5. 90-second Statements

– in the Senedd at 4:08 pm on 22 May 2024.

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Photo of David Rees David Rees Labour 4:08, 22 May 2024


Item 5 is the 90-second statements, the first of which is from Peredur Owen Griffiths.

Photo of Peredur Owen Griffiths Peredur Owen Griffiths Plaid Cymru


Thank you, Dirprwy Lywydd. Capel y Berthen, Lixwm, was the first Calvinistic Methodist chapel in Flintshire. The cause was established in 1776 by John Owen, and the chapel was opened by Daniel Rowlands. The chapel was named after y Berthen Gron, the chapel of the founder, John Owen. That chapel was around half a mile away from the current chapel. The current chapel was built 200 years ago in 1824, and it was the opening of that chapel that was celebrated last Sunday.

But what links the chapel with the Regional Member for South Wales East? Well, dad, the Reverend John Owen Griffiths, was the twelfth minister at the chapel between 1993 and the year 2000, and it was at the chapel that I was received as a member, and we lived virtually next door to the chapel for seven years. 

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of returning to y Berthen for a service and a special lecture by one of the chapel’s elders, the famous botanist Dr Goronwy Wynne, followed by a cymanfa ganu, a celebration in song. The welcome home was as warm as ever, and it was wonderful to see familiar faces and friends, and to remember those who were such a formative influence on me and others in my teens. Thank you very much to Capel y Berthen, and best wishes for the next two centuries.

Photo of Rhys ab Owen Rhys ab Owen Plaid Cymru 4:10, 22 May 2024


I'm grateful to my father that I can address you in Welsh today in the Welsh Parliament. The Welsh language had long since died out of the family when my father decided to learn the language. For him, the Welsh language was a gift, and it's difficult to believe today that the policy of Cardiff Council up until the end of the 1960s was that at least one parent had to speak the language before a child could receive a Welsh-medium education.

When he was still a non-Welsh speaker, my father fought to ensure that my brother John could receive Welsh-medium education. That led to a change of policy, and in due time to a huge growth in Welsh-medium education in Cardiff. Today, over 70 per cent of pupils in Welsh-medium education in Cardiff come from non-Welsh-speaking households.

My father was crucial in establishing a number of schools, and his expertise in the history of the Welsh language in Cardiff enabled him to provide appropriate names for these schools. His family couldn't understand why my father joined Plaid Cymru at the end of the 1950s. I remember his sister saying that they tried to reason with him a number of times in order for him to join the Labour Party; it was their view that it was a waste of time to join Plaid Cymru. But my father had a clear vision for a free Wales, and a better Wales for its people, and he continued election after election until he achieved his dream. There were a number of disappointments along the way, but my father was always positive. 

The referendum and election in 1979 encouraged him to establish Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff. When the 1997 referendum came about, he organised the telephone canvassing. With a majority of less than 7,000, I'm sure the fact that they spoke to 45,000 people was crucial in the success of that referendum.

On the day of his death, his friend Geraint Davies, former Assembly Member for Rhondda, phoned me. He said how much practical support my father gave him during the 1999 election, although electing Geraint was likely to mean that my father wouldn't be elected to the Assembly. This was very characteristic of my father. The party and, more importantly, the nation, came way before any personal gain.

My father leaves 11 grandchildren, and the twelfth is due within two days, on Friday. Despite his many contributions, this is his main contribution. Thank you, dad. [Applause.]

Photo of Cefin Campbell Cefin Campbell Plaid Cymru 4:13, 22 May 2024


The towns and villages of magnificent Maldwyn are a fiesta of red, white and green as the ancient fields of Mathrafal near Meifod prepare to welcome the Urdd National Eisteddfod to the marches next week. The week-long event will be the culmination of years of work to raise funds and raise awareness of the festival by local appeals committees across Montgomeryshire, from the River Dyfi to Offa's Dyke.

This is the first time that Montgomery has welcomed the festival since 1988, and it already promises to be an Eisteddfod to remember, with the area abuzz with enthusiasm. This week alone, the Urdd announced that over 100,000 young people from all parts of Wales and beyond have registered to compete in the event, more than ever before. So, as the crowds, be they competitors, parents, teachers, grandparents and so on, prepare to gather in the land of Owain Glyndŵr, Ann Griffiths and Nansi Richards, may I take this opportunity to wish them all well, and thank once again all of those in our communities who have worked so, so hard to support one of the highlights of Wales's cultural calendar? I'm sure that there will be the warmest of welcomes for all of us to join in the fun in magnificent Maldwyn next week. Thank you.

Photo of David Rees David Rees Labour 4:14, 22 May 2024


Finally, James Evans. 

Photo of James Evans James Evans Conservative

Diolch, Deputy Presiding Officer. Tomorrow is the inaugural Senedd dog of the year competition. This incentive serves as a powerful platform to highlight the profound bond between people and their dogs and the vital role that dogs play within Welsh society. Statistics reveal a surge in dog ownership in Wales, with a recent report from the Kennel Club suggesting a 17 per cent rise since the pandemic began. While this trend signifies the growing appreciation of dogs, it also underscores the importance of responsible dog ownership. The Senedd dog of the year campaign serves a crucial purpose by showcasing well-trained, healthy dogs with dedicated owners who always behave themselves in the Senedd Chamber. It promotes responsible pet ownership practices and also the importance of looking after out pets.

Recent data shows that 1,200 dogs were relinquished last year, and the Dogs Trust's report concerned a 47 per cent increase in dogs entering their care due to the cost-of-living crisis, highlighting the importance that it does play in understanding the cost of a dog and responsible dog ownership. By celebrating these extraordinary dogs that we have here in the Senedd, we hope to inspire a culture of responsible pet ownership and a deeper appreciation of the well-being of all animals, great and small. With the judging and results happening tomorrow, may the most deserving dog be crowned Senedd dog of the year.