Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu - Y Bumed Senedd
Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee - Fifth Senedd10/12/2020
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Carwyn Jones MS|
|David Melding MS|
|Helen Mary Jones MS|
|John Griffiths MS|
Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol
Others in Attendance
|Cefin Campbell||Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin|
|Carmarthenshire County Council|
|Dr Sarah May||Prifysgol Abertawe|
|Helen Molyneux||Monumental Welsh Women|
|Monumental Welsh Women|
|Sara Huws||Amgueddfa Menywod Dwyrain Llundain|
|East End Women’s Museum|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Angharad Roche||Dirprwy Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.
The committee met by video-conference.
The meeting began at 09:30.
Bore da, bawb, a chroeso cynnes i Aelodau a thystion i gyfarfod y Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 34.19, dwi wedi gwahardd y cyhoedd rhag bod yn rhan o'r cyfarfod yma er mwyn diogelu iechyd y cyhoedd. Mae'r cyfarfod yn cael ei ddarlledu yn fyw ar Senedd.tv, ac mae pawb yn ymuno trwy ddulliau rhithiol. Bydd trawsgrifiad yn cael ei gyhoeddi fel arfer. Ar wahân i'r pethau y mae'n rhaid i ni wneud yn wahanol gan ein bod ni'n cwrdd o bellter, mae'r holl Rheolau Sefydlog eraill yn eu lle. Os am unrhyw reswm technegol dwi'n cwympo allan o'r cyfarfod, mae David Melding yn garedig iawn wedi cytuno i gadeirio tra fy mod i'n trio ailymuno. Dŷn ni wedi derbyn ymddiheuriadau gan Mick Antoniw heddiw. A gaf i ofyn i'm cyd-Aelodau os oes unrhyw ddatganiadau o fuddiant? Dwi'n gweld nad oes.
A very good morning to you all, and a warm welcome to Members and witnesses to this meeting of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I have determined that the public are excluded from attending this committee meeting in order to protect public health. The meeting is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv and all participants are joining virtually. A transcript of the meeting will be published as usual. Aside from the procedural adaptations relating to conducting proceedings remotely, all other Standing Order requirements remain in place. If for any technical reason I drop out of the meeting, David Melding has very kindly agreed to take the Chair temporarily whilst I try and rejoin. We've received apologies this morning from Mick Antoniw. May I ask my fellow Members if they have any declarations of interest? I see that there are none.
Felly dwi'n symud i eitem 2, sef eitem o dystiolaeth yn ein hymchwiliad ni yn edrych ar bwy sy'n cael eu coffáu yn ein llefydd cyhoeddus ni. Dwi'n falch iawn i groesawu Sara Huws, Dr Sarah May a Helen Molyneux. A gaf i ofyn ichi gyflwyno eich hunain jest fel rŷch chi'n ymddangos ar fy sgrin i?
Therefore I move on to item 2, which is evidence gathering in our inquiry into who gets remembered in our public spaces. I'm very pleased to welcome Sara Huws, Dr Sarah May and Helen Molyneux. If I could ask you to introduce yourselves as you appear on my screen.
Dr Sarah May first.
I'm Dr Sarah May. I'm a senior lecturer in public history and heritage at Swansea University in the history department. I've been studying commemoration, particularly in relation to its role in what we refer to as 'future making'—the future-making aspects of heritage, but also looking at how heritage deals with difficult pasts—for the last 10 years or so, and that's the focus of what I'll be looking at today.
Thank you very much. I'm sure you'll have some very useful evidence for us. Sara Huws.
Bore da. Sara Huws ydw i. Dwi wedi bod yn ymchwilio, ysgrifennu a darlledu am gerfluniau o fenywod ers tua 10 mlynedd nawr. Dwi hefyd yn gydsefydlydd unig amgueddfa hanes menywod Cymru a Lloegr, yr East End Women's Museum yn Llundain, a gafodd ei sefydlu fel gweithred o brotest positif gydag agor Amgueddfa Jack the Ripper, i ddangos ein bod ni'n gallu coffáu menywod mewn ffyrdd amgen a ffyrdd chwareus, mewn ffyrdd ystyrlon, ac yn eu bywydau nhw, nid jest yn eu marwolaethau.
