DYDY CYNGHORAU sir ddim wedi newid y ffordd maen nhw’n trin y Gymraeg wrth ymdrin â cheisiadau cynllunio, er gwaethaf newid diweddar i’r gyfraith, yn ôl canlyniadau arolwg gan Gymdeithas yr Iaith.
O’r cynghorau sir a ymatebodd i ymholiad y Gymdeithas ynglŷn â’r ffordd maen nhw’n addasu eu polisïau cynllunio yn sgil pasio Deddf Cynllunio ym mis Mai eleni, nid oedd yr un cyngor bwriadu, nag yn cynllunio i, newid eu hymdriniaeth o’r iaith. Mae’r ddeddf yn gwneud y Gymraeg yn ystyriaeth berthnasol statudol i’r system gynllunio am y tro cyntaf erioed, gan roi grym statudol i gynghorwyr wrthod neu ganiatáu datblygiadau ar sail eu heffaith ar yr iaith. Bydd rhaid hefyd i’r gyfundrefn yn ei chyfanrwydd hybu datblygu cynaliadwy, sydd yn cynnwys ystyriaeth o anghenion y Gymraeg. Mae’r ddeddfwriaeth hefyd yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i awdurdodau wneud asesiad o effaith eu cynlluniau datblygu ar yr iaith yn y tymor hir.
Mae canllawiau cynllunio’r Llywodraeth yn nodi bod modd i awdurdodau ail-ystyried eu cynlluniau datblygu os oes newid mawr i bolisi neu ddeddfwriaeth genedlaethol. Mewn ymateb, dywedodd Cyngor Conwy eu bod yn ystyried “bod y Cynllun Datblygu Lleol eisoes yn bodloni gofynion y Bil Cynllunio o ran y Gymraeg, ac felly mae’n annhebygol y byddai angen adolygiad ar y sail hon”. Dywedodd Cyngor Sir Ceredigion “nid yw’r rheidrwydd newydd sydd yn y Ddeddf yn peri bod angen adolygu’r CDLl yn gynharach” ac mae Cyngor Bro Morgannwg yn aros am ganllawiau pellach gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Dywedodd Cyngor Wrecsam bod gyda nhw “Nodyn Canllaw Cynllunio Lleol yn barod o ran cynllunio a’r iaith Gymraeg sydd i’w gael ar ein gwefan sy’n nodi pa wybodaeth rydym ei angen fel rhan o unrhyw ymgais a lle mae’r Gymraeg yn ystyriaeth berthnasol”.
Daw’r newyddion wrth i Gymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg gyhoeddi dogfen polisi ar faes yr Eisteddfod ynghylch sicrhau bod y stoc tai presennol yn cyfrannu at y nod o atal yr allfudiad a chreu miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg. Ymysg y siaradwyr yn y lansiad bydd cynrychiolwyr o’r mudiad sy’n ymgyrchu dros hawliau pobl ifanc yng Ngheredigion i dai , ‘Ble ti’n mynd i fyw?’ a chynrychiolydd o Shelter Cymru.
Wrth siarad cyn y lansiad ar y maes, rhybuddiodd Tamsin Davies llefarydd cymunedau cynaliadwy Cymdeithas yr Iaith, nad oedd cyrff yn paratoi ar gyfer y newidiadau: “Mae ymatebion y cynghorau yn awgrymu bod dim wedi newid yn sgil y ddeddfwriaeth. Mae angen i’r Llywodraeth a’r cynghorau weithredu’n gyflym er mwyn sicrhau bod symud ymlaen i weithredu’r newidiadau pwysig a cafwyd drwy’r ddeddfwriaeth. Mae angen amserlen gan y Llywodraeth o ran dod ag adrannau’r ddeddfwriaeth sy’n ymwneud a’r iaith i rym – ydyn nhw’n bwriadu ei weithredu cyn yr etholiadau fis Mai nesaf? Neu ydyn nhw’n mynd i lusgo eu traed?
“Mae nifer o gynghorau dan yr argraff bod modd iddyn nhw barhau yn yr un ffordd ag o’r blaen, ond dylen nhw fod yn paratoi a phwyso ar y Llywodraeth am arweiniad. Mae’r newid yn y gyfraith yn creu cyfle i gynghorau weithredu’n flaengar o blaid y Gymraeg. Fel mae pethau, mae perygl y bydd y sefyllfa yn arwain at ddryswch a llanast, fel mae profiad yng Ngheredigion yn dangos. Yn syth wedi pasio’r ddeddfwriaeth fe ysgrifennon ni at y Llywodraeth i ofyn beth oedd eu cynlluniau i sicrhau bod cynghorau yn derbyn arweiniad, ond nid oes cynlluniau clir ganddyn nhw i ddiweddaru’r canllawiau.”
