Rhoda Emlyn-Jones makes some excellent points in her article "We must fight to protect the small, excellent services worth their weight in gold." WalesOnline News opinion, Jan 8th.
There is no doubt that many local authorities throughout Wales are cutting funding to third sector organisations and moving them in house so as to protect their own staff without any consideration as to who provides the best service to the user
A case in point is my own authority, Wrecsam County Borough Council, where they propose to stop funding to the Mudiad Meithrin, who provide low cost and skilled language advice to all Welsh nursery settings in Wrecsam and to bring it all in-house where they claim they will be able to deliver identical services within existing capacity; and this in an authority where the numbers of Welsh essential speakers (outside schools) are in single figures.
Whilst this particular service is not statutory, it is a Welsh Government aspiration to increase the number of Welsh learners and it is indeed included in Wrecsam's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, which outlines a major role for Mudiad Meithrin in promoting Welsh education in early years education. Clearly this Strategic Plan is now of little or no value and hopefully the government will see it for what it is...lip service to Welsh education.
Councillor Arfon Jones.