Gwefan Ymgyrch / Campaign Website

Ydych chi wedi ymweld â gwefan yr ymgyrch eto?

Have you visited the campaign website yet?

Monday, 22 December 2008

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Railway links

As a lecturer involved in recruiting students onto courses at Aberystwyth University the importance of the railway line is pretty obvious when looking at the origin of applying students. The University is most successful, with the exception of Carmarthenshire, when there is direct railway access to Aberystwyth. I can also only 'welcome' the news that the Aberystwyth link to London "may" be restored but I would go further and demand its reinstatement. Access to services be they on a national or international level is a fundamental right in western society, access is one thing, whether you choose to use them is another, and you may choose not do do so on principle. That is another fundemental right. However we need to be a bit more forceful in the way we demand these services.
I have had a look for this consultation document as I would like to respond but it hasn't appeared on the web as yet. If a proper public consultation is required then Arriva should publicise its location and full content. Since the Liberal Democrats know about it and monitor my blog - Mark (Williams or Cole) can you please send me a copy or an URL. Thank you.

Post Offices - what can be done

If you have a good MP and a proactive County Council, this is what can be done. Not all branches have been saved but the threat of Judicial Review and a forceful marshalling of arguments can save some services.

Sane Friday

'Mad Friday' (the last Friday before Christmas to the uninitiated!) is a traditional day of merriment and over indulgence in all towns and cities across Wales. I have never been part of an organisation which had a party on this day, so I can't comment on how well or how bad the behaviour has been. Anecdotal evidence from the police seems to suggest that it can be pretty bad. However, this Friday has a different tradition for me, a tradition which I look forward to every year, the annual Penweddig School Christmas Service. Having children at the school for the past 8 years and having being a Governor for over 10 years, this is my 'sane Friday' tradition. As with previous years, I wasn't disappointed by the thoughtful contributions always to a high standard.

Child Poverty in Ceredigion

I have written to Leighton Andrews AM on the matter and forwarded a copy to Cardigan Town Council, see below, :-

Annwyl Weinidog

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 “… 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

Liberal Democrats are reactive - response to Roger Williams MP

Dear Mr Williams

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.

Yours sincerely
Penri James

Liberal Democrats are reactive

I seem to have hit a raw Liberal Democrat nerve considering this response to my piece on the closure of the Tax Office in Aberystwyth. A letter purportedly from Roger Williams MP has arrived but its not on headed notepaper, there is no sender's address and there is nothing stating in which capacity he is writing. I can only let you draw your own conclusions but I feel he might well be embarassed about it all! The handwritten address on the envelope is strangely familiar and I am suspicious of its provenance, it may be closer to Ceredigion than Brecon and Radnor!

Whatever, see above the letter I received. Since there is no senders address and the Lib Dems obviously read my blog then the response is coming next.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Cost goleuadau stryd

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.
Llongyfarchiadau Kirsty am 'BEIDIO' torri'r mowld

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.
Darlith Stapledon

Diolch Glyn, fe ddes i i’r un casgliad am y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol hefyd.
Celf Gyhoeddus

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

Cost of street lighting

Interesting article by the BBC on How much does it cost to operate a street light? which ties in with what rumour control is saying in Ceredigion. Apparently it costs anything from £14 to £90 per light running costs, depending on type, to keep them on during the winter months. I still think that you should only switch lights off where the community thinks they should be switched off and in other places switch every other light off, provided the community agrees. That should save half the cost. Rumour control also says that switching every other light off is not possible because they either don't have a timer or switch on/off as a result of a light sensitive cell. Some local authorities like Torfaen have decided to put timers on their lights that allows some to be switched off. This is a case of investing for tommorow and is good practice. It should get more publicity.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Congratulations Kirsty for 'NOT' breaking the mould

Its important to congratulate Kirsty Williams AM as the first female leader of a 'Welsh' political party but its also important to congratulate her for NOT breaking the mould - by proving the point that any campaign supported by Lembit Opik is doomed to failure. Bad move Jenni.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Stapledon lecture

Thanks Glyn, I came to the same conclusion about the Lib Dems as well.

