Wednesday, 30 May 2012

"Send Cameron a message" - Labour cuddle up to Tories in Wrecsam

Remember the Labour slogan before the council election? "Send Cameron a message" they urged. Voters once again believed that voting Labour would mean defeating the Tories, regardless of whether there was a Tory standing in any particular ward.

Imagine how those anti-Tory voters are going to feel when they find out that Labour's group on Wrecsam Council has stuck up two fingers to the electorate and done a deal with the Tories that gives them a Lead Member portfolio in return for "an understanding" on key votes.

This deal was struck, it seems, because Labour didn't want to be totally at the mercy of their coalition partners, the Democratic Independent Group.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Lies, damned lies and Labour spin (Part 2)

Following on from the blog responding to Carl Sargeant's and Welsh Government's totally misleading Press release on Train Services in North Wales, I have sent the following letters to the Daily Post and the Leader:

Daily Post
Dear Editor,

Your report , "Wrexham and Flint express service," Post, May 25th, paints a rather inaccurate picture of what the reality of train services in North Wales is. This development does not enhance services in any shape or form; in fact it is a backward step where Holyhead to Cardiff services are being reduced from two services a day to one. Also misleading is the Minister's claim that the new service will stop in Wrexham, when in fact the Holyhead to Cardiff service has stopped in Wrexham since March 2011.

The Welsh Government's press release on this cut to services is pure spin released in the hope that the people of North Wales would be absorbed by the Jubilee and the Olympic Flame not to notice this blatant manipulation of the news.

The Leader

Dear Editor,

Your headline, "At last! Cardiff service to stop in Wrexham" on the front page of the Leader on May 25th, is frankly wrong! The Holyhead to Cardiff train has stopped in Wrexham since March 2011. You then compound your error by describing on Page 6, what is a cut in service as an improvement. In fact the £500,000 saving is being made by reducing the Holyhead to Cardiff service from twice daily to one service a day.

Perhaps the media in Wales should reconsider their stance that everything the Welsh Government pumps out is not in fact accurate, they are as capable of spinning bad news as their colleagues in Downing Street are.

Both papers unquestioningly churned out a copy and paste of the press release from Welsh Government, we deserve a better, more inquisitive journalism than this.

We shall see if the papers actually publish these critical letters; personally I think not which is why I've decided to publish them on the blog.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Lies, damned lies and Labour spin

There are times when Labour's lies take your breath away. 

The announcement to halve the number of direct trains between North and South Wales was a case in point. It was spun by the highly paid spin doctors in the Welsh Government as an "enhancement", when any fool could see it was a reduction from two direct services to one per day.
 Perhaps more seriously, journalists at the Daily Post and Leader were reduced to churnalism - turning out the Government press release as a story without fully checking the facts and getting a counter view.
 Such is the pressure local journalists are working against.
 Plaid Cymru’s regional AM Llyr Gruffydd summed up the absurdity of cutting a service that has proved valuable and popular: 
“The decision by the Labour government to halve the North-South service is nothing short of a betrayal of north Wales.  After all the hard work of Plaid Cymru in government to improve rail connections across Wales, Labour is clearly determined to downgrade provision for some areas – especially north Wales.  This is a typically short-termist approach which will impact heavily on the economy of these areas.  It will also force more people to use roads rather than more sustainable forms of transport.“The decision itself was bad enough, but to see the Government try to spin to justify the decision and claim the service is ‘enhanced’  is nothing short of a cynical propaganda strategy more suited to a banana republic. The decision to extend the existing service to Wrexham was made in March 2011 under the One Wales government and a Plaid transport minister. To dress up this halving of the service as an improvement would make even Alistair Campbell blush. Could the minister tell us how halving the service is an improvement for the people of this area?”

Thursday, 24 May 2012

New cooperative venture

Tonight saw 80 people gather at Minera school to discuss plans to purchase and re-open the historic Ty'n y Capel inn in the village.
 The meeting heard that the committee has already raised £45,000 of the £100,000 target and has two further offers of £20,000 in the pipeline.
 Speakers included committee members Gale Taylor and Christine Grant as well as Tom Taylor from Wrecsam Council and Mike Williams from the Wales Cooperative Centre. I spoke about the Saith Seren "experience" which, although very different from the kind of village pub cooperative, has provided encouragement and practical help for the Minera volunteers.
 The major stumbling block is that the current owner wants a change of use for the building to enable it to be sold for housing or other commercial use. Wrecsam council's planning committee successfully resisted this last year, a move upheld by the planning inspector, but there is a danger that he will attempt to try this again in the autumn.
 Let's hope the Ty'n y Capel is re-opened as a community cooperative and the pub soon returns to being the village hub.

Not Welsh, just British - welcome to Olymperialism

Back in 2005, the then Welsh Secretary Peter Hain had this to say about the Olympics coming to London in 2012: 
The 2012 London Olympics is a perfect platform to "sell" Wales to the world, says Welsh Secretary Peter Hain.

Athletes are set to use Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, Newport's velodrome and Swansea's 50m swimming pool. It is predicted that many conferences and pre-games training camps will also be based here.

"This promises a huge financial boost with competitors and visitors from around the world basing themselves in Wales," Mr Hain said.

