Gwefan Ymgyrch / Campaign Website
Have you visited the campaign website yet?
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Yn y lle cyntaf rwyf am groesawu bwriad Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru i leihau tlodi plant drwy "...raglenni cefnogi gwaith, mentrau gofal plant, rhaglenni addysg ac iechyd, ymyriadau Cymunedau yn Gyntaf a sicrhau'r
uchafswm o ran incymau...". Serch hynny rwy'n pryderu na fydd y mesurau yma yn gymorth i Geredigion, yn benodol Ward Teifi, Aberteifi sydd a'r dangosyddion tlodi plant uchaf yn Ngheredigion.
Yn y Mynegai Amddifadedd Lluosog Cymru 2008 mae ward Teifi yn sgorio'n uchel am amddifadedd Tai ac amddifadedd Incwm ond gan ei fod yn Ward drefol, yn isel am amddifadedd Mynediad i Wasanaethau. Mae hyn yn wir am Ward Rhydyfuwch, Aberteifi yn ogystal. Ymddengys bod lefel isel mewn un o'r dangosyddion yn cuddio lefelau uwch mewn dangosyddion eraill wrth ystyried y Mynegai Amddifadedd Lluosog Cymru ar gyfer 2008 yn ei gyfanrwydd. O'r herwydd gall wir dlodi fynd heb ei gydnabod ac rwyf yn amau bod hyn yn wir am Ward Teifi ac i raddau am Ward Rhydyfuwch.
Hyd a lled hyn oll yw nad yw'r Wardiau yma yn gymwys i dderbyn adnoddau Cymunedau'n Gyntaf/Nesaf. Rwy'n credu bod angen adolygu hyn a'i gwneud yn bosib i Wardiau Teifi a Rhydyfuwch cael eu dynodi yn ardaloedd Cymunedau'n Gyntaf/Nesaf. Gall y gymuned yna fynd ati i weithredu a lleihau tlodi plant.
Mawr obeithiaf y byddwch yn ystyried y syniad yma ac edrychaf ymlaen at eich ateb.
Firstly, I wish to welcome the Welsh Assembly Government’s intention to reduce child poverty through “…..work support programs, child protection schemes, health and education programs, Communities First interventions and ensuring maximum incomes…” Despite this I am concerned that these measures will not benefit Ceredigion, in particular the Teifi Ward in Cardigan which has the highest indication of child poverty in Ceredigion.
In the 2008 Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation Teifi ward scores high
for Housing deprivation and Income deprivation but as it’s an urban Ward, it scores low for Access to Services deprivation. This is also true in the case of Rhydyfuwch ward, Cardigan. When the 2008 Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation is read in its entirety, it appears that low levels in one of the indicators hides higher levels in other indicators. As a result, real poverty may go unnoticed and I fear that this is the case in the Teifi Ward, and to some extent in the Rhydyfuwch Ward.
The long and short of this is that these Wards don’t qualify to receive Communities First/Next resources. I believe that this should be reviewed in order to make it possible for the Teifi and Rhydyfuwch Wards to be recognized as Communities First/Next areas. The community can then act to reduce child poverty.
I greatly hope that you will give this idea careful consideration and look forward to your response.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Thank you for taking time to read and draw attention to my blog and thank you for your letter dated 9th December which I read with a degree of bemusement. I would be grateful if you could explain in what capacity you are writing as there is no form of recognition or a return address in the letter. I sense that you are an unwilling participant in this attempted rebuff and I will apologise to you if this is not the case.
However, I shall not be issuing an apology for highlighting the deficiencies of the Liberal Democrats in Ceredigion, rather it is the Liberal Democrats who should be issuing an apology for not providing the level of representative service we expect in Ceredigion. I shall explain why.
Liberal Democrat press releases in Ceredigion normally have “agrees”, “welcomes”, “annoyed”, “dismayed” as actions in the initial sentence, these to me are ‘reactive’ observations which seek to associate the Liberal Democrats with the good work of others. It is rather superficial and Ceredigion deserves better than this. The criticism that you are a reactive party is perfectly valid.
I note your comment on the cross party campaign on Post Offices. Are you aware that your colleague has recently distributed leaflets claiming that this was a Liberal Democrat campaign and gives no credit whatsoever to the involvement of other parties? I think you have been misinformed on the Liberal Democrat commitment to cross party campaigns. Whilst the campaign in Powys did succeed in saving some Post Offices, no such success occurred in Ceredigion and it is only fair to ask why? Mark told me himself that we were within inches of a Judicial Review on Post Office closures yet nothing has materialised let alone explained.
I would also ask you to take time to read the Impact Assessment produced by HMRC on the future of the Aberystwyth Tax Office, and in particular paragraph 4.5. External Engagement. There is no reference to a response by Ceredigion County Council, and indeed there was none. Cabinet responsibility in Ceredigion for Economic Development is a matter for the Liberal Democrats. It appears that the Liberal Democrat councillor did not respond to the consultation by HMRC and was indeed criticised by in a Ceredigion County Council meeting for “having his eyes shut” at the time. I hope you will join me in criticising this serious oversight which in all probability did make “matters worse” for Aberystwyth. It is unlikely that a senior Liberal Democrat Councillor would operate without consulting an MP of his own party, particularly if, as you are asserting, that Mark Williams MP’s involvement was “proactive”. Why didn’t he notice this gaping oversight?
Accusations of negative campaigning coming from Liberal Democrats are pure hypocrisy. We are all familiar with your campaigning techniques and you demean yourself by making such accusations. I can provide you with a list if you so wish.
The bottom line in Ceredigion is that Plaid Cymru delivers for Ceredigion and the Liberal Democrats continually snipe from the sides. Plaid Cymru has prevented health cuts and saved Bronglais Hospital from being downgraded, has secured additional funds to develop the hospital and with the National Assembly Agriculture Department moving to Aberystwyth, has secured high quality jobs for the area.
