Showing posts from August, 2016

How do we increase the number of Welsh speakers?

Published in Llanelli Star on 3rd August 2016 At the National Eisteddfod this week First Minister Carwyn Jones announced our ambition to almost double the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050. This is a hugely ambitious policy and reflects the worry about the dip in the number of people who speak the language captured by the last census. The Welsh Labour Government have set out a policy of increasing the number of places in Welsh medium schools, and when we led Carmarthenshire Council we put in place a plan for achieving this that is now being carried on by the Plaid-led administration. In practice this involves converting schools that currently have Welsh and English language streams running side-by-side, into Welsh-medium schools. As someone who was educated in the Welsh stream of a bilingual school in this county I think it is a shame to end the tradition we have of having a mix of languages in our schools. Those worried about the weakening of the language fear that unle

Action on steel

Published in Llanelli Star on 13th June 2016 The decision of Tata steel to ‘pause’ its search for a new buyer for the Trostre works and its other plants is a worry. To keep Port Talbot and the other plants running for more than a year or so will require a company with deep pockets - and the willingness to dip into them. When I met the Chief Executive of Tata in the UK a few weeks ago he told me that he was not convinced that any of the bidders who had come forward had the ability to keep the plants open for more than a few years.   Tata proudly see themselves as responsible owners (and to be fair they put essential investment into Trostre) and they want to make their sure they are seen as responsible sellers.  They don’t want to be seen in the same way as Sir Phillip Green who cut and run after selling BHS. Tata clearly didn’t think any of the bidders were serious, and with companies finding it harder to find investment in the aftermath of the EU referendum t