Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Swyddi Cymraeg



Mae na ambell i sylw wedi bod yn y wasg yn ddiweddar yn tynnu sylw at ddylanwad siaradwyr Cymraeg ym mywyd cyhoeddus Cymru. Mae yr honiadau fod siaradwyr Cymraeg hefo dylanwad anghyfartal i'w niferoedd yn codi yn eitha amal yn arbennig mewn blogiau fel Gogwatch a Glasnost a chan fobol fel Karl Francis.

Rai misoedd yn ol mi nes i geisiadau o dan Ddeddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth i bob un o'r 22 Awdurdod Lleol yng Nghymru (yn Gymraeg). Y ddau gwestiwn a ofynnwyd oedd:
  • Faint o weithwyr mae y Cyngor yn ei gyflogi ar hyn o bryd? 
  • Faint o’r gweithwyr yna sydd mewn swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol? 

Dyma'r arebion a dderbyniwyd:

Blaenau Gwent.
3952 fel ar 09.03.12
Dim ond 2 swydd lle mae’r Gymraeg yn hanfodol, fodd bynnag nid yw hyn yn cynnwys staff  seiliedig mewn ysgol.

Castell Nedd/Port Talbot.
Mae’r Cyngor yn cyflogi tua 8,570 o weithwyr, y mae 3,782 ohonynt yn gweithio mewn ysgolion. Data rhannol yn unig sydd gennym am nifer y swyddi lle mae’r “Gymraeg yn hanfodol”. Caiff pob swydd ei hadolygu wrth iddi ddod yn wag a bod angen recriwtio rhywun newydd.

Conwy
Faint o weithwyr sy’n cael eu cyflogi gan y Cyngor ar hyn o bryd – 2810 (dim ysgolion)
Faint o’r gweithwyr hynny sydd mewn swyddi Cymraeg hanfodol – 373 (dim ysgolion) 

Powys.
7, 721 - gweithwyr y mae'r cyngor yn eu cyflogi
Oherwydd y ffordd y byddwn yn cadw gwybodaeth am swyddi lle mae'r Gymraeg yn hanfodol, ni allwn ddarparu gwybodaeth ynghylch nifer ein gweithwyr sydd mewn swyddi y mae'r Gymraeg yn hanofodol ar eu cyfer. 

Merthyr Tudful.
Mae’r Cyngor yn cyflogi 2,950 o weithwyr.
Yr unig swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol yw yn yr ysgolion Cymraeg (56 athro/athrawes a Chynorthwywyr Cynnal Dysgu), a’r Swyddog Yr Iaith Gymraeg

Casnewydd.
7,124 (pawb a gyflogir)
6,191 (heb gynnwys cyflogaeth achlysurol)
Mae 78 o swyddi yn gofyn am gymhwyster a/neu'r gallu i gyfathrebu'n rhugl yn yr iaith Gymraeg.
Mae'r rhan fwyaf o'r swyddi hyn mewn ysgolion, naill ai fel athrawon Cymraeg neu fel staff mewn ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg.

Penybont ar Ogwr.
Faint o weithwyr mae y Cyngor yn ei gyflogi ar hyn o bryd.
6826
Faint o’r gweithwyr yna sydd mewn swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol.
137

Sir Gaerfyrddin.
Mewn ymateb i’ch cwestiwn cyntaf, mae’r Cyngor yn cyflogi 9,004 o weithwyr (25ain Mai, 2012)
Ar ôl ystyried eich ail gwestiwn yn ofalus, nid yw’n bosibl rhoi ymateb.  Wnâi rhoi esboniad paham isod.
Nid oes modd gael gafael ar y wybodaeth yn hawdd, er enghraifft drwy redeg adroddiad oddi ar system electronig, neu drwy gyfeirio at ddata coladedig
.
O ganlyniad, fe fyddai’n rhaid i ni gyfeirio at filoedd o broffiliau swydd unigol.  Gan fod dros naw mil o staff yn gweithio i’r Awdurdod (gan gynnwys athrawon), fe fyddai hwn yn dasg enfawr.  Os amcangyfrifir y byddai’n cymryd tua munud i ddod o hyd i bob proffil, edrych arno a chofnodi os yw’r Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol (naill ai’n ysgrifenedig neu lafar), ar amcangyfrif bras, fe fyddai’n cymryd dros gant o oriau i orffen y gwaith hwn. 

