Friday, September 22, 2006

Another new website - this time from Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

"We call on the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure a New Welsh Language Act that will provide official status and a Commissioner for the language, along with basic rights that will give everyone in Wales fair and real opportunities to learn Welsh, receive a Welsh-medium education and be enabled to use the language in every aspect of life."

See also: Society's 1st online petition launched

Shops and Homes for Locals

Cymuned have just launched two new websites aimed at creating/supporting shops and homes for locals. Apparently, " is being enthusiastically promoted not only in Gwynedd but also in the North-East, in the Valleys, and even in Cornwall!"
No new build except for LOCAL NEED
Market Towns, not Supermarket Towns

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hafod Blog

Anyone wanting the latest updates on the Hafod protests should visit By pure coincidence it looks like my blog, but I don't own or write for it. But I'm happy to promote it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

England leads the way on housing issue

This letter by Dewi Owen Jones, published in the Daily Post, highlights the need for a Welsh housing policy which focuses on meeting local needs.

As in Wales, parts of the Yorkshire Dales have become awash with second-homes and holiday lets. This has caused house prices to rocket and forced local first-time buyers out of the area. The difference, however, is that the planning policies of the Yorkshire Dales National Park are now aimed at creating affordable homes for locals and limiting the number of new housing developments for non-locals.

But where's the Welsh equivalent? Why aren't our villages and towns being protected against the ravages of the property market? Something needs to de done to halt the destruction of our small Welsh communities before they turn into mere holiday resorts for wealthy outsiders.

I write to you in the light of the recent announcement of a planned development of 50 new houses in the village of Chwilog, Eifionydd, by an English-based brewery.

It takes little imagination to foresee the effects such a development would have on such a small, mainly Welsh-speaking community.

I refuse to believe that there exists a genuine need for 50 new homes in Chwilog and even if that was proven to be the case, there is no assurance that local people would take precedence when these homes came on the market.

I strongly believe that planning conditions should reflect the needs of the local community - socially, environmentally and linguistically. Planning permission should not be given where it could be damaging to the community, the environment or the Welsh language.

I would like to draw your readers’ attention to the planning rules used by the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The main objectives of their Local Plan are:

1. Meeting the needs of the local community, with special regards for their need for affordable housing.

2. Resisting any new development that is aimed at satisfying housing needs from outside the National Park.

3. Ensuring that housing provision is in sites that are environmentally acceptable.

4. Giving precedence to re-using already developed land through, for example, conversion of existing buildings.

I would like to see Gwynedd Council adopting the Yorkshire Dales’ planning policies in order to protect our communities from damaging developments.

Dewi Owen Jones, on behalf of Cymuned

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The latest articles on the Hafod protests

IC North Wales:
Seren blog:

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why Won't the Assembly Government Step in to Help?

What's the point of having an Assembly Government which is powerless to protect our communities? Our water supplies, our quarries, our landfill sites, our gas supplies, our language, our environment, and much more, are all being threatened by outside powers, and yet our politicians in the Senedd sit by and do nothing. Some actually support the schemes!

This excellent letter by Beca Lewis, from Aberystwyth, in the
Daily Post, sums it up perfectly.
The disgraceful dumping of Liverpool’s waste in Wrecsam, a 70-mile gas pipeline under Welsh communities, more nuclear power in Wales… all seems to be symptoms of a paralysis on the part of the Welsh political system.

We have an Assembly government that cannot or will not intervene in several key issues and is content to hang onto the coat-tails of UK legislation on pressing issues like smoking in public.

This impotence in the face of key issues is leading many people across Wales to take the initiative in resisting big business interests or selfish UK government schemes that damage or threaten their communities. We will not stand idly by, even if the politicians in power will.

There is a growing understanding that we need not only to kick out the ineffective government in Cardiff but also make sure that we have politicians of conviction who have the power to make a difference here in Wales.

The people of Wales should decide on the issues that matter to us, not politicians in London who are not answerable to us. We need a proper parliament in Wales that is answerable to us all.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Take off the 'Marina blinkers', say Cymuned

This letter comes from Aran Jones, Chief Executive of Cymuned, and was published in the Daily Post (where else?).
It is a pity Paul Brett is still wearing his ‘Marina blinkers’ (Letters, August 30) - they appear to be making it very difficult for him to see clearly.

The right way forward for Pwllheli is a local development trust, similar to Cwmni Tref Caernarfon, run by and for local people - a trust with no personal agenda to pursue, with no personal profit to seek, that can consider carefully a wide range of possibilities and make sure that local people benefit from the creation of jobs that will actually allow them to afford a mortgage in Pwllheli.

At the moment, all we are being offered is the same old stale nonsense about an unsuccessful Marina project which even Dylan Jones Evans, in his published report on the matter, admitted would do more to put extra money in the pockets of current Marina business owners than it would to create new jobs.

It’s a busted flush, and it’s high time for those who claim to have the interests of local people at heart to support a genuinely local solution.

Oh, and Mr Brett doesn’t need to worry that Cymuned are ignoring Caernarfon - we’ve got members doing the background work at the moment, and if needs be we’ll be active there, just as we have been recently on other matters in Wrecsam and Abertawe.

The days of small groups of self-interested businessmen having a free hand to overdevelop at will are gone.

Paul Brett can’t see that just as he can’t see that Cymuned is active throughout Cymru - it must be those ‘Marina blinkers’ again.

Aran Jones, Chief Executive, Cymuned