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Cardiff councillors call for St David’s Day holiday

18 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
St David’s flags. Photo National Assembly Wales licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter

Councillors have called for staff at Cardiff council to be given the day off every March 1 to celebrate St David’s Day.

The calls come amid growing pressure to make St David’s Day a bank holiday across Wales.

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling on Westminster to make the patron saint’s day a bank holiday, and Gwynedd council will soon give staff the day off to celebrate the national holiday.

Now Cardiff could soon follow, after councillors backed a motion on March 17 to explore how council staff could be given the day off, and any effects on finance or frontline services.

Parade

Propel Councillor Neil McEvoy, who put forward the motion, said Cardiff should seek to emulate St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Dublin, with a huge parade in the city centre.

He said: “St David’s Day is an ideal opportunity to begin the tourist season in Wales. What we suffer from, particularly here in Cardiff, is a lack of respect for Welsh tradition and Welshness. We’re almost second-class citizens in our own country.

“I find it frustrating and I feel demeaned as a person born in Wales knowing that the authorities don’t take our nationality seriously. I would like to see those running the council to have a more pro-Wales attitude, and give staff a day off. Look at what they do in Dublin with St Patrick’s Day, that’s the watermark. That’s what we should be doing.”

Labour Cllr Michael Michael, cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, said he supported calls for Westminster to give the Welsh Government the power to create new bank holidays, but said the Tory government has refused to do so. He added the next council administration after the election should explore giving council staff a day off.

He said: “The power to declare a bank holiday lies with Westminster. They could give the power to the Assembly or declare it by royal proclamation. It shocked me when I found out it didn’t have the royal proclamation power.

“The council doesn’t have the power to declare a bank holiday. But I have no problem with celebrations. The next administration should be given the chance to come back to the council with the powers it has and a way forward, and ask officers to come back with a report to see what we can do.”

Scotland and Northern Ireland have the power to create bank holidays, with St Andrew’s and St Patrick’s Day a bank holiday respectively. Scotland has nine bank holidays a year, and Northern Ireland has 10, while Wales and England usually get just eight.


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Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

We don’t need their “permission”. Just take it.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Could not agree more. I don’t care for Saints days one way or another, although I am fond of holidays. But on general principle we should not be going cap in hand asking the “masters” for permission. Don’t even tell them. Just crack on and do what is best for Cymru and if it bothers them, let them kick up a fuss or refuse in public. That way, the people will see the truth. This should be the general principle for anything not just saints days. Be have like the nation we want to be, not like the nation we… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Cynan
I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
2 months ago

Little victories will beat the Tories.

Elvey MacDonald
Elvey MacDonald
2 months ago

The Assembly? What year is it?

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