IT remains to be seen what the impact doubling council tax on second homes will be, but the intention is clear, to try and stop houses being snapped up by rich people looking for a holiday home.

It could be said that anyone with enough spare cash to buy a second home will not be put off by say their monthly council tax going up from £150 to £300. But they might just, and there will also be those who have inherited a home and keep it on just as a bolt hole, they might well decide to sell. And for those who don't, the extra money will help in the building of new homes where they are needed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an increase in second homeownership in those rural areas where people wanted to escape to for weekends and holidays. In some parts of the Dales, the number of second homes can be more than 20 percent. The impact can be villages becoming as one councillor has described 'The Yorkshire Dales version of The Hamptons' - where wealthy people from New York spend their summer holidays.

It has also been said, secondhome owners can bring benefits, but not when the number tips over and villages become devoid of families, leading to the closure of schools.

Doubling Council tax is something the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been supporting for years, and now North Yorkshire Council, using new Government measures, will bring it in in April next year. The money will says the council provide a multi-million pound boost to finance council priorities, including a central aim to build more housing in areas particularly affected by the affordability crisis. Time will tell of course, but it is a step in the right direction.