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Llangennech School to become Welsh-Medium

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082151-81459-800CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has approved a proposal to switch Llangennech School from dual stream education to Welsh Medium education.

In an, at times, bitter debate there was stark division along political lines with many Labour members supporting the idea of increasing Welsh language education in principle, but objecting to it in practice and in the particular case of Llangennech.

The debate was heralded by a series of hostile questions directed at Education Executive Board member Gareth Jones from those claiming to represent Llangennech village.

In an unusually divisive debate, the vast majority of Labour members spoke against the policy they had put in train while they held the reins of power at County Hall. Cllrs Antony Jones and Terry Davies making strong arguments against proceeding with the change to Ysgol Llangennech’s status.

Supporting the proposal, Plaid Cymru’s Alun Lenny and Linda Evans were swift to point out the advantages of being bilingual, the ultimate aim of moving Ysgol Llangennech along the language continuum, while Cllr Gwyneth Thomas (Llangennech, Plaid) set out her reasoned response to some of the claims made by objectors.

The debate highlighted the problems endemic with the processes put in place by the Welsh Government, with debate, dissent, and bureaucracy extending over eighteen months as a result of the Statutory Procedure councils are obliged to follow.

One Labour member blamed her own lack of educational attainment as being a result of placement in Welsh Medium education by her parents as a child. Cllr Tegwen Devichand, Labour, nodded in agreement alongside.

An amendment to postpone a decision was rejected by 37-21 and the motion to establish a Welsh-medium school was passed by 38-20.

The next step will be for approval by the Welsh Government.

In response to Carmarthenshire County Council’s decision to approve the recommendation to change the language category of Llagnnech school for to become a Welsh school David Williams, vice-chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Carmarthenshire said: “We are grateful that Carmarthen County Council have led the way and are begining yo ensure that no child is deprived of Welsh medium education.

“We call now for the Council to move, without delay to ensure that all children develop the skill to work in Welsh and English. Moving all schools in the county, over time,  towards becoming Welsh schools is one of the  key element of the strategy put together by the Council’s Census Taskgroup so we look forward to seeing plans for other schools in the County.

“Welsh medium education is the only wasy to ensure that children leave school fluent in both Welsh and English. Carmarthenshire County Council is therefore leading the way for the rest of Wales.”

FULL REPORT in Friday’s Herald.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Andrea

    January 18, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Supporters of this kind of Nazi treatment of that village should hang their heads in shame. They will soon realize the damage done to generations of children only after it’s too late.

  2. Avatar

    LISA DAVIES

    January 19, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Not all children have the luxury of being fluent in both welsh and English! My daughter is disapplied from welsh due to speech and language difficulties so she would never be able to attend that school..and intending to turn ALL schools in the county into welsh medium schools would mean she wouldnt be able to attend any of the schools? obviously not seeing the bigger picture!! total discrimination for her and many others! forcing the welsh language down peoples throats is not the best way forward! absolutely disguisting!!

  3. Avatar

    Glasnost UK

    January 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Truly an appalling situation reminiscent of Stalinist Russia.

    The Herald is not helping either by allowing wild and meaningless assertions by Plaid Cymru Councillors to be taken as facts – Consider this:

    “while Cllr Gwyneth Thomas (Llangennech, Plaid) set out her reasoned response to some of the claims made by objectors.”

    There is no a reasoned response to the Welsh language imposition as this policy damages English L1 children for life and my statement is 100% fact based.

    See what UNESCO, Save the Children Foundation and others have to say on this very issue:

    http://www.glasnost.org.uk/2017/01/welsh-education-parental-anguish-as-the-d-day-approaches/

  4. Avatar

    michaela

    January 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

    What a load of biased nonesense, I was there asking a question and all our questions were asked with respect, they might not have liked the content of our questions but they were all releveant especially considering that over the last year we have not received a single proper answer from them. Our local county councillors are welsh language nutcases, it’s welsh or nothing with them regardless of cost or inconvenience. Our local community council have refused point blank to discuss the issue or ask the village their opinion before voting so us as protesters did it and they totally ignore the outcome. Community councillors Bill Griffiths and Glendon Davies were up in the gallery and they were laughing and heckling us as we were asking our questions, and county councillor Gwyn Hopkins found our questions hilarious because he kept laughing at our questions, he also did this in a community council meeting where we were asking questions both himself and Bill Griffiths found it really funny, maybe because of their age they may well have some sort of age related mental issues which make them act child like!!!!! As a mum of a child in the english stream of the school I am really concerned at what is happening in our village, and having such a transparant contempt of us written by a so called unbiased reporter, is quite frankly shocking.

  5. Avatar

    Mrs. Rees

    April 8, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Please Help The Local Community fight this this oppression!

    Carmarthenshire County Council have blantly ignored the parents requests for a “proper” consultation.

    Their plan is to REMOVE ‘ALL’ English Medium Education from the Whole of Carmarthenshire! This is planned long term for the whole of Wales!!!

    https://www.crowdjustice.org/case/english-medium-schools/

    Please Donate Money… however small…

    Thanks

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Llanelli High Street shortlisted for prize

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LLANELLI HIGH STREET has been shortlisted in the Government’s Great British High Street Awards, in proud partnership with Visa, putting them in the running for up to £15,000.

