Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rhodri's words for May

Welsh party leaders have given the Western Mail some thoughts for next May. Rhodri's response included the following Q&A :

Q How do you hope to persuade the people of Wales to vote for you?

A 'The choice for people next May is between Labour, with a clear intent to implement a strong set of manifesto commitments, and a not-very rainbow coalition of the other three parties, to be cobbled together after the election and very likely led by the Tories.

'Not since the secret ballot was introduced 130 years ago have the Tories won a majority in a general election in Wales.

'Could they be leading a coalition government or will the very prospect that it might happen ensure that voters come out in their droves to make sure the nightmare doesn't come about?'

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Iraq - a cross section of coverage

I did not support the invasion of Iraq, but have felt the UK has a responsibility to see matters to some from of close given the action taken. From a distance the hanging of Saddam, in some ways, now seems a relatively minor issue compared to the desperate need to restore some form of normality.

On the day of Saddam's demise I thought a cross section of coverage might be useful in exploring why the Iraq decision will remain part of Blair's legacy, whatever the final outcome.

Saddam's end - the death of a dictator

Archbishop Williams reflections on the decision to go to war

One Lib Dems view

What Bush is reported to have said.

"sent to hell" says Sun

"God is great" reports Independent

Al Jazeera reports his death

Reuters report

Each and every one of us will have a view on these events but there can be little doubting the effect of mass media coverage on modern life.

Crisis for the A470 ?

Users of the A470 and the delightful journey across Wales may fear this news in the Guardian. (but after a while you learn of the local cafes and pubs offering a more genuine product - hence the Chef's problems ?)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Glyn keeps flying flag for "Rainbow coalition"

Tory AM Glyn Davies continues to set out the case for the Rainbow coalition after May 2007 with the Tories as "power brokers":

"Rainbow Coalitions - The Case For.

I see that ThinkScotland, a right-of-centre 'thinktank' is being extensively reported in today's Herald as recommending the Scottish Tories to contemplate a 'rainbow coalition' with the SNP and the Green Party to form a Scottish Government after the Scottish Parliamentary elections next May. This seems to me to be sound thinking, which has more than a passing relevance to Wales.If democracy is to become at all meaningful in either Scotland or Wales, there must be some prospect of a non-Labour Government. Unless there is a seismic shift in voting patterns, this cannot occur unless there is some form of agreement between the SNP and the Tories in Scotland - and between Plaid Cymru and the Tories in Wales. It may suit the short-term electoral strategy of both the SNP and Plaid Cymru to paint the Tories as right-wing anti-devolutionists but the reality is that over the last 7 years, the Tories in both Scotland and Wales have changed beyond recognition from the anti-devolution Tories of 1997. Many of us see making a success of devolution as the best way to strenghthen the union. There is a lot more common ground than one might think.

The next 4 months are going to be an interesting period in Scottish and Welsh politics. Every party will be seeking to portray itself as distinctive, while striving to maximise the number of MSPs and AMs - while at the same time assessing how the arithmatic is going to work out. Things look particularly interesting in Scotland because current polls indicate that the ruling Labour/Lib Dem coalition will not have enough seats to carry on - and the Tories may finish up as power brokers.So what is going to happen in Wales. It seems likely that Labour is going to lose several seats and be unable to continue as a minority government. For political reasons, I cannot rule out the prospect of the Tories winning over half the seats but (and I hope that I will not be portrayed as unduly defeatist) I do concede the possibility that we might not quite make it this time. Surely, neither the Lib Dems nor Plaid Cymru will want to keep a defeated Rhodri Morgan in office. I just have this feeling that the Welsh Conservatives will be an important part of in the shake-up come next May".

This is serious - what if he sings like a Bee Gee !

The media are having a Christmas flare up over the Blair's holiday and I fear this could be serious.

What if her emerges from Miami singing like Robin Gibb and the Bee Gees !! I must only hope that the PM did not take his guitar on holiday.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Electoral Commission's early resolution

The Electoral Commission have issued an early resolution for us all to take on board as we approach 2007.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Enjoy Christmas

As it is time for a family Christmas I am signing off for a few days. Season's greetings to you all and let us see what news the Christmas/ New Year brings.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cymad - more departures

I have from time to time blogged about the questions surrounding the enterprise company, limited by guarantee called Cymad, although with care given imminent court proceedings involving the Chief Executive.

Several investigations seem to be ongoing and with a company Board dominated by senior local members of Plaid Cymru, much falling out between these former comrades. This weeks local press carries stories about two more departures from the company Board (both prominent Plaid people again), and people starting to squeal about the way that the company carries out its business. One (former) Director confirms the recent DTI "raid".

How long can Plaid's 4 senior elected representatives : Alun Ffred Jones, Dafydd Elis Thomas, Hywel Willaims and Elfyn Llwyd remain quiet ? Oh and I suppose we had better include Dafydd Wigley as he is on Plaid's regional list for North Wales and must be concerned at developments on his home patch.

As`they say in the military - it is on your watch chaps !!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unfair, misguided and unreasonable

It seems that at least one company who have spent significant resources developing proposals for a leisure complex near Llanberis has decided to give a public airing to their concerns over Gwynedd's decision about the Glynrhonwy quarry.

As I said previously we are tired of Plaid Cymru complaining about the local economy, jobs, the position regarding GVA in the Welsh economy but who fail to vote for jobs and economic improvement.

Vote Labour - Get Labour

I have had several interesting discussions this week in the wake of the Assembly budget vote. Labour delivering a budget for Wales, and Plaid sitting on their hands.

However one message is very clear - to avoid all this nonsense then vote Labour to get a Labour administration.

To vote any other way could give several (uncertain) combinations, but only Labour can deliver a programme based on manifesto commitments. That is the test on May 3rd 2007, and it is in seats like Arfon that the voters can help make the real differece.

One thing is for certain I will not sit on my hands come the important votes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Politics goes on

We are in to the week before Christmas but the politics must go on. A meeting with Sue Essex the Assembly Finance Minister and local Labour councillors tonight. Wide ranging discussion over the Assembly budget discussions, council tax. Police precept, social housing grant, small business support and many other topics.

A great Minister who will be greatly missed as she steps down in May 2007.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Early Christmas

Christmas arrives early at the Hawthorns - thank you Coventry.

Meanwhile bubbles are bursting for Leighton Andrews AM and Cardiff City.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gwynedd Council - months standing still

Wel its seems that having spent a lot of time, and retained costly consultants, and in spite of Plaid Cymru's constant compliants about a lack of job opportunities they can't quite make up thier minds whether to welcome a major new project at Glynrhonwy. Can someone please resuce us from this inactivity !

Why didn't they just sell the site months ago, and what cash might be offered to help the hard pressed local council tax payers ? - as the council keep reminding us.

More activity at Cymad

Some of you may be aware of previous activity involving the Cymad agency. Today's Daily Post runs a story about possible involvement by the DTI.

I have asked the 4 Plaid Cymru representatives (Alun Ffred Jones, Hywel Williams, Dafydd Elis Thomas and Elfyn Llwyd) to help sort this situation out, given that the company's Board has spent millions of pounds in public money and is dominated by members of Plaid's local hierarchy.

If some issues are not resolved voluntarily then Plaid must accept all the consequences.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Meanwhile....Press v Blog

On the national blogging scene it seems that the Tory Iain Dale is following some interesting stuff about the Information Commissioner and our press. This is information law being turned back on the papers, and an interesting example of the bloggers new influence.

"EXCLUSIVE: Press Stand Accused of Illegal Activity

Following up my story yesterday (HERE) on the scandalous conduct of many of our national newspapers and journalists I can now exclusively reveal the contents of a report to be submitted to Parliament tomorrow by the Information Commissioner, which outlines the extent to which our national newspapers - and their journalists - are breaking the law to obtain confidential information illegally.1. Daily Mail - 952 incidents by 58 different journalists2. Sunday People - 802 incidents by 50 different journalists3. Daily Mirror - 681 incidents by 45 different journalists4. Mail on Sunday - 266 incidents by 33 different journalists5. News of the World - 182 different incidents by 19 different journalistsYesterday on Lord it was revealed through a Freedom of Information request that 305 different journalists had been identified during Operation Motorman as using one particular agency to obtain confidential information like telephone records, bank account details and medical records.I can reveal that following this FOI request from Lord Ashcroft the Information Commissioner has decided that the disclosure of further information is in the public interest and will now be submitting a special report to Parliament tomorrow.From the 'league table' figures above it would seem that the Daily Mail and the Sunday People are the chief miscreants here. However, it's not quite so simple. Virtually all newspapers used the agency in Hampshire which was raided during Operation Motorman, but we all know there are other similar agencies. So this is clearly the one which was most used by the Mail, but there are no doubt others which its rivals use, possibly just as often.There are several questions arising from this. If the authorities know the details of which newspapers use these agencies to break the law on their behalf, and if the agencies know which journalists have engaged their services, why are they not all joining News of the World reporter Clive Goodman in the dock this week? Goodman was caught out (and has pleaded guilty) intercepting mobile phone calls of the rich and famous, in particular the Royal Family.So far as I am aware no charges have been laid against any newspaper or journalist. I am no lawyer and I do not know what the charges would be, but after the report is laid before Parliament tomorrow, do not be surprised if there are some fairly serious repercussions. After all, the Information Commissioner is pressing for a two year jail sentence for any journalist or editor caught soliciting illegal information of this sort.To me this is a huge story, but for obvious reasons I do not expect to read about it in our national newspapers tomorrow. It is therefore important that the Blogosphere does a viral marketing job on this story and transmits it as widely as possible. Go to it"

I did !

