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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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The latest increase in coronavirus in Wales is ‘sobering’ says First Minister

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THE FIRST MINISTER, Mark Drakeford has criticised the lack of communication with the UK government as he gave a briefing on what he described as the “sobering” increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalisation in Wales.

The infection rate in Wales has risen to 23.6 infections for every 100k people as cases have spiked in areas including Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Caerphilly and Newport.

Hospitalisations remain low but are rising, with five people currently in intensive care with Covid-19 and and 53 Covid patients on all hospital wards, according to the latest data from Public Health Wales from Sunday, September 13.

Mr Drakeford said that the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had risen to 41 with four people in intensive care.

He also said that the R number in Wales was almost certainly now above one – meaning the virus is spreading exponentially again. The latest estimate, he said, was between 0.7 and 1.2.

Mr Drakeford said: “In this most difficult week, there has been no meeting offered to First Ministers of any sort. Since the 28 May, there has been just one brief telephone call from the Prime Minister.

“This is simply unacceptable to anyone who believes that we ought to be facing the coronavirus crisis together.

“We need a regular, reliable, rhythm of engagement: a reliable meeting even once a week would be a start. I make this argument not because we should all do the same things, but because being round the same table allows each of us to make the best decisions for the nations we represent.

“There is a vacancy at the heart of the United Kingdom, and it needs urgently to be filled, so we can talk to each other, share information, pool ideas and demonstrate a determination that the whole of the country can face these challenges together at this most difficult time.”

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Trade deal won’t benefit Wales

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EVERY week, the Herald carries political opinion pieces from across Wales’ principal political parties.

This week, Jonathan Edwards MP casts an eye over the trade deal between the UK and Japan announced this week and wonders ‘What’s in it for Wales?’

Jonathan Edwards writes: THE BUNTING was on full display in Westminster this week as the British Government announced that it had reached the holy grail of signing its first post-Brexit international trade deal.  

The agreement with Japan was described by Secretary of State Liz Truss as a ‘major moment in our national history’.  As major moments go, a casual look at the detail leaves a lot to be desired.  Effectively all the British Government has achieved is to replicate a deal UK business already benefited from as part of the EU-Japan trade deal signed in 2019.

The British Government admit that over a 15-year period the deal will only increase UK economic wealth by 0.07%.  However, under the rules of Brexit political discourse never let the facts get in the way for an excuse to sing Rule Britannia and wave the Union Jack.

During the debate in the Commons, I highlighted that the British Government’s own figures indicate in a best-case scenario it would take 71 deals of this nature to make up for the British Governments strategy for the second phase of Brexit of leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union.  If we no deal at the end of the year the situation would be considerably worse.

For Wales, the economic benefits are projected to be less than even the negligible UK figures with the deal only expected to benefit the Welsh economy by a measly 0.05%.  The same goes for other trade deals currently being negotiated by the British Government.

Capitulating on chlorinated chicken in the US Trade deal could only benefit the Welsh economy by 0.05% over 15 years according to an excellent Senedd Research paper.  

The New Zealand and Australia deals, according to the same paper, could have a 0% impact on the Welsh economy.  

Never again can the Tories claim to be the party of business: what we are witnessing is economic madness.

The agricultural provisions in the Japan deal further fuels my fears that our farmers will be the proverbial sacrificial lambs in these trade negotiations.  True there was progress on Geographical Indicators, but the British Government failed to secure any tariff rate quotas for food products.  Instead, our farmers will only be able to utilise unused quotas by the European Union.  

Let that sink in.  

In the real world, effectively. EU export policy will determine what can be exported from the UK.

The Secretary of State emphasised that the Japan deal paved the way for entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  A free trade area consisting of 11 countries (down from 12 after the US pulled out).  

What the British Government are reluctant to reveal is that the TPP contains strict rules on State Aid and also includes an investor-state dispute resolution mechanism which would supersede UK domestic law.  These are the same two areas, of course, that have led to the breakdown in the second phase Brexit negotiations currently ongoing.

At the end of the day, the two great Brexit era slogans of ‘take back control’ and ‘global Britain’ are completely incompatible and inherently contradictory.

As UK international trade policy develops these inconsistencies will become apparent to all.

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Plans for Llanelli’s first ever virtual Christmas carnival

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LLANELLI Christmas Carnival will not be held this year, for the first time in its 42-year history.

Partners have confirmed that the decision has been made in line with current Welsh Government guidance and increasing concerns about the spread of coronavirus linked to large gatherings.

However, plans are afoot to celebrate Christmases past and present in the town’s first ever virtual carnival.

On what would have been ‘carnival night’ the town’s illuminations will be switched on and an online celebration will be hosted on Carmarthenshire County Council’s social media channels featuring music, opportunity to reminisce over past carnivals and a challenge to businesses and organisations to create a carnival scene for the town’s first ever virtual parade.

The town’s Christmas tree is also being relocated to a more visible location for passers-by, at the busy Gelli-Onn junction near West End.

The largest Christmas carnival in Wales, Llanelli’s festive celebrations are a joint effort by Carmarthenshire County Council, Llanelli Town Council, Llanelli Rural Council and Llanelli Round Table.

Partners have expressed their disappointment at the decision but have vowed to keep Christmas spirit alive.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We have made this decision with a very heavy heart as we know how much the carnival means to the people of Llanelli. This is the first time since it started over 40 years ago that we have had to take a decision like this and we are as disappointed as I’m sure everyone else will be.

“We are determined to do something special to keep the tradition alive and planning is now underway to hold a virtual carnival on what would have been the night of the traditional festivities.”

Cllr Shahana Najmi, Leader of Llanelli Town Council said: “The Llanelli Christmas Carnival is the highlight in the calendar for thousands of people and whilst we’re sorry we can’t hold the traditional carnival this year, we are pleased to be working with partners on an online celebration which we hope people will get involved with and enjoy.”

Cllr Tegwen Devichand, Leader of Llanelli Rural Council, said: “Generations of families have enjoyed Llanelli’s Christmas carnival over the years and we’re disappointed that for this first time in its history we are unable to put on the parade. We hope people will understand the decision and support the plans we’re developing for the town’s first virtual carnival.”

Roger Bowen, of Llanelli Round Table, added: “Llanelli’s carnival night is an important night as it raises a great amount of money for local charities and brings many communities together with such tremendous work on the floats, which really makes the evening such a special event.  We hope that people will find other ways to give generously and support good causes in our communities.”

Further information will be released in the coming weeks about the virtual carnival and how people can get involved.

Keep an eye on Carmarthenshire County Council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds and visit newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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