Public Art

I am a fan of public art particularly when it is done well. The mother and child in Queen's Street, Cardiff is evocative, Anthony Gormley's creations inspirational, but we don't seem to have much luck here in Ceredigion. The 'stairway to nowhere' in Aberystwyth only reminds me of Led Zepplin in their 'stairway to heaven' heyday and in anycase it is safely blue boarded away on health grounds at the moment. Siting a 10m high stairway near the exit from the Students' Union in Aberystwyth was always a strange one particularly at 2am.
This brings me nicely to the 'Big Art' project in Cardigan. Spending several £'000 on a semi permanent colourfully lit buoys that talk back to you was always a dodgy one. If the money is there then spend it on something long lasting and relevant to Cardigan's history and heritage.
I have certain rules that should be obeyed when dealing with public art:-
  • 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

Tax Office closure

Following an announcement on Thursday 4th December its now clear that central government is withdrawing jobs from rural areas including Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced its accommodation reviews and the bad news is that the Aberystwyth Office will close and be an enquiry only office. This is a reversal on the original proposals where Merthyr Tydfil originally pencilled for closure is now saved at the expense of Aberystwyth.
An Impact Assessment has been carried out for the Aberystwyth Office and some of its conclusions and statements are questionable. Here are some paragraphs from the imact assessment document and important questions and comments.
1.4. Staff Crown Buildings accommodates a total of 25 staff. During consultation, concerns around additional travelling for staff have been raised. Further examination of individual circumstances will be undertaken through one to one discussions between managers and staff. Where a staff member is unable to relocate to the nearest long term HMRC office within reasonable daily travel managers will discuss other available options with them. No staff will be required to relocate beyond reasonable daily travel.
How do they define 'reasonable' in a rural context like that relevant to Ceredigion?
1.7. Finance The vacation of this office will contribute to estimated estate savings of £4m in Wales between 2007 and 2012.
What precisely is the contribution arising from the closure of the Aberystwyth Office?
2.1. Office Proposal HMRC proposes to rationalise its estate in Wales with the aim of making more effective and efficient use of office space and bringing teams closer together within and across business units. The original proposal was to retain Crown Buildings, Aberystwyth, but following feasibility work the intention is now to withdraw from this office. Enquiry centre services will remain at Crown Buildings or relocate to an alternative location nearby.
What precisely were the factors that made them change their mind?
4.1. Member of Parliament and Constituency Crown Buildings is within the parliamentary constituency of Ceredigion. The Member of Parliament is Mr Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat). This MP met with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the proposals.
This is a non-devolved matter where the MP should take a pro-active lead not simply be reactive all the time. We need to know what exactly was done appart from the usual "horrified...annoyed....angry...dismayed" type of press release. Not a particularly successful outcome this time, simmilar to the lobbying to keep Post Offices open. All those PO's in Ceredigion scheduled to be shut were shut. I just hope he didn't make matters worse with the Tax Office as well.
4.2. Local Economy Crown Buildings is situated within the local authority of Ceredigion. The unemployment rate for Ceredigion is 4.9%, against the UK national average of 5.3%. The table below shows the relative job density for Ceredigion, Wales and the UK as a whole. Job density is a ratio of total jobs to working-age population and provides a measure of the economic health of an area. Total jobs includes employees, self-employed, government supported trainees and HM Forces.
Table 1 - Job Density
Ceredigion 0.78
Wales 0.78
UK 0.84
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.
Who is actively looking for alternative occupiers for the building?
4.5. External Engagement On 13 June 2008 Workforce Change wrote to 11 local authorities and two town councils in Wales about the proposals for the cluster and individual locations. A six week period for responses was provided. Comments were sought on subjects including local/regional economic factors, regeneration plans, wider employer activity and plans for new or improved transport links. Ten responses were received from Torfaen County Borough Council, Pontypool Community Council, Wrexham County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Rhyl Town Council, Denbighshire County Council, Aberystwyth Town Council, Brecon Town Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Pembrokeshire County Council. Responses received included comments on the impact of the proposed closures on the local economy in particular the impact of losing jobs. All concerns raised have been taken into account in making our recommendations to Ministers.
Was there no response from Ceredigion County Council or were they not asked?
There is a critical need to set up a coordinated response here brining in all necessary institutions.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Dim cynllwyn......wir!