Labour budget carries

Well in spite of the fever and speculation it was practical politics that won the day and the people of Wales, their public and voluntary services now have the certainty of budgets required for sensible management of delivery in 2007-2008.

I did an interview with the BBC at tea time in which they tried to play the budget vote as some big Plaid/Labour issue in areas like Arfon where we go head to head. I just don't see it, a budget vote is simply practical politics.

However we are reminded yet again that people can vote for Labour on May 3rd 2007 and get a Labour administration in the Asembly. A vote for any other party leads to uncertainty and lack of direction.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We wait and see

Reports abound as to tomorrow's vote on the Assembly budget. We await the votes and I simply hope the vital funding required by our public services to plan for health, social care, voluntary services etc is not ruined by posturing in this pre election period.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tory-Plaid coalition - chapter 559

Thanks to Leighton Andrews AM for picking up the words of Ieuan Wyn Jones on today's Politics Show (10.12.06). The people of Arfon have been warned yet again !

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The main man joins campaign !

The campaign was recently supported by 'mini santa' - but today the main man was in town !
It was Saturday morning in Bethesda to join the Dyffryn Ogwen branch at their Christmas fayre.
Is is compulsory for all candiidates to wear the main man's suit ?
Here I am joined by local MP Betty Williams for a cuddle under the Christmas tree.

Sensible contribution

This is what was said in Dafydd Iwan's contribution :

Notes: Transcript of Dafydd Iwan interview, Richard Evans BBC Radio Wales phone-in, 29/11/06: RE:

They would have to get out would they, the British Military presence in Wales would have to leave?
DI: Well yes and mean I think there's a big issue here
RE: And what about the jobs involved with that
DI Well we have to rethink, I mean we'd obviously have to have a civil force here in Wales. Because you know I mean most of this land, a century ago people were forced out of their farmhouses in Trawsfynydd so that the army could blow their houses up and practice their military manoeuvres. We've had over a century of this, actually taking land in the Epynt by force for military purposes. Now that age is over. Obviously we do have to train our troops and we do have to have a civil force in Wales. But in the gradual development of Welsh autonomy we will have to come to an arrangement with the British state about these lands and much of it can be returned. But the jobs, I mean the jobs, Ireland is a prime example of how with very little resources they have created a vibrant economy because they can create the conducive conditions and we can do the same in Wales.

So what is this "civil force" and how will it be established ?. Will it have planes and boats etc. How big is it ?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No Defence !

No, not a reference to Leeds Utd but I have just been catching up with Plaid's comments about UK defence facilities in Wales and I am sure Dafydd iwan was calling for a closure/reduction of this presence in Wales.

What a great policy for North West Wales - RAF Valley, Capel Curig, Llanfairpwll, rehab facilities, Army bases and training centres etc etc what a great boost for the Welsh economy.

So Dafydd in removing/renegotiaiting defence work in Wales can I ask :

Will Plaid close RAF Valley ?
If not how many jobs are required at this defence base ?
Wil that number sustain a major air defence establishment ?
What investment is lost ?
What economic impact do your plans have in North West Wales?

When these are answered we'll try some more.

More insights

It is the wake of debates like the current Assembly budget that blogs give some useful insights.
Leighton Andrews AM added his thoughts. He also highlights what Tory AM Alun Cairns had to say. Aren't these Tories just desperate for some power in spite of their track record, and lack of suppoort in Wales.


Today's Caernarfon Herald carries a letter about the Labour v Plaid campaign in Arfon and sets out my response to one of their councillors. The letter states:

"The voters in the new seat of Arfon will have a clear choice come the Welsh Assembly elections of May 2007 and it seems that Dyfed Edwards and I have common ground in realising the real choice lies between Labour and Plaid Cymru. In Labour's case the people of Arfon will know they have a candidate who wishes to represent them, while in Plaid Cymru's case, we have written evidence from Dafydd Iwan, that Alun Ffred Jones was being preferred for Dwyfor-Meirionnydd. It was Lord Elis-Thomas who spolit that plan !" (see link here)

"If they so wish the people of Arfon can have a committed candidate, who can help deliver a majority for Welsh Labour.

As one commentator suggested they also have the option of Vote Eaglestone-Get Wigley given that they will have two votes in May 2007. The idea that Plaid Cymru can win the constituencies and the regional list seat is not realistic as the voting system does not tend to work that way. Its all to play for Arfon"

Of course if Dafydd Iwan/Alun Ffred Jones wish to deny the article and letter quoted we will all look forward to their response.

Ken makes a interesting point

Ken Livingstone blogs in the Guardian and exposes some Tory contradictions. Watch out Welsh pensioners !!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gordon's help on troubled waters ?

Some money from Gordon might sort out yesterday's debate ? But I hope Sue Essex and Rhodri remember Labour's priorities.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Other thoughts

Huw Lewis AM has his say.

Peter Black has his say from opposition groups.

Glyn Davies has his say and suggests Plaid will think twice !!

History shows - Plaid back the Tories

Well the media are getting excited over the Assembly budget discussions as the process approaches its closing phase. All I know is that when the crunch comes we see Plaid Cymru voting with the Tories to damage Labour. Will we see hstory repeat itself ?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Perceptive comment in Observer

Andrew Rawnsley has a piece in the Observer on David Cameron's initial 12 months and he concludes with the following paragrpah full of insight :

"In his first 12 months, David Cameron produced many more photo-opportunities than he did policies. By this time next year, he needs to have got the ratio the other way around. He has to start planting some trees as well as hugging them".

By the way, if policies are 12 months away, where does that leave the Welsh Tories for May's elections ?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Climate Change evidence

David Milibands blog at DEFRA has posted up some useful links about climate change. Sobering reading.


When Sky Sports said that Kevin Philips had managed the "miss of his career" I feared the worst but a late goal from the Mighty Hartson puts the Baggies back in the mix in a very competetive Championship.

Friday, December 01, 2006

But what defines the opposition ?

So Rhodri has fleshed out what Welsh Labour will do should we retain the confidence of the people of Wales in the polls next May. The opposition always get excited at such moments which I feel really shows how important they know Labour's words are in defining the direction of travel for Wales.

However we might equally ask the oposition if they don't like, or agree, with Rhodri's broad canvas where is their coalition taking Wales ? In a series of speeches Rhodri is clearly setting a clear agenda, supported by a strong platform of policies passed at the recent special conference.

What are the Tory-Plaid coalition going to offer ?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Police finance

I am looking forward to Richard Brunstrom's interview on Dragon's Eye tonight. The Daily Post features :

People would pay more council tax for extra cops
Nov 30 2006
by Daily Post

"MOST people in North Wales would accept a rise in council tax bills to fund more police officers on the beat, a poll claimed. The survey, commissioned by North Wales Police Authority, follows a £2m cut in this year’s budget in the face of potential tax capping by the Assembly government. Finance minister Sue Essex told AMs yesterday: "There are pressures out there. But I expect everyone, local councils or police authorities, to act reasonably when setting their council tax levels."

A market research company recruited 1,500 people, The Voice of North Wales, to represent the views of the public on police issues on behalf of the region’s Police Authority.
About 850 of the panel responded to the survey, whose main findings were:

61% would feel safer with more of a police presence in their communities;
75% would be happy to pay an increase of 39p a week (£20-a-year) in council tax to fund the shortfall in police funding
46% of the panel would pay an increase of 41p-a-week (£21-a-year) to maintain services and bridge the gap in fighting serious crime and terrorism"

but I am also interested in why North Wales has ended up in this alleged "mess" (Richard's own words). We know that North Wales Police have pitched for relatively high increases in recent years to deliver a higher level of community beat officers, is this undoing the general funding, as the public purse is tightening a little ? I would like to drill in to a few facts beyond the market reserach to help us all understand the issues given the jobs at risk.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Press are like vultures !

No, not a reference to today's story about the News of the World but this piece about the hills of Snowdonia. Anyone who is missing a vulture please own up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Yes, I know, not many blogs about football and the Baggies recently. I wonder why ?

Wigley rubbish

I read that Dafydd Wigley has thrown his support behind the campaign to keep Merseyside's rubbish out of Wales, more specifically Wrexham. Dafydd must hoping for a few 'list' votes off the back of the recent decision that has not closed the tip.

However this is dangerous territory - what is Dafydd going to tell Welsh farmers who send their waste aninmal material over the border for disposal, and where is Dafydd going to open the asbestos tip to deal with North Wales asbestos disposal that currently goes over the border ?

"Fortress" policies may sound good to some people if there are viable alternative solutions. If I am wrong let me know - but I haven't seen Plaid promoting any asbestos dump policies in North Wales recently.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Leighton ups Burberry profile

It is pleasing to see Leighton Andrews AM getting some decent media coverage for the Burberry workers.

