Friday, 26 March 2010

Culture Minister back at Ruthin Craft Centre

Culture Minister Alun Ffred Jones AM will this week be paying a return visit to Ruthin Craft Centre. In December 2008 he did the honours at the official opening ceremony, and tonight he will be the guest speaker at the Plaid Cymru Clwyd West dinner and election campaign launch.

Plaid’s Westminster candidate Llyr Huws Gruffydd said that he was delighted that the Plaid Cymru Minister had made the time to speak at the party’s Clwyd West launch:

“Alun Ffred Jones has been very generous with his time in agreeing to be our guest speaker. The news has clearly been very well received as we have sold all the tickets available for the dinner.

“Of course, Alun Ffred had another highly successful career before entering politics, as he was renowned for his work in film and television.

“This will be our formal launch for the election, but the tone will be light-hearted, with Alun Ffred, in his inimitable way, talking about his career in film and television as well as his role as Culture Minister in our One Wales government. And who knows – party politics may get a mention.”

The venue for the dinner is the Café R, at the Ruthin Craft Centre, Heol y Parc, Ruthin.

Gweinidog dros Dreftadaeth – Alun Ffred Jones yn ol yng nghanolfan grefftau Rhuthun

Wythnos yma bydd Alun Ffred Jones AC yn ymweld a chanolfan grefftau Rhuthun. Yn mis Rhagfyr 2008 anrhydeddodd Rhuthun a’I bresenoldeb o’r blaen gan iddo fod yma yn agor yn swyddogol y Ganolfan Grefftau’. Dydd Gwener yma y 26ain y fo fydd y gwr gwadd yng nghinio lansio ymgyrch etholiad Plaid Cymru Gorllewin Clwyd.

Mynegodd Llyr Huws Gruffydd ymgeisydd Plaid Cymru yn etholiad San Steffan ei fod yn filch dros ben o feddwl fod y Gweinidog Treftadaeth wedi medru gwneud amser I annerch yn Lansiad ymgyrch Plaid Cymru yn Ngorllewin Clwyd:

“Mae Alun Ffred Jones I’w edmygu am ei barodwydd I fod yn siaradwr gwadd, a chroesawyd y newyddion yn fawr iawn gan fod yr holl docynnau I’r cinio wedi eu gwerthu.

“Wrth gwrs yr oedd Alun Ffred Jones yn dilyn gyrfa lwyddianus iawn cyn mentro I’r byd politicaidd gan ei fod wedi body n adnabyddus am ei gyfraniad I fyd ffilm a theledu.

“Dyma ein Lansiad ffurfiol ar gyfer yr etholiad, ond bydd y naws yn ysgafn a hwyliog, gan y bydd Alun Ffred yn ei ffordd ddigyffelyb yn son am ei yrfa ym myd ffilm a theledu yn ogystal ei swydd fel gweinidog treftadaeth yn Llywodraeth Cymru’n Un – a phwy a wyr efallai y cawn glywed am wleidyddiaeth parti hefyd.”

Cynleir y cinio yn Café R yn y ganolfan grefftau, Heol y Parc, Rhuthun.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Llyr Huws Gruffydd: ‘Fuel duty hike must be postponed’

Plaid Cymru’s Clwyd West candidate Llyr Huws Gruffydd has today called for a freeze on fuel duty as Wednesday’s Budget looms.

Fuel duty is set to rise by 2.55 pence per litre from April 2010 (1% above the rate of inflation) which will cost the average family an extra £200 a year and cause further problems to small businesses already struggling with higher fuel duties. Plaid has insisted that this duty hike should be postponed.

Campaign organisations such as the Road Haulage Association and the Farmers Union of Wales have come out in support of Plaid’s calls for a fair fuel duty regulator. Under such a plan, an unexpected spike in petrol prices would lead to a freeze on fuel duty.

MPs from Plaid and the SNP have tabled an EDM urging a freeze on fuel duty and repeating calls for the establishment of a fuel duty regulator.

Llyr Huws Gruffydd said:

“It is the people of Clwyd West that will feel the pinch of this fuel hike, which will hit families, the haulage industry and agriculture.

“This is an issue that affects all parts of Clwyd West. Hard-working families see prices rise week by week, with many more people struggling to run a car. But these sky high fuel taxes impact on businesses and on prices in the shops, as costs rise to deliver food and other products to retailers.

“A freeze on fuel duty is essential.”

Geoff Dunning, chief executive of the RHA, says:

“The Road Haulage Association fully supports Plaid Cymru’s calls for a fuel duty regulator – a move that would ensure price stability as well as lower fuel taxes."

Plaid’s Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd MP added:

“This is just punishing ordinary people for a banking system failure that the London government helped to create.

“We will continue to fight this fuel hike and urge the introduction of a fuel duty regulator at the Budget to ensure price stability as well as lower fuel taxes.”