His comments followed scenes of celebration in London after it was announced as the winning bid by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

Speaking soon after, Mr Hain added: "We have our own distinct, proud identity - culturally, socially, economically and geographically - and the Games will provide the perfect platform to sell Wales overseas."
 The reality is that any distinct identity is being snuffed out by the Olympic imperialism, with the goons accompanying the Torch grabbing a Cornish flag from one runner (see picture above).

 Far from "selling Wales", the Welsh Government's official 2012 website features no Welsh flag or any attempt to promote Wales. There are even rumours, from the normally reliable Vaughan Roderick, that the London Olympic Organising Committee wants to ban the use of the Welsh flags from the Millenium Stadium for the opening football events.

 Anyone recall the synthetic anger of the London media during the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the Chinese authorities banning flags from smaller nations?
"Draconian rules imposed by the Chinese authorities mean that flags of any non-competing nation are likely to be confiscated from fans, who could be barred from venues if they refuse to comply. Athletes could even be disqualified from competing if they break the rules."


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wrecsam's New Council.

Tonight saw the first meeting of Wrecsam Council since the elections on the 3rd May. There were no real surprises with Neil Rogers the leader of the 23 strong Labour Group elected Leader and Mark Pritchard, leader of the 9 strong Democratic Independents was elected Deputy Leader.

The politically balanced Executive Board will consist of 10 members, seven of whom are part of the Labour led coalition and who hold Lead Member portfolios. The remaining 3 are from the two opposition groups, Wrexham Independents and the Liberal Democrats (incidentally and even though I am still a Plaid Cymru Councillor I accepted an invitation to join the Wrexham Independents so as to maximise my influence for the benefit of the people of Gwersyllt West).

The portfolio holders are:

Cllr Neil Rogers (Labour) - Economy, Prosperity and Corporate Leadership.
Cllr Michael Williams (Labour) - Education.
Cllr Malcolm King (Labour) - Finance.
Cllr David Griffiths (Labour) - Social Services.
Cllr Mark Pritchard (Democratic Independents) - Housing and Planning.
Cllr Bob Dutton (Democratic Independents) - Environment and Transport.
Cllr Hugh Jones (Conservatives) - Crime and Disorder.

There are 5 Scrutiny Committees broadly broken down to People (Social Services and Education), Places (Housing, Environment and Transport), Economy (Business and Prosperity), Resources (Finance and Performance) and Partnerships. There are also two regulatory committees Planning and Licensing and the two new committees created by the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, Audit and Democratic Services Committee.

The most interesting development of the night was the undertaking  from the Leader of the Council to the effect that his group would forfeit the increase in salary provided for by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales. What the effect of this is that the 4 Labour Lead Members will donate the difference between the existing senior salary (approx £19,000) and the one recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel which is £9,000 more at £28,000, to charity!

The other two groups in the ruling coalition gave no such undertaking in respect of their senior salary increases.

It will be interesting as to how this will pan out and how much public interest there will be in senior salaries and salary increases in general, quite a bit i would think.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Parliamentary Ombudsman.

We in Wales are somewhat fortunate that we have our own Public Service Ombudsman with an user friendly web site and idiot proof instructions and you can submit your complaint electronically; pretty simple all things considered.

Imagine my horror when I was asked by a constituent to assist in making a complaint of maladministration against HM Courts and Tribunals Service (I'll get on to the maladministration later). Several Google searches later I arrived at the web pages of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and following a few more hoops I got to the complaint form...looked for the electronic version and found nothing. There were only 2 ways of making a complaint, printing a form off in PDF or printing off a form in Word. The next hoop was printed on the front page of the complaint form, "Once you have completed this complaint form, it must be signed by a Member of Parliament who will send it to the Parliamentary Ombudsman."

Basically the Ombudsman WILL NOT even look at a complaint unless your local MP requests it, now what sort of right to have a grievance heard is that? Whatever you say about our fledgling democracy in Wales its a damn sight nearer to the people with a right to take their grievances straight to the ombudsman without some sort of flawed filtering or intervention.

Now to get back to the maladministration and it is a cracker. The Courts and Tribunals Service hear appeals from those people who have been unfortunate enough to go up against the the Department of Work and Pensions medical assessment and who inevitably have lost out as a result of that traumatic experience. It is not however the end of the road for people, there are two appeals with the last appeal to the Upper Tribunal of the service. When my constituent wanted to appeal to the Upper Tribunal in Cardiff the papers were sent in a pre-paid HM Courts and Tribunal Service envelope at the beginning of February 2012, only to be returned unopened to her at the end of April 2012, because the Post office had refused to deliver it because insufficient postage had been paid. A complaint to the Tribunals Service did elicit a low level begrudging apology  and a promise the appeal would be lodged with the Upper Tribunal. Personally I don't think that is good enough, peoples' lives are being severly affected by the flawed decision of Medical Assessments and the minimum we should expect is that the appeals process is properly administered.

We shall wait and see whether our esteemed Member of Parliament will support the complaints and ask the Ombudsman to investigate.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Opportunistic publicity stunt?