An MP should be proactive and be a productive source of ideas that benefit the electorate. That is why I have proposed that Aberystwyth University should establish a Vet school and am currently campaigning for communities in Ceredigion to have wider access to Communities First/Next funds to combat child poverty. There are areas in Ceredigion where this is a serious issue. In order to have an adult debate on these matters can you please tell me precisely what are the priorities and policies the Liberal Democrat have for Ceredigion?
It is the addiction to pavement politics that is contributing to the vulnerability of Liberal Democrat seats in the forthcoming General Election. If the sum response amounts to accusations, misrepresentations and superficiality then you are already under pressure. If Mark Williams MP remains aggrieved then please ask him to contact me.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Mae yna erthygl ddiddorol gan y BBC ynglŷn â Faint mae'n ei gostio i weithio goleuadau stryd? sy’n clymu gyda’r sïon sydd ar led yng Ngheredigion. Yn ôl y sôn gall gostio rhwng £14 a £90 i weithio bob golau, yn ddibynnol ar ei fath, i’w cadw ynghyn yn ystod misoedd y gaeaf.
Rwy’n dal i gredu y dylid dim ond diffodd goleuadau ble mae’r gymuned yn credu y dylid eu diffodd, ac mewn ardaloedd eraill diffodd y goleuadau pob yn ail, cyn belled fod y gymuned yn cytuno. Dylai hynny haneru’r gost. Mae’r sïon hefyd yn dweud nad yw diffodd y goleuadau bob yn ail yn bosib oherwydd unai nid oes amserydd arnynt, neu maent yn cynnau/diffodd o ganlyniad i gell sy’n sensitive i olau. Mae rhai awdurdodau lleol megis Torfaen wedi dewis rhoi amserwyr ar eu goleuadau sy’n golygu y gellir eu diffodd. Dyma achos o fuddsoddi ar gyfer y dyfodol ac mae’n arferiad da. Dylai gael mwy o gyhoeddusrwydd.
Mae’n bwysig llongyfarch Kirsty Williams AC fel aelod benywaidd cyntaf plaid wleidyddol ‘Gymreig’ ond mae hefyd yn bwysig ei llongyfarch am BEIDIO torri’r mowld – trwy brofi’r pwynt fod unrhyw ymgyrch a gefnogir gan Lembit Opik yn siwr o fod yn fethiant. Dewis gwael Jenni.
Rwy’n hoff iawn o gelf gyhoeddus yn enwedig pan fydd wedi ei wneud yn dda. Mae’r fam a’r plentyn ar stryd y Frenhines yng Ng haerdydd yn gwneud i chi feddwl, mae gwaith Anthony Gormley yn ysbrydoliaeth, ond ymddengys nad ydym yn cael llawer o lwc yma yng Ngheredigion. Daw hyn â mi at y prosiect ‘Big Art’ yn Aberteifi. Mae’r syniad o wario sawl £’000 ar fwi dros dro wedi eu goleuo’n lliwgar wedi bod yn un amheus. Os yw’r arian yno, dylid ei wario ar rywbeth parhaol a pherthnasol i hanes a threftadaeth Aberteifi.
Mae gennyf reolau penodol y dylid ufuddhau iddynt wrth ddelio â chelf gyhoeddus:-
- Rhaid i’r prosiect fod wedi derbyn consensws cyhoeddus;
- Dylai’r gwrthrych celf gael naratif sy’n berthnasol i hanes a threftadaeth yr ardal ble mae wedi ei leoli;
- Rhaid iddo fod yn nodwedd barhaol;
- Dylai pobl fod yn medru ei gyffwrdd a’i deimlo er mwyn creu synnwyr o berchnogaeth.
Mae’n gas gen i farnu, ac nid yw’n tarddu o dueddiadau cyntefig, nid wyf yn credu fod y bwi wedi eu goleuo yng Ngheredigion yn bodloni criteria’r rheolau hyn. Buasai cofeb barhaol i’r Arglwydd Rhys a’r Eisteddfod gyntaf yn syniad gwell ac yn rhywbeth fuasai yma mewn 68 o flynyddoedd pan fydd y milfed dathliad. Mae’n hen bryd newid meddyliau.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
- The project has to carry a public consensus;
- The art object should have a narrative that is relevant to the history and heritage of where it is located;
- It has to be a permanent feature;
- People should be allowed to touch and feel it to generate a sense of ownership.
Though I am loathe to criticise, and it doesn't come from any philistinic tendencies, I don't think that the lighted buoys in Cardigan meet any of these rules. A permanent, physical commemoration of 'yr Arglwydd Rhys' and the first Eisteddfod is a better idea will be here in a 68 years time when the 1000th anniversary is celebrated. Time to change some minds.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
There are around 3,895 employers in Ceredigion employing approximately 25,800 people. There are 25 HMRC employees located at Crown Buildings, which is less than 1% of those employed within the local authority area. It is therefore reasonable to infer that the local economy is not dependent on the HMRC presence at this office.
There may be some impact on local businesses which at present benefit from the custom of HMRC staff based at Crown Buildings. Any negative impact that may be caused by HMRC withdrawal from this location is expected to be temporary, lasting until such time as the building is reoccupied by another employer.
Friday, 5 December 2008
Efallai i Ddemocratiaid Rhyddfrydol lleol synhwyro cynllwyn pe baent wedi pasio bwyty lleol heno a gweld Ymgeisydd San Steffan Plaid Cymru dros Geredigion (fi) yn ciniawa gydag Ymgeisydd San Steffan y Ceidwadwyr dros Sir Drefaldwyn (Glyn Davies), y ddwy sedd yn perthyn i’r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol. Pwyllwych Ddemocratiaid Rhyddfrydol, mae ganddom oll gyfrifoldebau eraill, roedd Glyn Davies yn Aberystwyth yn traddodi darlith fel Llywydd Ymgyrch Diogelu Cymru Wledig ac roeddwn yn ei ddiddanu fel Darlithydd ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth.
