Dear Editor,

I read with dismay the proposal to increase council tax on second homes by 300%.

My father was a Pembrokeshire man and eventually retired here. My husband and I married in Walton West because we were a service couple and it meant more to me than the family address.

Pembrokeshire was the stable place in the life of our children and after several years of fighting to get a holiday booking only to have it cancelled two or three weeks before, we begged and borrowed and bought a house. That was 35 years ago.

Over the years our children and our grandchildren have grown up down here, our siblings, their children and grandchildren have learned to love Pembrokeshire. We have spent money in the local economy in shops and restaurants, on water sports, lessons and kit, on renovation, maintenance and furnishings, and contributed to village schemes.

We contributed happily to council costs we don’t use like schools and other services, that is fair. It is not a second house, it is a second home. We could not have worked from the village given our jobs.

In 35 years, not a single house that would be rated council tax band C, D or less has been built in this village. This despite plans for sites to be made available for affordable houses, probably ten years ago now. Yet the current excess premium is not even put towards enabling building anywhere in pembrokeshire.

So now we are being made scapegoats and hounded out, not only by the astounding proposed increase in tax but also by the way the Welsh Government has fuelled bad feeling. It is a shock to be regarded as unwelcome after a lifetime, although most locals are friends and will remain so.

This is scapegoating, deflection from the major cause of the shortage of housing which is the total lack of new development of affordable homes, and it is giving rise to discrimination.

If there is a wish to prevent people buying second homes, then the focus should be on deterring those seeking to purchase, not on people who have invested a lifetime in Pembrokeshire.

Name and address supplied