Mid Wales

Backtrack fears on Ceredigion second home council tax

New Quay, Ceredigion
Image caption Second homes have a "detrimental effect" on New Quay, accoridng to one councillor

Fears have been raised Ceredigion council could backtrack on a decision to give communities the money it makes from a tax on holiday homes.

Full council set Ceredigion's second homes council tax rate at 25% from April 2017, and agreed to allocate the money back to communities via town and community councils.

But opposition councillors are worried some of money will be diverted away.

The council said a group is being set up to discuss options.

A workshop was recently held for councillors to discuss how the funds raised from the second homes council tax would be distributed.

Image caption There are 87 second homes in Gethin James' Aberporth ward

Gethin James is a councillor for Aberporth.

He said the reason he backed the recommendation last March was the money "would come back to the community council to spend on the community".

"It's been 10 months since that decision was taken and nobody from the county council has written to the town or community councils to tell them of the decision," he said.

Mr James attended the workshop and said: "The leader started talking about Growing Mid Wales [a community group] and that she wants to change the decision of the council and put the money into a joint project between us and Powys."

Councillor Gill Hopley said seconds homes have a "detrimental effect" on communities like New Quay, which she represents.

"We haven't got youngsters with families coming to live here," she said.

She said the community runs the museum, library and memorial hall and the money from second homes would allow them to develop further.

Ms Hopley said she "strongly believed" the money should still "come back to the communities that need it".

Ceredigion council confirmed a workshop was held to "discuss the methodology for distributing funds, and making the best use of money".

In a statement, the council said: "It was agreed that a task and finish group should be established to discuss options and provide recommendations to the council about the best way of distributing money in a legal and transparent manner."

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