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.
Diogelwch ynni yng Ngheredigion

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

No conspiracy....really!

Local Lib Dems might well have smelled a conspiracy if they passed a local restaurant this evening and spotted the Prospective Plaid Cymru Westminster candidate in Ceredigion (me) dining with the Prospective Conservative Westminster candidate in Montgomery (Glyn Davies), both being Lib Dem held seats. Calm down Lib Dems, we all have other responsibilities, Glyn Davies was in Aberystwyth giving a talk as President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales and I was entertaining him as a Lecturer at Aberystwyth University.
Glyn spoke to the Stapledon Society for half an hour on what motaivates him, his work as an Assembly Member, his work as the President of CPRW and some of the key issues for rural Wales. This was followed by an entertaining half hour of discussion and debate. It is to his credit that the CPRW has moved from being a single issue organisation - anti wind farm - to be interested in and have a much wider contributory role. A good night.

Energy security in Ceredigion

Energy policy, in particular electricity provision, is a key issue not only on a global scale but on a local scale as well. We in Ceredigion need to take interest in the debate on the National Grid connection happenning in Montgomeryshire at the moment. Its conclusion will have an effect on our enegry security in Ceredigion.
Some background to begin with, high voltage electricity transmission is more efficient than lower voltage transmission thus the closer the presence of high voltage 400kV lines the more reliable and efficient electricity supply will be. The closest 400kV lines to mid Wales are near Swansea, at Trawsfynydd and at Shrewsbury. Coastal areas in Ceredigion are about as far as you can go from major power lines and the local network is particularly vulnerable.
It is unfortunate that the debate has married the TAN 8 wind farms with a better national electricity grid, they should be divorced. None of the wind farms will be built without the new 400kV connections since the generated energy has to be exported and the new grid has to be paid for. Its a real connundrum, do we support new wind farms to get a better grid connection? or do we oppose wind farms and live with possible electricity poverty? No one wants large pylons neither do we fancy losing our electricity supply. One solution may be to bury the cables but the additional cost will in all probability be added onto our supply bills. Another solution is to use locally generated electricity to supply local needs, the problem here is that renewable and hydro electricity generation in Ceredigion is essentially seasonal and a recipe for poverty at certain times of the year.
It is so iportant to watch this debate and intervene when required. No doubt we shall come back to this in the near future.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Bydd mwy o Sywddfeydd Post Ceredigion yn cau os yw cardiau’n cael eu hatal.

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

Ymateb y Cynulliad i’r dirwasgiad ar y gorwel

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

Assembly response to looming recession

One of the first impressions given by the Assembly Government in its response to the oncoming recession is how little it can do to manipulate the levers that control the macro economy. The response to monetary difficulties lies firmly in Westminster and that is why the MP's must now show that they are earning their pay. They have been more than willing to show their clout when looking at the National Assembly, now turn around and demonstrate that clout when dealing with the Government.
In the meantime WAG must act effectively within its existing powers, the response so far goes along the lines of making sure the Government pays its bills on time, that procurement rules are reviewed to ensure that local companies can bit for local capital projects, bringing capital projects forward, generating a wider skills base and providing Finance Wales with £150M additional funding through JEREMIE structural funds. I find no fault here as it is mainly common sense.
I am concerned about the capital projects. Apparently the only capital projects capable of being brought forward are those already in posession of planning permission, I would like to know how many there are and in financial terms what proportion of the total budget do they account for? The procedures to bring capital projects forward can be streamlined by looking again on planning policies, the speed of the decision making process and attached consultation particularly with the Trunk Road Agency. So many projects are held up by pedantic civil servants, for the sake of the economy let's move them aside. The same can be said for procurement policies which tend to favour the large corporations and not local and often rural based companies, again get rid of silly rules and allow public bodies to offer contracts at the smallest efficient size that supports the local economy.

Council housing decision needs to benefit tenants and local economy

Ceredigion’s Elin Jones AM has welcomed the announcement that the tenants of Ceredigion County Council’s housing stock have voted in favour of transferring the ownership of their houses to the new Tai Ceredigion housing association. 58.3 per cent of tenants voted in favour of the proposal and the transfer will take place within a year.