Caerdydd.
Yn ôl y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf sydd gennym (sef y wybodaeth a ddefnyddiwyd gennym yn yr adroddiad monitro blynyddol i Gomisiynydd y Gymraeg) mae’r cyngor yn cyflogi 8013 aelod o staff (ac eithrio staff ysgolion, gweithwyr achlysurol a Caerdydd ar Waith).

Nodwyd ac aseswyd dros 700 o swyddi mewn gwasanaethau rheng-flaen yn 2010/2011 a dynodwyd bod y Gymraeg yn hanfodol neu’n ddymunol ar gyfer canran o’r swyddi hyn yn unol â’r rhwymedigaethau a wnaed yng nghyfnod cyntaf y broses o weithredu ein Strategaeth Sgiliau Iaith Gymraeg, gyda lefel ofynnol o 10% yn y timau mawr, a hyd at gynifer ag sydd eu hangen ym mhob tîm penodol i warantu gwasanaeth dwyieithog yn y pwynt cyswllt cyntaf.

... Ar hyn o bryd mae’r Gymraeg yn hanfodol ar gyfer 63 o 775 o swyddi, sef 8.12%. Dynodwyd bod y Gymraeg yn ddymunol ar gyfer 627 o’r swyddi a aseswyd, sy’n golygu bod gofyniad ieithyddol ar 89% o’r holl swyddi rheng-flaen a aseswyd hyd yma.

Gwynedd.
6,654 wedi eu cyflogi yn ystod mis Mai 2012
6,612 o weithwyr mewn swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymareg yn “angenrheidiol”. Mae’r 42 sy’n weddill mewn swyddi tu allan i Wynedd sydd heb ddynodiad iaith, gan eu bod yn perthyn i’r Asiantaeth Cefnffyrdd Gogledd a Chanolbarth Cymru sy’n gweithredu fel Asiant i Gynghorau eraill yn ogystal â Cyngor Gwynedd.

Caerffili.
Faint o weithwyr mae y Cyngor yn ei gyflogi ar hyn o bryd. 9655

Faint o’r gweithwyr yna sydd mewn swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol. 432 (gyda 418 ohonynt yn athrawon o fewn ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg)

Ynys Mon.
Faint o weithwyr mae y Cyngor yn ei gyflogi ar hyn o bryd. =  3897
Faint o’r gweithwyr yna sydd mewn swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol. =  Nid yw’r wybodaeth yn cael ei ddal ar hyn o bryd (Rh 1 o’r Ddeddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth)  – rydym yn gweithio tuag at allu darparu’r fath wybodaeth yn y dyfodol.

Sir Benfro. 
6,237
 Nid yw’r wybodaeth ar gael. (Noder: I gasglu’r wybodaeth hon byddai angen dadansoddi pob disgrifiad swydd er mwyn penderfynu ar y rhai lle mae sgiliau Cymraeg yn hanfodol, ac ni allwn wneud hyn o fewn y terfynau amser mae’r ymholiad DRhG yn eu caniatáu).

Sir Fynwy.
Ar 1af Ebrill, y nifer o weithwyr a gyflogwyd gan y Cyngor yw 3061
Ar wahân i’n hysgolion Cymraeg, y nifer o swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel bod yn Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol yw 1.  Mae gan ein hysgolion Cymraeg cyfanswm o 36 swydd lle mae Cymraeg yn angenrheidiol.

Sir Ddinbych.
Faint o weithwyr mae y Cyngor yn ei gyflogi ar hyn o bryd.  4616.

Nid ydym yn gallu casglu’r manylion penodol rydych wedi gofyn amdanynt, gan y byddai’n rhaid casglu’r data at ei gilydd â llaw o’n cofnodion. Rwyf wedi amcangyfrif y byddai’n costio mwy na’r terfyn priodol i wneud hyn. Mae’r terfyn wedi cael ei osod mewn rheoliadau, ac i’r Cyngor mae wedi’i osod ar £450. Dyma yn ôl yr amcangyfrif yw cost un person yn treulio 2½ diwrnod gwaith yn chwilio a yw’r Cyngor yn dal y wybodaeth hon, canfod lle mae’r wybodaeth a chael gafael arni. O ganlyniad, does dim dyletswydd ar y Cyngor o dan adran 12(1) (lle mae cost cydymffurfio yn mynd yn uwch na’r terfyn priodol) Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 i ymateb i’r rhan hon o’ch cais.

