THE WELSH speaking communities of north Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion were dealt a blow this week as media regulator Ofcom revoked a community licence given to a new radio station.
Radio Beca aimed to provide the Welsh speaking communities of west Wales with a service that was both linguistically and culturally specific to their needs and aspirations.
Peak time broadcasting, both workdays and weekends, was to be predominantly Welsh medium so that the indigenous culture of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire was made prevalent.
The station was committed to the principle of ‘empowering the Welsh speaking communities of the west of Wales and transform the latent energy of the 155,000 disenfranchised Welsh speakers of the west of Wales into a positive energy that would raise communal ambition and enhance self-sustainability.’
The station also planned to train local people of all ‘social, cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds’ in the art of radio broadcasting, which would have provided numerous people with an enhanced skill set and vastly increased prospects of employability.
The station was awarded a community radio licence in May 2012, but failed to launch within the two year window stated by the regulator, after delaying its proposed launch in April 2014.
Elinor Williams from Ofcom told S4C’s Newyddion 9 that two further extensions had been granted since this date, and based on this it had decided to withdraw its license.
The station failed to obtain Welsh government grant funding and there was also uncertainty about a permanent home being found for it, whilst there was also concern Radio Beca had only managed to raise £20,000 when it was required to raise £320,000. This is in spite of the fact that the station has recently submitted a bid for £100,000 in grant funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
Director of the station Euros Lewis was disappointed with the regulators decision and said it had taken three years for the station to be able to “stand on its own to feet”.
Mr Lewis said: “Unfortunately, it’s only during the past few months that Radio Beca has been able to raise money through sponsorship and adverts.
“What’s disappointing is that it’s only now that we have been able to put forward a prospectus that shows that Radio Beca can stand on its own two feet.”
Despite the disappointment it is worth noting that this is not necessarily the end for the fledgling station, as there is opportunity to re-apply for a licence in the future, should they put in place the necessary arrangements.
NSPCC: Wales conference puts spotlight on domestic abuse
PROTECTING women and children from domestic abuse was the focus of a ground-breaking conference in Wales this week (Mar 28).
Organised by Cardiff University’s Exchange Network – with support from NSPCC Cymru / Wales and Welsh Women’s Aid – the event aimed to share information on the most effective approaches to tackle all forms of violence against women, domestic abuse and support for victims – be they adults or children.
Preventing violence from happening and protecting those who fall victim to domestic abuse formed the focus of the conference, at Cardiff’s Novotel Hotel.
Representatives from Welsh Government, Relate Cymru, Barnardos and Rape and Sexual Abuse (RASA) Centre also attended.
Domestic abuse continues to be a significant reason for young people to contact Childline. In 2016/17 volunteers at the NSPCC-run helpline undertook 120 counselling sessions with children from Wales who had concerns about abuse by a partner in their own relationship.
And 241 children from Wales contacted Childline to discuss parental domestic abuse.
Some young people who witness this also experience physical abuse by their parents. This can sometimes happen when they try and intervene in the abuse taking place, with some children telling Childline they were hit by their mother or father when trying to stop a fight.
“Sometimes my dad gets in a bad mood and gets really aggressive. He says horrible things to me and my mum and it scares me. In the past he was threatening to hit my mum, when I tried to get him to calm down he slapped me instead. I feel like neither of them listen to me and they don’t understand how upset it’s all making me.” (Girl, 16-18, Wales)
Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, told The Llanelli Herald: “Domestic abuse can have a huge impact on a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing and it’s hugely important that we share information and discuss ways to both prevent violence and protect victims.
“We all have a part to play in tackling domestic abuse and it’s important to pick up the phone if you’re concerned so that our advisers can offer guidance and get help where it’s needed.
“Stepping in early helps to change behaviours and avoid abuse escalating, and putting the child at the heart of interventions is paramount in keeping children safe and limiting long-term damage.
“It is also vital that children and young people affected by domestic abuse have access to the right kind of support to overcome the trauma of witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse.”
Any child worried about domestic abuse can call Childline on 0800 11 11. Any adult who is concerned about a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Pop-up craft stalls return to St Elli
LLANELLI’S St Elli Shopping Centre is once again playing host to a fantastic group of pop-up craft stalls today and tomorrow (Mar 1-2).
Following on from a highly successful outing just before Christmas, the ‘Pert A Blasus Pop-Up Emporium’ will see a variety of crafters take to the Atrium to sell their handmade crafts.
A group of friends who met whilst running stalls at craft markets around South Wales, Pert A Blasus brings together a host of skill sets and backgrounds – including a former kitchen fitter and scaffolder, a former clerical assistant, and a primary school teacher.
Primary school teacher Jill Davies has been crafting most of her life as a hobby; however, seven years ago decided to launch ‘Dzines by Jill’, which sees her hand-decorate plain pieces of ceramic and household items with her own unique designs.
Jill also organises her own ‘Made it Markets’ in Neath.
Also on board with Pert A Blasus is Steve Kennedy, who is the brainchild of ‘Cut n Scroll’, where he hand cuts items from wood and enlists the help of his wife Tanya for painting and gemming; Wendy Taylor, also a primary school teacher, who completed a precious metal course at Gower College and now makes her own items for her ‘Simplicity by Silver’ stall; and Jill James who runs her ‘Pretty Cute Fairies’ stall.
Bread and Jam for Christmas
A young woman with Spina bifida has been left alone in an empty home with nothing but bread and jam to eat and with no cooking facilities. Jackie lives a stone’s throw from Llanelli Town Hall and yet she claims she has been abandoned by the County Council, her AM, her MP and Social Services. She faces a wait until January 10 before service providers meet to discuss her case.
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