After a rigorous selection process led by a panel of independent judges, the high street has been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, which celebrates high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.

The bid by Ymlaen Llanelli follows research commissioned by Visa in April 2019 demonstrating the positive impact that the local high street has on communities. The research found that nearly three quarters of consumers (71%) in Wales say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with nearly half (45%) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason. Spending time with friends and family (25%) and offering a sense of community (18%) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people feel happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50%) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Llanelli for being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“Llanelli high street is a hive of activity, with food festivals, childrens’ days and community get-togethers all part of the local calendar. A great example of how high streets can bring a renewed energy to communities.

“People are happier when they can see their hard-earned cash support local businesses. That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.”

Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, added: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories. In particular, the desire to innovate stands out amongst this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.

“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”

Llanelli High Street is one of the 28 high streets that have been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, identifying high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify. 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the UK’s best high streets. All 40 high streets are now in the running to win a prize of up to £15,000 to be dedicated to a local high street initiative.

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Head Teacher at Primary school in Llanelli suspended

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THE HEAD TEACHER of a Welsh primary school has been suspended, it has been confirmed.

Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins, who is head at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes in Llanelli, has been suspended from her duties at the school with immediate effect.

Governors at the school have been unavailable for comment, but Carmarthenshire Council confirmed the news this morning.

It is understood that the chair of the governing body is currently out of the country, and the council would not comment further on the circumstances surrounding the suspension.

The council’s director of education, Gareth Morgans, said: “School staffing is a matter for the Governing Body, however, we can confirm the headteacher of Ysgol Ffwrnes has been suspended.

“It is not appropriate to comment further.”

Mrs Lloyd-Jenkins has worked at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes for 23 years, taking up a post at the school in 1996.

She has been the headteacher there for almost 20 years, taking over the role in 2000. She has also worked as a peer inspector at Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales confirmed.

According to one local councillor, ‘serious concerns’ have been raised about the school in recent months.

“Local residents and parents have approached us raising serious concerns about the school in question,” said Carmarthenshire councillor Rob James.

“We are in dialogue with senior council officers to assert whether the allegations are credible and what action the council and governors have taken in response to these allegations.”

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Dyfed-Powys Police numbers at record low, say Labour

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POLICE officers based across the Dyfed-Powys area are now at their lowest levels in the last decade, with over 300 officers being lost across the region, claim Carmarthenshire Labour.

According to a freedom of information request by Carmarthenshire Labour, police officers based across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are down 42% and are at record lows in both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The figures published by Dyfed-Powys Police show that Carmarthenshire has lost 160 officers in the last ten years, Pembrokeshire is down 107 officers and Ceredigion has lost 56 bobbies on the beat.

These figures come off the back of a poor report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary that shows the force has gone backwards in the last year, with crime also on the increase.

HMIC’s recent PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) report noted concerns about Dyfed-Powys Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime and specifically warned of failures to assess all incidents of domestic abuse.

Carmarthenshire Labour Leader Cllr Rob James claims that the figures show that the current Police and Crime Commissioner is now performing worse than their predecessor.

Rob James stated: “These figures that show a dramatic decrease in police numbers are extremely worrying and reinforce what communities are saying across Dyfed Powys – there are simply not enough police officers in our areas.

“The fact that we now have lower police numbers in the three counties compared to the end of the last Police and Crime Commissioner’s term with crime now on the rise illustrates that the Plaid Cymru Commissioner is failing in his duty to protect our communities.

“We need urgent action to make our communities safe once more, as there is a clear link between the loss of youth provision and cuts to officer numbers, and the rise of crime in our communities.

“There is little evidence that our Commissioner has grasped the nettle over the last three years in tackling this important issue.”

These claims however, have been slapped down by Police and Crime Comissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn. He said that said that Cllr James had misunderstood or misrepresented the information provided to him.
The Carmarthen data have a significant rider attached to them.

The explanatory note reads: ‘It should be noted that the figures for Carmarthenshire police division between 2008 and 2018 are not comparable as the structure of Carmarthenshire division in 2018 has altered to that of 2008 which has impacted upon the figures provided’.

That explanation is expanded upon concerning the Ceredigion data. Regarding them, an explanatory note warns that: ‘[T]he structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded divisionally now come under the HQ remit, e.g. the Road Policing Unit, CID, etc.’.

Dafydd Llewelyn pointed out that note in his response to The Herald: “As outlined in the response to the Freedom of Information request, structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded as divisionally based are now recorded under the HQ remit, for example, Roads Policing Unit, CID.”

Dafydd Llewelyn continued: “Since taking up my role as the elected person to represent the many communities across the four counties served by the force, I have increased the overall resource available by 4%. I have ploughed funding into dedicated teams to support front line officers and have invested in resources to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I have commissioned services specific to their needs – be that as victims of domestic abuse or young people choosing to leave their homes for reasons unknown to authorities. I will continue to do this. I will not be held to account by numbers on paper alone, but by the difference I can make to individuals’ quality of life.

“I will also use the opportunity I have to campaign for services appropriate to the very specific needs an area the size of Dyfed-Powys Police has and will work with the force to adapt according to those needs.”

He concluded by pointing out: “Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys remain the safest counties nationally and I’m proud to be driving a service that is willing and able to flex and respond, despite the financial challenges faced day-in-day-out.”

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