Arfon's beauty

IC North Wales are running a video on the beauty of the Menai Strait - a boundary of the new constituency. Have a look.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Santa joins campaign trail

Well the weather held off and with a thick coat we held a quick street stall in Caernarfon and unveiled our secret campaign weapon - mini Santa under his Christmas tree !

Eaglestone and Pwllheli - the Bush factor !

Local newspapers sometimes throw up entertaining and unexpected links. Let me explain. For some time I have been a voiciferous supporter of an expansion to Pwllheli marina, as I consider it one of the town's few assets that can be used for a general economic uplift. I remain of that view even though Pwllheli now falls outside of the new Arfon constituency.

However my support for the expanded marina has now lead to the label as a "budding George Bush" in the letters Page of the Caernarfon Herald. It is a fanciful flight of imagination that links some boats bobbing around inPwllheli marina with the US President and my influence on politics in North West Wales. Amazing, and a reflection of the warped logic which afflicts economic opporunity in North West Wales.

Friday, November 24, 2006

CLERA - diolch

Noson braf iawn yn Y Galeri yn mwynhau deg mlynedd CLERA.

A pleasant night at the Galeri enjoying the 10th celebrations of CLERA the traditional music society. Congratulations on 10 years and an enjoyable night of music.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Short and sweet

For my recent birthday I received this years Colemanballs - always an entertaining read from the Private Eye team. In the political section is the quote of an MOD spokesman :

"We will not be putting aircraft in the`air that cannot fly".

That's a relief !

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Joined up future ?

The Assembly Government has laid out its plans for public service improvements in the coming years. This will carry many challanges both for the bodies responsible for providing those services, and their staff.

I suppose I should declare an interest as I work in a local council, but it is always the case in my experience, that changes of this sort need serious communication and top management to deliver. Perhaps Mr Brunstrom can spread his wings ??

Monday, November 20, 2006

Glynrhonwy - the next Bluestone ?

What now seems a long time ago Gwynedd Council invited ideas for the disused Glynrhonwy quarry near Llanberis. After a short listing process we were told two ideas were left standing for final assessment. One involves mountain cycling, while the other could help transform the tourism economy, generate jobs and boost North West Wales.

On the day Bluestone started I am left wondering whether Plaid Cymru will ever take a brave decision to deliver the investment everyone desires - but won't vote for !

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Burberry - think again

Anyone who likes their designer gear should read this link and think again. Leighton Andrews AM is also posting regualr updates on the campaign.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

and it tastes good !

The Western Mail picks up on the story about Anglesey's vineyard. I can confirm that the wine tastes good, and would make a cracking locally sourced Christmas present.

Anglesey climes better than Bordeaux for vinesNov 18 2006

"Rhodri Clark, Western Mail

A WINEMAKER in the northernmost part of Wales says his vines get more sunshine than those in Bordeaux, France's second-largest wine region.

Last year Tom Barlow produced 5,000 bottles at his winery in Cemaes Bay, on Anglesey's north coast, and he is expecting an even greater output over the next 12 months.

He says more of the island's farmers should diversify into viniculture because Anglesey has a good climate for grapes.

He also believes building a local reputation for vineyards and wine would attract a new wave of tourism to the picturesque island.

"The island is a superb location for wine producing," said Mr Barlow, 60, who will be at the Celtic Winter Fayre in Llandudno from Wednesday to Sunday next week".

Guardian has new strategy - "eat the Taliban"

I was momentarily confused in reading today's Guardian. There is seriouis coverage of Afghanistan but on reading page five, in isolation,it is headed by the extraordinary headline "eat the Taliban" - a strange new strategy.

Clealrly the sub editor failed to spot the consequence of leaving the "b" on page 4 !

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ruane in the frame !

It seems some blogs are seeking to claim crimes of the state against our North Wales friend and colleague Chris Ruane. Will the Queen sleep tonight ?

Glyn "has the time arrived" Davies ?

Glyn Davies AM explains a few of the choices that face opposition AMs, and quite fairly explains how a whipped vote can be taken in ignorance of the consequences.

However partly reflecting thoughts posted previously he raises the question of whether mature oposition now requires the acceptance of reponsibility, not just opportunistic voting to torpedoe Labour plans. We await the response of Alun Ffred Jones and Plaid Cymru.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lacking commitment ?

Peter Black makes some useful points in his blog (15.11.06) about a lack of commitment in the opposition groups. It reminds me of the recent words of the Presiding Officer who suggesed that the opposition groups can't become the government for 10 minute periods, and then disapear again.

Lacking necessary commitment ?

Peter Black makes some useful points about the lack of commitment amongst opposition groups (15.11.06). In ways it echoes the recent words of the Presiding Officer who suggested the opposition groups can't become the government for ten minute periods, and then disapear to opposition. Government is more serious than that and the people will expect serious action not grand standing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Goats again

I see in the Daily Post that my favouritly named group - the North Wales Feral Goat Interagency Group - has been busy again.

Useful advice

Today's news carries the warnings of the Environment Agency about the risks of flooding in the coming months. Sensible advice for many to note and follow.

It also highlights the importance of such issues in the planning process and some difficult decisions that need to be faced politically in Wales today and in the future.

Planning can be uncomfortable

Glyn Davies AM uses his blog on the 13th November to post some thoughts about his role in planning decisions. This caught my eye as I earn my bread and butter in town and country planning.

It is often the case that people, especially those involved in politics, find decisions hard to stomach as the system exists in a statutory framework with decisions lead by policies and evidence - it can sometimes be uncomfortable. It is of course people like Glyn who will sometimes determine issues that started thir own journey on the route to a final decison in planning offices across Wales.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ready for launch !

A gap in blogging as the Arfon delegation tavelled to Cardiff for Labour's special policy conference. Some early morning sight seeing in Cardiff Bay and a day of solid debate in County Hall. Speeches from Peter Hain, Rhodri Morgan and policy responses from each of our Assembly Ministers. If people take the time to read these policy documents they will see the scale of the programme Labour seeks to deliver after May 2007.

I contributed to the debate on Welsh language (Heb gwaith-dim iaith) and about Plaid Cymru's apparent ignorance of the work of trade unions on the skills and learning agenda.

Home for match of the day - but we had to avoid a fallen tree lying across the road. The joys of the A470 !

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Carwyn offers new powers ideas

Carwyn Jones has spoken to the Western Mail (yes I'm only just getting there) about how the Assembly's new powers may be used. Good ideas in tune with our times.

Special conference

Some may be focussed on rugby but as the BBC report Labour activists are gathering on Saturday to approve the majority of our policy platform for May's elections.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blinkered vision ?

There is a web site which seeks to cover the town of Caernarfon. Let me acknowledge that we have previously exchanged views as they have clearly taken against my campaign for the Assembly. However I have always respected their right to free comment - part of the power of technology and democracy. Hence I offer a link. so people can judge for themselves.

I sometimes ask myself why town people need to contact the Town Council via a commercial web site, that remains a mystery to me, but a matter for the town council and their residents!

Two significant events in the town this year have attracted attention beyond our boundaries: the big wheel over the summer weeks, and the son et lumiere "Merlin's Magical Quest" Yet both have been largely ignored by the web site, and in the case of the recent son et lumiere, somewhat negative questions. Even if the web master was on holiday surely one of his busy reporters could have obtained some shots of this years wonderful show rather than the old images used on the web. I can only conclude it is their choice not to use new exciting images from a major event in the town. Why ?

As someone who did attend the show let me inform the web site, and others, that they missed a wonderful event, which cost a whole family the equivalent of a round of drinks, and showed the great potential of this product to Caernarfon. While agreeing that Caernarfon is relatively poor there is sufficient money for regular nights out, to support major shows (e.g the Faenol has much local support and costs more -as does a trip to Cineworld in Llandudno Junction) and the area can help support this show. The town's business community has much to gain.

Perhaps to their surprise I agree with the web site when it asks does Caernarfon, and the local business community want this chance? To prompt debate one could ask if, in spite of the regular moaning, whether the town, and our local councils, are comfortable in their own way, and do not wish to see much change ?

I think the son et lumiere show, and the creative ideas that go with it, could give a major boost to the local economy. Yes, further developmental work is required to provide accommodation packages etc but it deserves our support. Unless of course you have an alternative ? If we are not careful I fear the idea could go elsewhere.

Plaid can't quite get the message

At lunchtime I joined BBC Radio Cymru for "Taro Post" to discuss Labour's forthcoming pledge on the learning fund for trade unions. Plaid's spokesperson was my opponent in the Arfon constituency, Alun Ffred Jones. Ffred just could not come to recognise the role of trade unions in the skills and training agenda, and even seemed to question what role/competence the unions have in such work. An alarming level of ignorance and not good for Plaid.

In modernising our economy, and upgrading workplace skills, trade unions have a strong role to play.

How sad - NOT !

I see BBC news carries post election news from the US.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blogger questions blogger

Richard Brunstrom used his blog to stir up some views on the government making a "mess" of Police funding :

"Then another budget meeting. We’re going to have to downsize, and I have to plan for it. The government has got police finance into a really dreadful mess and is seemingly in complete denial. We’re going to have to take the consequences - and so are you. Still, nil desperandum"

So I thought I would react calmly and use his blog to ask for a briefing paper on why he thinks this is ? There is a balnce between central and local funding and North Wales has I feel pressed the local element hard in recent years. Why has this made a mess ? The reform/abolition of Police Forces debate was a one off and does not in itself explain abudget crisis.

