Posted: Fri 23rd Feb 2024

Calls Made to Increase Council Tax Premium on Long-Term Empty Properties in Flintshire

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 23rd, 2024

CALLS have been made to increase the council tax premium on long-term empty properties in Flintshire.
Members of Flintshire Council agreed on an additional charge of 75 per cent for properties which are unoccupied and “substantially unfurnished” for 12 months or more when they met this week.
The aim of the premium is to help the local authority to bring more empty homes back into use and increase the supply of affordable housing in the county.
However, Liberal Democrat councillor David Coggins Cogan argued that it should be lifted to 100 per cent, in line with the charge which applies to second homes.
Speaking at Tuesday’s (February 20, 2024) full council meeting, he said: “I wish to move an amendment which would be to increase the council tax premium on long term empty properties to 100 per cent which would equalise with second homes.
“It will increase the amount that we’re bringing in council tax, and it has the added advantage that if people don’t pay it, they will sell their homes and return them to the local housing stock.
“It will mean we’ll have more people in homes in Flintshire.”
His suggestion was backed by independent councillor Helen Brown, who said it would help to address financial pressures facing the council as a result of homelessness.
Officials earlier told the meeting how the authority was experiencing a “high and increasing demand” for temporary accommodation for homeless people.
Cllr Brown said: “We’ve just heard in the previous report that we’ve got over £2m of pressure on homelessness services.
“Why would we not do something that would encourage those empty properties to be brought back in?”
However, the council’s monitoring officer Gareth Owens said the amendment had been put forward too late to be applicable for the 2024/25 financial year.
The authority’s corporate finance manager Gary Ferguson said introducing such a change without consulting members of the public could lead to it facing a judicial review.
Cllr Coggins Cogan challenged the accuracy of the officers’ advice, but later apologised and withdrew his amendment after being criticised for his comments by the council’s chief executive.
Cllr Paul Johnson (Lab), Flintshire cabinet member for finance, made a commitment that the council tax premium would be reviewed ahead of the following financial year instead.
He said: “Given the mood in the chamber, I will be presenting a resolution to cabinet at the earliest opportunity with the intention of starting a consultation to equalise the council tax premium for long-term empty properties.
“Unfortunately, it will take until next year but given the advice I’ve been given it will give all members and residents the chance to contribute to that debate.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Flintshire Council

Leaked report reveals strained relationship between Flintshire Council and leisure services provider

Flintshire Council

Plans Approved for 25-Bedroom Dementia Unit at Care Home in Flintshire

Flintshire Council

New Food and Drink Establishment Approved in Shotton Despite Obesity Concerns

Flintshire Council

Flintshire Councillors Reject Changes to Gift Declaration Rules

Flintshire Council

Fresh Bid Submitted to Convert Buckley Chapel into Eight Homes Without Approval

Flintshire Council

Plans Approved to Transform Former Boots Store in Mold into Intimate Bar

Flintshire Council

Latest from News.Wales

Welsh Wood Timber Panels Project Planned for Gower Eco-friendly Development

Swansea Council

Former Victorian Asylum in Carmarthen to be Converted Into Medical Park

Carmarthenshire Council

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader David Simpson to Stand Down Next Month

Pembrokeshire Council

Potential Shared Chief Executive Post Proposed for Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent councils

Torfaen Council

Electric Car Advocate Calls for Transition to Battery-Powered Fleet in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Council

Preferred Sites for Gypsy Travellers in Monmouthshire to be Identified This Summer

Monmouthshire Council