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Tuesday, 16 October, 2001, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Cymuned calls for assembly action
Red Dragon
Cymuned is to call on the Welsh Assembly to release 20m
Community language group Cymuned is set to demand that the Welsh Assembly makes tackling the rural housing crisis its "number one priority" and releasing 20m to help locals buy their own homes.

The organisation is holding a public meeting in north Wales on Tuesday where a leading member will call for a response following "a long, hot summer of debate".

Dr Simon Brooks
Dr Simon Brooks: Call for action

Cymuned was set up in the summer in response to the long-running row about the preservation of the Welsh language in the face of English incomers into Wales's rural heartlands.

Speakers at the meeting, which will take place at Neuadd Pantycelyn in Aberystwyth, include Councillor Seimon Glyn who first ignited the language row back in February, and Dr Simon Brooks, editor of current affairs monthly magazine Barn.

Dr Brooks is expected to demand that the assembly takes responsibility for the "housing, work and language crisis in Welsh-speaking communities".

"The answers to the crisis lie with housing policy that enables local people buy local homes, adult education for English-speaking newcomers who want to learn Welsh, and economic development,"

Review welcomed

The group will welcome the review of the Welsh language currently being carried out by the assembly's culture committee, but it believes that the Welsh-speaking communities cannot wait another six months for the report to be completed.

"As an emergency measure, we are calling on Edwina Hart, Minister for Finance, Local Government and Communities, to release more money into the Home Buy scheme."

"This scheme allows local authorities to assist with the financing of up to 50% of the cost of houses in areas where locals are priced out of the housing market."

Dr Brooks will criticise Ms Hart for only investing 1m into the Home Buy scheme, while planning to spend an additional 112m on public services next year.

"In such circumstances, and with extra money obviously available, we are calling for the release of an additional 20m to insure the most basic community right of all - the right of local people to have a home."

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