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Author: Click on Wales

Ynni Ogwen – Ceir Gwyllt, Cesig Eira a Babi’r Chwyldro! / Ynni Ogwen – Ceir Gwllt, Snowballs and a revolution baby!

Mae cornel fach o Wynedd wedi bod yn gwneud ei marc yn y byd ynni cymunedol dros y dair mlynedd ddiwethaf ac mae hynny’n bennaf oherwydd dycnwch gwirfoddolwyr sydd eisiau defnyddio ynni naturiol eu afonydd i greu dyfodol gwell i’w hardaloedd. Dyma yn gryno yw hanfod cynlluniau Ynni Padarn Peris dros y mynydd yn Llanbêr ac Ynni Anafon tua’r arfordir yn Abergwyngregyn. Dyna hefyd hanfod cynllun Ynni Ogwen – cynllun hydro cymunedol ym Methesda, Dyffryn Ogwen dwi wedi cael y fraint o weithio arni dros y dair mlynedd ddiwethaf. Roedd Ynni Ogwen yn fabi i fenter gymdeithasol Partneriaeth Ogwen...

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Every vote counts?

Winner-takes-all. It’s an idea that’s fun for rugby and football matches. Not so much when it comes to running a democracy. We saw that last month, when we learnt that under Westminster’s winner-takes-all voting system, a million votes didn’t count in terms of electing an MP in Wales. And a quarter of us took time to go to the polling station, take selfies, tweet or just stop to chat – and then hold our noses as we voted against a party we opposed, rather than for one that represented our views, beliefs and aspirations. These figures come from a report ERS published this week on the 2017 general election – ‘Volatile Voting – Random Results’. It’s a huge spur to remind people that how we elect our MPs isn’t working. In the last 20 months we have had four elections and a referendum – which sounds like a hideous Richard Curtis film – and if we are expecting more people to get out and vote, we need their votes to count. First Past the Post (FPTP) is meant to give the Mother of Parliaments a majority government which is ‘strong and stable’. But it hasn’t done that – in 2010 it brought a Conservative/Liberal coalition, while in 2015 it delivered a slim majority on 38% of the vote. Now in 2017, it forced the Conservatives into a case-by-case deal...

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Improving digital democracy in the National Assembly for Wales

Working in the digital and political sphere, it’s great to see the published recommendations of the National Assembly for Wales Digital Taskforce. As one of our newest institutions, it is vital that the Assembly looks to improve and expand the way it interacts with the Welsh electorate and visitors. The remit of the Taskforce was to understand how the National Assembly can use modern digital communications and social media to identify concerns, collect evidence and opinions, generate real time engagement and see how representatives seek to respond to voters. It also looked to increase awareness and interest in the National Assembly, analysing how and if the current digital services are meeting user needs, as well as critiquing Senedd TV, social media output, current content creation and the possibility of the National Assembly producing and distributing its own content. Broadly, the recommendations of the Taskforce make for encouraging reading. A commitment to storytelling in content. A user friendly Senedd TV. A dedicated open data team. Collaboration with external organisations and the civil society. The report forces the National Assembly and its users to critically look at the current output and use of digital services and what needs to be improved to reach a wider audience and address the democratic deficit. All services and communications should be designed with the interests and needs of the citizen at their core. Too often...

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Electrification to Swansea…or not!

On March 1st, 2011, I was interviewed live on BBC Wales Evening news from Swansea; the then Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, was also interviewed. The UK Government had just confirmed GWML electrification from Paddington to Cardiff. Having been part of the campaign, I was asked my view on whether the electrification should or would be extended to Swansea…. I confidently predicted that electrification would be extended to Swansea. On September 6th the same year, I presented my evidence for the Cardiff Business Partnership to the Westminster Transport Committee as part of their review of High Speed...

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A road to Cardiff Airport…or regeneration in Pontypridd?

Its back again…talk of a £100M link road from J34 of the M4 south through the Vale of Glamorgan to Cardiff Airport has resurfaced (they’ll be choking on their ginger beers in Pendoylan).  Sounds familiar? Well it is.  Welsh Government tested and consulted on this option (and others) in a process in 2007/8 as I recall. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now… I wholeheartedly support better access to Cardiff Airport – which is now a Welsh Government strategic asset.  However, with limited public funds we have to invest, yes strategically, but also proportionately and giving due...

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