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

In the bubble

I think that Cynog's letter is perfectly succinct and effectively damning of nothing more than a superficial campaigning technique. It ties in with comments titled Bletchley Park made (in Welsh) on his blog by Vaughan Roderick. He concludes that Kirsty Williams AM is saying in code that the Liberal Democrats are good at electioneering techniques but not so good at substance and principles. Sounds about right to me.
An elected representative has to talk to and support the constituency as well as taking those views to the forum where decisions affecting our day to day lives are taken. If that means being inside the 'bubble' for a while then so be it. But never forget where you came from and why you are there.

More Ceredigion Post Offices will close if cards are withdrawn.

Plaid Cymru’s Penri James has warned that more Post Offices could close in Ceredigion if the Post Office Card Account contract is withdrawn from Post Office Ltd.

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

Dr Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln

After a momentous election in America, I felt the need to re-read the powerful words of Dr Martin Luther King and the Gettysburg address by Abraham Lincoln as a reminder of what its all about. If President-elect Obama can manage the high expectation then surely the USA is on the way to the 'promised land'.
" I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.
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
"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." Dr Martin Luther King, Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


Soon after the 1st November we will see the return of those night lights out in Cardigan Bay indicating the presence of scallop dredgers. From 1st January they will come even closer to shore. Under Byelaw 12 - Restrictions On Fishing For Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish Variation To Permitted Fishing Areas set by the North Western & North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee (NWNWSFC) , dredging for scallops will recommence in Area 3 of Cardigan Bay on the 1st November and additionally further inshore in Area 3A from 1st January. The relevant point is that these are productive lobster fisheries important to the fishermen operating out of Aberystwyth and other harbours in West Wales.

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.

The NWNWSFC should do the same. Satellite tracking would also allow the identification of boats fishing in the protected waters found in Cardigan Bay. I have written to the NWNWSFC with this suggestion, lets hope they take it on board.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Home and mortgage help

The credit crunch and subsequent economic downturn should have focussed the minds of politicians on keeping people faced with the loss of their job in their homes. Reposessions are increasing and its good to see that Welsh Assembly Ministers have introduced a £5m mortgage rescue scheme. Good move earlier this summer and considering subsequent events, an inspired one as well. However, it is likely to need more than £5m in the pot. Central government has woken up and is considering action on reposessions.

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?

Aberystwyth with Adam Price MP

Spent Friday evening with Adam Price MP giving a talk to Plaid members in Aberystwyth on the National Vet School for Wales campaign. Adam spoke in his usual eloquent style on the credit crunch, banking problems, the economic difficulties that small nations like Wales face, and the Plaid response to these difficulties. We were told to expect a formal announcement on these next week. One point of interest was the needs for investment in public infrastructure projects as a means of stimulating the economy. Lets prepare a list for Wales and make sure we are at the front of the queue as it has been repeated by Government sources on Sunday morning.

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.

Friends of Cartref Tregerddan

The Friends of Cartref Tregerddan is a voluntary support organisation set up over 25 years ago, primarily to raise money to support the care of those living at Cartref Tregerddan, Bow Street, but also to respond to changes in policy and operation instigated by Ceredigion County Council and others. It has been an honour to be its Chair for the past few years. The Friends are a focal point for interested members of the community and representatives of local community councis. It meets at approximately 2 monthly intervals and has raised over £60k locally to improve the well being of residents. The main fundraising events are the summer barbeque, autumn tea, christmas raffle and monthly whist drives. We also make regular grant applications to Cronfa Eleri and the Lady Grace Trust to buy the most expensive items. During the past 25 years the Friends have paid for trips for residents, Christmas presents and also substantial capital projects like specialist beds, a conservatory and more recently a large open porch to allow ambulances to park near the front door in shelter when picking up passengers.
It is so important for homes like Tregerddan to have community support, it is important for residents to make sure they remain part of the community, to staff who maintain the highest levels of care often in trying circumstances, but it is also important to the community as an expession of the fact that we still care about all members of society not just the priviliged few.
Contributing to the work of the Friends gives me a real sense of satisfaction.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Calls made for local improvements on child poverty.

