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WAYS of supporting young people to buy homes or build their own are all being considered as part of a review of the estates department at Ceredigion County Council.

Cllr Ifan Davies presented the work of task and finish group looking at ‘transactions’ at cabinet on Tuesday (Nov, 5) with a number of recommendations.

The work is ongoing but the current recommendations include a review of the functions of the estates service which hasn’t “taken advantage of the opportunities we have had over the years to get the best possible outcomes.”

Cllr Davies had previously discussed the work at scrutiny last month and again highlighted the need to build houses.

He asked if it was possible for the cabinet to “work with young people in our rural areas to ensure they are able to get on the housing ladder and have affordable houses when land comes up.”

The working group recommended a specific policy be drawn up to assist the estates department which was “sailing without a rudder at the moment a little bit,” said Cllr Davies.

Policies relating to the disposal and retention of buildings and land should also be reviewed, the group recommends, to ensure profitability.

Council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn agreed with the recommendations, including providing an update in six months, adding that the cabinet “does feel that something needs to be done in a more positive manner on estates.”

She added that there had been a change of personnel in the department and it was now more closely aligned with economic development staff.

Other options to consider was providing council land for young people to build on, said Cllr ap Gwynn.

The task and finish group hoped to be finished by Easter next year, with Cllr Peter Davies leading on the council farm review.

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