Bridgend's Cofiwch Dryweryn memorial mural artwork must stay!

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At Easter in solidarity with the original Meic Stephen's original piece of art work in Llanrhystud  that was being repeatedly vandalised Cllr Freya Bletsoe and her friends at Yes Cymru Pen-y-Bont painted a copy of the mural on the side of her shop in Bridgend. Soon Cofiwch Dryweryn murals were springing up all over Wales in solidarity too and a movement was born. From children painting rocks in their school gardens to pensioners painting their garden gates. It was a real zeitgeist moment of remembering our country's rich culture, history and language. 

However Bridgend County Borough Council have taken it upon themselves to write to the elderly landlord of the shop where the mural was painted threatening to take him to court, to prosecute him to the full letter of what they believe to be the law.  We say this as they are citing the mural as being "advertising" which it clearly is not. They have cited that the mural needs "Advertising Consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992" as well as stating "it is an offence under Section 224 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 to display an advertisement without the benefit of Advertisement Consent."

None of the letter was sent in Welsh, putting the Council in contravention of the Welsh Language Measure (2011) and we feel that their high handed approach is totally unacceptable towards our Cultural Heritage and the History of this country. 

We did try to engage the council yesterday to find out why they believe it is "advertising" and no one would speak to us or return our calls.  We tried the office of the Chief Exec, the Leader of the council, the planning dept director of services, the dept manager and the team leader who sent the letter.  We even went in person to the offices but none was "available" to speak to us at all as everyone, every staff member was in a meeting. 

So we call upon BCBC to rescind their threats of court action and fines contained in the letter, we ask them to write to the landlord of the property to apologise in full for the distress and upset they have caused him over the matter and for them to issue a public apology to the people of Wales for their disregard for our Language, our History and our Heritage. We also seek assurances from the Leader of the Council and the Chief Exec that this situation will not happen again. 


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