Plaid AM Dai Lloyd has stated that he is hugely disappointed that the Labour Government today opposed his Bill to develop legislation to protect historic place names in Wales.
The National Assembly voted 28-25 against giving Dai Lloyd leave to proceed to develop the legislation, and so the Bill will not now proceed.
Dr. Dai Lloyd stated:
“It is very disappointing that the Labour Government and its Assembly Members voted against the principle of developing legislation in this area. It shows a serious lack of vision and commitment to protecting historical names. To not even agree to the general principles of the Bill or the policy objectives is truly incredible.
“The purpose of my Bill was very simple – to protect historical place names in Wales, and to try and ensure that a key element of our local and national heritage is not lost.
“We are aware of the high-profile examples of historic place names which have been lost, or have been at risk of being lost - changing ‘Maes-llwch’ in Powys to ‘Foyles’ for example, ‘Cwm Cneifion’ in Snowdonia to ‘Nameless Cwm’, and ‘Faerdre Fach’ farm near Llandysul, which is now promoted as ‘Happy Donkey Hill’.
“Indeed, across Wales, names of farmhouses, fields, historic homes, natural features and landscapes are being lost. Losing these names means that we are losing our local and National heritage.
“I have consulted widely in proposing the Bill and was pleased that so many organisations, academics and experts in the field supported the policy objectives.
“It is important to note that there is currently no legal protection for our historic names in Wales, and it is clear that there are a range of ways in which we can do just that.
“It is also clear that there are a number of international governments who have identified that historic place names are important, and have developed legislation, so there is certainly potential there to learn from others.
“It is disappointing that the Labour Government has failed to step up to the mark in terms of protecting historical place names, and has shown a total lack of vision. When historic place names are lost in future in Wales, the Labour Welsh Government will have to explain why they were not prepared to even explore the options of giving them protection.”