Ddechrau Gorffennaf, pleidleisiodd cynghorwyr Ceredigion dros gadw at bolisi sy’n golygu bod angen asesu effaith iaith ar rai datblygiadau unigol nad ydynt yn y Cynllun Datblygu Lleol: polisi sy’n groes i gyngor technegol cenedlaethol ar gynllunio – TAN20. Rhybuddiodd swyddogion y cyngor nad oes sicrwydd bod penderfyniad cyngor i gadw at y polisi yn gyfreithlon.
Ychwanegodd Ms Davies: “Er bod swyddogion Cyngor Ceredigion wedi dweud bod polisi eu cynghorwyr yn mynd yn groes i ganllawiau presennol, TAN20, pe na bai’r Cyngor yn gofyn am asesiad effaith iaith ar ddatblygiadau o’r fath, gallai’r Cyngor fod yn agored i her gyfreithiol oherwydd bod y Gymraeg yn ystyriaeth berthnasol i ddatblygiad penodol. Felly mae TAN20 a’r ddeddfwriaeth newydd yn gwrthddweud ei gilydd.”
Wrth sôn am alwad y mudiad am Fesur Cartrefi Fforddiadwy i Bawb, ychwanegodd: “Er y dylai’r Gymraeg, yn y pendraw, fod yn fwy o ystyriaeth yn y gyfundrefn gynllunio yn sgil y Ddeddf Cynllunio, os yw’r Gymraeg i ffynnu am y blynyddoedd i ddod, mae angen mynd i’r afael â defnydd o’r stoc tai presennol. Mae’n glir bod costau tai a rhentu yn rhai o’r ffactorau sy’n cyfrannu at allfudo a symudoledd poblogaeth – patrymau sydd, ar y cyfan, yn niweidiol iawn i’r Gymraeg. Felly mae angen ymdrech i wneud y stoc tai’n fwy fforddiadwy.”
Milestone reached at Yr Egin
THE CONSTRUCTION of Yr Egin – the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new digital and media centre – reached a milestone on September 18 with a ‘topping out’ ceremony held on the site in Carmarthen.
The practice of ‘topping out’ is a tradition in the construction industry and celebrates a significant point in the construction phase when the building reaches its highest point.
During the ceremony held at the top of the building, Professor Medwin Hughes DL, UWTSD’s Vice Chancellor was joined by key partners in this exciting initiative including Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive; Steve Nicholls from Kier Group; Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader and Mark James, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council; as well as representation from the Welsh Government, which has provided £3million funding towards the new centre.
“Today is a very important milestone in the construction of the Yr Egin development,” said Professor Hughes. “The building has reached its highest point and clearly indicates the realisation of the University’s exciting and bold vision to develop a creative and digital cluster that will greatly benefit the county, the region and the creative industries across Wales.
“Co-locating a range of creative, digital and cultural practitioners within the same building – with S4C at its core as the main anchor tenant – will create opportunities, encourage innovation and enable job creation in this key priority sector.”
Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is an ambitious and transformational development that will be home to S4C’s main headquarters as well as a number of companies and organisations working with the creative and digital industries.
S4C Chief Executive Ian Jones said: “With just over a year to go until we relocate our headquarters to Canolfan S4C Yr Egin today is a significant milestone.
“Seeing Yr Egin take shape underlines our commitment to ensuring that S4C will have offices in three locations across Wales by the end of 2018.
“Our internal preparations for the move to Carmarthen are well underway and we look forward to the prospect of creating numerous employment opportunities from the first quarter of 2018 onwards.”
The design of the 3,700 square metre building has already received the support of the Design Commission for Wales with the internal layout of the building focused around a public foyer and atrium that overarches the three floors. There will be a specific focus on the broadcasting and performance on the ground floor, with a range of offices for S4C and other partners on the other two floors. The University will also create new enterprise incubation units, offering access to opportunities, facilities, events and industry networks.
Regional construction company Kier Group Plc are the main contractors for Canolfan S4C yr Egin and are responsible for managing the construction of the new centre. The company’s Operations Director, Jason Taylor praised the project team for the hard work and progress they had made: “It has been a real pleasure to meet the university staff, the anchor tenant S4C and local councillors today to show them around the site. The project is gathering momentum and taking shape allowing us all to visualise the flagship Yr Egin building with its surrounding featured landscapes.
“Collaborative working relationships is a core part of the success of this project and a shared ethos between UWTSD, S4C and Kier. Throughout the construction process we have been working hard with our local supply chain partners to provide employment and up skilling opportunities. The project is also being utilised as a learning initiative for local schools and colleges.