Spot the difference:

On Thursday, Andy Richards, the leader of one of Wales’ largest unions, hit out at Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood’s moves to court Welsh trade unions in a so called ‘alliance of progressives’ as “an opportunistic publicity stunt.”

On Tuesday, Andy Richards will address a Morning Star fringe meeting on 'Resisting the Cuts and Mobilising around the Peoples Charter' at the Wales TUC in Llandudno.

For consistency's sake, we expect him to denounce the meeting as an opportunistic publicity stunt.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Spot the benefit cheats

The company put in charge of getting claimants off benefits and into work has had its contract ended because of "erroneous" claims and "significant weaknesses in its internal controls". A4e is also subject to a police investigation into fraud allegations with eight people so far arrested.
 Let's hope none of them end up having to sign on as a result...

 And before anyone forgets, A4e got its feet under the table with welfare-to-work contracts in 2001 under a Labour government.

This is from the BBC:

Ministers end A4e contract for welfare-to-work scheme
A4e handles government contracts worth millions of pounds for welfare-to-work schemes
The government has ended a contract with welfare-to-work company A4e after deciding that continuing would be "too great a risk", it has said.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said the Mandatory Work Activity contract to help up to 1,000 jobless people in south-east England find work would end.
The firm is the subject of a police investigation into allegations of fraud relating to government schemes.
An eighth person was arrested on Monday.
Seven others are on bail until dates in late May, June and July.
As part of its work, A4e handles government contracts worth millions of pounds for welfare-to-work schemes.
Mandatory Work Activity was launched by the government in May 2010. More than 24,000 people have been through the programme, which involves a four-week placement including maintenance work on houses, renovating furniture or supporting charities.
The scheme is aimed at getting people into a working routine if they need an additional "push" to find a job.
The Department for Work and Pensions has been auditing its commercial relationships with A4e after receiving an allegation against the company earlier this year.
Mr Grayling said: "While the team found no evidence of fraud, it identified significant weaknesses in A4e's internal controls on the Mandatory Work Activity contract in the South East.
"The documentation supporting payments was seriously inadequate, and in a small number the claim was erroneous. There was also a high incidence of non-compliance with other relevant guidance (including A4e's own processes).
"The process established prior to March fell significantly short of our expectations. As a result, the department has concluded that continuing with this contract presents too great a risk and we have terminated the Mandatory Work Activity contract with A4e for the South East."
Mr Grayling added that "contingency plans" were in place to ensure "continuity of support for participants".
But the company welcomed the "positive findings" of the Department for Work and Pensions' audit, and another by the Skills Funding Agency, saying: "Both confirmed they identified no evidence of fraud, systemic, attempted or otherwise, in relation to any audit completed of the contracts they hold with A4e."
Chief executive Andrew Dutton said: "These findings demonstrate what I have always maintained to be true - that there is no place for fraud at A4e and make it clear that A4e has strong controls around its flagship contract the Work Programme.
"Our immediate task is to further enhance our controls to cement our position as a trusted provider of front-line public services."

Monday, 14 May 2012

Addysg Gymraeg.

Braf iawn oedd clywed gan y Gweinidog Addysg, Leighton Andrews ei fod wedi  cymeradwyo y cynnig  i sefydlu Ysgol Gymraeg newydd yng Ngwersyllt. Dim ond un rhwystr sydd ar ol 'rwan sef y cais cynllunio llawn ar y 11ed o Fehefin 2012, a gobeithio na fydd hwnnw yn fawr o rwystr gan fod yr egwyddor o Ysgol Gymraeg ar y safle yma wedi sefydlu gyda'r caniatad cynllunio amlinellol. Siawns na fydd yr ysgol newydd yn agor ei drysau ym mis Medi 2013.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Unionism before Social Values.

It is interesting to see how Scottish Labour put the importance of Unionism above their party's social and economic values by giving the Scottish Tories far more power than their vote deserved.

Scottish Labour have cast aside their committment to the social values of their core voters by sharing power with the Tories in many councils in Scotland despite the SNP having the greatest number of seats on councils.

The interests of the Union are more important to Labour and the Tories than the economic interests of the people of Scotland.

To see the same thing happening in Wales, just go to Carmarthenshire, the only difference there is that the Tories are disguised as Independents.

Vote Labour, get Tories! The message that Carwyn Jones should have sent to Cameron was, "Were with you all the way."

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Yr Arglwydd Raglaw a'r Iaith Gymraeg.

Derbynies wahoddiad rai wythnosau yn ôl i Gadeirlan Llanelwy i ddathlu jiwbilî'r Frenhines yng nghwmni Arglwydd Raglaw Clwyd Trevor Jones. Gwahoddiad uniaith Saesneg yn unig oedd o ac mi gwynais yn syth i'r Arglwydd Raglaw ei hun (ddim ymateb) ac i Gyngor Sir y Fflint gam maen nhw sydd yn darparu cefnogaeth weinyddol i'r Arglwydd Raglaw. Ymateb Cyngor Sir y Fflint oedd  bod ddim angen iddynt ddarparu gweinyddiaeth yr Arglwydd Raglaw yn Gymraeg gan nad oedd yn rhan o waith y Cyngor ac felly doedd Deddf yr Iaith neu'r Mesur (pryn bynnag) ddim yn berthnasol.

