Council Leader's Blog
Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn's Profile Page
Welcome to Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, Council Leader's blog.
Read about what is happening in the Council and how we are working hard to make Gwynedd a better place for everyone.
To see Councilor Dyfrig Siencyn's contact details, information about committee membership and appointments to external bodies etc,please visit Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn's Profile Page
As Spring begins... – April Blog
Spring is finally here, and we can all look forward to longer days and better weather. There are some exciting things on the horizon, including the National Eisteddfod Llyn and Eifionydd festival, which is fast approaching. The council is working closely with the organisers to make sure that the festival in Boduan is a memorable one!
While there's plenty to look forward to, we also know that many households in Gwynedd are struggling with rising living costs. Remember, if you are finding it difficult to pay your bills, help available from the Council and other organisations. Have a look at our website which lists the support that’s available: Cost of Living
While the financial outlook for us within the Council is also bleak as a result of disastrous Westminster decisions, we are not resting on our laurels, and we've recently published an ambitious five-year plan outlining our priorities for the future. The plan includes innovative work streams like Welsh immersion provision, addressing recruitment challenges, and providing local preventative support to help people live independently for longer. This plan shows how committed we are to keeping our promises to the people of Gwynedd.
Modernising Our Schools: Investing in the Future of Our Children
Investing in our children’s’ education is important for their future success. One way we can achieve this is by providing them with learning environments that are safe and up to date.
Recently, the Cabinet invested £3 million to upgrade the facilities at Ysgol Hirael, Bangor, to make the school greener and more comfortable for staff and students, whilst also saving on maintenance costs. In addition, Gwynedd has won the Sustainable Schools Challenge competition, receiving almost £12 million from the Welsh Government to build a brand new environmentally friendly school in Bontnewydd. This is a huge accomplishment - only three schools in all of Wales received this funding, and we're the only one in the north.
I would like to congratulate the team members who worked hard on both projects. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of these investments.
My opinion on Welsh Government’s Roads Review ...
The Welsh Government's recent decision not to invest in future road infrastructure projects is disgraceful, shortsighted and threatens the livelihood of our communities and rural economy here in Gwynedd. How could they make such a reckless choice without considering the dire lack of accessible public transport options in our countryside?
Cllr. Dafydd Meurig and I recently met with Lord Burns, who leads the Commission, to express our concerns and I also had a one-on-one conversation with Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for the Economy for the Welsh Government, where I clearly expressed how devastating this decision will be for our residents. We are not alone in our concerns - all North Wales’ county Leaders and Chief Officers from the North Wales Police and Fire Service, have also sent a letter to the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Walters MS, urgently calling for a meeting to discuss our concerns.
Although I fully agree that firm action is needed to reduce our carbon footprint, I am very concerned about the impact on the rural areas of the county, where serious infrastructure investment is needed for economic and social well-being. This is yet another example of a decision being made far away from Gwynedd, and the Welsh Government must must wake up to the reality of the situation and act quickly to support our communities and our rural economy.
Arfor 2: Boosting Welsh Language and Economy
Great news! The ARFOR Board has received £11 million from the Welsh Government for the Arfor 2 scheme, supporting various work streams across Gwynedd, Ynys Môn, Ceredigion, and Carmarthenshire until March 2025.
Arfor 2 will promote Llwyddo'n Lleol (Succeed Locally) and Cymunedau Mentrus (Enterprising Communities Fund) to assist young entrepreneurs and Welsh-speaking spaces. The Cronfa Her (the ARFOR Challenge Fund) will develop and pilot activities to address the challenges facing the region, while Monitro, Gwerthuso a Dysgu (Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning) will evaluate the scheme as a whole. Finally, the Hunaniaeth work stream will focus on how businesses use the Welsh language and its benefits, as well as influencing non-Welsh speaking businesses.
The Arfor 2 scheme will play a vital role in supporting and strengthening the Welsh language and economy across the four counties. It is exciting to see the emergence of these innovative and ambitious work streams and the positive impact they will have on the region. Arfor 2 webpage