A full upstairs bar in the Cwps, including a large number of students, last night welcomed Plaid Cymru Assembly Members Leanne Wood and Bethan Jenkins to Aberystwyth.
The pair held a wide-ranging question and answer session. Central to most questions was the impending drastic year-on-year cuts in the National Assembly's allowance from Westminster, starting with £416 million in the first year, and how the Assembly should respond. What came across strongly was the frightening scale of potential cuts in public services to pay back the money recently given to banks by the UK government. Of particular concern to much of the audience was the proposed reduction in tuition fee grants from 2010, although it was acknowledged that the poorest students would actually be better off under the planned new system. Leanne and Bethan pointed out the huge sums of money still being spent on Trident, ID cards and new prisons which could be used to offset the worst of the shortfall. They called for the Assembly to invest in renewable technology, home energy-efficiency, public transport and local food production.
Leanne was also launching the first edition of 'Celyn' - the new Welsh green left review - which will give voice to a range of contributors on the left of the political spectrum in Wales. Their website isn't up and running yet but subscriptions are £15 from Celyn, 21 Hafod Street, Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 6RB. More details from firstname.lastname@example.org