Torfaen.
Faint o weithwyr mae y Cyngor yn ei gyflogi ar hyn o bryd.  6340
Faint o’r gweithwyr yna sydd mewn swyddi sydd wedi ei dynodi fel fod y Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol.  Nid yw’r Cyngor wedi dechrau ar y darn yma o waith, ac bydd yn rhan o’r Arolwg Sgiliau Iaith Gymraeg.
 
Ceredigion.
2603
Mae’r Cyngor wedi newid I lefelau  ALTE , felly rydym fel Cyngor wedi newid dynodiad y Gymraeg o Hanfodol/dymunol i 5 lefel ALTE.   Yn anffodus nid yw’r Cyngor yn cofnodi nifer y swyddi gyda gwahanol lefelau ALTE. 

Wrecsam.
Yn Ebrill 2012, mae CBSW yn cyflogi 6,513 o bobl (4,957 FTE) 
13 (ddim yn cynnwys athrawon)

Er ei bod hi'n anodd cymharu yr awdurdodau mae hi'n amlwg mae chydig iawn o awdurdodau sydd yn cadw y wybodaeth ynglyn a swyddi lle mae'r Gymraeg yn hanfodol, hefo'r mwyafrif yn cuddio tu ol i'r ddeddf. 
Mae methiant awdurdodau Cymraeg ei naws fel Sir Gar, Ceredigion, Ynys Mon a Sir Ddinbych i ddarparu y wybodaeth yma yn hynod siomedig. 

Mae gwir angen i'r Comisiynydd osod safonnau ar awdurdodau cyhoeddus i gario allan awdit o sgiliau iaith ac i benodi mwy o swyddi lle mae'r Gymraeg yn hanfodol. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Free Press.

In yesterday's Daily Post, the editor Alison Gow laments the end of  the 'free press' as we know it today. She says:
"We await the findings of the Leveson Report into the culture, practise and the ethics of the whole newspaper industry, thanks to the distasteful and illegal actions of a few national newspaper journalists and managers.

As a result of their actions the spectre of statutory regulation in our future and with it the end of the Free Press..."
Personally I'm not sure we have a free press now which prompted me to write the following letter to the Daily Post in response:
Dear Editor,

Alison Gow in her column is quite right to raise concerns about the impact of Leveson on a free press (Post, October 27th); but what she fails to mention is just how free the press is now?

Newspapers across North Wales as in other areas are wholly reliant on advertising revenue to maintain profitability and the main source of that revenue is from public bodies like local councils, the Police and Health Board, who publish public notices and advertisements.

The question then arises is whether these public bodies have a disproportionate influence on editorial policy? Do public bodies get an easy ride from the press and are they able to suppress damaging stories, or at least limit the damage, what is known in the trade as ‘reputation management.’?

Yours faithfully,

Cynghorydd/Councillor Arfon Jones,
 
It will be interesting if Alison Gow takes the bait and responds next week.
 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Health campaigners lobby board over hospital closure

Campaigners from Keep Llangollen Health Services attended the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board meeting today in Wrecsam to lobby board members. 
 The campaigners handed board members a simple leaflet asking for assurances on key points. Among them were assurances that the hospital would not close until the new health centre was built. The current plan is to close the hospital in 2013 and aim to have the health centre built on a site in the town by 2015. 
 However the consultation document is long on promises and spin, short on substance.
 Within minutes two senior BCUHB officers including Geoff Lang (pictured) had come out to try to placate the protesters. 
 He was asked whether he could give any guarantee that the capital needed to build the proposed new health centre - an estimated £5.5 million - would be in place in 2015 as intended. Without this funding via the Welsh Government there will be no health centre and local people will have lost a key health service in the locality.
 Mr Lang could give no such assurance and it remains a real worry that the gap between closing the hospital and opening the health centre could become a long one.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Real Agenda behind Police Commissioners

Because I have been totally opposed to Police and Crime Commissioners I have haven't really thought whether there was perhaps a secret privatisation agenda behind the Government's proposals. An excellent article by Andrew Gilligan in yesterday's Daily Telegraph has provided plenty of food for thought.

Gilligan alleges that an independent PCC candidate in Lincolnshire, a Mervyn Barrett is being bankrolled by a right wing US lobbying firm for the purposes of outsourcing Policing Services to the private sector, companies like G4S, Capita and others. It seems that other PCC candidates may similarily be bankrolled.