I await the Chief Constable's response so some considered judgement can be given to the issue.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


First Minister Rhodri Morgan is making a sreries of speeches this Assembly term and the contents set out some challenging thoughts and issues. "Futures" was the topic earlier this week and may prove an interesting Sunday read.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


A pleasant couple of hours in Y Fic, a cracking game of rugby and good atmospehere. Apparently there was some Championship football - but we are all rugby fans today !!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It seems that the Leader of Plaid Cymru could not make the day on which his Party chose the Parliamentary debate. I am sure Madrid was nice and warm and more convivial than the Iraq debate. People are talking

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Top level coordination

Another blog reports problems in Plaid Cymru trying to organise support for the Iraq vote. Meanwhile other reporters are asking why Plaid Cymru leader Elfyn Llwyd was reporteley not present in London given the over riding importance of the debate.

Perhaps a local Plaid Cymru contact could enlighten me on what the attractions of Madrid (?) are that it takes precedence over the big vote ???

Its this "horseshit" that will drive regulation

Mr O'Leary of RyanAir loves to express himself colourfully - but this type of comment on a report generating such serious evidence does the free market capitalists very little favour.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Iraq vote - a distraction

I did not support the war in Iraq and having stood in several elections have had made my views clear on numerous occassions. However I see no point in today's vote - except for opportunism early in the new term, which happens to see elections in Wales and Scotland.

Now we are there the focus should be on resolving the complex issues the invasion has unfolded, not discussing if and when an investigation is required.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Is technology our only saviour ?

In the light of today's climate change report is there any hope within our selfish society apart from advances in technology across the globe ? Certainly the minor impacts of individual action, for example in Wales/UK, are dwarfed by international issues.

Let's be up front, I support the general principle of green taxes but feel we need to think about offsetting regressive impacts on hard presed parts of our communities.

Why not visit SERA and see what red and green might debate in this subject area.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Multi cultural North West Wales

An enjoybale afternoon at Bangor's first multi cultural festival, and well done the Mayor for bringing it all together. It was an inspiration and success breeds success. However in spite of their candidate's smiling face can I humbly suggest the festival is a big challenge for Plaid Cymru. Their "fortress Gwynedd" policies don't sit very well with a celebration of our now multi cultural, community.

But as long as everyone learns Welsh then the thought police won't throw them out They can't cope with the "English", so heaven knows what they do with multi-culturalism in this part of Wales.

Brighter still

This weekend Caernarfon has witnessed one of the best shows, I suugest, available in the world this weekend. "Merlin's Magical Quest" was a son et lumiere on the walls of Caernarfon Castle - magnifique !. If you did not attend then you missed out. Check out Y Grael cyf for more information and news on future shows.

This is exciting and Caernarfon must take advantage.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Brighter economic future

I am sorry to tell Peter Black that Peter Hain - the man he respectfuly calls "rent a gob" on his blog - was today in Parc Menai, Bangor and received a warm welcome at the CAST centre. There is so much exciting technology happening in this centre and it is a fantastic mark of the success of Objective One funding in North West Wales. Now the innovation and technolgy is kicking in and the link with the University is vital. It is exactly where part of our economy needs to be and promises a brighter future for our area.

Peter was off to Belfast in the evening for his Northern Ireland responsibilities,and is clearly a Labour figure managing a major brief with great competence. To me "rent a gob" looks good material for at least Deputy Leader.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chief's blog mischief

Given the publicity surrounding Richard Brunstrom's blog I thought we'd better show some blogging solidarity by linking up.

He manages to cause major debate in our media - but people sometimes need to remember that a bit of controversy if often his aim.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Of interest

This posting on e-politix may be of interest.

Stats and real outcomes

For me this type of story from the Western Mail brings in to focus the challenge in managing the public services effectively. I will not comment on the detail as I would need to check the facts, but our focus must be on scrutinising the effects of investment and must move to the outcomes acheived not just statistical manoueveres.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Budget delays

Well in spite of Elis Thomas and Marek the opposition have found enough common ground to tell us what they won't support - and the Assembly budget decision is delayed. That will start costing us all money as I'm told the budget included some extra spending for schools, roads and social services.

However in the coming days the opposition wil have to agree on what they want from their un-costed wish list. We await with interest.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Massive target announced

Today's announcement about tackling child poverty plants a massive red flag at the heart of Welsh politics. The degree of co-ordination and commitment required to deliver on this aim needs careful consideration, and a special relationship with Westminster.

It is what the analysts will call a 'dividing line' come next May's election and if to be acheived could require wide ranging and creative use of the Assembly's additional powers.

Many say that politics can be boring, but the aim announced today could shape Wales, and Welsh politics, for a generation.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cardiff and Wolves

A gap in posting as I travelled down to Cardiff for Labour's Welsh Policy Forum. A weak excuse for a blogger I know (at least Peter Black was in Copenhagen when he had problems), but it sometimes helps to debate issues with people rather than in cyberspace !

Anyway a successful day of discusiion as Labour prepares for a special conference in November, and the countdown to next May's manifesto. We seem in good spirits in Wales.

On the football front I had warned Leighton Andrews AM that Cardiff's wheels might come off if Chopra was injured. Well he (Chopra not Leighton !) was suspended yesterday and Cardiff went down 1-0 !

Leighton is also quick off the mark blogging on the takeover at the club.

Meanwhile the Black counytry derby resuumed and Albion racked up 3 more goals, incuding a strike from Hartson. All is good !! Same players - different team : funny old game.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Coalition - chapter 510 !

I suppose it was inevitable. HTV stole a march last week with comments from their interview with Nick Bourne, so 'Dragon's Eye' got some words from Rhodri Glyn Tomos to keep the fire burning. After the current budget debate (surely that, and the 'wish list' should have been this week's debate Rhun !?) this coalition stuff could continue until we all publish manifestos and we have real policies to compare.

Once again I say that only one party (Welsh Labour) can publish, and deliver, a manifesto - if the people of Wales want us to.

To acheive that we need to win seats like Arfon. So the advice in Arfon remains - vote Labour (Eaglestone) and possibly get Wigley as well off the list.

Meanwhile expect more kites to be flown ......

Driving for growth

For those in other parts of Wales you may be interested in the new initiative launched today which seeks to give extra momentum to initiatives that are trying to overcome some big issues facing North West Wales. Andrew Davies has endorsed, and will chair the Mon-Menai Delivery Board. It was therefore a little disapointing to hear Richard Parry Hughes, Plaid Cymru leader of Gwynedd Council, pouring some cold water on the idea by 5.00pm (interview on Post Prynhawn). Some of us thought this was an idea the councils wanted, and in bringing the Minister centre stage (like the Heads of the Valley initiative) it means we are on the agenda. Grab the chance and don't loose time squabbling over what money is clean, and what is redirected. Let's put enough practical ideas in place to give the Minister a headache !

£21 billion - perhaps it is an event !!

Having followed the tax stuff I thought i would release as follows and I assume an Assembly colleague will ask Nick Bourne to square the circle.

PRESS RELEASE - Tory Tax Hypocrisy

Martin Eaglestone, Labour's Assembly candidate in Arfon, has called in to question the logic of Tory tax policy.

Martin Eaglestone said "The news that the Tory party are to consider £21 billion pounds of tax cuts exposes the hypocrisy of their group in the National Assembly who at the very same time are demanding more expenditure from the Welsh Assembly Government. The uncosted wish list published by opposition groups this week is seeking more expenditure. yet we can now see the real Tory agenda is the old story of tax cuts for the most well off".

"This report exposes the contradiction in the Tories position. It is not possible to square the circle of reduced tax and ever higher public expenditure as set out in the wish list. The Tories have to come clean on what they want - tax give aways to the rich or investment in public services".

Gwynedd accents

I have received the folowing message which seems suitable material to publicise via the blog amongst other routes :

"Subject: Gwynedd Accents

Dear All,

I know this isn't technically archival, but a friend asked if I could
circulate this to anyone who might be able to help.

The University of Birmingham are looking for people from Caernarfon for
help with a project they are currently running - they need individuals who
have lived in the area their whole lives as part of their study on
regional accent and dialect.

Further details from here:

If anyone has contacts who might be able to help, I'm sure the project
would be really grateful.


Jess Sykes"

Why not get in touch if relevant to study.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

£21 bilion non event ?

I am getting a little suspicious. I wonder whether Cameron has set up a couple of commission's to provide some barmy ideas that he could dump as a sign of new strength ?

Save post offices, fund the health service, extend public services - but cut £21 billion. I think not. We wait to see.

By the way what do we loose in Wales to save £21 billion ???? I hope Nick Bourne has his calculator out given the Tories wish list in the Assembly budget negotiations.

Politics of the wish list

Well the Assembly draft budget has been published and no doubt our small press family in Wales will have fun following the ins and outs of negotiations that are inevitable under a minority administration. However sensible opposition surely requires more than a wish list and must provide detailed ideas as to what the wish list costs. If the wish list is to be funded from the budget we need to know what is not going to be funded. I am not a great financier but I know some simple rules of these budgets.