Siaradodd Glyn â Chymdeithas Stapledon am hanner awr am beth sy’n ei ysgogi, ei waith fel Aelod Cynulliad, ei waith fel Llywydd YDCW a rhai o brif faterion Cymru wledig. Dilynwyd hyn gan hanner awr ddiddan o ddadl a thrafodaeth. Diolch i’w waith ef mae YDCW wedi newid o fod yn fudiad un mater – gwrthwynebu ffermydd gwynt – i ddangos diddordeb mewn rôl gyfrannol llawer ehangach. Noson dda.
Mae polisi ynni, yn enwedig darpariaeth trydan, yn fater allweddol nid yn unig ar raddfa fyd-eang ond ar raddfa lleol hefyd. Mae’n rhaid i ni yng Ngheredigion ddangos mwy o ddiddordeb yn y ddadl am gysylltiad y Grid Cenedlaethol sy’n digwydd yn Sir Fynwy ar hyn o bryd. Bydd casgliadau’r ddadl yn effeithio diogelwch ein ynni yng Ngheredigion.
Ychydig o gefndir i ddechrau; mae trawsyriad trydan foltedd uchel yn fwy effeithlon na thrawsyriad foltedd is felly bydd y cyflenwad trydan yn fwy effeithlon a dibynadwy, yr agosaf fydd gwifrau foltedd uchel 400kV. Mae’r gwifrau 400kV agosaf at ganolbarth Cymru wedi’w lleoli ger Abertawe, yn Nhrawsfynydd a’r Amwythig. Mae ardaloedd arfordirol Ceredigion yn bell iawn oddi wrth y prif wifrau pwer ac mae’r rhwydwaith lleol yn agored iawn i niwed.
Mae’n anffodus fod y ddadl wedi priodi ffermydd gwynt TAN 8 gyda grid trydan cenedlaethol gwell, dylid eu hysgaru. Ni chaiff unrhyw un o’r ffermydd gwynt eu hadeiladu heb y cysylltiadau newydd 400kV gan fod rhaid allforio’r ynni sydd wedi’w gynhyrchu a rhaid talu am y grid newydd. Mae’n broblem real, a ydym ni’n cefnogi’r ffermydd gwynt newydd i gael gwell cysylltiad grid? Neu a ydym ni’n gwrthwynebu’r ffermydd gwynt a byw gyda’r posibilrwydd o dlodi trydanol? Does neb eisiau peilonau mawr, ond nid ydym eisiau colli ein cyflenwad trydan chwaith.
Un ateb yw i gladdu’r ceblau ond mae’n debyg y buasai’r gost ychwanegol yn cael ei ychwanegu at ein biliau cyflenwad. Ateb arall yw i ddefnyddio’r trydan sydd wedi’w gynhyrchu’n lleol i gyflenw i anghenion lleol, y broblem gyda hyn yw bod cynhyrchiad trydan hydro ac adnewyddadwy yng Ngheredigion yn dymhorol, a gall olygu tlodi yn ystod amseroedd penodol o’r flwyddyn.
Mae hi’n hanfodol bwysig i ni gadw golwg ar y ddadl hon ac i ymyrryd pan fo angen. Heb amheuaeth byddwn yn dychwelyd at y mater hwn yn y dyfodol agos.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
Mae Penri James o Blaid Cymru wedi rhybuddio y bydd mwy o Swyddfeydd Post yn cau yng Ngheredigion os yw’r cytundeb Cyfrif Cerdyn Swyddfa’r Post yn cael ei atal o Swyddfa’r Post Cyf.
Bydd y penderfyniad gan Lywodraeth San Steffan i wobrwyo’r cytundeb Cyfrif Cerdyn yn cael ei wneud yn y dyfodol agos, gyda dau gwmni’n gwneud cais i reoli’r gwasanaeth – Swyddfa’r Post Cyf a Paypoint.
Mae Ffederasiwn Cenedlaethol yr Is-Bostfeistri yn amcangyfrif y gall 200 Swyddfa Bost yng Nghymru, a hyd at 3,000 ledled y DU gau os na chaiff y cytundeb ei roi i Swyddfa’r Post Cyf.
Wrth wneud sylwadau ar y rhybudd hwn, dywedodd Penri James o Blaid Cymru:
“Rwy’n rhannu’r pryder cynyddol y bydd nifer o ganghennau’n cau ar hyd a lled y wlad os ddaw y gwasanaeth cyfrif cerdyn i ben yn ein Swyddfeydd Post. O ganlyniad, mae’n hanfodol bwysig fod Llywodraeth San Steffan yn ystyried y cyfraniad cymdeithasol pwysig mae einn swyddfeydd post yn ei gynnig wrth ddyfarnu’r cytundeb newydd hwn, yn hytrach na dibynnu ar ystyriaethau masnachol yn unig.”
“Dylai llywodraeth Gordon Brown fod yn gweithredu camau fydd yn cryfhau rhwydwaith Swyddfa’r Post yn hytrach na thynnu gwasanaethau pwysig o’n canghennau. Serch hyn, rwyf yn falch fod Llywodraeth Cymru’n Un yn gweithio gyda changhennau lleol Swyddfa’r Post drwy’r Gronfa Ddiwygiedig Datblygu Swyddfeydd Post newydd.”
Bydd cynrychiolwyr o Ffederasiwn Cenedlaethol yr Is-Bostfeistri yn mynychu’r drafodaeth.
Rhybuddiodd Keith Richards o Swyddfa Bost Glyn-nedd a’r Swyddog Gweithredol dros Gymru:
“Os na gaiff y Cyfrif Cerdyn ei ddyfarnu i Swyddfa’r Post Cyf. Yna gall 200 swyddfa bost yng Nghymru, a 3,000 ledled Prydain gau oherwydd diffyg busnes. Byddai’r rhaglen gau allan o reolaeth, yn wahanol i’r cynllun newid rhwydwaith diweddar, a buasai’n effeithio ardaloedd gwledig yn bennaf lle mae pobl yn ddibynnol arnynt i ddosbarthu Pensiynau a Buddiant. Buasai’n rhaid i swyddfeydd post benderfynu a fyddent yn medru aros ar agor neu wynebu methdaliad.”