Good morning. I'm Sara Huws. I've been researching, writing and broadcasting about statues of women for some 10 years now. I'm also the joint founder of the only museum commemorating women's history, the East End Women's Museum in London, which was established as an act of positive protest with the opening of the Jack the Ripper Museum to show that we can commemorate women in different ways, in playful ways, in meaningful ways, and in their lives, not just in their deaths.
Diolch yn fawr iawn, Sara. Helen Molyneux. I think you're unmuted, Helen.
Sorry, I missed your interjection there. I'm Helen Molyneux and I'm one of the founders of the Monumental Welsh Women group, which is a very informal group of women who got together to make happen the first statue of a real Welsh woman in Wales. Can I just say as well that I'm here today in my personal capacity, obviously, as a member of that group? My opinions don't necessarily represent the opinions of all of the women in the group.
Thank you. That's useful to have on record.
Croeso cynnes atom ni.
A very warm welcome to all.
A very warm welcome to you all. Thank you so much for giving your time and your expertise. I'll ask John Griffiths to ask the first set of questions. John.
Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd, a bore da i bawb.
Thank you very much, Chair, and good morning, everybody.
The Legall audit thought it remarkable that there is an absence of people of colour, women, disabled people and significant world figures in terms of public commemoration in Wales. Do you agree with that analysis, and if so, could you give us some pointers as to what might be done about it?
Who'd like to start? Let's start with Sarah for the sake of argument. We'll bring the other two in now.
In terms of the analysis, absolutely; it's abundantly clear that the commemorative landscape, so to speak, of Wales is very much white men, and particularly white men with local or national significance, but not looking to have that wider commemorative context. Having said that, I want to say that I think that we need to question the notion that we can fix that by adding in some more people. The practice of representational statues of individuals as a method of establishing commemoration in community space is a relatively short-lived one. It really starts to to come about in the eighteenth century. It's part of a colonial perspective on how we might organise public space, and it fits in that context. So, I think, in a way, there's part of me that wants to say we have to give the whole idea of that kind of commemoration up as a bad job and try to look at how else we might use our public space to represent contemporary community values.
Thank you. Sara Huws.
Byddwn i'n ategu pwynt Sarah. Yn y drafodaeth ynglŷn â choffáu a choffadwriaeth, mewn cerfluniau yn benodol, rydyn ni wedi bod yn ffocysu eleni ar is-genre penodol iawn, sef cerfluniau sydd yn gynrychioladol, sydd yn efydd, sydd ar bedestal—maen nhw bron fel meme neu imprint neu rywbeth yn fwy nag unrhyw beth arall. Efallai dyw e ddim yn gynrychioladol o'r holl ffyrdd mae coffadwriaeth yn digwydd yn ein cymunedau ni ar hyn o bryd, na chwaith y maes celf. Buaswn i'n meddwl, os rydych chi'n trio recriwtio, er enghraifft, cerfwraig neu gerfiwr i wneud y math yma o waith erbyn hyn, byddech chi'n cael trafferth ffeindio mwy na llond llaw artistiaid benywaidd, er enghraifft, felly mae e'n genre sydd ddim hyd yn oed yn eiddo i'r ganrif ddiwethaf, ond y ganrif gynt. A hefyd y confensiynau enwi rydyn ni'n eu trafod. Felly, buaswn i'n meddwl bod eisiau ehangu ac edrych i fyny ac allan. Y cwestiwn y gwnes i holi yn 2011 oedd: gyda bod pobl yn dal i weld eisiau comisiynu'r rhain, ble mae'r menywod? A gaf i jest ddweud ar bwynt mwy cyffredinol—? Byddaf i'n trafod cerfluniau menywod y bore yma, a dwi'n defnyddio'r diffiniad cynhwysol o fenywod, ac yn hynny yn cynnwys menywod traws hefyd.
