Mon 2 Mar, 2020

Houses shouldn’t be treated as an investment at the expense of family homes – having a home is a basic human right Dawn Kroonstuiver Campbell

I’m Dawn, I’m from Raasay and I live in Borve with my family – my husband (who’s Dutch) and our four children, the oldest of which is 12 and the youngest is just a year old. I’ve worked in Gaelic television and in Highlands and Islands Enterprise – both in community and business development.  

Skye has seen a huge boost to the local economy in the last few years from tourism, but its not been without a cost – there’s an increased burden on our infrastructure. I think that a tourist tax is a fair way to help Skye make that investment –

•    Better connected and more frequent local buses network could take some traffic off our crumbling roads.

•    We could re-open public toilets and establish chemical toilet disposal points.

•    POTHOLES! The roads themselves could be repaired with the money.

What’s really important though, is that this fund needs to be controlled locally, to ensure that the money is spent on issues that are important locally and that the money remains in Skye.

We also need to balance short-term let accommodation and second homes with long-term, affordable housing.  There’s a huge difference between someone letting out a family home to make a little extra money and someone buying up 5 croft houses as part of their investment portfolio. I think our planning system and council tax system could really effectively discourage more “Airbnb” housing and multiple home ownership.

In parts of Skye, 1 in 4 houses are listed on Airbnb! This is having a massive impact on the housing market – we’re in a housing crisis with people struggling to find somewhere to live. Houses shouldn’t be treated as an investment at the expense of family homes – having a home is a basic human right.

We need to protect our environment.

I oppose the proposed expansion of the Ashaig airstrip. Better integrated bus, ferry and train times would be a more environmentally-friendly measure – it would take some cars off our crumbling roads and would benefit the many, not just the wealthy few.

Our marine environment should be protected from kelp dredging and harmful fish farming.

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