Gan fy mod yn anhapus ag ymateb y Cyngor Sir, cwynais i'r Comisiynydd Iaith ac mae'r Comisiynydd wedi gofyn am farn gyfreithiol os oes angen i Gynghorau Sir sydd yn darparu gwasanaeth gweinyddol i'r Arglwydd Raglaw (ac Uchel Siryf mae'n debyg) gydymffurfio a Chynllun Iaith Cyngor Sir y Fflint.

Gawn ni weld faint o ddannedd sydd gan y Comisiynydd yn fuan!

Assembly Scrutiny.

The Assembly's Children and Young People Committee are to be congratulated on their comprehensive report into the implementation of the Learning and Skills (Wales) Measure 2009. The aim of this piece of legislation was to :
ensure that all 14-19 learners have a Learning Pathway framework which aims to help them achieve their potential. Learning Pathways are the learning experiences of each individual learner and involve developing an entitlement for each learner. Learning Pathways include a balance of formal learning, wider choice, flexibility and a Learning Core 14-19, together with a blend of support to meet learners‟ needs.
The Committee found that the Measure had extended the choice of courses available for students but also found that there were a number of difficulties in providing 30 courses including 5 vocational courses especially in rural schools with sixth forms who had to collaborate and that a lot of time was spent travelling between venues which was neither popular amongst students or providers. By providing so many courses the attendance at some was so small as to question their viability. There was also a question mark over Welsh courses and the distance between Welsh Schools and also the ability to provide such an extensive curriculum.

This Measure has provided many challenges in Wrecsam, as in other authorities, with six forms at both Penley and Rhiwabon under threat by the need to offer more choice and collaboration as well as additional cost and structural difficulties of transporting students between 3 different venues within the county

In view of the threat to good performing schools with Sixth Forms, the first recommendation of the committee report is particularly welcoming:
The Minister for Education and Skills should review the decision to set 30 courses (including five vocational courses) as the minimum number of courses of study necessary to form a local curriculum at Key Stage 4. As part of his review, the Minister should evaluate any unintended consequences of the wider choice of courses; the balance between academic and vocational courses and the impact on smaller and rural schools.
I very much hope the Minister takes on board the recommendations of the Committee and reduce the choice of courses available to ensure viability of providers.

Increased choice does not ensure quality provision or better standards; should we not seek to teach less courses but to teach them better?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Caia Park Community Council

Congratulations to Councillor Marc Jones, Plaid Cymru on being elected Chairman of Caia Park Community Council tonight.

Despite losing their Caia Park seats both Carrie Harper and Marc Jones are determined to continue to represent the people of Caia Park.

The fight back begins here.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Rape of the Fair Country.

It was 1959 when Alexander Cordell wrote the first of his trilogy about iron making in Blaenafon, two centuries later the millionaire descendants of those iron masters are still at it, scarring the Welsh landscape with inefficient wind turbine monstrosities. The decsion today by Charles Hendry to grant planning permission for 76 massive wind turbines above the village of Glyncorrwg was disappointing and further evidence that Westminster takes scant regard of the views of the people of Wales.

Let's be in no doubt about it, this decision is 'exploitation' at its worst, Wales and Scotland are having their landscapes scarred to produce electricity in a most inefficient way and then transported hundreds of miles for end users. The land area of Wales is 8,019 square miles whilst the land area of England is nearly 50,000 square miles. England is six times more than Wales but Wales has half the wind turbine Megawatt capacity (438MW) of England (980MW). The situation in Scotland is much worst; where the land area is 30,000 square miles but has 3 times as much Wind Power capacity (2,813MW) as England. The situation with Offshore turbines is reversed where Wales has 150MW capacity, Scotland 190MW and England has a whopping 1,150MW wind producing capacity. I don't suppose this has anything to do with protecting England's green and pleasant land has it?

So we know how much capacity we have but how much electricity does that capacity generate? The total UK capacity in 2011, was 6470MW which produced 15,525GWh (Giga Watt Hours) per annum, which is 2.4 GWh per MW capacity. In 2011, this varied between the 3 countries, in England and Wales it was 2.5GWh whilst in Scotland it was 2.3GWh, it might not look a lot but it actually equates to 647,000 houses with solar panels generating electricity for 12 months (Based on 2MWh per house per annum).

The DECC (Dept of Climate Change) Statistics page kindly provides us with capacity and generation data for offshore and onshore for the last 5 years but on an UK level and not constituent countries. The data shows how unreliable and insecure wind power generation is. For example in 2010, 1 MW capacity onshore generated 1.76 GWh of electricity whilst offshore produced 2.27GWh. It is fair to say that in some years onshore installations has generated more electricity than offshore turbines but in the last 3 years offshore has out generated onshore wind turbines. What arguments there are for wind power is for offshore wind and not onshore

It is accepted that wind turbines only operate for 23% of the time and produce on average 2GWh, whilst a  1MW capacity 'traditional' power plant (including nuclear) operating at 100% will produce 8.76GWh per annum.

The evidence produced here is hardly a ringing endorsement for wind power and its time our representatives in Cardiff started to wake up and realise the dangers of covering our landscapes with turbines which dwarf Nelson's Column.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Etholiadau Cyngor Sir Wrecsam 2012.

