UK Government to respond to St David’s Day bank holiday request as petition passes 10,000 signatures
The UK Government will respond to a request calling for a St David’s Day bank holiday for Wales after a petition passed a 10,000 signature threshold.
The petition, which can be signed here, by Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn calls for St. David’s Day off in Wales, just as Scotland and Ireland are given their own patron saint’s days off work.
The petition states: “Dydd Gwyl Dewi / St David’s Day has always been a significant day in Cymru / Wales, and has been used to celebrate everything Welsh.
“It’s time to make this special day a bank holiday in Wales, just like Scotland has St Andrew’s Day, and Ireland has St Partick’s Day as bank holidays.”
The UK Government responds to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures, and the response is expected within the next five days.
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate at Westminster.
Paul Scully MP, the Minister for Small Business, had previously poured cold water on any additional Bank Holiday for Wales.
Writing in response to the Gwynedd council’s request, Mr Scully noted: “While we appreciate that the people of Wales want to celebrate their patron saint, more people work across the English/Welsh border than across the English/Scottish border.
“This closer degree of integration could cause greater business disruption. If we had separate bank holidays in England and Wales, the impact on both employees and businesses is difficult to predict.”
The Welsh Government said that they had asked “time after time” for the power to denote 1 March a bank holiday.
But the campaign has gathered steam this year as a series of councils and public bodies in Wales backed the idea.
Gwynedd Council, Aberystwyth town council and Snowdonia National Prk have already announced that staff will be given the day off.
Neath Port Talbot Council have also agreed to compile a report into giving council staff a day off on St David’s Day and also to lobby both the Welsh and UK Government to devolve the power to the Senedd. Caerphilly Council has also said that it would lobby both governments.
The move was originally backed by Gwynedd Council after Cllr Dafydd Meurig, the council’s deputy leader, said that he believed that Wales could “benefit economically” if St David’s Day celebration became widespread in the country.
“That would be the ideal and ensure that all workers from all sectors have a national holiday to celebrate St David’s Day on the first of March,” he said.
“If Ireland’s St Patrick’s public holiday is anything to go by, there is the potential there for Wales to benefit economically.”
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