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  • 50 Welsh language campaigners could be jailed over TV licences


    UP to 50 Welsh language campaigners could face jail due to their refusal to pay their TV licences.

    Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg has launched a campaign to devolve control over broadcasting to Cardiff Bay.

    The pressure group want decisions over broadcasting to be made in Cardiff Bay to allow Welsh language services to be expanded, with around 50 understood to be taking part in the civil action.

    But the pressure group has also expressed concerns over a ‘democratic deficit’ in Wales, accusing broadcasters of treating the nation as a region of England.

    Heledd Gwyndaf, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, is one of the those who are refusing to pay their £147 a year licence fee until the powers are transferred.

    Fully accepting she could face jail for her actions, she said: “We’ve had enough of a media which ignores the Welsh language and Wales’ democracy,” she said.

    “It’s really encouraging that more and more people from every part of the country are taking a stand against a system which deprives us of a media which reflects Wales’ needs and aspirations”

    S4C is currently answerable to the Westminster Government’s Department of Culture Media and Sport, which last year announced it was going to protect the channel’s funding.

    But Cymdeithas want responsibility to be transferred from London to allow Welsh language services to be expanded, with the existing S4C Authority to become a Broadcasting Authority for Wales to replace current regulator, Ofcom.

  • Budget insuffisant pour l'enseignement du gallois

    Vast amounts of money earmarked for use within Welsh medium education have not been touched by a number of Welsh councils, it has emerged.

    The £1.4bn Welsh Government pot has been largely used on English language schools – raising calls for a review of school funding in Wales.

    The money has been allocated to councils under the 21st Century Schools and Education Capital Programme. The programme was launched in 2011 to update and re-build school and post-16 college buildings. But just 30% of the funding pot has been spent on Welsh medium schools.

    Among Wales’ 22 local authorities, six have spent little or no money on Welsh medium schools, according to the campaign group RhaG (Parents for Welsh Medium Education).

    Blaenau Gwent and Flintshire have spent none and earmarked none, while Rhondda Cynon Taf has earmarked just 0.5% of its £160m allocation from the programme on Welsh language education. Monmouthshire has spent just 1% of its £93m.

    In contrast, Anglesey and Gwynedd have earmarked all their allocation under the programme to Welsh medium schools, Carmarthenshire spent 80% and Cardiff and Swansea 22%.

    The figures do not show how much of the money allocated to councils under the programme, aimed at updating school and post-16 college facilities, has been spent – only the intention.