Thursday, 30 December 2010
Review of 2010 Part 1
January – June.
Here are some of the important events of 2010, I have listed then in their months with part two to come in the new year.
As usual a quiet month but one story which reared its head was that some sectors thought an archaeological dig in Cae Phillips would spoil the plans for the new Ysgol Hendre to go ahead. A Medieval burial ground of “National Importance” had been found and made the headlines at the time.
Gwynedd Council introduced their new “green” refuse collection service. This was to try and make people recycle more. Collections for normal waste would be made every two weeks.
Celtic Royal Hotel announces that if business does not improve they may need to close during the months of January in future years. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/july/celticroyal.html
Clic Agency involved in a new Sherlock Holmes DVD filmed on location in parts of Caernarfon http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/feb/sherlock.html
Major concerns raised by Councillor after hearing news that the old doctors surgery was to be transformed into a drug rehab centre. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/feb/old_doctors_surgery.html
Caernarfon Park given £37,000 face lift. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/feb/coedhelen.html
Big Weekend announced for the Faenol as Chris Moyles and Pixie Lott record live show from the venue. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/feb/bigweekend.html
Google uses Caernarfon Castle as its background to celebrate St Davids Day. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/march/google.html
Local publican and a big character in town was buried after passing away in February . Beno (Richard Merfyn Roberts) Hundreds turn up at his funeral.
A futile attempt to sue COL Editor dismissed in court. Local councillor shamed in court for his part in the proceedings. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/march/bobanderson.html
Death trap uncovered in Plas Maesincla http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/march/deathtrap.html
Noddfa announce successful funding http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/march/noddfa.html
Caernarfon Town Football Club rescue plan announced http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/march/ctfc.html
Closed meeting by Plaid Cymru “photo scandal” to choose new mayor elect http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/march/plaidmeeting.html
Big news for town announced on April Fools day! http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/april1st.html
Line up for Big Weekend announced, acts to include Rhianna, JLS and Cheryl Cole http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/bigweekend.html
Llais Gwynedd Councillor Gwilym Euros suspended following assault claims http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/gwilymeuros.html
Big Weekend Beach Clean in North Wales http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/beachsweep.html
Llanbeblig Cemetery drops to new low as vandals destroy the area http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/llanbeblig.html
Queen visit’s Caernarfon to the delight of locals http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/queen_visit.html
Gwynedd Chairman announced as Tudor Owen http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/may/gwyneddchair.html
Election results sees Plaid Cymru majority slashed as Hywel Williams keeps seat http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/may/electionresult.html
Big Weekend a big success at the Faenol. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/bigweekend/
New Signs erected in town to help find parking spaces. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/june/signs.html
Caernarfon’s Midsummer Festival a great success http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/june/midsummerfest.html
Karate breaking record completed at Hendre School. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/june/karate.html
Glyn Evans MBE dies. http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/june/glyn.html
So nice to receive a Christmas card from a dear old friend this morning. Better late than never I suppose. It was surprising to hear from him after so long. (he was always one who was late with everything so no change there ha ha). Thank you dear friend, you were always a blast!
You know, little things like this re-kindle those nice warm thoughts you had for people who you thought were long gone.
It gave me a new lease of life and makes me look forward to another good year.
I hope you all had a wonderful time this Christmas and enjoyed yourselves as much as we did, where ever you are.
May I wish you all a Happy New Year and lets make this one the best yet.
Monday, 20 December 2010
So glad to see so many hits on the blog and so glad to see my feelings about driving people away from town is backed by so many of you.
It seems not only do many of you think the by pass will be the death of Caernarfon, many of you are also sceptical about if the Land Train and if it's any good for the town or if indeed it's driving people away.
Having said that, I have had a couple of positive messages regarding the train (one from Mr Thirsk himself who disagreed what was said and denies they were responsible for the loudspeaker?). I have to say though, I heard what I heard.
But quite honestly this has raised quite a storm amongst you lot with many of you justifiably worried about loss of trade in town and the town's future in general.
For many years we've seen businesses fold and because of this we need all the help we can get. It's such a shame that so many are trying to do it alone instead of together.
I hope the council reviews what the train is doing or not doing for the town in the New Year.
Anyway enough of that, Ti's the season to be jolly and within days, the grand old man with his reindeer will soon come a knocking.