Dyma chydig o sylwadau bur ar etholiadau Cyngor Sir Wrecsam 2012 , ward wrth ward:
Y frwydr arferol rhwng Llafur a'r Rh Dem gyda'r deiliad Llafur Geoff Lowe yn dal y sedd yn hawdd gyda 80% o'r bleidlais, ar bleidlais Rh Dem yn chwalu'n llwyr, lawr o 46% yn 2008 i 20% yn 2012.
Dyma un o'r pedair sedd y llwyddodd y Rh Dem ei chadw yn Wrecsam gyda'r Cynghorydd hynaws a phoblogaidd Jim Kelly yn cadw ei sedd hefo mwyafrif mawr dros y Ceidwadwyr a Llafur.
Dyma un o pum sedd y Ceidwadwyr yn Wrecsam, ardal wledig, gyfoethog yn cynnwys Bangor is y Coed; ddim siawns o sioc lle cafodd Rodney Skelland ei ail ethol yn hawdd, ond hefo pleidlais tipyn llai am i Lafur sefyll a chymeryd chwarter y pleidleisiau.
Enillodd y Ceidwadwr ifanc Paul Rogers y sedd yma oddiwrth y Cynghorydd Annibynnol Mike Shone yn 2008. Tipyn o sioc oedd gweld Tori yn cynrychioli hen ardal ddiwydiannol fel Brymbo. Yn 2012 enillodd Paul hefo 60% o'r bleidlais eto yn erbyn Mike Shone oedd erbyn rŵan yn sefyll o dan faner Llafur. Dyma un o'r canlyniadau a aeth yn erbyn y lli Llafur. Y gystadleuaeth yma fwy i neud hefo personoliaethau a digwyddiadau lleol na gwleidyddiaeth genedlaethol.
Bryn Cefn
Sioc yn 2008 oedd i'r Rh Dem, Simon Mayers ennill y sedd yma oddi ar Lafur, ymgeisydd ar bapur yn unig oedd Simon a heb fod yn ryw weledig iawn ers hynny. Doedd hi felly ddim yn sioc fod y sedd yma wedi mynd yn ôl i Lafur hefo Simon yn dod i mewn yn drydydd tu ôl i'r Tori. Cwympodd canran y Rh Dem i lawr o 52% i 27. Cyfuniad o ffactorau lleol a chenedlaethol yma
Enillodd y Rh Dem, Phil Wynn y sedd yma oddi ar Lafur yn 2008, erbyn 2012 roedd Phil wedi gadael y Rh Dem ac yn sefyll ar ei liwt ei hun. Cadwodd y sedd ond cynyddodd y bleidlais Lafur. Dim ond dau oedd yn sefyll yn hon un o wardiau mwyaf y dref sydd yn cynnwys yr ysbyty ac ardal o gwmpas y Cae Ras.
Dyma un o wardiau dosbarth gweithiol Parc Caia yn cael ei dal yn hawdd gan un o Gynghorwyr ward mwyaf  effeithiol y Cyngor Sir, Ronnie Prince a ddaliodd y sedd  yn erbyn ymgais wan gan Lafur. Mae hon yn un o wardiau mwyaf diogel i'r deiliad. Syndod fod 'na wrthwynebiad i ddeud gwir.
Ward dwy sedd yn cynnwys pentrefi Cefn Mawr, Acrefair a Rhosymedre. Etholwyd Warren Coleman (Llafur) a Howard Moysen (Ann) yn hawdd yn 2008, ond roedd Coleman yn ymddeol yn 2012. Methodd Llafur i gael dau ymgeisydd i sefyll yn 2012. Collodd Moysen ei sedd ond etholwyd un Llafur ac un Annibynnol ond roedd yr etholiad yma yn golled i Lafur gan fod Moysen yn ochri a Llafur ar y Cyngor Sir.
Dyffryn Ceiriog.
Dyma ward mwyaf Cymreig Sir Wrecsam ond cael ei dal gan y Cynghorydd Annibynnol Barbara Roberts ers nifer o flynyddoedd. Yn arferol cystadleuaeth rhwng Barbara ac Eric Evans ar ran Plaid Cymru gyda Barbara yn ennill yn hawdd ac Eric hefo pleidlais grai o tua 200. Yn 2012 roedd chwe ymgeisydd yn sefyll yn cynnwys Eric a Barbara. Enillodd Barbara o 36 pleidlais allan o 831 i gyd; gyda'r ymgeisydd Annibynnol lleol Hugh Jordan yn dod o fewn tafliad carreg o ennill; cwympodd pleidlais Eric o 196 i 50. Amgylchiadau lleol a dim arall oedd yr unig ddylanwad ar yr etholiad yma.
Gogledd y Waun a De y Waun.
Nai ddelio hefo'r ddwy ward yma hefo'i gilydd, dwy ward ar y ffin lle'r oedd tipyn o ddrwgdeimlad rhwng yr ymgeiswyr Llafur ar ddau ddeiliad Annibynnol, Terry Evans ar Maer, Ian Roberts. Enillodd Terry ag Ian yn hawdd. Mwy o ddylanwadau lleol yn effeithio ar y canlyniad yma sef y prif reswm dros fethiant Llafur i ennill tir.
