Welsh communities are enriched by incomers | Letter

Please don’t use the emotive language of ‘cultural genocide’ to describe a village that buzzes with life, says Sian Harris

I fail to recognise the village described in Steven Morris’s article (‘It’s cultural genocide by bank transfer’: the Welsh speakers campaigning against second homes, 17 November). On a recent Sunday evening I attended a packed quiz night with bilingual questions. Teams of Welsh and non-Welsh speakers mingled happily. The local pub exists again because of the dedication of a small mix of locals and incomers. It’s now a community-owned pub.

Yes, there is a problem with affordable housing, but please don’t use the emotive language of “cultural genocide” to describe a village that buzzes with life. Morris should observe the village school and listen to the mix of Welsh and English spoken. He should meet the families who have moved in and have their children educated in Welsh, entering the Eisteddfod, playing football and rugby, and keeping this village alive. Hardly cultural genocide. At the weekly market, he could be greeted in both languages.

Young people across the UK face the same problem: they can’t enter the housing market where they live because of incomers driving up prices. The problem lies with our greed in wanting the best price for a house we’re selling. Blame government decisions to sell off social housing without replacing it.

Visitors bring in revenue, supporting our shops and restaurants, the butchers and bakers and candlestick makers. If we become so parochial that they no longer want to visit, the economy will suffer. Using the word “genocide” so glibly in this context is surely unacceptable in anyone’s book.
Sian Harris
St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

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