The snow has stopped a lot of things but it didn't stop the karate Christmas party at Ysgol Yr Hendre. Children from all corners came to the splash with parents and friends all joining forces to make sure the kids had a great day.
Over 60 children had a feast of Christmas food, drink and games with father Christmas making an appearance at the end with presents and booty bags for everyone.
We even had fun competitions where both adults and kids took part!
What a great feeling of community spirit we experienced throughout. Therefore may I take this opportunity in thanking everyone who helped out: from the servers to the cleaners, the cooks to the DJ and not forgetting Father Christmas himself!!
I was glad to be a part of the organising team and hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did.
The photo above shows me holding a Piniata Santa which was kindly donated by one of the parents.
May I take this opportunity in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Make it difficult for people to get here and they won't! This is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!
The same has happened in Caernarfon over and over again. Our resident Historian T Meirion Hughes is on record as stating the death of trading in town is down to the Train Station being removed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IWiO0iLVIk
Following the removal of the station, Caernarfon had to endure a 'fly over' or inner relief road which also served to deviate from the town.
More recently we've seen the one way system on Bangor Street help close down shops in the centre. What next?
Well shocking as it may seem, a venture, supposed to attract visitors into town is said to be driving people away from it.
Local shop keepers are up in arms that the Land Train owned and run by John Thirsk is killing trade in their shops. Many of them have complained to the council but at the moment it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
The Chamber of Trade are sitting on the fence on it.
Personally, I do not like the train. As a driving instructor I have been stopped unnecessary by the train when approaching the town centre, having already stopped at the zebra crossing.
I was appalled whist covering the official lighting of our Christmas tree for the website last week when I witnessed someone on the trains loudspeaker advertising across the ceremony.
This was totally unacceptable and many people present were disgusted with the hard sell.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sELHEXogJm0
In my personal opinion the train is an accident waiting to happen and (I hope I'm wrong) soon we may see a fatality as the train drives up a congested Pool Street and down a narrow lane for Pool Side, when other vehicles are not allowed. This is ludicrous!
I ask this? How can driving people away from the town centre help our businesses?
Come on Chamber of Trade, stop ducking out and support the businesses who've complained. Or are you ignoring them simply because they are not members?
Or perhaps is it just because the same Mr John Thirsk is currently your acting chairman following the suicide of the former chair?
People wouldn't complain without reason now would they?
Caernarfon needs help and it needs it fast!
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately, but we've been away for a few weeks in sunny Florida and it was a holiday well worth making the effort for. Once again I am able to appreciate how good life is.
Coming back to Caernarfon and the bitterly cold weather we're having at the moment, makes me wish we had booked a few weeks extra!!!
The temp was the hottest on record (for October) at an incredible 91 degrees!
However , this is the first time ever I've returned home to snow on the hill-tops in October.
Visiting the States make you realize how far we are behind in this country of ours. Both technology wise and promotion wise.
Orlando certainly seems to have its act together, as even in the current financial climate, hotels and theme parks were full to bursting and there did not seem to be a shortage of cash passing around.
I just about made it back for the fireworks and you will have to accept my apologies for the short video of the event I included on the Caernarfon website, we were still jet lagged when we heard the bangs, so shot out to the street to record some of it for those of you who missed it. Not good quality, but the best I could muster under the circumstances.
We have the Remembrance service to look forward to on Sunday, and I hope you all make the effort to go down and give it your support. The event in Caernarfon is always well supported and I hope you enjoy it.
It will soon be Christmas and despite the recession, I have had a wonderful year this year, Life seems to get better as you get older and I hope you all feel the same about the way things are going for you.
Let's hope Caernarfon improves as we get older too and now that hopefully we have turned a corner here in town, things will slowly get back on track for us.
Soooooo pleased to see the old Woolworth's store opening up before Christmas, this can only be good for Pool Street and the town in general.
I cross my fingers that Tesco will also get the go ahead and the by pass is canceled.... well we can all dream can't we.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this election, despite not getting the result I wanted.
Nevertheless, it was an experience that anyone with an opinion should take. It is so easy to complain and knock councillors.... but to have the right to do that, one must be prepared to put themselves up and be counted. It's no point in complaining if you are not prepared to have a go yourself.
I have always been Independent in my views and always want what's best for the people of Caernarfon, not necessarily what a particular party wants.
