MPS HAVE been criticised by Plaid Cymru's Cardiff South and Penarth Assembly candidate Dafydd Trystan Davies.

Seven Labour MPs from Wales voted against the welfare budget package which included cuts to working tax credits and child tax credits, and Dr Davies pointed out that among those who abstained was the local MP Stephen Doughty.'
Continue reading at the Penarth Times website ...


2016: Opportunities and Challenges for Plaid: Party of Wales and Government of Wales

Writing for the Cambria Nostra blog, Penarth National Assembly candidate and National Chair of Plaid Cymru, Dafydd Trystan Davies, looks at what the result of the UK General Election means for the party and for the nation...

Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies
"As the dust settles on the 2015 General Election and parties start to move beyond the shock of the election of a Conservative majority Government committed to imposing further cuts and renewed austerity, the time has come to look forward to the pivotal National Assembly elections in 2016.
The 2015 election throws up challenges and opportunities for all parties but in Plaid’s case the scales are very much tilted towards the opportunities as we look towards 2016. Let us consider for a moment the parties in Wales. Labour, having secured one of their worst General Election results in many years, face a protracted period of soul searching and renewed internal battles between centre left and the right. For the Tories in Wales, the further damaging cuts being imposed by a Westminster Tory Government is not a good backdrop for a mid-term election campaign. And if things are bad for Labour (and potentially also for the Tories), adjectives cannot properly convey the crisis facing the dying embers of the Liberal Democrats. UKIP are in a somewhat different position having made some progress in terms of votes but they did not make any breakthroughs. They clearly benefitted from protest votes and an anti-politics mood but those voters may well be ready for something more substantial in 2016."
(continue reading this article at Cambria Nostra)



The dangers - at both a global and local level - associated with fracking for gas should trigger a precautionary principle and both exploration and exploitation should be “put on hold” until much more is known about the threats such technology poses...

Dafydd Wigley (front, right) with local UK parliamentary candidate Ben Foday (front, second from left) and local Plaid Cymru activists.
This was the theme of a keynote speech by former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley at a public meeting in Penarth. He has pressed in the House of Lords for the National Assembly to be empowered to impose a moratorium on fracking in Wales, as is being granted to Scotland’s Parliament.

In global terms, we should be moving away from carbon-based sources of energy and put far more effort into renewables, such as the excellent Swansea Bay lagoon scheme,” said Lord Wigley. “In local terms, I am really worried about using fracking technology in areas which have resident populations who could be adversely affected by the dangers of fracking poisoning water supplies.”

Lord Wigley drew attention to the fact that each fracking “job” requires between a million and eight million gallons of water and the use of up to 40,000 gallons of chemicals; that there are 600 different such chemicals which have been used in America, some of which are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and others toxic.

He quoted one survey of a hundred water wells in Texas which showed that at a distance of two miles from the well, over 30% had arsenic levels in the water which were above the safety limit. A rig “blow-out” in Organ County, Texas last May caused the spillage of 184 barrels of toxic fluid. In Pennsylvania last year, a spill of a quarter of a million gallons of toxic fluid led to local families being evacuated from their homes and to one company being heavily fined.

It is because this technology has not been proven safe that towns like Denton in Texas voted in a referendum last autumn to ban fracking, as did the State of Vermont in 2012,” he said. “Both Holland and Germany have implemented a moratorium on fracking and France has banned the technology. In these circumstances, we should have the power in the National Assembly for Wales to apply a similar moratorium without delay so that the communities threatened with fracking don’t find this being imposed on them without the dangers being known and so that the companies considering fracking are duly warned that they won’t have any automatic green light to wreak environmental and human havoc in Wales for their own greedy purposes.”

Dafydd Wigley added that the Assembly was closer to the people of Wales than is Whitehall and Westminster and that an indicative resolution in the Assembly last month had shown AMs on a cross-party basis supported a moratorium.