Plaid Cymru’s Penri James has called for urgent action to eradicate child poverty after the release of statistics showing that 47 per cent of Ceredigion children live in low-income families.
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.

Financial Freeze

Its good news that representatives of the Assembly Government and the WLGA are going to the UK Treasury to discuss the recovery of public funds frozen in Iceland. Its still not clear from many Authorities whether they were following appropriate guidelines and until the full facts are known the jury will be out on liability. It is even more worrying that the return on the frozen accounts could be as low as 30%. This will put in peril some current projects but also restrict or even cancel future capital schemes. Local authorities constantly need to invest and reinvest in the infrastructure that serves society and much of this will now be on a prioritised statutory/mandatory basis, however much will remain undone.

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.

£200,000 welcome boost for local arts centre

Local Plaid parliamentary candidate Penri James has said that £200,000 investment in an Aberystwyth arts centre will be a welcome boost to the area.

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

Letter to Cambrian News - costly Lib Dems

Dear Editor,

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.

Yours sincerely,

Penri James

Lib Dem hipocrisy

Saw this story the other day in the Daily Mail on LibDems want a 20p hike in fuel duty (so much for tax cuts then!) and tried to match it with Mark Williams MP issuing a SUPERMARKET PETROL PRICE CHALLENGE. Again an example of Lib Dems saying one thing on a UK level and something totally different on a local basis.

Monday, 13 October 2008

More on Vet School for Wales

As reported in the Farmers Guardian Motion to establish veterinary college in Wales

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Vote for positives

It is so much better to vote 'for' something positive rather than vote for the opposing camp because you 'dislike' or 'hate' a candidate or a set of views. Its particularly disturbing that some American voters are taking precisely this approach and the Republicans are getting benefit from it. John McCain attempted to lance the boil on Friday (see BBC) probably because he knew that John Lewis was going to voice his concerns. Not enough I'm afraid.

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".

Poll on Assembly Powers

No surprises here in the poll was carried out by the Institute of Welsh Politics (IWP) for the Assembly Commission (see BBC). The Conservative rank and file in particular, and if truth be told the leadership as well, see the Assembly as a threat to the Unionist hegemony. Lets expect no support for additional powers from that direction. The Labour Party has delivered devolution, credit where credit is due, but it is seriously split between two equally influential camps. The pro Assembly faction see the Assembly delivering the kind of 'clear red water' policies not seen in London and want to go further. The anti Assembly faction is mainly encamped with the Labour MP's who see the current Assembly as an erosion of their influence let alone a Parliament or an Assembly with additional powers. Many of the arguments offered by this group are arguments of self preservation rather than principled aspects of policy (Don Touhig, Kim Howells, Peter Hain). Even though it is an unionist party (deliberate small 'u' here) the Liberal Democrats see the Assembly as the only body where sooner or later will have a chance at government (they weren't particularly successful the last time they tried and I have no real wish to see them back. Expect Liberal Democrat support for further powers. Self determination is a raison d'etre for Plaid Cymru, the competence shown by our Ministers goes some way to shoot the fox raised by Dr Kim, and the lead shown by the SNP in Scotland is another example of what can be done. These polls are an useful measure of the task we face in persuading the electorate that a Parliament is required in Cardiff.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Electronic Identification Device - sheep

I have blogged in the past about the campaign that Jill Evans MEP is running against EID in sheep and my support for that campaign. Well done our MP, he has also joined the campaign and secured a debate on the matter in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 15th October . What is important is to seek a derogation for the UK, we cannot demand that our Ministers refuse to implement European Council Regulation 21/2004 since it would incur financial and other penalties, particular in relation to the Single Payment. Lets be careful what we ask for. I look forward to the debate and to being able to comment.

Vet School Campaign gathers support

My speech at the Plaid Cymru Conference calling for a vet school to be set up in Wales has gathered support. Thank you all.

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

Trains and cars

I spent the evening listening to two proactive Plaid Cymru Councillors discuss railways and our use of cars. Cllr Mark Strong from Aberystwyth and Cllr Rob Phillips from Lampeter elequontly conveyed ideas on how the rail system can be used to deal with the after effects of climate change and life in a post peak oil world. In a rural area we still need cars but railway investment like the Waverley Rail Project offer possible alternatives. Currently a new rail project has to provide government with a financial return yet investment in road projects requires no return. Anomalies like this are built into the system and a return to the age of rail as a means of mitigating the effects of climate change is not possible without major changes of policy and public opinion.