Personally I feel 'party politics' hinder councillors at this level, but that's only my opinion and (thank God) we live in a country which allows us to have the freedom of opinion.
Congratulations to all who took part in this election, especially to those who topped the polls.
The others, well, the others should now take stock and see what they are going to do about any future elections.
Saturday, 11 September 2010
There are three different elections taking place, one for the vacant Town council seat on the Cadnant ward and two for the vacant Gwynedd and Town council seats on the Seiont ward.
Many of you may already be aware that I have put my name down for election on the Seiont Ward.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity in wishing everyone who is up for election the very best and promise readers that this is all I intend to blog on it.
In the interest of fair play, I will not try to influence anyone on the Caernarfon website but will blog as normal. There will be no reference to the election itself on this blog until after the election.
Caernarfon Online may post updates to news about the election if and when we receive them from Gwynedd Council.
I hope you all understand.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Friday, 13 August 2010
I am one of the many instructors in the area who are concerned about the bad name direct debit contracts give the martial arts.
People keep telling me that karate at some places cost as much as £60 per month plus extras!!! This saddens me as I am one of the old school instructors who teach kids because I can, not to line my pockets.
Please take a few minutes to click on this link
http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/aug/karatekid.html and if you know of anyone who is paying a kings ransom to learn karate then let them know they don't have to. 1 1/2 hour lessons can cost as little as £3.50 and are available here in Caernarfon. Download the token from the page (link) above and gain two free lessons and free membership until Dec 2010!!! No catch, no hidden fees and strictly no direct debits.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
I love working for this website, as it allows me to get behind the scenes at all the major events.
This weekend was no exception, as we covered two first class events in the area.
Getting close to the action and being lucky enough to chat with the organisers of these events is something I really enjoy experiencing.
This weekend proved to be a very busy on for us, as on Saturday we went to Coed Helen Holiday Park for the Help for the Heroes event and on Sunday we visited the North Wales Boat Show on its final day at the Faenol.
These were two events which I can safely say were first class and ones which will grow and grow over the next few years.
If you haven't yet seen our interviews, then check them out on the links below.
North Wales Boat Show
Help for the Heroes
Many thanks to the organisers of both events for their help in making our visits run smoothly.
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
I don't know if you've seen the latest press release from the Faenol, but if you haven't please check the link above.
We at Caernarfon Online hold the Faenol very close to our hearts and appreciate all the good that rolls off it for the area.
Every year we are invited to cover the event on the Caernarfon website and every year we see the joy it gives people first hand.
This year is a real challenge for the festival and one which I would imagine was difficult to organise. Difficult because they (the organisers) need to top what they've done in the past and that can prove difficult in the current economic climate.
I think they have done this by inviting back two of the most successful acts to grace the Faenol park. Rolando and Westlife. Added to this we have the Battle of Britain event and a new comedy night featuring Al Murray and firends. WOW! How good does it get?
Our Friend Angharad
Angharad Wynne, the Faenol Press Officer is someone I have a lot of time and respect for as she has done her utmost to ensure that our experience with the festival has always been an easy and productive one. Again this year, she is doing all she can to make sure things are running sommthly and I wish her and her team all the best for this years event.
Community needs to come togehter
We, as locals need to ensure the Festival's future by showing our support for this wonderful date in North Wales' diary.
As everybody guessed, in the current financial climate ticket sales are slower this year and added to this we also had the Big Weekend and Wakestock to compete with.
The Faenol Festival has always pride itself on supplying us with the top acts currently performing. Let's face it, where in the country, nay the World, could we see so many stars under one roof?
The Faenol has pulled out all the stops to once more give North Wales a show to be proud of. Westlife are one of the biggest names in the World, added to this we have opera legend Rolando Villazon, Hayley Westenra, Rhydian and The Feeling, Al Murray, Ed Byrne and Tudur Owen amongst all the other stars on the weekend bill, this year's event promises to be the best yet.
Show your support
All we are asking is that you show your support by purchasing your tickets early so that the organisers can prove to the promoters that this event is as popular as ever. I know that by the time the doors open, the place will be buzzing, but you need to show your intentions now. Please don't wait until the last minute as we don't want it to look as if we are not bothered here in North Wales.