Dyma yn o'r cystadlaethau mwyaf diddorol yn y sir gyda dau ymgeisydd Plaid Cymru yn mynd am y ddwy sedd yn y ward yma a chwe ymgeisydd arall yn cynnwys Mike Whitby (BNP) ar ddau ddeiliad Mark Davies arweinydd un o'r grwpiau annibynnol a Gareth Griffiths, Llafur a chyn ŵr Lesley Griffiths. Collodd Mark Davies ei sedd i Lafur ond derbyniodd Nia Lloyd a Mike Harper bleidlais gref o dros 200 o bleidleisiau i ddod yn bedwerydd a phumed. Daeth Whitby o flaen y Tori ond hefo 150 yn llai o bleidleisiau nag yn 2008.
Dyma sedd y cyn ddirprwy arweinydd a Phrif Weithredwr yr hen Gyngor Wrecsam Maelor, Bob Dutton. Mae Bob yn un o'r Cynghorwyr mwyaf profiadol ar y Cyngor ac yn arferol yn ennill yn hawdd. Tro yma roedd ganddo wrthwynebiad am y tro cyntaf gan Teri Birch ar ran Plaid Cymru ag hefyd Rh Dem a Thori. Enillodd Bob ond roedd ei bleidlais i lawr o dros 400 i dan 200. Derbyniodd Teri dros 20% o'r bleidlais.
Ddim etholiad - Cynghorydd Annibynnol Mark Pritchard wedi ei ethol yn ddiwrthwynebiad.
Garden Village.
Buddugoliaeth fwyaf Llafur gan ddisodli Gerry Craddock (Rh Dem) ac aelod o Awdurdod Heddlu Gogledd Cymru. Enillodd Gerry yn 2008 gyda 74% o'r bleidlais. Derbyniodd 14% yn 2012. Mae rhaid bod hon yn grasfa fwyaf mae Cynghorydd wedi ei gael, ac mae rhesymau yn gyfuniad o gael ymgeisydd gweithgar Llafur ar sefyllfa genedlaethol.
Gorllewin a Dwyrain Gresffordd.
Colled arall i'r Rh Dem wrth i Beryl Blackmore golli'r sedd enillodd hi oddi ar Lafur yn 2008, Andrew Bailey yn ennill y sedd yn ôl i Lafur hefo tair pleidlais. Y gogwydd cenedlaethol i Lafur yn gyfrifol am y golled yma.
Colled arall i'r Rh Dem sef colli y sedd yma i Lafur. Y tro yma Gwyneth Roberts y Dirprwy Faeres yn colli o dipyn. Julie Bomber ymgeisydd Plaid Cymru yn dod yn drydydd. Dyma un or ychydig wardiau lle roedd y tri ymgeisydd yn byw ar y ward. Gogwydd cenedlaethol eto yn gyfrifol am y golled yma.
Sedd yr arweinydd Llafur, Neil Rogers a enillodd eto o 348 i 27 o bleidleisiau i'r ymgeisydd Rh Dem. Neil yn arfer ennill yn hawdd pan mae gogwydd hyd yn oed yn erbyn Llafur.
Dwyrain a De Gwersyllt.
Dwy sedd yma yn cael ei dal gan Lafur er ymdrech gref gan ymgeisydd Rh Dem gweithgar ac uchel ei barch Rob Walsh. Ted George wedi ymddeol y tro yma a Bernie McCann wedi ei ethol yn ei le. Y Cynghorydd arall yn y ward yma yw David Griffiths sydd yn fwy enwog am arwain y gwrthwynebiad dros ysgol Gymraeg yng Ngwersyllt na dim byd positif.
Gogledd Gwersyllt.
Gwenfair Jones yn ymgeisio dros Blaid Cymru am y tro cyntaf yn y ward yma yn erbyn y deiliad Llafur a dirprwy arweinydd Llafur ar y Cyngor Sir, Michael Williams, er ymgyrch drylwyr doedd hi ddim i fod, Llafur yn ennill o 430 i 164.
Gorllewin Gwersyllt.
A dyma fi yn amddiffyn y sedd dros Blaid Cymru, er ymdrech fawr gan Lafur i adennill y sedd, methiant oedd ei hymdrechion a chadw'r sedd gyda chynnydd yn y bleidlais a chynnydd yn y mwyafrif. Canlyniad oedd 515 i 294.
Sedd annibynnol y cymeriad George James sydd wedi bod yn wael yn y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, Llafur yn cipio'r sedd. Dyma sedd arall oedd yn cael ei chystadlu gan Blaid Cymru ond canlyniad ddigon siomedig.
Sedd Geidwadol arall gyda Mike Morris, Cynghorydd effeithiol a phrofiadol yn cadw'r sedd yn hawdd gyda'r bleidlais Rh De yn chwalu'n llwyr.
Ddim etholiad, David A Bithell wedi ei ethol yn ddi-wrthwynebiad.
Little Acton.
Dyma sioc fwyaf Wrecsam, sef Ron Davies, arweinydd y Cyngor yn colli ei sedd i Bill Baldwin ymgeisydd Annibynnol (cyn ymgeisydd Ceidwadol) o 9 o bleidleisiau. Ddim yn siŵr am y rhesymau yma ond doedd Ron ddim wedi mwynhau tymor arweinyddiaeth lwyddiannus na phoblogaidd ac wrth gwrs y gogwydd yn erbyn y Rh Dem ddim wedi helpu.
