Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011 - Western Mail Letters - Letters to the editor - News - WalesOnline

Right to put election count off to next day

SIR – I am incredulous at the very public outcry from the political parties in Wales against Dr Mohammed Mehmet’s resolve to delay the count in North Wales until the morning (“Election process at risk ‘of chaos and confusion’ say party leaders”, April 20.

With so many votes occurring on the same day it is paramount to protect the welfare of staff involved in the count and also ensure that they are alert and enthused to enable the process to be carried out effectively.

I also agree with his reasoning that at this late stage, reorganising staffing would carry far greater implications than sensibly delaying the count until the morning and would question the purpose of such pressure being applied to change arrangements so close to the election.

The arguments put forward by the leaders of the four main parties reflect the egocentricity of the political class in Wales who are putting their own desires above those of the people who will be directly involved in the counting process.

Although they argue that postponing the count will affect coverage of the results, I cannot see how this is the case.

The people of Wales will be extremely interested in the outcome of the Assembly elections and will not, I am sure, be deterred from following the results despite them taking place at the same time as the AV referendum and results in other elections across the UK.

To demonstrate my support I have written to Dr Mehmet directly expressing my opinions.


Ukip MEP for Wales

Value of little schools

SIR – Francesca Pridding and her fellow members of FOTCOL (Friends of the Children of Llwyngwril) are to be praised for their struggle against the closure of Ysgol Llwyngwril in Gwynedd (“Bourne’s pledge to rural school facing closure”, April 14).

But there is one argument she has not used against the shut-down of the school.

Has anybody really thought about the nature of Llwyngwril School and other community schools throughout rural Wales and even rural Britain?

Yes, the answer is that they represent everything that other state schools in Wales and Britain yearn for.

For they have extremely low pupil-teacher ratio. Also these rural schools even have in some cases a 1:1 pupil-teacher ratio.

Thus, these rural schools like Llwyngwril School could give a far superior education to its students than that given to students in urban state schools.

This is because students in schools like Llwyngwril can specialise from an early age. They could give their precious time to a subject that really interests them and if need be served by visiting teachers with their own special knowledge.

It has been recognised that people who learn from an early age excel in occupations that are related to their early learning.

The British state education system has always suppressed specialised learning from an early age and even now only allows it at 16 years of age or even later at 18.

As she nears her 11th birthday the time has now come for a student to leave Llwyngwril. So what does she do next?

It depends on what she has learnt in the past eight years. She may not have learnt an academic subject and she may not fit into any present day educational system. It may be that the state education system would have set up a school to cater for these pupils from rural schools.

What she will not do is to join her fellow students in the state urban sector and study GCSEs for the next five years.

Students from the rural schools must operate in a different system than used by urban schools. They must never have to study GCSEs ever again. For there is hardly any specialisation in these GCSE courses. They show how the ruling class of this country deliberately sub-educates its citizens and makes them exam-possessed.

The study of these GCSEs for five years is a complete waste of time. For even if a student gains high marks he must admit to himself that he knows very little and forget nearly all that he has learnt from the course.

The present education system, because it does not allow special learning from an early age, mainly produces mediocrities. This need not always be so.

May Francesca Pridding and her fellow members of FOTCOL be successful in their battle against the closure of their school.

Let the community in Llwyngwril, Gwynedd, keep its rural school as part of its way of life and may the Welsh language flourish in this Welsh speaking community because Llwyngwril School is kept open.


Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Third-sector action

SIR – It was a pleasure to take part in the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)’s Assembly hustings event in Aberbargoed on April 6.

The event was attended by many third sector workers and volunteers who posed some important questions about the role of the sector in the next Welsh Government.

Some of the key issues raised were: the need for front line workers and volunteers to have a greater ability to influence decision making at a strategic level; for people with disabilities or a history of special educational needs to be better supported when wishing to become parents; and a call for a more integrated funding network across local authority boundaries for advocacy groups.

Some participants also expressed their disappointment at the ending by the Conservatives of Labour’s Future Jobs Fund which had brought young people into work in the third sector.

We also discussed the difficulties in encouraging participation in some voluntary activities and there was an opportunity to share ideas at the end. I am a Labour candidate because my party is committed to the third sector. Our Assembly Members will support the next Welsh Labour Government in addressing these issues.


Labour Assembly Candidate for South East Wales

Realise kids dreams

SIR – Rays of Sunshine children’s charity grants wishes for seriously ill children in the UK aged 3-18.

Wishes are referred to us by all major children’s hospitals across the country.

In May we will be launching the Sunshine Breakfast Club (May 16-22). The idea is easy – people just need to download a Sunshine Breakfast Pack – available now from and invite friends, class mates or colleagues for breakfast in return for donations. It’s a simple way to help us spread smiles and sunshine to the most deserving kids in the UK.

Wishes can be as unique as the children themselves. Whether a child wants to be a fireman or princess for the day, have a shopping makeover, own a laptop (to keep busy during their time in hospital), go on holiday with their family to Disneyworld, Florida, or even meet their favourite celebrity, Rays of Sunshine works hard to turn that wish into a reality.

There are currently around 20,000 children in the UK living with a serious or life limiting illness. Every day of the year we grant a wish for one of these children. This year we hope to make the dreams of 500 children come true, but it won’t happen without the help of your readers. If 100 readers would hold a Sunshine Breakfast they might just raise enough money to send ten families to Disneyworld and create memories they will never forget.

Once a child has been granted a wish they become a lifelong member of the Rays of Sunshine family. This means they get to enjoy special events and days out during the year. The charity receives no funding and these events can only take place with the support of the public.

With your readers help we know we can create more seriously fun wishes for seriously ill children. Sunshine Breakfast Packs are available now from:


Chief Executive Officer, Rays of Sunshine

Costing our culture

SIR – To imply that the Welsh language is a cost (Letters, April 16) is to put a commercial value on a nation’s culture – no one thinks that the English language is a “cost” in England or in any other country.

To say that there are people in Wales disenfranchised because of the Welsh language is a perversion from the reality that all the Welsh speaking people are disenfranchised because of the English language legislation – no English, no jobs and the practical possibility of no survival.

To bandy about the majority/ minority figures to influence a policy of ethnocide against the Welsh language and culture is a crime against humanity (UN).

To do away with the Welsh place names, Welsh literature and the Welsh Language would be another form of genocide – the use of psychological warfare instead of physical warfare is not an option in international law.

To use the threat of a “backlash” by those who have been brainwashed that there is a “master race” in Britain who may also think that they have the right to decide the fate of Wales, the Welsh and their language and culture is a perversion of humanity and an insult to civilisation


Penygroes, Gwynedd

Century-old quest

SIR – I believed my dad Herbert Greenwood was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, but I have just found out he was born in Taibach, Port Talbot, in 1911.

The 1911 census shows his uncle William Greenwood born 1876 Pontypridd and his wife Odessa (née Bourne) born Liswerry 1880 and children also living in Park Street, Taibach.

William and Odessa and four of their children went to Canada. These children were Lillian and husband William, William Junior, Ivor and Allan.

I would like to make contact with the following branch of my family: Henry Greenwood born 1904, Mary born 1905, William born 1907 Llandaff, William Junior born 1908, Norah Kathleen born 1910, Rebecca born 1911, Margaret born 1913, Ivor Noel born 1916 and Allan Stanley born 1921 in Taibach, Port Talbot.

Please would anyone with information phone me on 029 2084 3563.


Radyr, Cardiff