Bryn Terfel has looked after his roots here in Caernarfon time and time again, so lets all get behind this great man and show everyone how important the Faenol is. I know we are all going to enjoy the show when it hits us. This year is special, this year is the 10th Anniversary, this year is special. Let's make it a 10th Anniversary Bryn will treasure. Check out our link above to book your tickets now!
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
This was their last ever concert at the school and the kids didn't disappoint.
Well done to all who took part.
We have not uploaded the video of the concert, but do have the audio recording.
Click Here and I hope you all enjoy as much as I did.
Diolch i Pawb. xx
Thursday, 8 July 2010
The announcement that the new Hendre School plans have been accepted!
My sincere congratulations goes to everyone involved in the Hendre School project.
I have the privilege on being a Governor at the school and the news that planning permission has been approved last night is music to my ears.
I would like to thank the following people who were directly involved in the project.
Councillor Roy Owen who has worked tirelessly throughout the project and without whom, we wouldn't have got anywhere.
Councillor Tudor Owen who was an important link in proceedings and was the only other Gwynedd Councillor involved in the application.
The Head Teacher Arwel Jones, who has had many a sleepless night over the whole affair and Council Officers, Iwan Trefor Jones and Dafydd Gibbard who have worked long hours ensuring things went to plan.
I would also like to thank my fellow Governors who made meetings pleasant and thrashed out any impending problems early
Many thanks also goes to all the councillors who voted yes for the new school. It is such a shame some sectors were against it, but as with everything good. Common sense prevailed in the end.
I now look forward to seeing the foundations laid in this historic moment in the town's history.
Monday, 5 July 2010
Caernarfon Online recently published the concerns of the Celtic Royal Hotel (see above link) and to be quite honest I hadn't realised how run down Bangor Street has become. We have touched on it in the past but, living here and seeing the streets every day you tend to accept things as they are and not notice how run down things have become.
Bangor Street in particular is beginning to look like parts of old Scotland Road in Liverpool, with premises boarded up all along the street, AND ON WHAT USED TO BE THE APPROACH ROAD INTO TOWN.
Time and time again, business owners on Bangor Street have expressed their concerns. Ty Bach Twt, Caernarfon Pine, Soled Out, Adfer, Bruce Edwards Prince of Wales and ATS have all closed down. Surely this can't be just because of the recession??? Surely there is more to this and perhaps the warnings of the business owners may have some substance?
It must be aggravating for the Celtic Royal Hotel as they strive to give visitors the very best experience whilst visiting our town, only to have boarded up buildings right opposite them.
The two photos above show just how derelict buildings attract fly tipping. Not an image vistiors want to see.
Saturday, 3 July 2010
Obviously I am not holding my breath for a Welsh win, but as a lover of the old Home Internationals, I look forward to it already.
I hope you are all enjoying the World Cup as it slowly reaches the semi final stage and more than likely don;t know who to support this afternoon as Argentina play Germany.
After wars with both countries I can't say with any conviction that I'd rather one win or the other.
* Update: The Germans won 4 -0 so I guess that makes them favourites?
Friday, 2 July 2010
Running a football team can't be easy and with money an issue, the Canaries need all the help they can muster. I, for one hope that someone like Gerald Parry will be approached as with his experience, he would be a great choice to try and get Caernarfon on the path to winning ways.
I am not sure if he would consider the role, but cannot think of anyone else who could do a good job with local talent.
I wish the new board all the best for the coming season and hope they find a worth manager to take us back to where we belong. Come on the Canaries!
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Summer is upon us once more and the holiday season will soon be starting.
Today I received the most wonderful news and on top of that, the World Cup is in full swing. OK perhaps England are out but I can still enjoy the rest of it, can't I?
We live in such a beautiful part of the world and quite often we take everything for granted. Funny how good news makes you relaise how great life is, to the extent you find yourself smiling at strangers in the street.
Lets all appreciate life here in Caernarfon and whistle a happy tune.
Despite all the town's problems, things could be worse. Lets all take stock and enjoy ourselves. Life is just too short to be miserable. Caernarfon can be a wonderful place, so let's all try and make it the envy of everywhere else.
Ok talk over....
That's my attempt on getting you all set for a wonderful summer this year! :-) Have a good one! I certainly will!
Monday, 21 June 2010
I wouldn't consider myself unfit (far from it) but karate training isn't the same as mountain walking/climbing.
The effort was well worth it though and as the two linked photos show, the views were breathtaking.
