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‘So what?’: Labour MS defends decision not to have pilot events in the north

12 May 2021 4 minute read
Alun Davies AM. Picture by the National Assembly. (CC BY 2.0)

A Labour Senedd member has defended the Welsh Governments decision not to have pilot events in the north.

Alun Davies, the MS for Blaenau Gwent, claimed that criticism of the choice of locations was “tiresome victimhood nonsense”.

He was reacting to comments by the Plaid Cymru Senedd member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd Mabon ap Gwynfor, who pointed out that none of the locations chosen were “north of Brecon”.

The Welsh Government has announced a proposed list of events to take place over the forthcoming weeks as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

According to the Mabon ap Gwynfor, the list “speaks volumes” for the Welsh Government’s “priorities” and he accused it of “ignoring” many suitable locations in the north.

Alun Davies MS replied: “And none in the valleys either. And so what? These events are to learn lessons about the virus.

“If we’re going to have this sort of tiresome victimhood nonsense every time someone feels that they generate a lazy headline then it’s going to be a very long 5 years.”

The Welsh Government says it is working with partners on the delivery of events which will develop processes and guidance that will allow the safe return of events in Wales.

If the test events programme is safe and successful test it will hopefully allow larger gatherings back to stadiums, theatres and other venues in Wales later this year.”

Cardiff’s Eid at the Castle celebration and Tafwyl have been confirmed for this week while discussions with other event owners are ongoing.

Responding the proposed list of pilot test events in Wales, Plaid Cymru MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd Mabon ap Gwynfor said: “The fact that there are no pilot test events north of Brecon speaks volumes about the Labour Welsh Government’s priorities.

“Venues have struggled through the pandemic in all parts of the country and it is deeply regrettable that the pilot plan is ignoring the many suitable locations we have here across the region.

“If the government is serious about making sure that the north is not left behind its actions after the election must match its warm words before it.”


The list of all nine pilot test events is as follows:

  • Eid-al-Fitr

12-14th May (TBA-date is agreed on the eve of the event) | Cardiff | Attendees 300-500

  • Tafwyl Festival

15th May | Cardiff | Attendees 500

  • League Two Play Offs fixture Newport County AFC

18th May/Rodney Parade

  • ICCW business event

20th May | Newport | Invited attendees 100 indoors

  • Championships Play Offs fixture Swansea City AFC

22nd May | Liberty Stadium

  • Theatre Brycheiniog

3th-4th June |Theatre Brycheiniog Brecon, Powys | Attendees 250

  • Glamorgan v Lancashire

3-6th June | Sophia Gardens, Cardiff | Spectators 750-1000

  • Wales v Albania

5th June | Cardiff City Stadium | Spectators 4000

  • Fishguard Triathlon

11th and 12th June | Fishguard/St David’s | Registered participants only

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “It’s been a long and difficult 18 months for the events industry in Wales – for event owners, those who depend on the sector for the work – and for those who long to see the return of live events to Wales.

“As we look at lifting the coronavirus restrictions in Wales we have worked closely with event organisers to establish a list of pilot test events which take in a range of different locations and types of event.

“This work is bringing us a step closer to a return to events in Wales, I’d like to thank these event owners and Local Authorities and Health Boards for their commitment in working with us and wish them well over the summer.

“These events are very different in nature and location but access of attendees – whether participants or spectators – is strictly controlled by the organisers and agreed in advance.

“We’re asking people to celebrate Eid differently again this year. I very much hope that celebrations at the castle are enjoyed by those with tickets. If you don’t have a ticket please celebrate safely with your immediate household or within support bubbles.”

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Dafydd Huw
Dafydd Huw
2 years ago

A rather unnecessary and tiresome response from Alun Davies.

2 years ago
Reply to  Dafydd Huw

Clywch! Clywch!

2 years ago

Yes Alun Davies could have handled this much better. For example Theatr Clwyd have been an exemplar in terms of test events even before the phrase was invented. They’ve received accolade across the UK in terms of their innovation & creativity in making things work within the confines of the regulations. Wales & North Wales in particular should be very proud. Come on let’s move from defensive to outside the box thinking….

2 years ago

We need to sort the North out with something, we need a North – south trainline so we’re more connected.

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