Llangollen Wledig.
Dim etholiad, Pat Jeffares wedi ei ethol yn ddi-wrthwynebiad.
Y ddau Gynghorydd Annibynnol, Peter Davies a Malcolm Williams yn colli ei seddi i ddau Lafur mewn gogwydd anferth tuag at Lafur, pleidlais leol yn ymwneud a phroblemau trafnidiaeth ysgol.
Y Cynghorydd Rh Dem poblogaidd a gweithgar Carole O'Toole yn cadw ei sedd ond hefo mwyafrif tipyn llai.
John Pritchard, Annibynnol yn cadw y sedd yn hawdd yn erbyn y Ceidwadwyr.
Mike Edwards, Rh Dem yn cynyddu ei fwyafrif o un i gadw'r sedd yn hawdd, yr unig Rh Dem i gynyddu ei bleidlais. Ddim eglurhad i'r canlyniad yma, cwbl groes i'r graen i bopeth arall.
Dave Kelly, Annibynnol wedi cadw'r sedd yn hawdd gyda chynnydd yn y bleidlais a chynnydd yn y bleidlais Lafur. Collodd Llafur y sedd yma yn 2008.
New Broughton
Alan Edwards, Annibynnol yn cadw'r sedd on hefo gostyngiad mawr yn ei bleidlais a hefyd y mwyafrif, pleidlais gref arall i Lafur ond 78 yn fyr allan o 700.
Alun Jenkins, (Rh Dem), sef Cynghorydd mwyaf profiadol Wrecsam a etholwyd gyntaf yn 1971 yn cadw'r sedd drefol yma er ymdrech gan y Ceidwadwyr a Llafur i'w ddisodli. Ward hefo nifer fawr o Bwyliad yn byw ynddi ac ymgeisydd Pwylaidd yn sefyll dros y Toris ond methiant oedd ymdrech Piotr Lipka.
Lloyd Kenyon y Tori yn cadw'r sedd yn hawdd er i'w bleidlais gwympo treian, pleidlais y Rh Dem yn dal i fyny yn rhyfeddol o dda.
Dyma ward y diweddar Arwel Gwynne Jones, felly tri ymgeisydd er bod yr ymgeisydd Llafur, Stella Matthews wedi bod yn gynghorydd dros y ward o'r blaen cyn cael ei churo gan Arwel. Mae hi hefyd wedi ymgeisio am y sedd sawl tro o'r blaen ond methu fy ei hanes. Ymgeisydd lleol poblogaidd Mark Owen yn cipio'r sedd, hefo cyn Llafurwr ond nawr yn annibynnol, Alwyn Humphreys yn dod i mewn yn drydydd gwael.
Dyma'r unig sedd i Lafur golli yn Wrecsam, ymgeisydd lleol poblogaidd John Phillips yn cipio'r sedd hefo pleidlais fawr.
Penycae a De Rhiwabon.
Llafur yn methu cipio'r sedd oddi ar y Cynghorydd Annibynnol gweithgar a phrofiadol Joan Lowe. Pleidlais Llafur i fyny a phleidlais Joan i lawr ryw chydig.
Plas Madoc.
Paul Blackwell yn cael ei ail-ethol fel y cynghorydd Llafur er trafferthion Cymunedau'n Gyntaf yn y ward.
Cyn sedd Aled Roberts AC yn cwympo i Lafur, Nerys Wyn Gibbon, sef chwaer Aled yn methu ei hamddiffyn. Paul Pemberton ar ben y rhestr yn y sedd yma hefo bron i 1000 o bleidleisiau.
Enillodd Carrie Harper y sedd yma oddi ar Llafur yn 2008 o bump pleidlais. Siom fawr Plaid Cymru oedd i Carrie golli y sedd yn ol i Lafur o ddwy bleidlais ar ol brwydr galed a budr. Parc Caia wedi colli Cynghorwr gweithgar a chydwybodol.
Sedd yn cael ei dal gan y Rh Dem Judith Connolly oedd yn sefyll lawr yn 2012. Enillodd Judith hefo 73% o'r bleidlais. Y tro yma roedd nifer yn ymgeisio yn cynnwys Mike Davies ar ran Plaid Cymru a bachgen ifanc Damien Conde yn amddiffyn y sedd dros y Rh Dem.Chwalodd pleidlais y Rh Dem o 611 yn 2008 i 65 yn 2012. Llwyddodd yr ymgeisydd Llafur i wasgu drwodd 27 o bleidleisiau o flaen Mike Davies.
Yr Orsedd.
Fel a ddisgwyl mae yr Orsedd yn mynd i'r Ceidwadwyr bob tro, y tro yma Hugh Jones hefo'i 'landslide arferol'
Siomedigaeth arall i Blaid Cymru wrth i Pol Wong fethu adennill Rhiwabon ar ôl i Blaid Cymru ei cholli o un bleidlais yn dilyn isetholiad yn mis Tachwedd. Dana Davies (merch Stella Matthews) yn cadw'r sedd i Lafur, hefo'r Tori'n dod yn drydydd gwael.
Y Cynghorydd poblogaidd annibynnol Keith Gregory yn cadw'r sedd mewn brwydr ffyrnig a chas gan actifyddion y Blaid Lafur

