Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ysgol Gwynfor?

Last week I was proud to be one of the guests at the unveiling of a bust of Barry-boy Gwynfor Evans, the first ever Plaid Cymru MP, pacifist and language campaigner.

The bust was the brainchild of Ysgol St Baruc’s retiring deputy head, Gwenno Huws, who formed a small committee including Dulyn Griffith, Alcwyn Deiniol and Geraint Evans to raise money for the bust, which now stands in Barry Library.

Addressing the audience, Ms Huws noted that one thing noticeably lacking in Barry was a meaningful memorial to this great man.

With a consultation underway on Welsh language education in the Vale, and a new Welsh primary school being one of those suggested, wouldn’t it be more than appropriate to name the new school ‘Ysgol Gwynfor Evans’?

Ten years of Labour v Ten weeks of Plaid

This week saw Barry named the seventh Strategic Regeneration Area in Wales, with Plaid’s Jocelyn Davies AM, Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration coming to Barry on St David’s Day to do the honours.

As many readers will know, one of my chief concerns is the economic development of Barry, and specifically the significant retail and tourist opportunities that we have on the Waterfront, the former Docks area.

The £9 million coming from the Welsh Assembly must be wisely used by a Tory Council who sadly do not have an impressive record when it comes to economic development.

When I attended the launch of the Barry Survey results on Friday at the YMCA Hub, I jokingly noted the excellent timing and pointed out that the real ‘result’ was the recognition that Barry is a special case – a town which has suffered from chronic under-investment for too long but unable to access the European funding that many towns in Wales have been able to get.

This is a real result for Barry and shows the impact of Plaid in government.

Labour had held the regeneration portfolio at the Assembly for ten years. It took just ten weeks for their Plaid Cymru replacement to recognise the problem and take action.