So my question to Alun Ffred and Plaid Cymru is whether Labour's pledge on free prescriptions will be undermined, or free school meals or which other element of policy ?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My day

Late home from work but fellow bloggers have alerted me to the History Matters blog site so I have posted a little record

Monday, October 16, 2006

Leighton's insight

Leighton Andrews AM has provided a useful insight to some blogging activity across Wales. However I must say I see nothing wrong in my football tastes given the 5 knocked past Ipswich. I started the season thinking big John Hartson would lead us back, however its seem the pace of Kamara and guile of Philips may do the job. Of course big John now has incentive to work harder.

Striking photos

This feature in the online Guardian causes some pause for thought.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


As it is Sunday and a time for reflection I thought I'd post this link.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Iwan's Scottish fantasies

Dafydd Iwan has been up to Scotland and clearly taken in the Braveheart and Rob Roy air. He tells us that "Free nations" beckon and we look forward to hearing about their taxation plans to pay for all their election promises.

Meanwhile the rest of us who live in (I must assume the currently oppressed /incarcerated country !) Wales get on with building an economy, investing in public services and strengthening our democratic structure.

Happy dreaming Dafydd !!

Crikey - I nearly lost count

Well even better than an away draw, and so many goals I almost lost count ! 5 - that will do very nicely.
Meanwhile Leighton Andrews AM remains in seventh heaven as David Jones leads Cardiff to another victory.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Look - a manager

Well after rumour and wait it seems that Tony Mowbray is to take over next week. Good luck to him although with Hartson, Kamara, Philips and Ellington all fit it seems Pearson has an embarresment of riches before we stuff Ipswich.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Crikey chaps - sort it out !

Anyone standing for the Assembly, and watching Dragon's Eye tonight, must be alarmed by the contributions seen from Marek and Elis Thomas. This will not help the status and standing of the newly empowered Assembly.

Some advice Lord Dafydd, and as they might say to you in the House of Lords - crikey chaps, sort it out

Old and new technology

This piece in the Guardian seems to show the difference between 'old' and 'new' media. The polling data comes a little more alive with the technolgy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lib Dem trys to flush out his own leaders !

Well it comes to something when a Lib Dem AM uses his blog to try and flush out the truth from his own leaders about coalition talks. This is what Peter Black wrote :

For our part, the Liberal Democrat Party Leadership privately deny that any talks have been going on in preparation for a coalition, but they seem curiously reluctant to make this declaration in public or to rule out serving in a coalition under a Tory First Minister. Such an announcement would be useful in my view simply because it give a clear indication of the direction of travel of the party.

The smart money must be on Boure, Wyn Jones and German keeping the rainbow afloat (surely a mixed metaphor!) but not wanting to admit it - except for Bourne, sort of hinting about it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New media frenzy

I really should have invented Youtube and then bailed out the Labour Party !

However the merits of all these new media sources is causing interesting debate. This is covered in the Guardian debates section regarding another new source involving some Tory plus other bloggers.

Leighton Andrews AM also launched Rhondda TV - all great example sof politics moving beyond what mainstream tv presents.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Talking rubbish !

Some might say I always do, but my work as a planning officer has shown me the controversy generated by waste issues. As a society we live a lifestyle that generates lots of waste - but an attitude which seems to want to ignore the consequences.

Jackie Ashley takes up some of the political consequences in today's Guardian.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It's contractual

Ray Stubb's says it's contractual. I don;t think that would affect the credits, but we know that the FAW sold the rights to Sky. Perhaps a way of hiding the horrors.

Match of the Day

I stand to be corrected but I am sure the opening credits on tonight's Match of the Day failed to include Wales. No wonder my nationalist friends sometimes suspect a plot. Whatever the score was, we should not be ignored.

Well done Scotland

Llongyfarchiadau i'r Alban. Gwell dweud dim am y gweddill.

Well done Scotland. We'll pass over the rest.....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lib Dem cant see it - he's been Copenhagen-ed

Peter Black AM tells us he can't know about the Rainbow as he is stuck in a hotel in Copenhagen. And we all thought a person of Peter's technology skills would find such distance no problem. A tactical, sorry, technical hitch obviously !

This is how a Tory sees it

Glyn Davies AM has blogged as follows below. I think his tone of surprise slightly flys in the face of his recent S4C programme with Alun Ffred Jones, where Glyn mentioned the coaliation, and Ffred said words to the effect that we won't mention that (on the programme).

"Friday, October 06, 2006
Waterfront again

I watched Waterfront again last night. It is becoming compulsive viewing. Lee Waters is becoming a real handful. What a waste it will be if he ever goes into politics himself! I could have done without his reference to me as 'troublesome' though. He made me sound like some rabid right winger - which will please one of my Newport friends who accused me yesterday of being a 'soft old b*****'after I backed the Government's support for poverty in Africa. I could have been wrong on that but I do admit that I can be a 'bit soft' on this sort of issue.

But the real big mega story last night was that there have been discussions going on between Nick B, Ieuan WJ and Mike G about a coalition after the next Assembly election. I could have fallen off my chair. I expected it to be the story of the day today. I suppose the BBC played the story down because it was ITV Wales. Surely they will look for a different angle on the story on Sunday and then run it as their exclusive!! Six months ago, I would have been downright 'troublesome' if I had heard this. But things move on. The way Labour are trying to 'fix' the constitution in Wales to suit the 'government of the day' makes it imperative that they are forced to try opposition for themselves. If it takes a coalition to deliver a lesson in how to build a constitution - so be it. When I update the betting on next May's Cardiff Bay Quadrennial Handicap, I would not be at all surprised to see Rainbow Coalition take over the favourite's spot".

This is how the Post saw it

The Daily Post picked up on the "rainbow coalition" as folows :

'Informal' Assembly coalition talksOct 6 2006

by Daily Post

THE Tories’ leader in the Welsh Assembly last night said parties were informally discussing forming a coalition government after next May’s election.

Nick Bourne’s comments in a television interview are the most explicit public disclosure yet about the possibility of a power-sharing deal between the Opposition parties.

He pointedly refused to rule out serving under a Plaid Cymru First Minister in a hung Assembly, despite senior Plaid figures refusing to contemplate being junior partners to the Tories.

Mr Bourne insisted there had been no talk of “divvying up” Cabinet jobs ahead of the election.

He told ITV Wales’s political programme Waterfront: “There are discussions going on, of course there are, on an informal basis between parties about what is going to happen after the next election.

“The idea of divvying up jobs I think it’s just not on. I categorically, absolutely deny there’s any suggestion of that amongst opposition parties.”

The Tories, Liberal Democrats, Plaid and independent AMs have united to vote-down the Labour administration since it fell into a minority at the last General Election".

Vote Plaid - get the Tories : I Told you so.
Vote Labour - Get Labour (and perhaps Mr Wigley on the list!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quick - tell Alun Ffred its in the open !

Well in spite of silence, and denials, it seems Nick Bourne has let the cat out of the bag, talked of the elephant on the door step and called a spade a spade. There is clear talk between opposition parties of a "rainbow coalition" to replace Labour after May 2007. Have al ook at Waterfront tonight.

So Alun Ffred can I repeat my offer of some months - will you go in to coalition with the Tories or not ? Your recent programme on S4C was interesting - a warm alliance with Glyn Davies - a sign of things to come.

Time for Dafydd El and Elfyn Llwyd to speak

Events at the enterprise company Cymad, and its subsiduary Galw, get stranger by the week. Given that these board members are fine upstanding members of Plaid Cymru (like most of the Board members and the Chief Executive) it is surely time for local representatives Elfyn Llwyd MP, Dafydd Elis Thomas AM, Hywel Williams MP and Alun Ffred Jones AM to speak out ?.

Many local people know the links - and yes it will be a little embarassing for Plaid cymru -but surely someone has the courage to step forward and sort this all out ?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pathetic Lib Dem radio debate

The Welsh Assembly Government have made a small but significant step on the Millennium Development Goals as part of aid for Africa. I debated this on Radio Cymru today with Tories, Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem AM Eleanor Burnham. Tories "praised" the move, Plaid Cymru "welomed" it. The Lib Dems made some pathetic noises about people stealing aid money, and corrupt leaders. Wrong point at the wrong time.

Lib Dems fail the aid for Africa challenge.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Useful BBC Resource

Some people got upset about the cost of the new BBC mini adverts, but I think his new section on health of their web site is a good resource worth looking around.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tories many bricks short of a full house !

Obviously Tory AM Glyn Davies fears that the Tories are falling short on policy and will be exposed in Wales and Scotland. Is this not the exact point we have all been making - Mr Cameron flying around`the world to smile at the camera and tell us the perils of global warming - meanwhile lihjt on policy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Nice"`new Tories ?

It's about 23.10 and have I really just seen George Osborne (one of their bright new things!) try and suggest Gordon Brown is somehow autistic on Sky News ?

And this is the "nice" new Tories ?

These people are showing a great skill at being offensive, and it only comes on the back of a few opinion polls, with no real substance.

