Canvassing in Harberton today, I was shown an example of how empty properties could be used to help with the affordable housing crisis; one property has been abandoned for decades. Affordable housing is essential to the area but it should not mean that we build over prime agricultural land except in exceptional circumstances.
We should also ensure that properties go firstly to local people who are committed to the area. Time and again, communities find that if people are allocated housing in rural areas without having transport or family links, they are isolated and unable to find work.
It was also good to talk to Jennifer Wright, publican from the Church House Inn to hear how cheap alcohol in supermarkets severely affects rural pubs. It is hard to imagine villages like Harberton without their local pub; they need to be able to compete if they are to survive.