"Wales should have the same right as Scotland and Northern Ireland to mark our own patron saint, Dydd Gŵyl Ddewi, as a national bank holiday," says Llandderfel Councillor near Bala, Elwyn Edwards (pictured).
“It makes no sense whatsoever that we, as a country, do not have the power to choose days of national importance to mark our very own history, heritage and language,” and before Gwynedd Councillors this week (7 October) the County Councillor from the Penllyn area received strong support from fellow councillors.
The majority of Gwynedd Councillors supported the call for Westminster Government to devolve to Welsh Government the power to create bank holidays for Wales through legislation, (the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971), as is currently the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“I am delighted that there is support from full council for this notice of motion and that the council’s cabinet members will now look into officially recognising St David's Day by giving a day’s holiday leave to our workforce. Obviously, our schools and care workforce will need to be looked at in more detail, as they are vital and important key services. We must also recognise that there are many events organised to mark the occasion within our schools.
“Gwynedd is a Welsh language and cultural leader, it is therefore fitting that we, as a council, research the practicalities of this request, and encourage other councils across Wales to follow suit.
“Do the little things, was St David's message. Our hope now is that Westminster Government can do one small thing that could become something vast and important for us here in Wales. It is high time we had the rights to govern ourselves. We will continue to press for change.”
Gwynedd Councillor Nia Jeffreys, the Cabinet Member for Corporate Support which includes staffing matters, fully supports the notice of motion; “I am pleased that Councillor Elwyn Edwards has put forward this proposal and I am very supportive of the principle.
"It is disgraceful that Wales does not have the power to decide on our own bank holidays - the only real answer for us is independence!"
“Obviously, there are a number of financial details to consider before this principle can be adopted for Council staff - I will be asking the department to start work as soon as possible in order to bring this matter to the Cabinet.”