“Ymddengys fod y Llywodraeth yn LLundain yn osgoi penderfyniad yn y cyhoeddiad ac wrth i’r ansicrwydd barhau, mae’r sefyllfa yn peri mwy o bryderr. Ni all is-bostfeistri fuddsoddi yn eu busnesau os na wyddont beth fydd yn digwydd yn y dyfodol.”
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Un o’r argraffiadau cyntaf a roir gan Lywodraeth y Cynulliad yn ei ymateb i’r dirwasgad yw cyn lleied y gall wneud i drin y liferi sy’n rheoli’r economi macro. Mae’r ymateb i anhawsterau ariannol wedi’i seilio’n gadarn yn San Steffan a dyna pham fod nawr yn rhaid i ASau ddangos eu bod yn haeddu eu cyflogau. Maent wedi bod yn fwy na pharod i ddangos eu gallu pan yn edrych ar y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol, nawr rhaid iddynt arddangos y gallu hwnnw tra’n delio â’r Llywodraeth.
Yn y cyfamser rhaid i Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru weithredu’n effeithiol o fewn ei bwerau presennol, mae’r ymateb hyd yma yn gyfystyr â sicrhau fod y Llyowdraeth yn talu biliau ar amser, sicrhau fod cwmniau lleol yn cael ymgeisio am brosiectau cyfalaf lleol diolch i adolygiad o reolau caffaeliad, rhoi blaenoriaeth i brosiectau cyfalaf, meithrin sylfaen sgiliau ehangach a darparu Finance Wales gyda £150M o nawdd ychwanegol drwy gronfeydd adeileddol JEREMIE . Ni allaf ganfod gwallau yma gan mai synnwyr cyffredin ydyw yn bennaf.
Rwy’n pryderu am y prosiectau cyfalaf. Mae’n debyg mai’r unig brosiectau cyfalaf y gellir eu prysuro yw’r rhai sydd eisoes wedi cael caniatad cynllunio. Hoffwn wybod faint o’r rhain sy’n bodoli ac mewn termau ariannol pa ran o’r gyllideb gyfan yw hyn? Gellir ailwampio’r camau i brysuro cynlluniau prosiectau cyfalaf drwy ail-edrych ar bolisiau cynllunio, cyflymder y broses gwneud penderfyniadau ac ymgynhgoriad atodedig, yn enwedig gyda’r Asiantaeth Cefnffyrdd. Mae cymaint o brosiectau yn cael eu gohirio oherwydd gweision sifil pedantig, er lles yr economi gadewch i ni eu rhoi i’r neilltu. Mae’r un peth yn wir am bolisiau caffaeliad sy’n tueddu i ffafrio’r corfforaethau mawr ac nid cwmniau lleol a gwledig. Unwaith eto, rhaid cael gwared ar reolau gwirion a galluogi cyrff cyhoeddus i gynnig cytundebau ar y maint effeithlon lleiaf sy’n cefnogi’r economi leol.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
As a result of this decision, the Welsh Assembly Government will now provide Tai Ceredigion with £40 million in order to assist with the work of bringing the local housing stock up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2013.
Following the announcement of the ballot result, Ceredigion AM Elin Jones said:
“Council tenants have shown that there is support for the ownership of their houses to be transferred to the new Tai Ceredigion housing association, thereby unlocking a sizeable investment of £40 million from the Assembly Government to help bring these properties up to the required standard.
“I hope that the board of Tai Ceredigion will now continue with their hard work and
ensure that the ownership of these houses is transferred at the earliest possible opportunity so that improvement work can commence and allow tenants to enjoy the benefits of this decision as soon as possible”.
Plaid Cymru’s Penri James added:
“This very important investment of £40 million in Ceredigion’s housing stock is welcome during an uncertain economic climate. I hope that Tai Ceredigion will provide local builders with the opportunity over the next five years to successfully bid for the work required to improve the standard of its houses.
“It is important that Tai Ceredigion make every effort to ensure that local companies are informed about all work opportunities. Ceredigion has been praised by the Housing Minister, Jocelyn Davies AM, for the quality of its information packs – it’s vital that this continues when it comes to offering work that supports the local economy”.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
The decision by the Westminster Government to award the new Card Account contract will be made imminently, with two companies bidding to run the service – Post Office Ltd and Paypoint.
The National Federation of Sub Postmasters estimates that 200 Post Offices in Wales, and up to 3,000 across the UK, could close if the contract is not awarded to Post Office Ltd.
Commenting on this warning, Plaid Cymru’s Penri James said:
“I share the growing concern that withdrawing the card account service from our Post Office will result in further branch closures throughout the country. As a result, it’s essential that the Westminster Government takes the important social contribution that our post offices provide while awarding this new contract rather than relying on commercial considerations alone.
“Gordon Brown’s government should be taking steps to strengthen the Post Office network rather than withdrawing important services from our branches. I am however glad that the One Wales Government is working with our local Post Office branches through the new Post Office Development Fund”.
Representatives from the National Federation of Sub Postmasters will attend the debate. Keith Richards, from Glynneath Post Office and Executive Officer for Wales warned:
“If the Card Account is not awarded to the Post Office Limited then more than 200 post offices could close across Wales, and 3000 across the UK because of a lack of business. This would be an unmanaged closure programme unlike the recent network change scheme, and would hit primarily rural areas where people are very much reliant on them to pay out Pensions and Benefits. Post offices would have to make a decision on whether they could stay open or face bankruptcy.
“The Government in London seems to be fudging the announcement and the longer the uncertainty goes on, the more worrying it becomes. Sub-postmasters can not invest in their business if they do not know what the future holds”.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Dr Martin Luther King, Washington, DC, August 28, 1963
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
The danger that a string of lobster pots face from the powerful and frequently imprecise nature of scallop dredging is significant, indeed, the loss of expensive pots as a result of careless dredging can destroy the livelihood of a lobster fisherman. The likelihood of accidents increase as dredging comes closer to land particularly when scallop dredging is speculative and away from recognised scallop beds. I understand that the Cardigan Bay Fisherman Association and the Welsh Federation of Fisheries Associations has expressed similar concerns about the vulnerability of lobster strings. Entangling with a string of lobster pots will cost the lobster fisherman in excess on £2000 (£45 per pot and anything from 45-60 pots per string) and can easily cause significant financial loss. It is precisely as a means of preventing such damage that clearer identification of scallop boats is required.
