Head teacher unhappy that school was denied the chance to sing in Welsh at Swansea festival
A headteacher is unhappy after her school was denied the chance to sing in Welsh at a Swansea festival.
Mumbles Community Council received a written complaint from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwynderw about the exclusion of Welsh language and culture from Mumblesfest 2022.
The event’s organiser Councillor Rob Marshall, who is a well known musician, said that the reason for his decision not to include Welsh songs in the festival was the lack of time and the pressure on the council to hold the event.
In correspondence with the school, he said that seven schools were expected to sing together at the event, and that they should sing in English.
“With regards to the song choices and lack of Welsh it is simply that out of seven schools only one is a Welsh language school and therefore singing in Welsh is hard for the others,” he said.
“There is no opportunity to include any more songs as we have a lot of acts throughout the day and are running to a tight schedule. Taking all things into consideration and reminding you that we are only a community council trying to put on a fun day for everyone to enjoy I hope you will fit in with our plans and be part of the festival.”
The school however subsequently complained about the exclusion of the Welsh language from the event and the correspondence from and conduct of Councillor Rob Marshall, who is also the Chair of the council’s Culture, Tourism and Communications Committee.
The community council has conceded that in the case of Mumblesfest 2022, “there was no representation of the Welsh language”.
They said that “direct complaints about Cllr Marshall should be made to the Public Ombudsman for Wales”.
Recommendations with be discussed tonight, including that the town council should adjust their complaints procedures and that they should set up a working group to amend their Welsh language provision and draw up steps to ensure that the same situation does not arise again in the future.
Heini Gruffudd from group Rhieni Dros Addysg Gymraeg Abertawe (Parents for Welsh Language Education in Swansea), told S4C Newyddion that it was “unbelievable in Wales today that a councillor responsible for culture finds it impossible for a Welsh song to be sung at a festival”.
“It is completely unbelievable, especially as that councillor accompanies famous Welsh singers and here he is in the Mumbles refusing a Welsh language school to sing in Welsh.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.