Value for money at the hawthorns

Well a red card, missed penalty, 3-0 followed by 4-2. It is value for money at the very least as the Baggies pick up a big 3 points off Leeds before the international break.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tory backs health reforms

I have caught up with the comments of Tory AM Glyn Davies when he wrote in his blog about the current health reforms :

"And Lee's item on the NHS was well done too. We have all signed up to the Wanless health service reform agenda. We know that the 'no-change' approach is killing thousands of people. We know that there must be some rationalisation of services if we want the best value for money in the NHS. I think we all need to press the integrity button in this debate".

Plaid Cymru calling

Leighton Andrews AM has an interesting angle on the Chris Bryant spoof diary in the Guardian. No doubt some in Plaid Cymru were frothing with excitement at the revelations being made - except it was a spoof !

It seems Leighton's team Cardiff are keeping up their head of steam for the Autumn!
Meanwhile the Baggies keep up my theory of keeping home wins as the return route to the Premiership.

A reminder

I thought this piece in today's Guardian was noteworthy.

Friday, September 29, 2006

This is why.

The latest increase in the national minimum wage shows why Labour is important.

Yes there is a need to use enforce and I have concerns over the situation affecting agency workers from Europe but the basic policy is a fundamental reason for existence. It also exposed the fundamental problem of the Tories who use to rant about millions of jobs being lost. And as I recall Plaid Cymru went home early at the time of the critical votes that pushed the legislation through.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Son et luminere approaches the futures bright

As we approach October let us remember the forthcoming son et luminere in Caernarfon.

No I'm not on commission but we need to make sure this type of project is a success for the benefit of the beautiful and historic town.

Mae angen sicrhau bod y digwyddiad yma yn llwyddiant er lles ein dref.

Remember - the future's bright

Remember that as we enter October it will be agreat time to plan a visit to Caernarfon. The son et luminere show is the perfect time. No I'm not on commission but I do feel this type of event needs to succeed. Go on come and visit our beautiful historic town.

Mae'n amser sicrhau bod y son et luminere yn llwyddiant. Y fath o digwyddiad sydd yn haeddu ein cefnogaeth.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Big Opportunity - Big responsibility

At the foot of Snowdon, in the Arfon constituency, there is the opportunity to develop a major mixed use leisure development in a former slate quarry. Plaid Cymru lead Gwynedd Council has marketed the site, invited expressions of interest and are now evaluating two key options.

One of the projects provides a big opportunity for a major injection of private capital, with the chance to put the area on the international map. It could help transform the economy of the area with a wide range of job opportunities.

Will this opportunity be grasped ?

I hope so - but I also fear the echoes of the same Council when it ran scared of big decisions like they did over Pwllheli marina.

It is a big opportunity and carries a big responsibility. They often lecture us on the economic problems of North West Wales.

Are Plaid Cymru up to the task ?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lennon without McCartney

I think it was Bono who referred to Blair and Brown as Lennon and McCartney of politics. Well Brown did well in my view given the media vultures hovering for a slip. Blair meanwhile is a master of the modern media/political platform.

My hope is that as the transition evolves Brown will unfold his wings and we will see the depth of the politician who I feel will be our next leader.

Monday, September 25, 2006

House recovering

The Eaglestone house is just recovering from running a combined total of 32. (something) miles yesterday. One member of the family had trained for some months and ran the Anglesey marathon, the other is a little overweigth but managed the Anglesey 10K. You can work out which might be which - but my time was 1.15 !

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Away draws - home wins (my boring theory)

Baggies 2-2 at Luton. Keeps up my general theory for the season, and avoids 'club in crisis' headlines.

No comment required !

The BBc report as follows :

"Showbiz entrance for Iwan speech

Shock tactics at the Brangwyn Hall on Saturday, as party president Dafydd Iwan propelled himself towards the conference platform.

With lights dimmed, and music blaring, he brought a touch of showbiz to the proceedings

He marched in from the back of the hall, to the surprise of the delegates who have become accustomed to a more traditional back-stage entrance.

However, the hardened hacks of the Welsh press pack were struck by the fact that Mr Iwan was led to the stage by two flanks of t-shirted "Cymru-X" young party workers, marching in a military style which was more than reminiscent of the presentational style of the politics of the 1930s".

Cymad and Plaid (chapter 2)

The Western Mail tells us that Elfyn Llwyd MP has told his conference

"Elfyn Llwyd got a standing ovation when he called for a “return to honest politics” at the Plaid conference in Swansea".

Anything "honest" you would like to tell us about Cymad Mr llwyd ?

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Tell it as it is" - Dafydd El and Cymad

Guto Thomas of the BBC has an interesting take on Plaid Cymru's conference.

But with the leader today asking his people "to tell it as it is", will the great Lord Elis Thomas tell us more about events at Cymad ?

Sorry - say that again Ieuan !

The Western mail reports that IWJs speech to the conference of the Party of Wales included :

“Wherever people come from, wherever they were born, whatever their background, our message to the people of Wales – whoever you are or whatever your background, whatever your language, whatever background you come from – you are part of the project that is modern Wales.”

I assume with the caveat that you shouldn't bother applying for a job with the brothers and sisters in Gwynedd.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mainstream and blog as close partners

Today's Western Mail contains more evidence that the mainstream media and the world of blogging are feeding off each other, if a little tensely at times !. North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has been blogging over recent weeks and I am sure he has found it a very useful way of generating some debate in the media, even hostile reaction. Today's Western Mail is not all sweetness and light :

A simple, naive media? Come off it BrunstromSep
21 2006
Western Mail

North Wales chief constable Richard Brunstrom thinks the media is giving him too hard a time. Well, asks Political Editor Tomos Livingstone, shouldn't he do a bit more to help himself?

RICHARD BRUNSTROM is probably the best-known policeman in Britain - I bet more people know his name than that of Sir Ian Blair, the man who runs the Metropolitan Police.

He made his name with a war on speeding drivers, and yesterday he opened up a new front: a war on the press.

Mr Brunstrom, writing on his blog on the North Wales Police website, said TV news was 'an insult to our intelligence' and the rest of the media 'crave sensationalism and controversy for its own sake'.

Crikey. One wonders if this was the same Mr Brunstrom who dispatched officers to Downing Street after allegations that Tony Blair said something nasty about the Welsh. Perhaps he's forgotten that the only reason those claims came to light was because they were leaked to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

And this is the same chief constable who called in the press back in 2003 to launch an on-camera attack on a pensioner who had complained about a speeding fine. I remember feeling my intelligence wasn't being given much respect that day either.

Mr Brunstrom owes his title of top-recognised cop - or Prif Copyn to give him his recently-adopted Bardic name - largely due to his ability to get his message across in the media. Because his views are often controversial (and not for their own sake either), he succeeds.

But now this is what he thinks are the problems of the media.

'First, the media's naive and simplistic wish to provide 'balance', which leads to equal airtime for flat-earthers on any topic you care to name despite the weight of evidence.

'Second, they crave sensationalism and controversy for its own sake, often based on out-of-context and simplistic soundbites. This has had a dreadfully debilitating effect on media standards.'

The future, he says is the internet rather than the 'skewed and jaundiced' newspapers and TV.

Relations between police and the press everywhere have always been strained. Most officers know they need some help from the press to solve crime, but are traditionally cagey about giving away too much. Journalists often have to employ a lot of skill (old fashioned stuff like building contacts and asking questions - it's very effective) to get information from forces that are now institutionally secretive.

In North Wales this has got a long way out of hand. On one weekend in August, we know, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act - and journalists at our sister paper the Daily Post in North Wales asking questions - that 1,577 incidents were recorded, but the only ones the press were told about in response to queries were a road accident and a charity race.

Mr Brunstrom thinks it's better to use the internet to get his corporate message across. Fine - why not put a lot more information about real crimes and stories on the website then? And the 'traditional' media might not be so hostile if the police were more helpful.

Swirling in the midst of his attack on the press there is an interesting debate to be had; yes, more people use the internet to get their news - but traditional media brands are still often more reliable and can offer much more.

There is a problem too with the fabled 'balance' on broadcast news in particular - but Mr Brunstrom can't really complain, given that he has benefited from the need to offer opposing views. His position on drugs and on speeding are not exactly mainstream within the police force.

I'm sure he wouldn't just want the Government view on drugs on the TV news every time - and neither should anyone else.

And yes, 24-hour news has led to too many talking heads spouting forth about whatever the topic is, instead of new information.

But Mr Brunstrom's attack just isn't coherent enough to make sense. He's taking a gamble that most people will agree with him, but his experience should teach him that has rarely turned out to be the case".

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pulling Together

The Daily Post has been running letters on the small business/ entrepreunarial / trade union / economy debate. I have decided to chip in as follows if the Post choose to print it.

"Dear editor,

In recent days we have seen a debate involving the Federation of Small Business, Wales TUC and a Conservative Assembly candidate with each looking for a weakness in the others case. I do feel however that our main aim for the coming years must be to harness the energy of small business, the organisational ability of trade unions with the need to take forward the skills agenda, with what Rhodri Morgan has called the "can do" mentality. We will gain most for Wales if we avoid seeing these as conflicting agendas, but accept the challenge of working together for the common good. The employer, the union and the entrepreneur have much to gain from each other and we must avoid building false barriers between us.

