Super Saturday in Owain Glyndwr Square

Aberystwyth's Owain Glyndwr Square was turned into a political and cultural festival this morning as, in the space of a couple of hours, no fewer than eight different groups spent time there on the Saturday before election Thursday. The groups included Plaid Cymru and Elin Jones, Yes to AV, Ceredigion Against the Cuts and two choirs.

Parti Dawns yr Aelwyd show their steps. Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru's Assembly Election candidate, can be seen chatting on the far left.
More photos of the morning in the square can be seen here


Ceredigion Poll - Plaid well ahead. Big swing from Lib Dems to Labour.

A dramatic poll on the Assembly Election in Ceredigion, which local activists have been talking about for days, has tonight been published at Wales Online.

It puts Plaid Cymru, represented by Elin Jones, well ahead on 42% but also shows a huge loss of support by the Lib Dems to Labour.

The Conservatives and 'Others' (predominantly the Greens) also increase their share of the vote, bringing the constituency closer to the four-way contest it was a few years ago when all the main parties regularly achieved double-figure percentages.

Plaid Cymru  42% (-7%)
Lib Dems  23% (-13%)
Labour  20% (+15%)
Conservatives  11% (+3%)
Others  4% (+2%)

Figures in brackets compare to the last Assembly election in 2007

The poll hasn't been conducted by a conventional polling company but by students at the International Politics department at Aberystwyth University, bringing it some detractors. I understand the Lib Dems have been furiously contesting its validity and trying to prevent publication, as might be expected. The Wales Online article is transparent in including discussion on how the poll was conducted. Nevertheless, the University's record of getting similar polls right in the past, and the very large number of voters questioned (1,195) in a constituency with a small population means it will be taken seriously by most.  

The poll is also backed by canvassing results from different parties which are showing that the left-leaning swing voters who helped the Lib Dems win Ceredigion in last year's Westminster election are dropping the party like a stone since their alliance with the Conservatives at Westminster.


Ceredigion Against the Cuts

The new organisation, Ceredigion Against the Cuts / Ceredigion yn Erbyn y Toriadau, staged a successful rally  in Owain Glyndwr Square, Aberystwyth yesterday against cuts to public services. The rally was organised by trade unions and community groups within the county.

Around 40% of Ceredigion’s workforce is employed in the public sector so it’s clear that financial cuts imposed by the Westminster government are likely to affect us much more than most. This high proportion means that cuts would have an enormous knock-on effect on the private sector here also.

Three Assembly Election candidates were there to support the rally - Elin Jones from Plaid, Richard Boudier from Labour and Chris Simpson from the Greens.

As an alternative to cutting into the public sector, the rally called for the Westminster government to raise money by clamping down on tax evasion and non-payment of taxes coupled with a small tax on international financial transactions.

Public sector workers in Ceredigion include people working in:
Ceredigion County Council
The Welsh Assembly Government
Tai Ceredigion
Aberystwyth and Lampeter Universities
The National Library
Aberystwyth Passport Office
Job Centres
The Post Office

Ceredigion Against the Cuts can be contacted at ceredigionagainstthecuts@gmail.com

Further Ceredigion Against the Cuts events in the next month will be:
Thursday April 21st – Assembly Election Hustings in the Old College, Aberystwyth 7-9pm
Saturday May 7th – March and Rally in Aberystwyth

Diolch i Iolo ap Gwynn am y llun


Major Cycle Race for Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is set to host a major pre-olympic street cycle race next month, with another likely to follow in 2012.

Following the successful round-the-houses races last year involving local riders (see photo), a consortium led by the 140-member Ystwyth Cycle Club looks to have succeeded in getting Aberystwyth designated as the only Welsh leg of the Halfords Tour Series. This is a professional series of races for top riders, including Olympic athletes, taking place in ten towns and cities around the UK and will be televised on S4C and ITV 4. Last year, when there were no Welsh legs, the various events attracted between 4,000 and 18,000 spectators. An average of 130,000 people watched the races on TV, attracting considerable attention for each town.

The Aberystwyth event, which has yet to be formally announced by the Halfords Tour organisers, is due to take place on May 26th. The televised professional race, which will take place on a street circuit around the Prom and Old College area, will be held at 7pm, at the end of a day of cycle races which will include local youth groups and schools.