Currently there is no requirement for scallop dredgers to carry the Automatic Identification System (AIS) or a similar satellite tracking device, which would make their position and activity visible to onshore positions. The NWNWSFC should require scallop dredgers to install identification equipment as a tool for Sea Fisheries Officers and Coastguards to monitor dredgers fishing outside designated areas and/or in danger of damaging lobster pots. Currently lobster fishermen have no legal protection when their pots are damaged short of the indirect effects of conservation legislation protecting scallop beds. The Isle of Man Government has introduced for the 2008-2009 season a requirement for satellite tracking devices to be installed on scallop fishing boats operating within its own 3 mile limit.
Only vessels under 50 ft (15.24m) registered length are allowed to fish within 3 miles of the Isle of Man and require a permit to do so. You will be automatically issued with a 3 mile permit if your vessel is less than 50 ft. Under existing conservation measures ALL vessels fishing for scallops or queenies inside the 3 mile limit are required to have an operational satellite tracking device on board. In addition all vessels fishing for scallops or queenies inside the three mile limit are required to complete and return a detailed scientific logbook as supplied by the Department.
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Good progress so far by the Assembly, so what are our Welsh MP's doing? It seems the Welsh Affairs Committee are not best pleased by one measure on housing - The proposed draft National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Housing) Order 2008 - and want to restrict powers on affordable housing devolved to the Assembly. Not a good start when it comes to having real powers to deal with real issues that will affect people's homes and mortgages on a daily basis. The Presiding Officer is right in his criticism Tensions rise over housing powers. There is a great danger that MP's will increasingly be seen as being obstructive and obtuse. If you don't think the Assembly can do the work, what do you propose instead?
My line on a new vet school in Aberystwyth goes something like this; there is a scarcity of graduates with large animal expertise, monitoring and controlling animal diseases will become increasingly important with climate change, institutions like Aberystwyth University have aspirations that develop their higher education provision but also contribute significantly to the local economy, and finally it is part of a new agenda for Wales that creates national institutions for a self respecting country. These arguments are good enough for me but they need to be articulated widely to make the case to individuals and organisations that will eventually decide the fate of the project. It is an ambition where we are seeing many pieces of the jigsaw lining up. Now is the time to strike.
Friday, 17 October 2008
While the numbers of families living at or below the poverty line in Ceredigion was slightly lower than the Welsh average of 59 per cent, certain areas were significantly higher. In the Cardigan – Teifi ward, 77 per cent of families are classed as having low incomes, closely followed with the Aberystwyth – Central ward with 74 per cent.
The Campaign to End Child Poverty, the organisation which obtained the figures, organised a rally in London to mount further pressure on Gordon Brown and the Westminster Government to commit the resources required to put an end to child poverty.
Commenting on the statistics, Penri James said:
“While I believe that it’s reassuring that child poverty figures in Ceredigion’s Communities First areas are at or below the Welsh average, I do believe that more needs to be done to address this issue in other areas of the county which aren’t covered by this successful scheme.
“In light of these newly-published statistics, it is important that Ceredigion County Council and the Assembly Government reappraise the Communities First areas to see whether all areas of multiple deprivation, including high child poverty levels, are covered and open to additional funding.
“It’s estimated that an additional £3 billion must be made available to so that the Westminster government to meet its own targets on child poverty. I therefore hope that Gordon Brown will listen to the case presented by the Campaign to End Child Poverty and ensure that his government increases funding to tackle this problem”.
Plaid Cymru’s County Councillor for the Cardigan – Teifi ward, Catrin Miles, added:
“It’s hardly surprising that Cardigan’s Teifi ward has the highest rate of child poverty in Ceredigion. Relevant statistics have consistently shown that this area is one of the most deprived in the county but to date little has been done to address this issue. I will therefore be raising this matter with Council officials to see what action can be taken to deal with this situation”.
The figures quoted were obtained by the Campaign to End Child Poverty. The main data covers August 2006. However, ward breakdowns are for August 2005. The data cover all children eligible for Child Benefit, including 16 and 17 year olds still in full-time education.
One such scheme is the the UK Government and Assembly intention to bring private sewers into public ownership. There are so many badly constructed sewers in poor condition - developers making a fast buck and burying the evidence quickly - that the eventual bill will land on the doorstep of private individuals, this is likely to be substantial. Sooner or later this kind of hardship will fall upon us, lets hope the Minister gets some luck in London.
The money, announced by Plaid Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones, will go to the Aberystwyth Arts Centre to help to build a new 16 unit complex to house artists, craftspeople and related businesses.
The investment in Aberystwyth is part of a national package to allow communities across Wales to see national collections of art. Centres in Llandudno and Cardiff will also be receiving funding. The Minister said that following a feasibility study that showed that the creation of a National Gallery would cost the taxpayer £90m, he had taken the decision to invest in existing galleries across the nation so that a ‘mobile national gallery’ could be created.
Local Plaid parliamentary candidate, Penri James, said:
“This money will be a welcome boost to arts and culture in the area, the development of the new complex will increase in the amount of contemporary art created in this area. It will also make it easier for people living in the Aberystwyth area, from all backgrounds to contribute to and to experience our nation’s arts and culture.
“I welcome the decision by the Minister not to commit to the investment of £90m in a national gallery; this would be something our communities could ill afford at this time. The Minister has taken the only responsible course of action in the current economic climate.”
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
I was very disappointed to read Mark Williams MP’s criticism last week of the Assembly Government’s intention to merge Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts in Wales and create seven regional health bodies. Mr Williams has conveniently forgotten that it was his Lib Dem party which supported the creation of the 22 Local Health Boards in Wales when they briefly shared power with Labour in Cardiff many years ago. As a result, as many as 50 NHS organisations have existed at the same time in Wales!