Financial freeze

Little did we think that the current banking crisis would hit home as a result of decisions taken in Iceland. On face value, Ceredigion County Council has through no fault of its own had £5.4M frozen by the Icelandic Government. Now, my Plaid Cymru colleague Chris Franks has touched on the kind of questions that need to be asked,

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

Letter on wet weather facilities - Tivyside Advertiser

Dear Editor

At the tail end of yet another wet summer there is a need to contemplate its effect on the local economy and suggest a course of action to take. Hoteliers in Ceredigion have already commented earlier this year that bookings are down as a direct consequence of the wet weather. This is not good news for the tourism industry as a whole which is so important to coastal Ceredigion and its hinterland. We need some good weather to bring in visitors particularly around the late summer Bank Holiday which traditionally has the greatest economic impact in Ceredigion. If as a result of climate change the weather will get increasingly uncertain then we need alternative local wet weather solutions to maintain the tourist economy. There is a need to develop an infrastructure of activity facilities that caters for the day visitor and those in local accommodation during periods of wet weather. The exiting developments by Cadwgan at Cardigan Castle are one example; Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park is another but we need to include more indoor attractions in our tourism portfolio to complement present outdoor activities on the river, in the hills, on the sea shore; theme parks; boat trips and the coastal path to name just a few. All should be attractive to the seaside visitor who seeks an alternative. Pembrokeshire has such an infrastructure in place, Ceredigion should do the same. As part of the consultation process on the Local Development Plan it is important that the effects of climate change on the local economy be taken on board and policies formed that allow the development of this economic sector. Now is the time to open the debate and set a challenge for the County Council and participating bodies responsible for maintaining and developing the local tourism economy.


Penri James Ymgeisydd Seneddol San Steffan Plaid Cymru Ceredigion Westminster Parliamentary Candidate Plaid Cymru Ceredigion

Plaid Cymru welcome Urdd Eisteddfod site selection.

Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion have welcomed confirmation that the Urdd National Eisteddfod in 2010 will be held at the National Trust’s Llannerchaeron estate near Aberaeron. The Urdd recently announced that Llannerchaeron had successfully beat competition from ten other locations in Ceredigion to host the largest youth festival in Europe.

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”.

Cllr Moelfryn Maskell, the Plaid Cymru County Councillor whose Ciliau Aeron ward includes the Llannerchaeron estate, added:
“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”.

See also

Canvassing in Llanon

I took the opportunity to visit businesses in Llanon to see how good a summer they have had. Llanon is a village where you have a business with a multi million pound turnover (Pugh Computers), others which are there to service the tourist economy and others to service the local economy. All were in reasonably good spirits but things could be better. Its always a pleasure to see the enthusiasm and dedication of local entrepreneurs. In the evening I held a meeting with the Llanon branch of Plaid Cymru (see image below).

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Visit to farms in Northumberland

Northumberland is an agriculturally diverse county benefiting from a lower rainfall that allows it to produce substantial quantities of livestock and grain. The DEFRA website gives a good description of its agricultural qualities, its the mixed farming that allows farmers to focus on livestock farming using home or locally produced grain. What impressed me most was the way in which farmers were focussed on the qualities required for the marketplace with each farmer using elements of the following receipe:-

  • 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;

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.

Agriculture Minister’s EID stance supported.

Penri James, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster candidate, has lent his support to the growing campaign against the European Union’s intention to introduce Electronic Identification (EID) tags for sheep and goats throughout member states.

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”.

The dilema facing Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, is that a failure to implement legislation passed in Brussels would lead to financial as well as other penalties on Welsh farmers. First among these would be a top slicing of Single Payments as a defacto fine. This is clearly an unwise an unacceptable route to take. The battle for some derogation powers lies in Brussels and I hope they will gain some success. Common sense over the ages has seen sheep being managed on a batch and flock basis, there is no need to change this sensible operational policy.

