LETTER: Leader owns string of buy-to-let homes

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Our ‘great leader’ of Horsham district council, Cllr Ray Dawe, wrote last week (WSCT 12.6.14, p59) why we need ‘more affordable homes’.

This is the same Mr Dawe who owns seven buy-to-let properties in Horsham town (www.horsham.gov.uk/council/members/files/Dawe_Ray(3).pdf) and a further Google search reveals he also owns a string of properties along the south-coast.

And this is all in addition to his other home in France that he wrote passionately about last year in his fortnightly article (‘Wonderful French life that defies economic reality’, 24.8.13).

So rather than Mr Dawe taking the yield on his rental properties why doesn’t he practice what he preaches and sell his burgeoning property portfolio at just below market rates so that those young people who cannot afford to buy a home in the south-east due to the glut of buy-to-let landlords, such as Mr Dawe, can then do so? Then we wouldn’t have to build on what few green fields are left around our district such as in the Strategic Gap.

But somehow I doubt that he will. Mr Dawe like his colleagues, Cllrs Claire Vickers, Helena Croft and Jim Rae, has always been one to ‘do as I say and not as I do’.

Gareth Jones

Quarry Way, Southwater

Response from Leader of HDC Ray Dawe:

If your correspondent had read the article thoroughly they would have found that in the Horsham District we in fact could do with a lot more rented accommodation since rental is only nine per cent of the total and the lack of it is one of our problems. I do not understand the logic of wanting anyone to sell property ‘at just below market rates’ : this would in no way increase the number of houses in Horsham District and would eject a tenant who will then need other accommodation. The fact remains that we have total shortage of houses in the district for all the reasons that have been explained many times over and this includes the need for more ‘affordable’ ones and my article highlighted some of the ways that we intend to tackle this problem.