It’s quite evident that our MP and his Lib Dem counterparts would prefer to have six Chief Executives and six Directors of Finance in Dyfed rather than one of each to serve the whole area. I wonder how many local residents would prefer this costly Lib Dem policy rather than an emphasis on improving frontline health services preferred by the present Plaid-Labour Assembly Government. Improving local healthcare is more important that preserving bureaucracy and high-paid posts.
Monday, 13 October 2008
Sunday, 12 October 2008
Don't believe that such despicable behaviour isn't used over here, the algorithm goes something like this
- Government/Organisation/Company makes proposals not likely to be delivered in the short term,
- MP/MEP/AM responds that he/she is angry/annoyed/dismayed at these proposals,
- MP/MEP/AM frightens life out of interested parties,
- MP/MEP/AM and only MP/MEP/AM will save populace from such proposals.
Have a look for this algorithm in the local press, no prizes. Clue - The name of the MP/MEP/AM is usually the first 2 words in the first paragraph. It actually makes them sound a bit like the Mr Men, "Mr Angry", "Mr Annoyed", "Mr Dismayed".
Friday, 10 October 2008
An Early Day Motion put forward by Elfyn Llwyd MP on a NATIONAL VETERINARY SCHOOL FOR WALES has gathered MP support which cane be tracked here
That this House notes the importance of the veterinary profession to the livestock industry and in pet care; considers that the recent outbreaks of bluetongue and foot and mouth disease in the UK will adversely affect animal welfare and the productivity of the agricultural industry and require significant monitoring input from acknowledged experts; further notes that there is a growing demand for highly trained veterinarians that is currently being met by an increasing number of foreign-trained graduates; acknowledges that Wales, uniquely among the nations of the UK, has no veterinary school; and further considers that additional veterinary training to meet demand would be achieved by establishing a National Veterinary School for Wales in Aberystwyth in order to complement the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.
I am pleased that the local MP has provided his support. Would it be churlish for me to suggest that this is yet another campaign that the Lib Dems will support only later to claim that they are the leading lights? - we shall wait and see but I shall keep you informed.
What is important here is that all parties see the benefits of establishing a vet school in Aberystwyth, benefits to the local economy and to education. Its a fight we can and must win for Ceredigion.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
When I was a councillor I met with local authority treasurers, my first question was always 'are you sure the money is invested in a safe haven rather than in accounts that paid the top interest rates'. I would hope members of local authorities in Wales would have asked similar questions.
Where Ceredigion and other authorities are concerned, answers to the following questions will have to be volunteered:-
- Were the appropriate rules followed when this money was invested?
- If the credit rating advisors persisted to provide a triple 'A' rating to dodgy banks then why should they be paid a consultancy fee when the taxpayers money is under threat?
- Were there any warnings received about the creditworthiness of Icelandic banks and when? Did the authority invest after such a warning?
- Is the invested money part of an earmarked reserve? If the answer is 'Yes' then which projects? In Ceredigion does this mean the new office building or the Penweddig PFI project?
- Is the invested money part of the general reserves?
- Is the invested money part of the daily cash flow needs of the authority? If its frozen then will the liquidity of the authority be affected and is there money available to pay bills and salaries this month?
The sooner we get the answers the better. In the meantime the Assembly should get its thinking cap on and persuade the UK Treasury to stump up the cash deficits which have been incurred. Local authority services are as important as a liquid banking system.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Penri James Ymgeisydd Seneddol San Steffan Plaid Cymru Ceredigion Westminster Parliamentary Candidate Plaid Cymru Ceredigion
Commenting on the announcement, Plaid Cymru’s Penri James said:
“I’m glad that the Urdd have finally revealed that the 2010 Eisteddfod will be held at Llannerchaeron. This is an ideal location which is in easy reach of all parts of Ceredigion and I hope that this will encourage all of the county’s residents to become involved in the event”.
“Hosting this important event at one of Ceredigion’s most historic tourist attractions will give visitors a taste of what the county has to offer. I am also confident that a very warm welcome will await competitors and visitors from all parts of Ceredigion and Wales when they descend on Llannerchaeron in May 2010”.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
- Only buy breeding livestock of the highest quality capable of producing what the market requires;
- Maintain high health status at all times and minimise inter flock/herd contacts;
- Decide on a marketing plan that encompasses livestock breeding, accurate selection for the market, sale feedback and review;
- HAVE A STORY TO TELL;
The first two are part of common practice but the last two are not. The best exponent of the 'story to tell' is Steve Ramshaw and is a superb case study. The added value he produces from his farm is the result of high quality livestock, first class management techniques, a tightly managed slaughter process with emphasis on quality control, and selling to a predetermined sales story and ideal. There are excellent stockmen in Wales but we could learn a few tricks from these marketing farmers up in the North East.
Plaid Cymru’s Minister for Rural Affairs and Ceredigion AM, Elin Jones, has already stated that she does not agree with EID but that it is likely to be pushed through by other EU countries.
Plaid Cymru has been campaigning to scrap these proposed regulations with Jill Evans MEP recently joining Scottish and Irish counterparts to launch a campaign against the plans.
In support of the campaign, Plaid Cymru’s Penri James said:
“I am very supportive of the campaign being led by Plaid Cymru against these proposed electronic tags and I hope that the European Council will a take the opposition to this regulation into account. I fear that this will be a costly project to implement and individual farmers will bear the expense.
“During the recent Plaid Cymru Conference, I discussed this matter with our European MP, Jill Evans, and I know that she will be pressing the case for EID to be scrapped in Brussels. However, as Elin Jones AM stated, despite gaining concessions in the negotiations so far, there is little support to put EID on hold among other EU states”.
This is an example of how they look (from http://www.shearwell.co.uk/ )
Prior to his speech, Plaid Cymru's Penri James said:
"In Wales, we currently educate our young people to become doctors and teachers. We lack the ability to train students to become a vet. As part of Plaid Cymru’s New Welsh Agenda, we should seek to establish our first ever veterinary school in Wales – Aberystwyth, in particular, would be an ideal location for such a development."