Martin Eaglestone

Prospective Assembly Candidate

Labour Party

Arfon constituency"

Robbo - was it the tortoise connection ?

I have it from a good and reliable source that one of Robbo's family recently lost their tortoise in Red House Park, Great Bar, West Bromwich. After many days fruitless searching the tortoise was returned by a stranger who found it in the car park - and the finder had a lovely bunch of flowers in return.

But was the misplaced tortoise the source of Robbo's downfall ? We wait to hear.

This is not a story you'll hear on Sky Sports !!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

FT - a bit more depth

You don't have to agree or disagree but I feel this weeks analysis by the Financial Times of the economy/UK over the lst ten years is worth reading. Issues around productivity and Britain's position in the globalised economy, as aganst regional policy. point to many of the tensions that we face in Wales. Perhaps it helps point to Brown's significant skills for economic management but also the tensions that play ay the heart of the Labour movement.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Thanks Robbo

Having watched Robson's years as a West Brom player it is disapointing to see him depart. However football is a harsh game and if the fans/board have doubts over his ability to motivate the players for the months ahead then change seems inevitable.

I somehow feel a message may be on the way to me from Leihgton Andrews AM who is flying high with Cardiff. It is a long season however and the Baggies have a good enough start to see us through.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Vote now - Penyrorsedd

Big interest in the Restoration final - there is only one winner. Vote now for PenyrOrsedd

Fame ! - of`sorts (Mid table respectability in the Top 100)

For those of us who take an interest in blogging there are several blogs that tend to draw a lot of attention, and in turn help to generate the wider interest in bloggers news, views and comments. These blogs seem to include Guido Fawkes, Recess Monkey and Iain Dale in addition to those I sometimes mention here in Wales, including Peter Black and Leighton Andrews.

Although of a different political colour Iain Dale has developed a reputation that spans the blogging and mainstream media. He has published a guide to blogging and in spite of only joinig the bloggers ranks in recent times how pleasant to find myself named in Labour's top 100.

What this joyful news means for the people of the Arfon constituency we wait to see - but perhaps we are communicating with more people than we realised ! Hello to you all.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Could "big" and "local" find some common ground ?

Following a recent criticism of my 'local' Tesco I was interested in the article in today's Guardian. Over the years we have heard much of the power of supermarkets but if we could bring the need for change (global warming/food miles) together with local produce there is an improved situation ahead. However before any attacks, yes I do shop at Tesco.

However if rural Wales could find a profitable relationship with supermarkets then we all win.

Lib Dems fight in a phone box

I have said before that Peter Black runs a blog that I often find entertaining. However given that there are so few of them they could meet in a phone box, their tax debate seems to be warming up, judging by today's posting.

"Outraged" locals

The Arfon election team are in a full week of campaiging (more of this next week)as we head towards the election of May 2007. This seems to have upset one local website and the political neutrality of the "news" report is clear to us all !!

My discussion with the editor continues, but so far those who have "inundated" him with complaints have not come forward for a response.

Entrepreur required - mae angen pobl fusnes

This article in the Western Mail today reminds us all that life as a campaigner can sometimes be cruel and unforgiving ! :

Sticky moment for CymunedSep 16 2006

"Western Mail

THE "anti-colonisation" group Cymuned is promoting a website that attacks Wales' increasingly "Anglo- American" culture - with stickers made in the US.

In an email sent out to subscribers, Cymuned wrote, "Put a website sticker on the back of your car - and others are available at for very low prices."

The Welsh-language version of the CaruCymru website then goes on to note how Cymuned's members love Wales' "language, culture, history and people" before warning of the dangers of Welsh culture increasingly becoming "uniform" and "Anglo-American".

A Cymuned spokesman explained that the stickers are "Sent from America, because unfortunately no company in Wales offers this service yet - as soon as they do, we'll switch suppliers."

Dyma eich cyfle - mae rhaid bod rhywun yn gallu helpu Cymuned gyda broblem yma. Ewch ati.....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Legendary Pete's Eats

A great evening in the company of some 40 members in the legendary Pete's Eats in Llanberis. Good feeling, and good campaign vibe, for the months ahead as we lead up to the Assembly election of May 2007. If you are in North Wales, and especially our Arfon constituency, this place is a must for you.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clare - it's about the medium term

I have been out campaigning all day and returned home (20.00 hrs plus) to hear about Clare Short's views. The last time I saw her in the flesh was when she was sadly custard pied at Bangor University, which was unfortunate given she was to talk about her valuable work on international development issues.

Like my comments on the RMT, I feel Clare should have made her stance (as did Robin Cook) before today - not using this exit as some grandstand moment.

I will still have have time to listen to her views on these international matters where she has great experience, but do feel she is wrong in trying to stab us when the whole Blair thing is near an end.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I kid you not !

I know we are approaching a change of leadership. However having seen an advert in the local press regarding the entertainment on 15th September I had not realised the many talents of the Deputy PM - has this moonlighting been declared in the register of interests ?.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Capital Eye"

Nice to see Tom Bodden in the Daily Post (page 14) picking up on Rhodri's visit with me to the Maesgeirchen estate,Bangor. It is one of surely Rhodri's great attractions that he stil takes to the streets and, in my judgement, is genuinely interested in what people have to say.

Man announces retirement - people walk out !

I have been involved with trade unions for aboout 25 years now, but my comrades still confuse me on occassions. Blair has announced his retirement and our task is to influence the next phase of Labour policy. I'm not sure how that is helped by walking out ? Perhaps they should have walked out in protest before and it might have had some effect, not as he retires !

Man announces retirement - people walk out !

I have been involved with trade unions for aboout 25 years now, but my comrades still confuse me on occassions. Blair has announced his retirement and our task is to influence the next phase of Labour policy. I'm not sure how that is helped by walking out ? Perhaps they should have walked out in protest before and it might have had some effect, not as he retires !

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pie in the sky

Glad to see the Western Mail followed up the article on Plaid's conference. I find Helen Mary's comment that they start quietly and build up a little strange- why not shorten the conference to the core business - rather than show the people of Wales a quarter fall hall (or three quarters empty).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Leighton's high and lows

It seems that Labour colleague Leighton Andrews AM has returned from a holiday in Frnace but the sun may have gone to his head as, on the 7th September, he allowed the short term joy of topping the championship carry him away ! Meanwhile the Baggies deliver a 2-0 home win against Leicester. (home wins/away draws and the long slog to promotion)

Meanwhile Leighton has been getting on with what people expect from their Labour representatives - not infighting - but fighting the job cuts at Burberrys factory in the Rhonnda.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Councillors "claim" 3-2 win

Well the sun shone, there were no serious injuries and the Gwynedd Councillors (plus guests) team claimed a 3-2 win over staff from the Assembly government office in Caernarfon. This was ably assisted by two red cards for the Assembly staff (sneezing at the wrong time or some similar serious offence!. All good fun and a few more ££ for the Ysgol Pendalar Appeal.

That is what Labour wil miss

I know we have entered the "end game",(my previous postings suggest that is the right decision)but having watched Blair's contribution at the Progress conference it shows what we will miss when he has moved on.

I know he has made decisions we don't always like, but there are not many leaders who can deal with a situation like he has just done.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hype ?

"Let's not beleive the hype in the media" - Lembit Opik (Sky News) 11.37pm.

Another interesting perspective on Blair/Brown/Clarke.

Call for the sponge !

Well its early to bed tonight (ha ! ha!) as tomorrow afternoon I join the local councillors for a charity football match to raise funds for equipment for the new special needs school (Ysgol Pendalar.) So for those photo opportunities not to be missed its the football field at Ysgol Hendre, Caernarfon at 14.00 hrs- see you there.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Outside the bubble ?

Tonight (Thursday) I was joined by First Minister Rhodri Morgan for a quick "blitz" in a strong Labour ward in Bangor, North Wales. In some 200 doors three people raised Tony Blair with us.

Two people were pretty upset at Blair's treatment by Labour MPs, and one thought that on balance it was time to go. Otherwise people seemed pleased to see us.

We also met the committee talking about the future funding needs of their healthy living centre. That was their reality tonight - not events in London.

I know the leadersip is important, but this was an interesting perspective on the events of recent days.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Light distraction - Plaid's "big year"

As light distraction from internal debate don't overlook Elfyn Llwyd's interview with e-politix.

Elfyn - what about Cymad ?- Llwyd may indeed face a big year but can Plaid expect to make gains when,unlike 1999, the Tories have at least rememberd what the ballot box is for ?.

Rhodri's prophetic words

On 10th August Rhodri Morgan told e-politix

"Morgan on Labour leadership

Question: Will the ongoing wrangling over the leadership of the UK Labour Party adversely affect your chances at next year's assembly election?

Rhodri Morgan: Yes. Split parties never win elections. If the electorate gets the feeling that there is interminable wrangling and division over the succession then that is very unhelpful in the run up to the Scottish and Welsh elections in May next year.

We need clarity over the succession of some sort. It is now very much up to the prime minister because the cards are all in his hands and he won a working majority and it is up to him.