Plaid Cymru has long campaigned for a new mechanism to cap petrol prices. Together with the SNP, a motion to amend the Finance Bill in 2008 to create a fuel duty regulator was voted down by Labour.

The creation of such a regulator is backed by leading industry voices such as the Road Haulage Association. Under such a plan, an unexpected spike in petrol prices would lead to a freeze on fuel duty.

Llyr’s pledge to protect children

Llyr Huws Gruffydd has pledged to support the NSPCC’s ‘I stand for children’ campaign which aims to make child protection a priority for the next Parliament.

Llyr said:

“As Plaid Cymru candidate for Clwyd West, I’m supporting the NSPCC’s new campaign to ensure protecting children is a political priority: I Stand for Children.”

The NSPCC’s campaign is calling on candidates to commit to a range of child protection measures including:

Making the internet safer for children

Continued funding of helpline services for children and for adults concerned about the safety or welfare of a child

Tackling domestic violence from a child's point of view

The charity’s Diana Sutton, head of the public affairs and campaigns unit at the NSPCC, said:

“We need to make sure that the next elected Government keeps child protection high on its list of priorities. By signing up to our campaign, candidates in this next general election can help. The public can play their role by letting the politicians know what they want done.”

Monday, 15 March 2010

Abergele tonight

Plaid Cymu Honorary President Dafydd Wigley will be in Abergele tonight, alongside Llyr Huws Gruffydd, speaking to members and Clwyd West constituents at the Departure Lounge, (at Travel Unlimited), 9 Market Street at 7.30 p.m.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Tottering Tories

It's been a bad few weeks for the Tories, both in Clwyd West and Aberconwy, losing councillors, losing their tempers with journalists and generally losing the plot. Now it seems they're not too sure where one constituency begins and another ends. The North Wales Weekly News clarified it for them.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Pentrecelyn Question and Answer

This week I took part in a Question & Answer Session with the Womens' Institute.

Organised by Pentrecelyn WI, they were joined by members from other neighbouring branches. Also on the panel were some well known local figures - Alun Edwards, Nia Môn and Eirwyn Evans.

The questions were very diverse to say the least, varying from our views on the John Venables case to our favourite food and holiday destinations!

The prize for the best answer of the night must go to Eirwyn who, when asked what was his greatest strength and his greatest weakness, answered that his greatest strength was that he didn't have any weaknesses!

Thank you to the WI for their wonderful welcome and hospitality.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Hawl i Holi - Pentrecelyn

Neithiwr mi gymerais ran mewn noson Hawl i Holi gyda Sefydliad y Merched.

Trefnwyd y noson gan gangen Pentrecelyn a daeth aelodau o ganghennau cyfagos i ymuno â nhw. Hefyd ar y panel oedd y ffigurau amlwg lleol Alun Edwards, Nia Môn ac Eirwyn Evans. Roedd y pynciau a drafodwyd yn eang a dweud y lleiaf, gyda chwestiynau yn amrywio o farn y panel am achos John Venables i'n hoff fwydydd a lleoliadau gwyliau!

Mae'r wobr am ateb gorau'r nosoon yn mynd i Eirwyn. Pan holwyd iddo be oedd ei brif gryfder a'i brif wendid fe atebodd mai ei brif gryfder oedd nad oedd ganddo unrhyw wendidau!

Diolch o galon i Sefydliad y Merched Pentrecelyn am eu croeso cynnes ac am noson hwyliog.

Llyr Huws Gruffydd

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Payback time for Clwyd West Tories?

Following this week’s revelations about Conservative Party funding - the Tories’ major donor and deputy party chairman, Lord Ashcroft, is not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes – Plaid’s Llyr Huws Gruffydd has questioned whether the Clwyd West Conservatives intend to pay back the money they have banked from Ashcroft’s company. According to their accounts they have received a substantial five figure sum.

Llyr, who will be the Plaid candidate for Clwyd West in the forthcoming Westminster election, said:

“Despite their best efforts to portray themselves in a better light, we can see now that it’s the same old Tories. Clearly they are rife with hypocrisy and evasion, and, to cap it all, it has taken a very, very long time for them to admit that Lord Ashcroft is not domiciled here for tax purposes, and thus avoids payment of tax on a large part of his vast income.

“Their slogans about change are empty and meaningless. Whilst the rest of us are going to have to face cuts of one sort or another following the recession, leading Tories are busily avoiding tax, and in this case, donating massive amounts of money to their party.

“I believe that David Jones and his fellow Tories in Clwyd West should take a long look at themselves and decide whether it is ethical and proper to keep the money which this man channelled in their direction.”

Llyr Huws Gruffydd said that he was proud of the fact that Plaid Cymru works hard to raise its money through the membership:

“We are not under obligation to outside influences or funders who distribute largesse and then insist on a say in policy. I believe that Cameron and his cronies will find that Wales is not for sale.

