Thursday, 5th August 2004. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A new campaign - ‘Amdani! Let’s Make it Happen!’ is being launched at the National Eisteddfod in Newport today in a final effort to achieve an official national holiday on St David’s Day, 1st March, in Wales.
The campaign will be launched on the Maes by Plaid Cymru M.P. Adam Price and Henry Jones-Davies, founder of the first-ever national St Davids’ Day Parade, and will concentrate on lobbying the Westminster government to show the depth of feeling in Wales on the issue.
The seven year long campaign for an official holiday championed by Ymgyrch Treftadaeth Cymru – The Wales Heritage Campaign, has won substantial cross-party support in the National Assembly and enthusiastic encouragement from the nation. But despite increasing demands from across the political spectrum the issue has met with continued official resistance in London. Last month Peter Hain MP criticised the National Assembly for ‘failing to consult business leaders on issues such as the potential cost to the economy’ in its demand for a holiday, and this week First Minister Rhodri Morgan declared that the matter is ‘not a devolved issue’ - which effectively means that the Assembly is powerless to take things any further.
In June Adam Price pursued the matter in the House of Commons asking Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Competition and Consumers at the Department of Trade and Industry, to meet a Welsh Assembly delegation to discuss the issue, but the minister feared he ‘could be meeting large numbers of delegations if he gave way.’ However, Mr Sutcliffe did say that if people want St David's Day to be made an official holiday, they should write to him. And this is exactly what the new campaign wants people to do.
Full details of how to respond to Mr Sutcliffe, and a template letter encouraging the government to listen to the feelings of the majority of people in Wales, can be found on the campaign website www.stdavidsday.org
“We want people to respond to Mr Sutcliffe’s offer by writing personal letters to him – a great number of them – so there can be no doubt at all of the depth of feeling in Wales about this issue,” Henry Jones-Davies said. “We also want people to lobby M.P.s because this decision will be made in London, not Wales. All we are asking is for people to sacrifice a quarter of an hour of their time and the cost of a few postage stamps. If you support the campaign, we’ll have a proper national holiday on March 1st. It’s as simple as that.”