We all know that interminable wrangling creates a perception that we are a divided party, and divided parties never do well in elections.

Clarity is the key thing but we have to see what happens in the autumn and winter.

I am sure that the prime minister is very conscious of the fact that the key mid-term test for any Labour government now is not by-elections caused by the untimely death or resignation of an MP, it's the Welsh and Scottish elections. They are a giant mid-term test.

They are almost always at the mid-term difficult period, two years after a general election, 2007 is not going to be any different and they will be very tough for that reason.

Almost all governments are unpopular mid-term and somehow or other we have to make sure Labour in Wales and Scotland are not too badly affected by that".

But I doubt if anyone quite foresaw what is happening today.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blair - the celtic influence

I suppose it is both the potential (and danger) of the blog that as political events unfold a thought can be shared, and only time will tell whether it proves accurate. I have watched Newsnight and Sky News and see the Sun headline is running hard.

I suspect that much of this London centric coverage is underplaying the importnace of the political reality here in Wales and Scotland, particularly with the elections of May 2007 looming. Rhodri Morgan was right to suggest that if Blair was going he should go in time for the devolved elections - it makes total sense.

So my current guess that is that if the needs of the Party are to feature strongly in the transition process, then the date will be even sooner than the Sun suggests. That will be the hard reaility of our political process - another feature of devolution that perhaps had not been foreseen.

Thank you for 3 victories Tony - they will not be forgotten in Labour history. But politics can be a cold and calculating business. Whoever succeeeds you will not be an easy act to follow, particularly given your ability at many key moments to say words that resonate with the British people.

Forget Wales - sort out Cymad

It seems that the "row" involving Dafydd Elis Thomas has taken another turn. I simply suggest that the good lord stops worrying about Wales and sorts out his own patch. Dafydd - sort out Cymad, the elephant on your doorstep !

Worthwhile effort

Just saw Alan Pugh, our Assembly Minister's posting about his forthcoming cycling effort. Well done Alaun and a cheque will be in the post.

Exit strategy

The views of a prospective candiidate, who has not won an election, may not be central to the Prime Minister's deliberations but my thouights on the leadership are as follows :

The recent pressure for clarification on the leadership question has reached a stage where the Prime Minister must now give his party and the wider country clarity on the way ahead. I feel this has become inevitable as a result of the various letters leaked to the press and the debate surrounding the leadership I feel it is now time for Tony Blair to leave the role of Prime Minister in a way which retains his dignity and with the Party also able to acknowledge his great achievement in leading Labour to three general election victories.

Not to have that clarity can only cause us further problems and that must be avoided if we are to fight the Welsh and Scottish elections without unnecessary distraction.

That is the text of my press release on the matter but whether it is of much interest amongst all the other stories we wait to see.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Will it add up - does it matter in Wales ?

I tend to find that the emerging policy suggestions of the Tories do stretch my belief as nothing in their handling of public services would suggest these ideas will be experienced in practise.

However elements of these suggestions - e.g. the alignment of health and social care- we can see already happening in Wales. In addition the Labour lead Assembly has taken avery different route to Engalnd in the measurement of service performance. The fact that the policy announcement covers much devolved territory means it is all a little academic to people in Wales. Policy in these areas will be determined via a non Tory Assembly.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Y Grael - lighting the way

Great news that Y Grael have managed to pull together the Son et Luminere show called Merlin's Magical Quest for Caernarfon in October. After the success of the Summer's big wheel it shows the untapped potential of the town and how a critical mass must be created to move the town forward. John Thirsk deserves our congratulations and let us hope all goes well in the coming weeks in the build up to October 27th and 28th.

Show faith, buy the tickets, this needs to succeed.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Consultancy magic ??

This article on the front page of the Guardian rings bells with a more general problem that I feel has affected decision makers at many levels of public service and local government. Over the last 20 years I would suggest,from experience, that there has been an increasing trend to require money to be spent on consultants as if their word is somehow more trustworthy than the mainstream of council workers/civil servants. I fear the same is true with objective one spending and many a consultant has earned a nice fee examining/recommending projects for European funding.

Of course consultants can bring benefits : specific expertise, additional capacity for peak/extra demands, a breadth of knowledge of the wider scene and an element of valuable challenge - but I often wonder whether the money spent always justifies the sums involved. (Or perhaps I'm just an old fashioned public sector worker closed to new ideas)

Goodbye "Jigsaw", Hello "Rainbow"

A letter in this morning's post to tell the family that the dolphin we sponsor (Jigsaw) has moved on from the Moray Firth and taken up residence in St Andrews. As a result the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society have moved our support to Rainbow. She has two calves (Prism and Raindrop) and is "a terrific hunter of salmon and sea trout".

Swim happily you beautiful creatures.

Friday, September 01, 2006

With secrets like this !

A "secret" is defined in my dictionary as something that is "kept hidden". The discussion about Dafydd El on the front of today's Western Mail would seem to fail that first test !

I suppose in a democracy it is also a little arrogant to talk about what happens after May 2007. Perhaps the balot box should speak first.

With issue like the ongoing investigations at Cymad yet to be fully explored perhaps the good lord should worry a litle more about his own patch rather than the issues described inthe Western Mail.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A wee snigger

A recent post compared JPs commnets about Bush, with Bush's own ability to drop clangers. However there can be little doubt about what some people said while Bush spoke to mark the year since the disaster of New Orleans.

Pwllheli marina - chapter 265

For those not able to reach a Dily Post today's letter says

"Dear editor,

The Pwllheli Chamber of Trade are of course right to remind us of the massive error of judgement made by the Party of Wales in Gwynedd when they refused to approve plans for an expansion of Pwllheli marina. How often do we hear Plaid Cymru complain about a lack of economic opportunity in this area but when the time for brave decisions arrives they run and hide. We await to hear of Plaid Cymru's alternative plans for the Pwllheli area but I must contrast their failure with the action of Labour's Assembly Government in promoting new investment in Caernarfon's Victoria Dock, Parc Cegin near Bangor and at Bangor University."

Martin Eaglestone
Prospective Assembly Candiidate
Labour Party

All quiet over there !

Thanks to the friends who rang to say my blog was quiet about the Sunderland result. Well I was on holiday and sort of missed it .........

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Plaid all at sea !

This article in the Daily Post reminds us all of the farcical decision made by Plaid Cymru lead Gwynedd not to expand Pwllheli marina. Every time you hear anyone from Plaid Cymru talk about a lack of economic opportunity simply reply - Pwllheli marina. All moans and no action is a neat summary of our problems with the Party of Wales.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stop the Traffik

Well back from a weekend break and the title is not a cry of anguish about the M6 but a campapign I spent some time considring at the Greenbelt festival. Have a read and let us consider what part we can play in the lead up to March 2007.

Also spent some time at Greenbelt listening to Jim Wallis a thought provoking speaker from the States, who had a number of nice things to say about Gordon Brown and some stern words about Iraq. To paraphrase one striking thought that I carried from the talks - the challenge is not just whether we move left or right, but to go deeper.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bank holiday - enjoy

Well its time for a long bank holiday weekend. Tidy 3-0 for the Baggies and nice to see Nicholson (England squad in 3 years ?) on the score sheet.

As`for the weekend - time with family at Greenbelt amongst other things.

See you next week.

Bank holiday - enjoy

Well its time for a long bank holiday weekend. Tidy 3-0 for the Baggies and nice to see Nicholson (England squad in 3 years ?) on the score sheet.

As`for the weekend - time with family at Greenbelt amongst other things.

See you next week.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Philips and Koumas - keeps squad strong

Well I must admit to an element of (pleasant) surprise that Kevin Philips chose us above the Black Cats and will therefore stick a few away for the Baggies, rather than be a returning hero on Wearside. Well done Robbo. And with today's news that Jason Koumas has now signed a new 3 year contract it bodes well for the squad in the long season ahead. (might even give us a cushion if 1 or 2 move on!)

Party of Wales - they just don't get it

I see the Party of Wales have suddenly decided that the election of May 2007 should be "clean" by which they mean some strange commitment to only using money from Wales.They just don't understand the way in which many parties are part of a bigger whole, and strength is drawn from the inter relationships of the many parts. They probably don't want to understand in their blinkered little world.

Of course I might ask whether this "clean" campaign would include Plaid Cymru refusing to use money raised from property sales in England, as was the case in a recent will that donated property proceeds to the Party of Wales, or perhaps their sister party in Scotland not accepting money from Sean Connery (who wears his Scots badge proudly -from abroad!).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sustainable in Plaid Cymru ???

The Labour Assembly Government are working hard to make us face the condequences of our unsustainable lifestyle. Plaid Cymru often try to shoult louder about their sustainability credentials, but some of us have noted the suuden about turn by Rhodri Glyn Tomos when it comes to flood risk in his own patch.

As I earn my bread and butter as a planning officer I understand the challenges set by the policy on flood risk. In North Wales places like Conwy and Denbighsire face huge issues as do some parts of Arfon. In the coming years, and if we are to plan to mitigate the effects of climate change, we could see wide spread patterns of new development. Certainly food for thought and I wonder what the Autumn and Winter stoms will bring ? Meanwhile Rhodri should present his evidence to the Environment Agency so they csan review their advice.