He warned, however, that until new powers are devolved to the Assembly, they won’t have the authority to implement a moratorium and that implementing a new Government of Wale Bill after the General Election will depend on UK parties being forced, by voters in Wales – as is happening in Scotland – to be forced to show a greater commitment to Wales than has been the case up to now.

Dafydd Wigley and Ben Foday with Penarth's 2016 National Assembly candidate, Dafydd Trystan (left)
The meeting was also addressed by Ben Foday, the Party of Wales/Plaid Cymru candidate for the Westminster election, who said that environmental issues were one of his key priorities.

He called for natural resources in Wales to be brought under Welsh control so that decisions could be made in future by the people who live in Wales and who have the interests of Wales at heart.

The meeting also heard from Coun Ian Johnson, the party’s candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, who has been actively campaigning against fracking in his constituency.

The speeches were followed by a wide-ranging discussion with topics including the challenges of climate change and the need to develop a suitable energy mix.

Plaid Cymru’s Adrian Roper, who chairs its Penarth Branch, welcomed the speakers and members of the audience to the meeting, which was chaired by Dafydd Trystan Davies, the National Chair of the party and its candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth in the Assembly elections next year.



One of Wales’ most respected politicians will be addressing a public meeting in Penarth this week to warn to the dangers of fracking and to give an update on the measures being taken to stop it here in Wales...

Dafydd Wigley

Plaid Cymru’s Dafydd Wigley, who is a former MP, Assembly Member and member of the House of Lords, will be addressing the meeting at the Windsor Arms on Friday (March 13) at 7.30pm.

The Party of Wales has been leading the campaign against fracking in Wales and has secured a commitment from the Welsh Government to do all it can to stop it.

Plaid MPs have also campaigned on the issue, and the Westminster Government has said it will devolve to enable the Welsh Government to impose a moratorium on fracking.

The issue is of particular concern in the Vale of Glamorgan, where planning permission has already been given for test drilling at three sites.

Dafydd Wigley said: “The fact that we will be getting control over fracking in Wales is a direct result of the lead taken by Plaid Cymru, both at Westminster and at the National Assembly.

We will now have the powers to for a total moratorium on fracking in Wales, but we must ensure this is delivered quickly so that no permissions are given before it’s in place.”
Friday’s meeting will be hosted by Party of Wales Cardiff South and Penarth parliamentary candidate, Ben Foday.

We oppose fracking because of the danger it poses to the environment, water and health,” he said.

“Plaid Cymru has led the debate in the Assembly and Westminster to prevent fracking in the Vale and the rest of Wales.

“I know people locally have strong feelings about fracking. Everyone is welcome to come to this meeting to debate the issue and discuss what can be done to stop it happening here in the Vale.”



John Davies 1938-2015 (Picture: Emyr Young)
Tributes have been pouring in from Wales and beyond to the great historian John Davies who sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 76. Dr Davies, who was responsible for writing the the definitive work on the story of the nation, Hanes Cymru (A History of Wales), was a hugely respected figure not only for his academic brilliance but also for his passion for the heritage and future potential of the country. Among those paying tribute last night was Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood...

 “John was one of our nation’s greatest historians and his contribution in telling the story of our nation has been immense.  Through his pioneering work, as well as his contribution to the national movement, he has also played a key role in shaping the story of our nation. John’s death is a huge loss to Wales.
An academic of the highest standard, John’s work in enabling us to share our history, has received deserved wide recognition.  We are richer for having had John share his talent, insight and wisdom with us.
Through his writing, John has given Wales to the world.  He will be remembered as someone who helped his nation understand and celebrate its past and in order to grow in its self-confidence.    
John was a wonderful story teller. I have fond personal memories too having spent many happy times in John’s company – reflecting on our shared passion for the Rhondda as well as our shared hopes for political progress. 
Following the result of the 1997 devolution referendum, John paraphrased the words of William Wordsworth and proclaimed, ‘bliss is it at this dawn to be alive’ to describe his joy at the result. Yet, for John this was just the beginning of the journey of modern Wales and I know that even in the last months of his life, he had great hope for the future of our country.
Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this sad time, but I hope they can take comfort in knowing that his contribution to Welsh life will see John’s work continue to inform, educate and inspire people in Wales for generations to come.”