If you've never done it, then I urge you to do so, but do it before you get to 50!!!
Check these photos out!
Monday, 14 June 2010
Things like this makes life so worthwhile as everyone joined in the fun.
Next year we plan to break our record and try to do it in under 30 seconds. We weren't sure how fast we could do it as it was a first for us. Now we have a target we know it can be beaten the next time we do it.
Our incredible time this year was 37 seconds! Well done all the students who collected so well for the sponsorship.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
What a great way to let people know which car park is full....
I see they have three car parks listed, Victoria Dock, Pen Llyn and St Helen's Road.
I am just wondering why they haven't included the most popular one........ THE MAES!!!!
Still no change there as cars are still dangerously parked everywhere on Castle Square every day, come rain or shine!!!!!!!
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Check out our coverage (including videos and photos) on www.CaernarfonOnline.co.uk/bigweekend
Caernarfon and Bangor saw one of the best ever festivals held in the area for many a year. This takes nothing away from Bryn Terfel's Festival. The two were totally different. One offered the very best from the pop world with World renown acts performing for free on our doorsteps, whilst the other offers a variety of different acts scanning from Pop, culture, nostalgia and for the first time this year - Comedy!
My wife and I had a tremendous time mingling with the stars and we were even able to conduct interviews with some of the headlining acts. We has arranged for pupils of Ysgol Sir Huw Owen to provide us with questions which we pt to the stars. All in all a fantastic day and one many of us will remember for many years to come.
Many have said what a good job Radio 1 did in ensuring the top stars gave their services for the weekend. Many have congratulated Gwynedd Council for making sure it went ahead with no obstacles and many have already said how good Caernarfon Online's coverage was, providing not only fantastic photos but more video that anyone imagined.
But one group who has remained quiet and dignified in all this is our good friends at the Faenol. Myfyr, Keith, Simon and the gang made it all happen at the Faenol. To them we are extremely grateful and now they have proven, the Faenol is a world class venue for all the major starts to perform. Forget Wakestock, forget Knebworth, forget Woodstock. THE FAENOL is the place to be.
- First Class!
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition negotiations Agreements reached 11 May 2010
This document sets out agreements reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on a range of issues. These are the issues that needed to be resolved between us in order for us to work together as a strong and stable government. It will be followed in due course by a final Coalition Agreement, covering the full range of policy and including foreign, defence and domestic policy issues not covered in this document.
1. Deficit Reduction
The parties agree that deficit reduction and continuing to ensure economic recovery is the most urgent issue facing Britain. We have therefore agreed that there will need to be:
- a significantly accelerated reduction in the structural deficit over the course of a Parliament,with the main burden of deficit reduction borne by reduced spending rather than increased taxes;
- arrangements that will protect those on low incomes from the effect of public sector pay constraint and other spending constraints; and
- protection of jobs by stopping Labour’s proposed jobs tax.
The parties agree that a plan for deficit reduction should be set out in an emergency budget within 50 days of the signing of any agreement; the parties note that the credibility of a plan on deficit reduction depends on its long-term deliverability, not just the depth of immediate cuts. New forecasts of growth and borrowing should be made by an independent Office for Budget
Responsibility for this emergency budget.
The parties agree that modest cuts of £6 billion to non-front line services can be made within the financial year 2010-11, subject to advice from the Treasury and the Bank of England on their feasibility and advisability. Some proportion of these savings can be used to support jobs, for example through the cancelling of some backdated demands for business rates. Other policies upon which we are agreed will further support job creation and green investment, such as work programmes for the unemployed and a green deal for energy efficiency investment.
The parties agree that reductions can be made to the Child Trust Fund and tax credits for higher earners.
2. Spending Review – NHS, Schools and a Fairer Society
The parties agree that a full Spending Review should be held, reporting this Autumn, following a fully consultative process involving all tiers of government and the private sector.
The parties agree that funding for the NHS should increase in real terms in each year of the Parliament, while recognising the impact this decision would have on other departments. The target of spending 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid will also remain in place.
We will fund a significant premium for disadvantaged pupils from outside the schools budget by reductions in spending elsewhere.
The parties commit to holding a full Strategic Security and Defence Review alongside the Spending Review with strong involvement of the Treasury.