Landslide arall i'r Blaid Lafur hefo I David Bithell yn cael ei ail-ethol, David yn boblogaidd iawn yn dilyn ei ymdrechion i gadw ffatri Remploy Wrecsam ar agor...893 i 39, siŵr o fod hefo'r ganran fwyaf yn y sir.
Colled arall i Blaid Cymru hefo Marc Jones yn colli sedd a enillodd o dair pleidlais yn 2008, yn ol i Lafur, colled fawr arall i ardal Parc Caia, Cynghorydd sydd wedi gweithio mor galed dros ei gymuned.
Ward y Llafurwr Malcolm King, ddim mwy i ddeud!

A dyna ni 19 o Gynghorwyr newydd allan o 52.

Llafur - 23.
Grwpiau Annibynnol - 18
Ceidwadwyr - 5
Rh Dem - 4
Plaid Cymru - 1
Ddim Plaid - 1

Cyfanswm - 52 sedd.

Mae ar Llafur 4 sedd arall i lywodraethu hefo mwyafrif ond mae'n bosib ffurfio clymblaid o 29 o bob plaid ar wahan i Llafur.

Cawn weld be ddigwyddith dros yr wythnosau nesa ma!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The council election results in Wrecsam were a disappointing reflection on the work put in by the 13 Plaid Cymru candidates. Arfon Jones in Gwersyllt West retained his seat with an increased majority and four other candidates lost by fewer than 70 votes. Cllrs Carrie Harper and Marc Jones were among them. In Rhosnesni Mike Davies came within 27 votes of unseating Labour and in Erddig Teri Birch was close to beating the independent councillor - great efforts considering these were first outings.

Plaid has never stood so many candidates in the borough and amassed support in such disparate areas.

There were local and UK factors at work when assessing the results, but the main issue generally was the UK political scene, which saw Labour advance on an anti-Tory/Fib Dem tide. The weakness of the Welsh media meant that another positive alternative to the coalition government was never on the horizon for voters, despite our best efforts.

Even so, there are positives to be gained amid the disappointment of losing two councillors. One is that we increased our vote in all but one of the 13 seats we contested and we have also gained new community councillors across the borough.

Plaid Wrecsam will regroup and move on from this setback. We've had worse setbacks and we will be back.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Labours politics of intimidation

The police have been informed tonight of an incident involving Labour county councillor Malcolm King and a group of other men, who are alleged to have harassed another Councillor in Caia Park the eve before the local council elections.

Independent councillor for the Smithfield ward in Wrecsam, Keith Gregory (pictured left) said: “Tonight at 5.30pm my four year old daughter started panicking as there were four men standing in our garden, laughing and shouting, they then started rattling our front door. I looked through the window and recognised one of the four men as Cllr Malcolm King the Labour Member for Wynnstay, Wrexham who is also the Manager of the children's centre The Venture. There were also two members of staff and a teenager whom I've now been told is a 15 year who also attends The Venture.”

“ I was stunned to see the young lad was taking photographs of the other three in my garden. I went out to ask them what they were doing, to which he and the others laughed and walked off up the road. Following this, another Labour community councillor Brian Halley then appeared at my property and said ‘its only Malcolm and the lads having a laugh’. I later found out they were delivering leaflets for a fellow Labour candidate Pat Williams in my ward, I also subsequently found a leaflet they had tried to stuff under my door.”

“It was a very unsettling experience for me as I wasn’t sure what was going on. We have had threats before and the police have installed cameras at my property because of those. At the same time, the last thing I need is the stress of being intimated like this after spending last 6 months in and out of hospital. It was also a very upsetting experience for my partner, daughters and grand-daughter who were at home with me at the time. I have now informed the police of the incident and they have said it is serious. They are due to interview me tomorrow.”

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

On Thursday, you have a positive choice

Plaid Cymru in Wrecsam is standing a record number of council candidates in all parts of the borough and we hope you will vote for a positive choice and a local champion on May 3rd.

In the town itself, there will be Plaid candidates in Rhosnesni (Mike Davies), Grosvenor (Julie Bomber), Erddig (Teri Birch), Hermitage (Maurice Jones), Whitegate (Marc Jones), Wynnstay (Steve Jones) and Queensway (Carrie Harper).

We have two candidates, Nia Lloyd and Michael Harper, contesting Coedpoeth.

Pol Wong is standing in Rhiwabon, hoping to overturn the one-vote majority Labour currently has.

Gwersyllt West will see Arfon Jones defend his majority against the Labour challenger while Gwenfair Jones bids to turn the tables in Gwersyllt North.

Eric Evans is the Plaid challenger for Dyffryn Ceiriog.

Trade unionists, carers, full-time mums, self-employed, students and full-time councillors - it's a great team and their election will make a real difference to our borough.