“I would like to personally thank our site team for their efforts to ensure that the roof was complete for this ‘topping out’ celebration which enables them to progress internal works heading for completion. Kier are very proud to be part of this project and we look forward to seeing the completion of this creative Welsh digital hub in 2018.”
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates said: “Once complete this new facility will help to deliver the infrastructure needed to support the University’s vision of a cluster of creative businesses in Carmarthen. This in turn will help to inject new life into the local economy, bring additional and high quality jobs to Carmarthen and enhance Wales’ growing reputation as an enabler of talent, imagination and productivity. It also supports our wider commitment to promoting Welsh as a living and vibrant language and will help cement links between academia and creative businesses.”
Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is a development that will transform and shape the creative and digital industries in South West Wales and beyond. It will also be a centre that will be at the heart of the community providing opportunities for local people to enjoy the building and its resources – a cafe, auditorium and performance stages.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “From winning the S4C contract to securing the City Deal investment, the Yr Egin development is well on track and we’re excited to be part of the journey.
“This is a fantastic development for the whole of the Swansea Bay City Region, especially so in Carmarthenshire, with the creation of exciting new jobs in the creative sector that I’m sure will act as a catalyst for further opportunities.”
Canolfan S4C Yr Egin’s design team is a partnership between the Rural Office for Architecture (ROA), a company based in Newcastle Emlyn, and BDP (Building Design Partnership), an international company of architects, engineers and designers, with local architect, Niall Maxwell leading on the project.
The building will be complete by next summer.
Four friends, three mountains and one smashed target
FOUR FRIENDS recently completed the Tŷ Hafan’s Welsh3Peaks challenge, smashing their fund raising target of £1,000 in the process.
On Saturday, June 17, in the baking heatwave, Kate Morgan, Nicola Morgan, Kate Williams and Lizzie Dykes from the Llangrannog and New Quay areas climbed three of the highest mountains in Wales in one day; Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen-y-Fan, a backbreaking 20.35 miles with an ascent of 9,397ft (2,864m).
The team had set themselves an ambitious target of £1,000 but have since exceeded that target and they are now close to raising a £3,000 for Tŷ Hafan, one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities which offers care to children and support for their families, throughout Wales.
Beginning in the dark at 4am at the bottom of Snowdon with the other 70 teams taking part, they tentatively set out on what would be a very long, hot and gruelling day. Despite the testing conditions, the team finished in a laudable time of 17 hours.
Kate thanks everyone for their support: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone one who has donated towards this worthy cause and supported us. It definitely spurred us up and down the mountains and made us think of families less fortunate than us.
“So far we have smashed our original target of £1,000 and money is still coming in, for which we are very grateful. We would love to now reach £3,000 which would allow Tŷ Hafan to do even more amazing work for families less fortunate than us.”
Talking about the challenge itself Kate explains: “Being novice mountain climbers, the biggest shock was trying to come down the mountains and not up. Our legs, knees, calves ached and were in pain right from the start of turning around and coming down Snowdon, well I was.”
Nicola added: “The heat was also a factor as well as the inclines so we took it slow and steady so we were able to complete the challenge. However, with the glorious weather we had some amazing views and watching the sun rise coming down from Snowdon was beautiful.”
They all agreed that they now have a huge sense of achievement, relief and sore legs but with the little sleep they had completed the challenge armed with nerves, excitement and adrenaline which had kept them going.
Lizzie ended by saying: “We would also like to say a big thanks to Rhydian, our fifth team member as without him it would not have been possible. He was a true star and had bacon rolls and tea and coffee ready after each mountain. He was a life saver.”
If you would like to donate towards this challenge there is still time: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WalkingWendys
A future for the implementation of Council Tax premiums
A DECISION has been made on the nature of implementation of raising council tax premiums on second homes and long term empty homes.
The decision to raise a 25% council tax premium on second homes and long term empty homes was made in March 2016; the recent decision decides how the added revenue from the premiums will be used.
It was decided in the full Council meeting on 16 March 2017 that the money raised from council tax premiums will be distributed after a period of three years, and the Council would continue to have dialouge with town and community councils with regards to the distribution of money.
Ceredigion County Council’s Deputy Chief Excecutive, Eifion Evans said: “The raising of council tax premiums on some properties is intended to raise money to be put to use for the benefit of the local communities of Ceredigion. This mode of implentation allows for a fund to be built over three years, and then for town and community councils to apply for money to support projects within their locality. However these projects must be compliant with Welsh Government guidence.”
Access to funds raised through the premium will be decided on a project basis, where applications will be made by town and community councils to achieve a specific aim. Guidelines will be put in place with regards to the use of the money raised and early notification will be given to town and community councils to allow work to begin preparing applications before the end of the third year.
The Council also decided a task and finish group is to be established to consider implementation of the council tax premium.
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