Local MP Tim Farron will launch a petition at this year’s Westmorland County Show on Thursday which calls on the Government to allow local authorities to increase council tax on second homes to support local communities.
Earlier this summer the Government has announced it is giving the power to local authorities to triple council tax on homes left empty for five to ten years – and quadruple it on those vacant for longer.
Tim wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, Mr Farron made the case for these measures to be extended, to deal with excessive levels of second homes.
It’s estimated that there are currently 933 empty homes in South Lakeland compared to 3,721 which are classified as second homes.
Tim said: “Obviously people have a right to buy a second home but when you’ve got so many homes not lived in, it means you’ve not got people sending their kids to the local school, using the post office or the bus services. Then you end up with the risk of losing those services because they’re no longer viable.
“Allowing councils to significantly increase council tax on second homes would provide councils in areas with high second-home ownership with a fair and effective way of raising funds which could be ring-fenced to fund key local services and deliver affordable homes for lower income families.
“It’s absolutely vital that we have in place the measures which will keep our communities thriving and ensure that our local towns and villages remain amazing places to live for everyone.”
Tim will also be holding an all-day surgery at the county show to give local people the chance to come and see him with any problem they have, big or small.