"Given the importance of the agricultural industry in Wales a national Veterinary School would be very welcome. The numbers of graduates in this field are already substantially below the Royal Veterinary College's targets, particularly in relation to the numbers which are able to treat farm animals.
"Now that the once-threatened IGER has become integrated into Aberystwyth University, a new Veterinary College would complement the expertise already on offer at Aberystwyth. This would certainly bring significant educational benefits for Wales and would boost the local economy in Ceredigion. However, a new Veterinary School will need cross party support at all levels of government. I believe that Plaid Cymru lead and deliver this aspiration”.
Elin Jones AM said:
“The resources we have in Wales ’ seas are of great importance, and our fishing fleet is an essential element of the food production industry. I am proud that Aberystwyth, and Ceredigion as a whole, is such an excellent showcase for the rich diversity of our food production industry. This is something that I hope to highlight to Plaid members from across Wales as they arrive in the town for this year’s conference”.
Jill Evans MEP said:
“With a Plaid Rural Affairs Minister in the Assembly and with my own work as an MEP, Wales now has a strong voice for our food production industry in Europe – and people in the fishing industry know how important that is. We no longer have to rely on London ministers to understand the challenges we face, and then only hope that they take these to the European stage on our behalf. Alongside Elin, I’ve been able to fight for our agricultural and rural communities in Europe”.
Plaid Cymru Candidate for Ceredigion, Penri James said:
“In this area, pot fishermen have had a difficult time because of the practices of some of the scallop fishermen. I’ve asked Elin to intervene in an effort to come up with an arrangement that will ensure the viability of all types of fishing. Both Elin and Jill are fully engaged with the needs of the industry”.
Monday, 22 September 2008
The announcement that the funding application had been submitted was made by the Chair of Cadwgan Trust, Jann Tucker, during a reception at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.
Following the reception on the ‘maes’, Ceredigion AM Elin Jones – who has supported the Trust’s lottery application – said:
“It is very fitting that the announcement on the submission of a lottery bid to restore Cardigan Castle – the site of the very first Eisteddfod – was made at this year’s National Eisteddfod. This is a very ambitious project which will be of great benefit for Cardigan and the whole of West Wales once it is completed.
“I was pleased to be invited to back the application for funding and I hope that a further announcement will be made in the near future on the bid’s progress, in the hope that re-opening the Castle and its grounds to the public can finally become a reality by the target date of 2012”.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster candidate, Penri James, also attended the reception at the National Eisteddfod and added:
“I know that Cardigan’s residents are especially proud of their longstanding association with our national Eisteddfod tradition. It’s therefore only fitting that the location of Lord Rhys’ first Eisteddfod is properly restored and become a centre celebrating our national heritage”.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Just back from the count with the result
BOUDIER, RICHARD ANTHONY Labour 36
DAUNCEY, ALEXANDER JAMES Liberal Democrat 252
DAVIES, ALED Plaid Cymru 271
EVETTS, LUKE WILLIAM ASHLEY Conservative 17
KOLCZAK, CAROL ANN Independent 98
Plaid Cymru majority of 19 overturning a Liberal Democrat majority of 300 on 1st May. Congratulations to Aled, he will make an excellent County Councillor. This now changes the arithmetic on the Council, Plaid Cymru are now on 20 seats and the Coalition on 22 (Independent 12, Liberal Democrat 9 and Labour 1). The Coalition will find it impossible to shut Plaid Cymru out of everything as they have done during the past 8 weeks.
The Government seems particularly reluctant to counteract the effect on our pockets and particularly keen to benefit from the windfall generated by high pump prices and a greater tax take. Plaid Cymru and the SNP have listened to rural communities and proposed an amendment to Parliament requiring the Government to invoke a Fuel Duty Regulator. A Fuel Duty Regulator would trigger an automatic freeze in fuel duty rates when oil prices are high, and the extra cash raised from VAT on petrol or diesel would go back into an equivalent cut in fuel duty. This is a practical solution that would ease the situation and make a huge difference to people's lives.
It is disappointing that the measure was defeated. It is even more disappointing that Mark Williams MP did not support this sensible solution. He chose to absent himself from a vote that would have benefited a rural county such as Ceredigion – it was an opportunity missed. When high fuel costs are penalising Ceredigion it is his role to champion our cause and not submit to the whip of his Party and stand aside. It is simply not good enough.
Monday, 7 July 2008
Its early days yet but there seems to be evidence emerging to suggest that the success rate of Kite nests located in areas with greatest uptake of Tir Gofal is particularly poor. An example of the law of unintended consequence methinks. What do we do about it? Let the Assembly finance a proper scientific study into the matter before it gets serious.
BT is now holding a consultation on its plans to close a total of 69 payphones in Ceredigion. The consultation period, which will last until 06 September 2008, has received little publicity from BT since it was launched on 08 June 2008.
In response to these proposed closures in Ceredigion and throughout the whole of Wales, Plaid Cymru has now launched a special campaign website at http://www.saveourphoneboxes.plaidcymru.org/ which includes an online petition that allows people to register their disappointment with BT and OFCOM for allowing these closures.
Commenting on BT's consultation, Plaid Cymru's Penri James said:
"While I accept that our payphones are no longer used as often as they once were now that many people have mobile phones, I am very concerned at BT's proposals to remove 69 phone boxes from Ceredigion. In reality, there remain many areas locally where you simply cannot get a mobile reception.
"This is just another example of how the Westminster government is allowing rural services to be eroded. Plaid Cymru's new website will allow people to register their disappointment with both BT and OFCOM for allowing so many phone boxes to be closed".
