“St David’s Day is our national day and I believe that we should introduce it as a holiday to celebrate our status as a nation”.
That is the view of North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, who along with his counterpart in Dyfed-Powys, is calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to give Wales new powers to make St David’s Day a public holiday.
According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones and Dafydd Llywelyn, police and crime commissioner for Dyfed-Powys, it’s only right that the people of Wales should be allowed to celebrate the national day ‘properly’.
Although not a crime or policing issue, the comment released via the PCC’s press consultants does note the police are large employers, with tens of thousands of staff.
As a result the PCCs are now urging the UK Government to give the Welsh Assembly the power to introduce this holiday – which they say would enable them to follow the precedent set in Scotland in 2006 when the Scottish Parliament designated November 30th, St Andrew’s Day, as a national holiday.
Arfon Jones said: “St David’s Day is our national day and I believe that we should introduce it as a holiday to celebrate our status as a nation.
“It is something I feel very strongly about – we have had a meeting about how we can the distinctive Welsh identity of our police forces and this is a step we can take.
“Celebrating St David’s Day with a public holiday would celebrate the fact that we are Welsh and that Wales is a country in its own right with its own distinctive identity and customs.
“Many countries have national holidays – in the USA it is Independence Day and in France they have Bastille Day and Victory in Europe Day while in Spain Catalans celebrate their own national day on September 11.
“Just as in Scotland it would be at the discretion of employers but it would at the very least be a recognition and a celebration of our own national identity.”
Mr Jones and Mr Llywelyn are also planning to raise the matter at the next meeting of the four Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales.
Mr Llywelyn said:“The four Comnmissioners and the four Chief Constables, as employers of tens of thousands of people in Wales, should lobby the Assembly for this change to be introduced.
“Arfon and I believe there is a great deal of support for the idea of creating a new official holiday to celebrate our patron saint’s day.
“It is not a great legislative issue and there is no real barrier to creating a new holiday in Wales.
“It would be a flagship day for our national pride and a mark of our maturity as a nation.”
On Thursday 1st March the annual St David’s Day parade through Wrexham town centre – more details about times / how to take part, here!