The Government will be committed to the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. We will immediately play a strong role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and press for continued progress on multilateral disarmament. The parties commit to establishing an independent commission to review the long term affordability of public sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights.
We will restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011 with a “triple guarantee” that pensions are raised by the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%, as proposed by the Liberal Democrats.
3. Tax Measures
The parties agree that the personal allowance for income tax should be increased in order to help lower and middle income earners. We agree to announce in the first Budget a substantial increase in the personal allowance from April 2011, with the benefits focused on those with lower and middle incomes. This will be funded with the money that would have been used to pay for the increase in Employee National Insurance thresholds proposed by the Conservatives, as well as revenues from increases in Capital Gains Tax rates for non-business assets as described below. The increase in Employer National Insurance thresholds proposed by the Conservatives will go ahead in order to stop Labour’s jobs tax. We also agree to a longer term policy objective of further increasing the personal allowance to £10,000, making further real terms steps each year towards this objective.
We agree that this should take priority over other tax cuts, including cuts to Inheritance Tax. We also agree that provision will be made for Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain on budget resolutions to introduce transferable tax allowances for married couples without prejudice to this coalition agreement.
The parties agree that a switch should be made to a per-plane, rather than per-passenger duty; a proportion of any increased revenues over time will be used to help fund increases in the personal allowance.
We further agree to seek a detailed agreement on taxing non-business capital gains at rates similar or close to those applied to income, with generous exemptions for entrepreneurial business activities.
The parties agree that tackling tax avoidance is essential for the new government, and that all efforts will be made to do so, including detailed development of Liberal Democrat proposals.
4. Banking Reform
The parties agree that reform to the banking system is essential to avoid a repeat of Labour’s financial crisis, to promote a competitive economy, to sustain the recovery and to protect and sustain jobs.
We agree that a banking levy will be introduced. We will seek a detailed agreement on implementation.
We agree to bring forward detailed proposals for robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses in the financial services sector; in developing these proposals, we will ensure they are effective in reducing risk.
We agree to bring forward detailed proposals to foster diversity, promote mutuals and create a more competitive banking industry.
We agree that ensuring the flow of credit to viable SMEs is essential for supporting growth and should be a core priority for a new government, and we will work together to develop effective proposals to do so. This will include consideration of both a major loan guarantee scheme and the use of net lending targets for the nationalised banks.
The parties wish to reduce systemic risk in the banking system and will establish an independent commission to investigate the complex issue of separating retail and investment banking in a sustainable way; while recognising that this would take time to get right, the commission will be given an initial time frame of one year to report.
The parties agree that the regulatory system needs reform to avoid a repeat of Labour’s financial crisis. We agree to bring forward proposals to give the Bank of England control of macro-prudential regulation and oversight of micro-prudential regulation.
The parties also agree to rule out joining the European Single Currency during the duration of this agreement.
We have agreed that there should be an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work. We will consider jointly the mechanism for implementing the limit. We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes.
6. Political Reform
The parties agree to the establishment of five year fixed-term parliaments. A Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition government will put a binding motion before the House of Commons in the first days following this agreement stating that the next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015. Following this motion, legislation will be brought forward to make provision for fixed term parliaments of five years. This legislation will also provide for dissolution if 55% or more of the House votes in favour.
The parties will bring forward a Referendum Bill on electoral reform, which includes provision for the introduction of the Alternative Vote in the event of a positive result in the referendum, as well as for the creation of fewer and more equal sized constituencies. Both parties will whip their Parliamentary Parties in both Houses to support a simple majority referendum on the Alternative Vote, without prejudice to the positions parties will take during such a referendum.
The parties will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP was found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.
We agree to establish a committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected upper chamber on the basis of proportional representation. The committee will come forward with a draft motions by December 2010. It is likely that this bill will advocate single long terms of office. It is also likely there will be a grandfathering system for current Peers. In the interim, Lords appointments will be made with the objective of creating a second chamber reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties in the last general election.
The parties will bring forward the proposals of the Wright Committee for reform to the House of Commons in full – starting with the proposed committee for management of programmed business and including government business within its scope by the third year of the Parliament.
The parties agree to reduce electoral fraud by speeding up the implementation of individual voter registration.
We have agreed to establish a commission to consider the ‘West Lothian question’.
The parties agree to the implementation of the Calman Commission proposals and the offer of a referendum on further Welsh devolution.