This is an example of how they look (from )

Vet School in Aberystwyth

There has been a bit of interest in this idea, I have done an interview for Dei Tomos on Radio Cymru 27-9-2008 and an item is pending for the Veterinary Times. The original comments were reported in the Cambrian News.

Plaid Cymru Ceredigion candidate calls for National Veterinary School in Aberystwyth.

Penri James, Plaid Cymru's Westminster candidate for Ceredigion, yesterday (Thursday) called for a national veterinary school to be established in Wales.

During his keynote speech at the Plaid Cymru Conference, Penri James demanded any development to be located at Aberystwyth.

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”.

Reported in the Western Mail 11-9-2008 and BBC 11-9-2008

Plaid ensures that the voices of Welsh Fisherman are heard.

Plaid Cymru's agriculture minister Elin Jones yesterday (Thursday) joined with Jill Evans MEP and Plaid parliamentary candidate for Ceredigion, Penri James, to meet local fishermen and listen to concerns for the future of the local seafood industry. The group met on Aberystwyth’s quay on the opening day of the party’s annual conference which is being held in the town.
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

MEP says NO to compulsory electronic tagging for sheep

Plaid MEP Jill Evans is joining forces with other MEPs in the European Parliament to amend European Commission plans for compulsory electronic tagging of sheep (EID). The MEPs are launching a cross party campaign in Brussels today (Tuesday) in an attempt to force the European Commission to rethink its plans.They have put forward a written declaration to the European Parliament (similar to an Early Day Motion at Westminster) for sheep EID to be voluntary and not compulsory and they are asking other MEP's to sign.Speaking from Brussels ahead of the launch, the Plaid MEP said:"Farmers are telling me quite clearly that they are totally opposed to this plan for compulsory electronic tagging."For the 41% of farms in Wales that are sheep producers, the scheme would be costly to implement and would simply be impractical. The technology used for EID seems to have many flaws; trials have shown difficulties operating the IT system in different weather conditions which would prove particularly more challenging for upland farmers in Wales."This scheme is unworkable and unnecessary."The Welsh farming unions are also opposed to the scheme and I hope that by getting support from them and other MEP's on this issue we will be able to send a clear message to the Commission."In the European Parliament a written declaration needs to be signed by a majority of members within three months in order to be recorded in the official minutes as the Parliament's position and communicated to other relevant EU institutions.

Ceredigion AM supports £4.8m Cadwgan lottery bid.

Elin Jones AM yesterday (Wednesday) attended the launch of Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust’s bid for £4.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to fund the restoration of Cardigan Castle.
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

Plaid Cymru capture Liberal Democrat stronghold

Aberystwyth Rheidol - LATEST

Just back from the count with the result

DAVIES, ALED Plaid Cymru 271
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.
Detailed breakdown

Cut Fuel Duty

The soaring cost of fuel is an ongoing worry for us all here in Ceredigion and in the immediate future there appears to be no relief on the horizon. To many residents of a rural county there is no alternative to the car. This is particularly true for the agricultural community, for businesses operating within a widely distributed rural economy, for carers travelling between residents in need of social care and also for Ceredigion County Council who have rightly complained about how the high cost of fuel is adversely affecting its services.

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

Red Kites and the Law of Unintended Consequence

Red Kites are a conservation success story but an amalgam of CAP reform and Tir Gofal might be causing a problem. The Red Kite is a known scavenger, I have seen one lift road kill immediately in front of a moving car. Its primary food source in winter, apart from at feeding stations, are dead sheep out on the hills and uplands. Now with stocking rates decreasing to meet criteria set for Tir Gofal and other schemes it takes only a simple mathematical calculation to deduce that less live sheep multiplied by mortality rate equals less dead sheep on hills. Couple this with Scrapie regulations enforcing the removal of dead carcasses from fields then there is less food available for Kites.

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.

Plaid Cymru launch online petition to save phone boxes

Penri James, Plaid Cymru Ceredigion's Westminster candidate, has voiced his concerns at plans by BT to remove 69 phone boxes from Ceredigion. While BT is no longer required to consult on the removal of a public payphone where there is another within 400 metres, it must hold a full consultation on its plans to remove phone boxes which do not fall into this category.

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 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.