Dear Dave!

We thought a note to you while you are in Cornwall enjoying the delights of Polzeath.

You are probably aware that housing is a big issue in Cornwall.  Affordability is a bit of a problem.  People do not earn that much but house prices are pretty high.  Now George and Eric might think the easy answer is just build more houses.  It sounds so simple!  But as you may well know just because its simple does not mean it works!

Because in Cornwall we have been building houses and more houses for years.  Yet contrary to expectations  naive hopes, prices have gone up and are still beyond the reach of many.

You might ask George about this paradox, no probably not.  Lets just spell it out ourselves.  You see, you probably see Cornwall as a desirable, remote and unspoilt region – ideal for holidays.  Lots of others before you bought into this myth and bought a home here – well a second home or bought a property as an investment – let it out in the summer and make a bit of dosh!  Very enterprising you might think!

But all of this comes at a price. No not to the people buying the second homes but to the people of Cornwall who find that houses are built but get snapped up for holiday homes and lets.   And because the people buying these properties have lots of dosh they push up house prices for everyone!

In Polzeath an extra 218 properties were built between 2001 and 2011 – enough to provide for locals and more.  But and its a big but – the number of houses with residents fell by 149 while the number of dwellings without residents went up by 367!

In fact there are now more houses without permanent residents than with!  Bizarre!   So while you watch the surf crash on the beach just think what a crazy situation this is.   More houses and higher house prices, a need for affordable housing.  Now if we are all in this together you can make turn words into action.  Yes it might be tough telling your friends and allies that they have to make a sacrifice but then that never stopped Ian from cutting benefits to the poor!   Yes its quite straightforward – if you have an extra house you give it up to a deserving family who need a home!   We are sure your colleagues will gladly make this sacrifice, thanks in anticipation!


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