Interestingly enough the other independent candidate in Lincolnshire is non other than David Bowles, who was parachuted into Anglesey Council as a very expensive troubleshooter. Mr Bowles alleges that the front man for the US Lobbying firm, a Matthew de Unger Brown invited him to run on a joint ticket with Mr Barrett as his deputy but Bowles declined.

These are worrying and subversive developments for a democracy, especially where a foreign powers seeks to influence democratic elections purely to ensure that public services are outsourced and that profit comes before the provision of services.

Whilst I was lukewarm towards this election initially and had some doubt whether I should exercise my right to vote; this article has now changed my whole perspective and I will definitely be voting for the candidate who is most likely to protect Policing Services inhouse; and I would suggest to my readers that they all do the same.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Bad Day for Democracy.

The Attorney General Dominic Grieve has issued a veto preventing the publication of letters from Prince Charles to various Ministers seeking to influence their decisions. This veto overrules the decision of a Freedom of Information Tribunal of three judges that upheld an appeal by the Guardian to publish the letters.
In explanation Dominic Grieve said,
...the letters contained the "particularly frank" and "most deeply held personal views and beliefs" of the prince.
This sentence in itself suggests the letters contain some really damning stuff which would probably show up the monarchy in a bad light. But the real point of all this is that the heir to the throne who is unelected and unaccountable can influence democratic decision making by an elected body. This veto by Dominic Grieve makes the Government's claims to be open and democratic laughable. This decision raises a further question and that is the role of the so called champions of freedom and liberty, the Liberal Democrats? Was Nick Clegg consulted on this veto and if so what was his response?

This is a bad day for democracy, and I very much hope that the Guardian are successful in their efforts to overturn this veto in the High Court.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Poor old Councils.

To be honest and as an elected Councillor I have little sympathy with Steve Thomas of the Welsh Local Government Association 'whingeing' about the costs and the demands of the Freedom of Information Act. If Local Authorities want to save money on information management then they need to be more open and transparent, and start publishing information.. Whilst some local authorities like Wrecsam are pretty good on the whole,  there have been instances even as a Councillor in Wrecsam where I had had to resort to the Freedom of Information Act, in fact getting some information off them is 'like pulling teeth". There are other Councils in Wales where the description closed and Stalinist is an understatement; so perhaps Steve Thomas needs to go back to the drawing board and perhaps reflect on the fact that Local Authorities in Wales are there to provide a service to the people in Wales and not lobby and respond to complaints from unelected Chief Executives.

By Royal Appointment.

Despite being somewhat lukewarm towards the monarchy, I was quite pleased that Carwyn Jones as our First Minister had received a Royal Appointment;  that being an advisor to the Queen, " in respect of the exercise of her functions in relation to Wales". Prior to this the advisor had been David Jones the Secretary of State for Wales and any removal of powers from the Welsh Office and Westminster to the Cynulliad is to be welcomed even if it is only a small step in the right direction.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Small is Beautiful.

Today's Newsnet Scotland draws our attention to the IMF's Quarterly Statistical Report which indicates that the economies of...'small nations will outperform the UK'. The report goes on to say,
"The same figures also show that Ireland, Iceland and Norway have all maintained a higher GDP per capita than the UK throughout the duration of the economic downturn...

Additionally the statistics show that this wealth gap is predicted to grow further in the years ahead, as Westminster’s austerity cuts continue to bite.

Ireland, in particular, is set to outstrip the UK economy by a further 2% per annum for several years to come, taking the Irish economy almost 22% adrift of UK GDP by 2016.

This latest blow to Westminster’s economic credibility comes as the IMF’s Christine Lagarde warned against countries rushing to cut spending, stating “it’s sometimes better to have a bit more time”.
This is great news to Plaid Cymru and the SNP but don't expect the mainstream Unionist media including the Mule to report on these statistics.

Note.
Small is Beatiful: Economics As If People Mattered by E.F.Scumacher first published in 1973


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A better Wales - sweep away these corrupt little empires

One of the driving forces for building an independent Wales is that it would be a better Wales. A place where those in power are accountable and answerable to the people for their actions.

At the moment we have far too many unaccountable people who misuse their power and privilege for their own personal benefit rather than the wider community.

 The latest corrupt little empire to be exposed is the quaintly named Caldicot and Wentlooge Levels Internal Drainage Board. This public body, which was supposed to maintain the Gwent Levels with its £1.8m a year budget, seemed more like a social club for a select few. It organised visits to Venice and Northern Ireland, where 37 people went on a bit of a jolly for staff, board members and their families. Nice.