The parties will tackle lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists. We also agree to pursue a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics.
The parties will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. This will include a full review of local government finance.
7. Pensions and Welfare
The parties agree to phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women. We agree to end the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75.
We agree to implement the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman’s recommendation to make fair and transparent payments to Equitable Life policy holders, through an independent payment scheme, for their relative loss as a consequence of regulatory failure.
The parties agree to end all existing welfare to work programmes and to create a single welfare to work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work.
We agree that Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work should be referred to the aforementioned newly created welfare to work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case. We agree that Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants aged under 25 should be referred to the programme after a maximum of six months.
The parties agree to realign contracts with welfare to work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work.
We agree that the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare to work programmes should be reformed to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings in lower benefit expenditure.
We agree that receipt of benefits for those able to work should be conditional on the willingness to work.
We agree to promote the reform of schools in order to ensure:
- that new providers can enter the state school system in response to parental demand;
- that all schools have greater freedom over curriculum; and,
- that all schools are held properly accountable.
We await Lord Browne’s final report into higher education funding, and will judge its proposals against the need to:
- increase social mobility;
- take into account the impact on student debt;
- ensure a properly funded university sector;
- improve the quality of teaching;
- advance scholarship; and,
- attract a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
If the response of the Government to Lord Browne’s report is one that Liberal Democrats cannot accept, then arrangements will be made to enable Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain in any vote.
9. Relations with the EU
We agree that the British Government will be a positive participant in the European Union, playing a strong and positive role with our partners, with the goal of ensuring that all the nations of Europe are equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century: global competitiveness, global warming and global poverty.
We agree that there should be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next Parliament. We will examine the balance of the EU’s existing competences and will, in particular, work to limit the application of the Working Time Directive in the United Kingdom.
We agree that we will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that Treaty – a ‘referendum lock’. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that the use of any passerelle would require primary legislation.
We will examine the case for a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority remains with Parliament.
We agree that Britain will not join or prepare to join the Euro in this Parliament.
We agree that we will strongly defend the UK’s national interests in the forthcoming EU budget negotiations and that the EU budget should only focus on those areas where the EU can add value.
We agree that we will press for the European Parliament only to have one seat, in Brussels.
We agree that we will approach forthcoming legislation in the area of criminal justice on a case by case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security, protecting Britain’s civil liberties and preserving the integrity of our criminal justice system. Britain will not participate in the establishment of any European Public Prosecutor.
10. Civil liberties
The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.
This will include:
- A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
- The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.
- Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
- The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency. - Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
- The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
- The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
- The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
- Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
- Further regulation of CCTV.
- Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
- A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.
The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy, including:
- The establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters.
- The full establishment of feed-in tariff systems in electricity – as well as the maintenance of banded ROCs.
- Measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.
- The creation of a green investment bank.
- The provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills.
- Retention of energy performance certificates while scrapping HIPs.
- Measures to encourage marine energy.
- The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard.
- The establishment of a high-speed rail network.
- The cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow.
- The refusal of additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
- The replacement of the Air Passenger Duty with a per flight duty.
- The provision of a floor price for carbon, as well as efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits.
- Measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence.
- Measures to promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity.
- Mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Continuation of the present Government’s proposals for public sector investment in CCS technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months.
- We are agreed that we would seek to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee.
Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new national planning statement) and provided also that they receive no public subsidy.
We have agreed a process that will allow Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the government to bring forward the national planning statement for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.
This process will involve:
- the government completing the drafting of a national planning statement and putting it before Parliament;
- specific agreement that a Liberal Democrat spokesman will speak against the planning statement, but that Liberal Democrat MPs will abstain; and
- clarity that this will not be regarded as an issue of confidence.
Now don't get me wrong I am not a Liberal or Tory hater and neither am I a Plaid hater, I am not a Labour lover either for that matter! But it seems strange to me that in Arfon only 35% of us wanted Plaid Cymru in power but Plaid Cymru we have.
In London we didn't want a Hung Parliament, we voted the Lib Dems in THIRD and what do we get?
We have Nick Clegg as Deputy PM and loads of Lib Dems in the Cabinet??? (Better than Thorpe in the closet I guess) Added to that we have unsuccessful former leader William Hague back in the frame as new Foreign Secretary!!!
What on earth is going on?