Party leader calls on voters in Wales to give the nation a voice at the ballot box...

With a hundred days to go until the UK general election, the leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood is urging the people of Wales to back the party's campaign to make Wales matter in May and return the strongest ever group of Plaid Cymru MPs to Westminster.

Leanne Wood

Ms Wood, a National Assembly member for South Wales Central, which includes Penarth, said that with the election likely to result in a hung parliament and with Plaid Cymru among the anti-austerity parties likely to hold the balance of power, a vote for Plaid Cymru could deliver real change for the better for Wales.

She added that the first weeks of this year's election campaign had exposed the stark contrast between Plaid Cymru and the Westminster parties with Plaid fighting the Labour and Tory commitment to further cuts to public services while spending £100bn on a new generation of nuclear weapons.

"This is a crucial election for the people of Wales. With just a hundred days to go until polling day, I urge all the people of Wales to join Plaid Cymru's campaign to make Wales matter in May.” She said.

Ms Wood aslo drew attention to Plaid Cymru's record in the UK Parliament, saying: “When Plaid Cymru wins, Wales is strong. We have proved this with the fantastic track record of our MPs in Westminster, leading the way on pioneering legislation against stalking and domestic violence, opposing the Coalition's cruel welfare cuts, and fighting for fair funding for our nation.”

"In recent weeks the gulf between Plaid Cymru and the Westminster parties has grown.” She added.

She also highlighted the similarity between Labour and the Conservative party in promoting austerity and acting against the Welsh national interest, "During crucial votes on billions more cuts to our public services and renewing the wasted and outdated Trident nuclear weapons system, we saw Labour follow the Tories through the lobbies to vote against the Welsh national interest.”

"In stark contrast, Plaid Cymru’s vision is of world-class care for our patients, fair pay for our workers, strong support for our local economies.”

In a rallying call to the people of Wales, Ms Wood said that “on May 7th, only one party will have what's best for Wales at its heart. We must return the strongest ever group of Plaid Cymru MPs to the Commons to make sure our voice is heard and that our communities are protected from the continued pain of Westminster policies."



The Scottish referendum campaign has been described as a David and Goliath contest by Plaid Cymru's UK Parliament and National Assembly candidates for Penarth, Ben Foday and Dafydd Trystan Davies...

Ben Foday (left) and Dafydd Trystan Davies
They said the closeness of the result was remarkable, considering that the UK Government threw everything at Scotland in a bid to get a No result.

In a joint statement, Mr Foday and Dr Davies said: “The Yes campaign focussed on the remoteness of Westminster and how it has failed Scotland over the years. Regardless of the result, we hope this will act as a wake-up call to the people of Wales to realise that we have also had a rough deal from central government over the years.

The Yes campaign worked tirelessly with a positive and comprehensive case for an independent Scotland. On the doorstep and on street stalls they engaged with and inspired a whole generation.

"The No campaign relied on London-based politicians, backed by a motley crew of luvvies, sporting has-beens and ‘comedians’, by the BBC with its institutionalised bias in favour of the status quo and by an increasingly hysterical right-wing press.

We are delighted that so many Scots saw through their bribes, blackmail, fear-mongering and bully boy tactics and voted for independence.

Nothing will be the same again in British politics and we will be interested to see if the UK Government has any sops left over for Wales after it fulfils its commitment to throw at Scotland all the money it offered for a No vote.

We in Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, have already started setting out our ambitious plans for our nation to chart its own course.

We will be campaigning vigorously for the UK General Election next year and for our national election in 2016. It is up to those politicians who want to retain the status quo to outline their vision and plans for the future of Wales - if they have any.”