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Councillor apologises for answering Welsh-language emails in German

27 Jun 2023 2 minute read
Councillor Louise Hughes

Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter

A Gwynedd councillor has issued an apology after she replied to Welsh-language emails in German.

Councillor Louise Hughes was suspended for a month back in April after sending the replies to Howard Huws in December 2021 and February 2022.

Mr Huws was a member of the Cylch yr Iaith, a group which promotes the use of the Welsh language.

He made an official complaint and the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales had agreed that Ms Hughes’ actions had breached the code of conduct for councillors.

Cyngor Gwynedd’s standards committee met on Monday (June 26) to approve a document concluding the complaint process against the councillor.

‘Light-hearted’

At the time of the incident, the Arthog and Llangelynnin Independent ward councillor said her intentions had been “light-hearted”.

It has now been confirmed that she wrote an apology to Mr Huws and did not take up a formal opportunity to appeal her sanction.

Looking at the council member’s behaviour “as a whole” it was noted in a report that the committee had felt the matter was sufficiently serious “to bring her office and the authority into disrepute”.

It had also considered mitigating factors including length of service, co-operation with the investigation officer and the standards committee, her apology and acceptance of the need to modify behaviour in the future.

It further considered the authority’s evidence confirming the lack of translation provision available when the e-mails were received, but noted if the councillor’s wish had been to understand the content “she could have asked for assistance”.

Statutory report

The committee was asked to approve a report to meet legal requirements, which they did.

Monitoring Officer Iwan Evans said: “This is a statutory report and is needed to provide closure in this matter.

“I recommend the appended report is accepted so we can conclude it.

Cllr Louise Hughes had written a letter of apology to Mr Huws, and she is not appealing the matter.”

Chairman of the meeting Eifion Jones said dealing with the issue “had not been pleasant”.

He called on the committee to support the report to conclude the matters, and thanked the report’s author, saying “a great deal of time and work had gone into it”.

By law, the Monitoring Officer must now publish its full report and make it available to the public.


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Frank
Frank
3 months ago

Being apologetic is such a let off. Many people get away with being “sorry” after doing or saying something that offends others. She made her point quite clearly and the fact is that she will get away with it when she should get her marching orders.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago

How strange, but I’m sure Ms Hughes would want to, on top of her apology, ask people to be mindful that August 2nd is Roma, Gipsy and Traveller Day and within her ward lies literally the bones of Abram Wood. The gentleman that introduced the fiddle to Cymru and died just beyond the gate of Llangelynnin Church. The good people of the parish kindly brought his earthly remains onto consecrated ground and buried him beneath a great slab outside the church door. This was not done everywhere, I know of a grave just beyond the walls of Machynlleth Cemetery… Every… Read more »

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
3 months ago

In which language(s) was the letter of apology? Presumably not German?!

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

Presumably the anglo saxon western dialect of German?

xxxx
xxxx
3 months ago

I currently have a complaint against the local Community Council being processed by the ombudsman. The Council breached at least 3 of their own Codes of Conduct, and after 3 months I haven’t had so much as an apology from them.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago
Reply to  xxxx

With due respect. Although you have your own unspecified ongoing personal issues with your local Community Council, what has this to do with an elected official in Gwynedd whose ridiculing of Wales & Britain’s native language Cymraeg by using German beyond malicious?! She (Cllr Louise Hughes) stated her actions were , and I quote her own words, “light hearted”, but in the past racism was deemed “banter ” and prejudice of the Welsh language made an act of law in 1535-1543 banning its teaching & use from the 16th to 19th centuries culminating in the Welsh Not campaign where our… Read more »

Richard
Richard
3 months ago

In her long journey across the Gwynedd political spectrum / LH has no doubt met some interesting fellow travellers durring her brief membership stops but one has to also aknowledge she does represent and speak for many in her own patch – whether we like it or not 🤫.

Im sure her journey will continue whether in Meirion or Mandheim.

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard
hdavies15
hdavies15
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Her journey could well end in a special ward being treated for her hatred of natives and others she considers to be minorities.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard

‘Her own patch’ is one of the most heavily colonised in Gwynedd. Arthog is the most anglicized ward in the county with over 70% born outside Wales, and surprise surprise, under 30% Welsh speaking.

Erisian
Erisian
3 months ago

I find myself wondering why this does not mention that she is an Independant.
Perhgaps to allow us to assume the worst, and more likely explanation for this sort of nonsense?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

It does, half way down…

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
3 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

“…the Arthog and Llangelynnin Independent ward councillor said her intentions had been “light-hearted”.”

Frank
Frank
3 months ago

I see that someone is busy downthumbing comments here but not gutsy enough to leave a comment supporting the action.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

All by the same person I presume. Probably some colonist from Llwyngwril.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Cowards, several times a day…some underling in Ginni’s office or A.R.T.D wherever…

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s the same BritNat troll and serial name-changer who’s been doing it for the last couple of years.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

Bigoted councillor Louise Hughes apology should be rejected. It lacks sincerity and likely done with fingers crossed behind her back. She’s anti-Welsh language plain and simple, you know, a bit like her.

Dave williams
Dave williams
3 months ago

So funny.

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