Years ago I remember an episode of Auf Wiedersehen Pet.
I don't know if you remember it, but it was a gang of brickies trying to put bread on the table by working abroad.
To cut a long story short.. In one episode the guys were trying to work out what paint they needed to "steal/borrow" to paint the inside of their hut (where they lived). They decided to have a vote on it and chose Yellow!
None of them were happy, so they asked who on earth voted yellow?
When they re counted the votes they realised no one had actually voted yellow as their first choice.
But as there wasn't a clear winner, the second and third choice colours were added to the poll. Low and behold, yellow then came top.
The punch line was "That's democracy for you, no one gets what everybody wants"
Rings a bell?
Monday, 10 May 2010
Just for you, I have provided a link for the series that will be active for 30 days.
These "spy on the wall documentaries" shows us what goes on at Caernarfon Town FC and is truly an eye-opener for every true Cofi.
May we congratulate not only Cwmni Da for their first class production, but also to Arfon and his board for working so hard to put C.T.F.C. back on the map.
Lets all wish them the very best for next season and hope that the rebuilding starts now and we can once more see the glory days return to the Oval.
Gobaith Canaries Website
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Please rest assured that there will be many opportunities of seeing it online and on other media sources. Caernarfon Online are scheduled to interview some of the DJ's and acts present and hopefully we will be able to post these on our pages as and when they happen.
If you are one of the lucky ones present, then if you see the CaernarfonOnline team there, please feel free to come up to us for a chat and so that we can take your picture at the event. We will be wearing our Caernarfon Online Yellow and Blue Hi Viz jackets so you will recognise us instantly.
Remember, please don't try to purchase tickets from sites such as eBay etc, as they will be none transferable and you will be denied entry at the venue. You must also be aware that this means you cannot use someone else's tickets as they will be allocated to that person's name and ID will have to be provided to prove you are who you say you are.
We hope to bring you more info soon. Chris Moyles is rumoured to be in Bangor this week.
Friday, 7 May 2010
I was a little worried to start with as I didn’t want to mess up. But I shouldn’t have been as Carwyn and Dilys of Gwynedd Council ensured that I was fed with all the info as it happened. Many thanks to both of you for your help, it was much appreciated.
The press were situated high above the counters and we were easily able to see where the votes were going.
As the votes came in, for a long time both Hywel and Alun were easily ahead and it was difficult to separate the two.
The votes were sorted in piles of 500 therefore it was easy to see who was in front as the first lots came in.
As the first set came in both Plaid and Labour had 4,500votes each. From then on Hywel’s pile was always slightly ahead and before long we were able to judge that he was in the lead by around two piles (1,000 votes).
I actually felt nervous for them and I don’t know how they managed to keep calm throughout the night.
I spoke with Hywel and Robin Millar who were both fresh and enjoying the count.
When the BBC phoned me later on in the evening, they (the BBC) were trying to establish what the overall feeling was.
Despite knowing he was ahead, Hywel was non committal until a few mins before the declaration when he told me it was looking good.
He said he didn’t want to commit himself further until the official word had been confirmed.
Hywel was then declared the winner and was first to the stand and he thanked everyone for their help and then enjoyed the cheers from some of his supporters in the audience.
Alun Pugh was second to speak, he made a point of thanking his agent Tecwyn Thomas, though many felt he had done him no good having lost his own two seats on both Town and Gwynedd Council two years ago.
Now the hard work starts for Hywel as he will have to work hard to get Caernarfon on the map. He has four or five years to do it - Unless of course the hung parliament means another election in the near future.
Click Here to view election video.
Monday, 26 April 2010
Hats of to our good friends at the Faenol who have done it again and attracted another major event to the area.
The Big Weekend is a massive event in the pop world with the big stars turning up for the free show.
The lineup (just announced this morning includes Sheryl Cole, Alicia Keyes, JLS, Dizzee Rascal, Florenece and the Machine and Rhianna to name just a few.
All the details can be found on http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk/2010/april/bigweekend.html
Thousands will apply for tickets with only 20,000 available. The BBC have promised to make sure the bulk of these tickets go to the local area.
The Faenol is the ideal setting for such an event with past Bryn Terfel Festivals being testimony to this.
I hope you are some of the lucky ones who receive the free ticket. I will make every effort to let you know anything new on Caernarfon Online as and when they make it available.