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Exclusive report: Welsh language courses are in limbo

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welshWITH new arrangements for the delivery of Welsh language education for adults, a few weeks from beginning, arrangements for tuition are still not finalised in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Powys.
The Herald understands that contrary to previous reports, Aberystwyth University is NOT waiting for further information and is NOT waiting for an agreement to sign.
The Herald has been told by a reliable source that the issue boils down to money. Aberystwyth University wants more, and the National Centre for Welsh Learning has refused to give it any.
It is believed that the University wants the Council to pick up redundancy costs, leaving it free to cherry pick staff.
We can reveal that the National Centre has now given the university ten more days to sign the agreement and that clock is already ticking.
The University is insisting that provisions intended to protect the interests of employees whose roles are taken over by a new provider do not apply. However, the University has claimed legal privilege in respect of that advice and refused to share it with the tutors’ employers at Ceredigion County Council.
We can confirm that the Council’s own legal advice has concluded that those protocols should apply and that the Council has set out its position in writing to the University.
The same situation applies to staff in Carmarthenshire.
If the university does not sign the agreement, there would probably have to be an emergency re-tendering exercise and the whole mess could end up bogged down in lengthy recriminations and legal proceedings.
We asked the National Centre for Welsh Learning and Aberystwyth University to comment.
A spokesperson for the National Centre told us: “We emphasise again that detailed discussions regarding the provision of Welsh language courses in Ceredigion, Powys and Carmarthenshire are ongoing between the National Centre for Learning Welsh and Aberystwyth University and a formal response is expected shortly from the University.
“The Centre is fully-committed to ensuring Welsh courses are available across Wales from September onwards.”
A spokesperson for the University said: “Discussions with the National Centre for Learning Welsh and other providers are continuing. We hope a final decision will be made by the end of June.”
In a late-breaking development, we understand that after a series of complaints to Adam Price AM, the University has claimed that agreement with the National Centre is imminent.
SEE OUR FULL REPORT in The Ceredigion Herald this week

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Penrhyn-coch Brownies compose song

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PENRHYN-COCH Brownies were congratulated for composing a new Welsh language song recently. The workshops were part of a program of Welsh language workshops organised by Cered – Menter Iaith Ceredigion.

Following a series of workshops with the young singer, Mari Mathias from Talgarreg, the girls decided to compose a song. ‘Yn yr Haf’ was recorded with the girls singing and Mari on the guitar. All the group members received a copy of the song on CD.

Rhodri Francis, Cered’s Development Officer said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the group and we congratulate members on their masterpiece. Thanks also to the leaders for their enthusiasm in securing opportunities for the members to socialise in Welsh outside of school hours.”

Cered’s main aim is to support, influence and develop the use of the Welsh language in Ceredigion through partnership and co-operation, to establish the best possible foundation for the development of the language in the society and community.

Wendy Reynolds, leader of the Brownies unit in Penrhyn-coch said: “The experience has been amazing for the girls and they’ve had a lot of fun doing activities through the medium of Welsh.”

Follow all the news about the wider work of Cered, through liking the Facebook page @ceredmenteriaith or follow on Twitter @MICered.

For more information on Cered, phone 01545 572350 or email cered@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Theatre caravan coming to Aberystwyth

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THE SMALLEST cinema in a theatre caravan will be on the Promenade in Aberystwyth for three Saturdays this summer.

Staff from Ceredigion Museum, together with the Friends of Ceredigion Museum, will be hosting a series of free entertaining events in and around the theatre caravan on July 28, August 4, and August 11 between 12pm and 4pm.

Sarah Morton, the Events Organiser for Ceredigion Museum said, “We have a series of short local films from the National Film and Screen Archive which links to our summer exhibition relating to the seaside at the museum, in the old Coliseum Theatre. The two minute films show people on the beach and promenade in Aberystwyth as well as Y Borth. We will also have singing from the Showtime Singers to add to the entertainment.

“We will be situated in and near the bandstand and hope to be able to bring some of the traditions of a typical coastal break back to life.”

Besides the theatre caravan, there will be a Guess-the-Object held in the bandstand with museum staff to aid in identifying the mystery objects.

For more details about the caravan and the entertainment, contact Sarah Morton at Ceredigion Museum on 01970 633088

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Surprise presentation for retiring cook

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AFTER feeding hundreds of children in her role as cook at Ysgol Eglwyswrw for the past 40 years, Mrs Anona Williams is finally hanging up her apron. But there was a shock in store for Mrs Williams when she arrived at the school for one of her last days at work on Tuesday (Jul 17).

Cameras from the S4C magazine programme, Heno, were present to capture her receiving a special award from music conductor and presenter, Alwyn Humphreys.

She started at her post in 1978 and during that time has fed three generations including her own niece and nephew and great-niece and great-nephew.

Headteacher, Edryd Eynon, said Mrs Williams would be sadly missed.

“We will miss her delicious meals and her caring nature,” he said.

“She spoils all the children and is like a grandmother to them. Her contribution to the school is priceless.

“She ran the breakfast and the Cook It clubs and ensured all pupils had an exciting experiences working with food and preparing many delicious recipes.

“Every sports day she would prepare and donate coffee, tea and her famous scones and all the money she raised would be given to school funds. She did this for 40 years.

“Mrs Williams will be sadly missed at Ysgol Eglwyswrw not only for her delicious food – especially her pizza and coleslaw – but also for her caring and loving character. We wish her all the best for the future.”

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