“Unlike Lord Ashcroft, our hearts are here in our own country.”

According to a statement of accounts provided to the Electoral Commission, Bearwood Corporate Services made a donation of £15,000 to Clwyd West Conservative Association in 2005. Bearwood is the vehicle used by Ashcroft to pass funds to local Conservative associations. See page 5.

The home page of Ashcroft’s web site bears the legend: Belize - "If home is where the heart is then Belize is my home.”

Figures from the Electoral Commission show that Lord Ashcroft has donated more than £5million pounds to the Conservative Party to be used in key marginal seats to try and win the next election for the Conservatives.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Amser i Dorïaid Gorllewin Clwyd dalu nôl?

Yn dilyn y datguddiadau am ariannu’r blaid Gweidwadol yr wythnos hon – sef nad yw prif noddwr a dirprwy gadeirydd y blaid, yr Arglwydd Ashcroft, wedi ei gartrefu ym Mhrydain at ddibenion treth – mae Llyr Huws Gruffydd o Blaid Cymru wedi cwestiynu os yw Ceidwadwyr Gorllewin Clwyd yn bwriadu ad-dalu’r pres a gawsant gan gwmni Ashcroft. Yn ôl cyfrifon y blaid fe dderbyniwyd swm pum ffigwr sylweddol.

Dywedodd Llyr, a fydd yn ymgeisydd dros Blaid Cymru yng Ngorllewin Clwyd yn yr Etholiad Cyffredinol:

“Er gwaethaf ymdrechion i bortreadu’u hunain yn wahanol, fe welwn bellach mai’r un hen Geidwadwyr ydi plaid David Cameron. Mae nhw wedi bod yn osgoi ateb cwestiynau ar y mater yma ac mae wedi cymryd amser maith iddyn nhw gyfaddef nad yw’r Arglwydd Ashcroft wedi ei gartrefu yma at ddibenion treth, ac o ganlyniad ei fod wedi osgoi talu trethi ar lawer iawn o’i incwm sylweddol.

“Mae eu slogan am newid yn wag a diystyr. Tra bod y gweddill ohonom yn gorfod wynebu toriadau o bob math yn sgil y dirwasgiad, mae arweinwyr blaenllaw’r Ceidwadwyr yn brysur yn osgoi talu trethi, ac yn yr achos hwn yn cyfrannu symiau aruthrol i’w plaid.

“Mae angen i David Jones a’i gyd-Geidwadwyr yng Ngorllewin Clwyd ystyried o ddifrif os yw hi’n foesol ac yn weddus iddyn nhw gadw’r pres a gyfrannwyd iddynt gan y gwr yma.”

Dywedodd Llyr Huws Gruffydd ei fod yn falch o’r ffaith fod Plaid Cymru’n gweithio’n galed i godi pres drwy ei haelodau.

“Does ganddo ni ddim rhwymedigaeth i ddylanwadau allanol nac arianwyr mawr sydd yn talu pres ac yna’n mynnu dylanwadu ar bolisi. Mae angen dangos i Cameron a’i griw nad yw Cymru ar werth.

“Yn wahanol i’r Arglwydd Ashcroft mae’n calonnau ni yma yn ein gwlad ein hunain.”

Yn ôl datganiad o’u cyfrifon a gyflwynwyd i’r Comisiwn Etholiadol, fe wnaeth Bearwood Corporate Services gyfraniad o £15,000 i’r Blaid Geidwadol yng Ngorllewin Clwyd yn 2005. Bearwood yw’r cyfrwng a ddefnyddiwyd gan Ashcroft i drosglwyddo pres i wahanol rannau o’r blaid Geidwadol. Gweler tudalen 5 o’r linc.

Mae tudalen gartref gwefan Ashcroft yn dweud: Belize - "If home is where the heart is then Belize is my home.”

Mae ffigurau gan y Comisiwn Etholiadol yn dangos bod yr Arglwydd Ashcroft wedi cyfrannu mwy na £5miliwn i’r Blaid Geidwadol i’w ddefnyddio mewn seddi ymylol er mwyn cynorthwyo’r Ceidwadwyr i ennill yr etholiad nesaf.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi / St David’s Day

Roedd hi'n hyfryd bod yng nghwmni aelodau Plaid Cymru yn Rhuthun ddydd Sul am de prynhawn fel rhan o ddathliadau Gwyl Ddewi.

Mae'r gangen wrthi'n ddyfal yn ymgyrchu ar gyfer yr etholiad, ac ar ol ei gor-wneud hi efo'r sgons a'r bara brith mi fydd hi'n dda gen i wneud ychydig o gerdded wrth ganfasio wythnos yma!

It was great to meet up with Plaid members in Ruthin on Sunday for afternoon tea as part of our St David's Day celebrations.

The local branch is already campaigning hard for the forthcoming election, and after over-indulging on scones and bara brith it'll be good to pound the streets again this week!