The 69 phone boxes which BT wants to remove in Ceredigion are:-
01239612233 1pco, Gwbert, Cardigan SA43 1PR
01239654449 O/s Post Office, 1pco, Blaencelyn, Llandysul SA44 6DE
01239654453 Nr Post Office, 1pco, Llangranog, Llandysul SA44 6SE
01239682385 Newbridge, 1pco, Capel Iwan, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9NL
01239682389 1pco, Llechryd, Cardigan SA43 2PJ
01239682455 O/s Post Office, 1pco, Ponthirwaun, Cardigan SA43 2RJ
01239710215 1pco, Blaen Cil Llech, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9EP
01239710531 O/s School, 1pco, Cwm Cou, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9PE
01239810241 O/s Bakery 810241, 1pco, Betws Ifan, Beulah, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9QL
01239810308 1pco, Tanygroes, Cardigan SA43 2JE
01239810311 Blaenpystyll Mill, 1pco, Blaenannerch, Cardigan SA43 2AD
01239810346 1pco, Felinwynt, Cardigan SA43 1RT
01239810826 O/s Post Office 810826, 1pco, Beulah, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9QB
01239851221 O/s Telephone Exchange, 1pco, Rhydlewis, Llandysul SA44 5QG
01239851229 Bryngwenith, 1pco, Velindre, Llandysul SA44 5XT
01239851298 Aberbedw, Rhydlewis, Llandysul SA44 5PN
01239851428 Nr Brongest, 1pco, Brongest, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9ET
01239851438 O/s Cartref, 1pco, Maesllyn, Llandysul SA44 5LD
01545560338 Old Quarry, 1pco, Nanternis, New Quay SA45 9RW
01545560562 1pco, Llwyndafydd Road, Llandysul SA44 6BX
01545580293 1pco, Llwyncelyn, Aberaeron SA46 0HF
01545580442 Nr S Ub Post Office, 1pco, Synod Inn, Llandysul SA44 6JU
01545590211 Pantyrhedyn, Llandysul SA44 4RT
01559363282 1pco, Prengwyn, Llandysul SA44 4LU
01559363378 O/s Post Office 363378, 1pco, Tregroes, Llandysul SA44 4NA
01559370237 Sherbanc Stores, Aberbanc, Penrhiwllan, Llandysul SA44 5NP
01570422237 1pco, Lampeter SA48 7NU
01570434221 Pco1, Blaencwrt, Lampeter SA48 7LN
01570470234 O/s Cambrian Stores, 1pco, Creuddyn Bridge, Lampeter SA48 8AZ
01570470383 O/s Blaen Parc T/no 470383, 1pco, Kiosk, Dihewyd, Lampeter SA48 7QP
01570470473 Council House Est 470473, 1pco, Bro Fallen, Talsarn, Lampeter SA48 8QS
01570470553 O/s Post Office T No 470553, 1pco, Kiosk, Abermeurig, Lampeter SA48 8PP
01570470576 O/s Commercial Inn. 470576, 1pco, Kiosk, Cilcennin, Lampeter SA48 8RF
01570480309 4, Bro Gwenog, Drefach, Llanybydder SA40 9SY
01570493322 Glanrhyd, Llanfair Clydogau, Lampeter SA48 8LJ
01654781240 1pco, Glandyfi, Machynlleth SY20 8SS
01970615201 1pco, Comins Coch, Aberystwyth SY23 3BG
01970820847 Adj Rhydypennau School, Pco1, Llandre, Bow Street SY24 5AD
01970828271 1pco, Capel Dewi, Aberystwyth SY23 3HS
01970828272 Pco, Cwmerfyn, Aberystwyth SY23 3JD
01970828273 1pco, Salem, Penrhyncoch, Aberystwyth SY23 3ET
01970828304 1pco, Cwmsymlog, Aberystwyth SY23 3EZ
01970828442 1pco, Cwmsymlog, Aberystwyth SY23 3HA
01970832211 1pco, Bontgoch, Talybont SY24 5DP
01970832270 Glanyrafon Bont, 1pco, Talybont SY24 5DJ
01970880218 1pco, Cwmrheidol, Aberystwyth SY23 3NB
01970880224 Rhosgoch, 1pco, Capel Madog, Aberystwyth SY23 3HY
01970880246 Pantycrug, 1pco, Pant-y-crug, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth SY23 4EF
01970880255 1pco, Pisgah, Aberystwyth SY23 4NG
01970880635 Adj. Bus Shelter, 1pco, Goginan, Aberystwyth SY23 3NT
01974241206 Cornel Ofan, 1pco, Llangwyryfon, Aberystwyth SY23 4HA
01974241254 Pent Y Parc X Roads, 1pco, Cwrt Y Cadno Lane, Llanilar, Aberystwyth SY23 4PG
01974241681 1pco, Llangwyryfon, Aberystwyth SY23 4HA
01974251611 Bontnewydd P O, 1pco, Bontnewydd, Aberystwyth SY23 4JH
01974261200 1pco, Crosswood, Aberystwyth SY23 4AT
01974261549 1pco, New Cross, Aberystwyth SY23 4LY
01974272200 Rhydfudur, 1pco, Trefenter, Aberystwyth SY23 4HJ
01974272211 Rhydrosser, 1pco, Llanon SY23 5HJ
01974272312 1pco, Trefenter, Aberystwyth SY23 4HJ
01974272646 Bethania, 1pco, Llanon SY23 5HJ
01974282237 1pco, Ysbyty Ystwyth, Ystrad Meurig SY25 6DG
01974298245 P O Llanio Rd, 1pco, Tregaron SY25 6PT
01974298262 1pco, Tregaron SY25 6NW
01974298355 Llys Meurig, 1pco, Llanddewi Brefi, Tregaron SY25 6NY
01974821214 Llidiart, 1pco, Llangeitho, Tregaron SY25 6QL
01974821216 Rhydypandy, 1pco, Llangeitho, Tregaron SY25 6TU
01974821241 P O, 1pco, Penuwch, Tregaron SY25 6RE
01974821662 Trwrgwyn Mawr, 1pco, Penuwch, Tregaron SY25 6RE
01974831611 Pco1, Swyddffynnon, Ystrad Meurig SY25 6AN
No details of the phone boxes which will be removed by BT without consultation because they are located within 400 metres of an alternative payphone are available;
There is a story on the BBC as well here.