 Despite the veneer of accountability and purpose, this was essentially a body out of control. Think back to Plas Madoc Communities First, another "rogue" organisation meant to improve the lives of people on one of Wales's most deprived estates. Its coordinator Miriam Beard fleeced the organisation and lined her own family's pockets at the expense of that community.

Another "one-off" was Rhondda Life, which also squandered millions of cash designed to improve an impoverished community.

Perhaps the most notorious recent example, which managed to combine nepotism, political corruption, financial wrongdoing and sexual harassment in one heady brew, was AWEMA. Not so much a group helping ethnic minorities in Wales as one helping one particular family and being shielded from criticism by their links with the Labour government. 

All these organisations have budgets of millions, each employ their own little chief executive and finance director and head of personnel and what have you. These wages and the offices they need to occupy inevitably swallows up the lion's share of the budget, leaving little to actually make a difference in the communities they are purporting to help.

All these organisations churn out annual reports, as is required as a condition of future funding, in which glossy colour report piles upon professionally designed report. But how many of these little empires are achieving anything beyond creating jobs for a select few?

With the exception of Miriam Beard at Plas Madoc, nobody has yet been jailed or even charged with misuse of public money despite clear evidence to the contrary in many cases. 

A better Wales will sweep away this kind of nepotism and croneyism.



Friday, 5 October 2012

Welsh Government accused of discrimination over Powys Fadog


The Welsh Government has come under fire following the release of a letter from a former Labour Assembly Member to the then First Minister Rhodri Morgan over the Llangollen based Powys Fadog project. The letter, dated July 2009, which the Welsh Government have refused to release for two years has recently become public following a drawn out Information Tribunal and Judges decision.

Former AM for Clwyd South Karen Sinclair accuses the Powys Fadog group of holding extreme views and states to the First Minister she does not feel it is appropriate that the Welsh Government fund it. Several months later as the project was due for final approval, it was mysteriously pulled. The AMs accusations centre around a 2009 campaign against the West Cheshire Plan, a cross border plan to build thousands of commuter houses across north east Wales, which one of the Powys Fadog board members was campaigning against.

In the letter, the former AM writes to the then First Minister " I write this letter in utter frustration as every avenue I have explored to date has failed to stop, or at least fully explain, the propriety of this scheme by Powys Fadog in my constituency - indeed in my home town.

A further paragraph goes on: "Quite honestly I am at the end of my patience regarding this venture and the lack of transparency from the start. I suggest that the auditor should be asked to look at what has gone on here. Rhodri, when we met last week, I showed you some press cuttings about a group calling themselves The People's Council for Wales who were marching against regional development work being undertaken by Local Authorities in the Mersey Dee area which includes Wrexham and Denbighshire along with Cheshire. (I enclose a cutting from The Wrexham Leader dated May this year which I forwarded to Jeff Andrews at the time). Make no mistake the people involved with Powys Fadog and the people involved with The People's Council for Wales are one and the same group of people and whilst people are totally free to hold extreme political views I do not think it appropriate for the tax payer to purchase premises for such a group."

Powys Fadog chairman Pol Wong has described the newly released information as 'shocking'. He said " We have been trying to find out why our project was stopped in it's final stages for several years now, the release of this information, which the Welsh government have tried to keep under wraps for two years finally gives an answer. I was the only member of Powys Fadog to be involved in the campaign against the West Cheshire Plan, which followed the democratic process by submitting a 24,000 strong petition to the Welsh Government against plans which would damage welsh identity in the north east. To stop our project on the basis of this sort of political prejudice is discrimination pure and simple."

The new information follows a series of letters already released under Freedom of Information from the former Assembly Member to a variety of Ministers, in which she attempts to discredit the project and also requests that a Health Centre be put on the River Lodge site instead. Betsicadwaldr Health board have also come under fire following yet more information being released revealing discussions between them and Welsh Government officials in early 2010, revolving around the request for a new Health Centre on the River Lodge site in place of the Powys Fadog project.

Following a report by the Wales Audit Office in June of this year, the Welsh Governments Public Accounts Committee are due to discuss the saga at a public meeting at Llangollen Pavillion on Monday 8th October at 1.00pm. They will hear evidence from Mr Wong and also from former civil servant Amanda Brewer, who states in her evidence she was victimised by top officials in order to stop the project.