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£4m could be raised by charging second home owners double council tax



THE LABOUR GROUP on Pembrokeshire County Council are calling for council tax on second homes to be increased to double the standard rate.

People who own a second home in Pembrokeshire already pay 150% of the standard council tax rate. This is called the Second Home Premium.

The Labour councillors say that by increasing the tax on people who own second homes in Pembrokeshire to 200% the standard rate, an additional £4m could be raised to help pay for under-pressure local authority services.

The Notice of Motion on the matter is worded as follows: “We the undersigned county councillors from the Labour Group call on Pembrokeshire County Council to increase second home council Tax from the existing 50% to 100%, by raising the council tax on second homes for the 2021/22 financial year at 100% which would raise an additional £4 million which the authority can utilise on other essential services.”

The document has been signed by Cllr Thomas Tudor, Cllr Alison Tudor, Cllr Paul miller, Cllr Joshua Beynon, Cllr Anthony Wilcox, Cllr Guy Woodham Cllr Vic Dennis Cllr Thomas Tudor, County Councillor for the “Castle Ward” of Haverfordwest.

But Lib Dem’s Bob Kilmister – County Councillor for Dinas Cross Ward on Pembrokeshire County Council told this newspaper that the matter was already up for discussion with the Council Tax Working Group.

“I think the idea was first suggested by a Plaid Cymru member”, he said. “We have commissioned an independent report. We also have to be aware that we cannot implement the tax rise straight away as a consultation has to take place, so we are looking at April 2022 at the very earliest”.

Cllr Kilmister also explained that the money raised cannot be spent on anything the Council likes, but it would have to be spent on mitigating the impacts of second home ownership.

The extra cash could not be used, therefore, to generally boost the council’s coffers.

“There generally seems to be support for the increase”, Cllr Kilmister told The Herald.

From 1 April 2017, local authorities have been be able to charge a premium of up to 100% of the standard rate of council tax on long-term empty homes and second homes in their areas. The legislative changes were made by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and the powers given to local authorities are discretionary. Whether to charge a premium on long-term empty homes or second homes (or both) is, therefore, a decision to be made by each local authority.

According to the Pembrokeshire County Council website, the definition of a second home is a dwelling which is not a person’s sole or main home and is substantially furnished. The Council’s policy is not to award any discount and therefore the full charge is payable.

Plan to raise £4m: Cllr Tudor is one of those who have signed the the Notice of Motion

The Council decided to charge from the financial year 2017/18 a premium of 50% in addition to the standard rate of council tax for properties that fall within their published definition of a second home.

The council ask People to own up if their dwelling is classed as Second Home within the council’s down definition. They state: “If you believe you should not be subject to the premium or your property falls within the above definition but your bill does not reflect the additional charge, you should inform the Council within 21 days.

“Failure to supply or to give false information may result in the imposition of a penalty of £50.00, payment of which is enforceable in the Magistrates Court.

“Several factors are considered when determining a person’s main residence for council tax purposes.

“These include where an individual is registered to vote; whether the property is owned or rented; the amount of time spent at the property; family ties; where the majority of an individual’s personal possessions are kept; where an individual is registered with a GP/dentist; where their correspondence is sent; where their partner resides and where their children go to school (if applicable).”

The Second Home Premium does not hit landlords, as the tenants are liable for the council tax in the properties they occupy and therefore the property would not come under the definition of a second home under those circumstances.


A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike



EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child



ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby



TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.


Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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