Sian Thomas confirms departure from Menter Cwm Gwendraeth

CLLR SIAN THOMAS: Dispute with fellow board members.

CLLR SIAN THOMAS: Dispute with fellow board members.

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PENYGROES-based county councillor Sian Thomas has confirmed she has stepped down as chairwoman of one of Wales’ oldest Welsh language support groups.

Cllr Thomas relinquished her post with Menter Cwm Gwendraeth earlier this month, following the sudden departure of chief executive Cathryn Ings who until May 2012 was editor of a weekly local newspaper.

It has now emerged that Cllr Thomas resigned after a dispute with fellow board members although she denied it was linked to Ms Ings’s exit.

She maintains the organisation’s bookshop and café in Pontyberem are running at a loss and that some board members were unhappy with Ms Ings’s standard of Welsh.

Menter Cwm Gwendraeth have disputed her claims and Ms Ings has refused to comment.

In a statement the group said: “For us, the winter has been a period of questioning and discussing, researching and listening, compiling and analyzing, assessment and response.

“The spring brought forth its usual changes, but those changes were much more radical this time around.

“Reports produced by our language planners are signposts for the changes and directions ahead of us, and a foundation on which we can build, and encourage us to cut across the usual boundaries to develop an ethos of multi-agency collaboration.”

Nerys Burton has been ap - pointed as interim chief executive and it is understood that Dr Wayne Griffiths will be the temporary chairman.

In a statement, Ms Burton said: “We can confirm that there is absolutely no financial worry.

“The menter is restructuring and plan to launch several campaigns to promote its work at the National Eisteddfod this year.”

News of the reshuffle follows a decision by Carmarthenshire County Council to back a cross-party report aimed at halting the decline of the Welsh language in the county.

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