I would certainly endorse Sarah's point. The discussion on commemoration, in statues particularly, has focused this year on a very specific sub-genre, namely statues that are representative and on a pedestal. They're almost like a meme or an imprint more than anything else, and perhaps it isn't representative of all the other forms of commemoration in our communities at the moment. Or indeed in terms of art—if you're trying to recruit a sculptor or a sculptress to do this kind of work, you would have problems in finding more than a handful of female artists, so it is a genre that doesn't even belong to the previous century, but the century before that. So, I would think, yes, that we need to broaden the horizons and look upwards and outwards. The question I asked in 2011 was: given that people still wanted to commission these, where are the women? And may I just say on a more general point—? I will be discussing statues of women this morning, and I'm using the inclusive definition here, which includes trans women.
Diolch yn fawr. Helen Molyneux.
Thank you. Obviously, the analysis was correct. That's one of the reasons we set up our group, because we were pretty shocked at the fact that, when we did the research, we realised that there wasn't one single statue of a named Welsh woman in Wales. When I started to think about this, one of the things that struck me was that erecting statues is an expensive business, and the reason there are only lots of white men is because you have to have a vested interest in erecting a statue, you have to have the passion to do it, but you also have to have the money and the space, and I think that's one of the reasons why—you've got the historical position that it was men who had the money and the land on which to place statues. So, it's not surprising, but it's a shame it's taken us so long to do something about it. Maybe we'll come on to this later in terms of whether we should do something about it or not, but I personally felt, rather than just get rid of all statues and start again, or see statues as some sort of outdated mode of representing people's achievements for the communities that they had an impact on, that as a starting point, erecting statues of women would at least start to redress the balance, and give people something to look up to and aspire to. So, I think it's definitely a starting point in terms of redressing that, rather than just taking them all down and starting again.
Thank you. John.
I wonder if I could ask, Sarah, if you could just give us an outline of what you think might be an alternative approach, given what you've said about statues—their colonial context, their being a very short-lived phenomenon, and there being other ways of commemorating. Would that be about not commemorating individuals, but commemorating communities and movements and broader sections of society? Is that the sort of thing you're thinking of?
There is an element of that, although I think that there is still room, in the ways that people want to commemorate, for commemorating individuals. There are particular individuals in all communities that people remember with passion, who they take as an inspiration. We shouldn't say, 'Oh, let's not talk about individuals', because I do take Helen's point that there are inspirational women, there are inspirational black people, there are inspirational people of other backgrounds in Wales that we will want to pull out and recognise their contributions. I'm thinking more along the lines of what Sara was speaking about, that we think about this as a commemorative landscape and thinking about the kinds of ways in which we work with those memories. And that can include things like her initiative with the East End Women's Museum, which I think is a really excellent example.
Also, on her point about artists, it's about looking at how do you support art, how do you support heritage in a broader sense, and allowing for communities to work in different ways that's not just about creating a point of commemoration. One of the reasons that I would say this is because when we look at the life histories of statues, which is one of the things that I'm interested in, at the moment where they're put up, there is usually a lot of energy around that. As Helen was pointing out, there's a lot of money that's gone into it, a lot of planning. So, at that moment, maybe for a year, maybe even two or three years, there's this time when that operates as a good thing for the community, a central point for the community. It tends to fall away then, and people for a long period of time in most of the lives of most statues ignore them completely, unless they are drawn into particular cycles of commemoration. So, some war memorials that have individuals on them have cycles of commemoration where they're remembered again. The only time they really come back into the public imagination is where people become uncomfortable with them, and then they become a magnet of attention again.
Now, you can say that that magnet of attention allows us a place to negotiate those difficulties, and there is that to be said, but I think that's not what we're intending when we put up the statue—'Oh good, people can complain about this in the future'. So, I think when we want to think about the idea of creating a public space in which we commemorate people who are important to us today, we want to do that in a way that doesn't necessarily focus that on what we expect people in the future to want. So, we should be focusing on the communities that need that community focus today, and on developing capacity in our communities.
Sara ar ôl Helen.
Sara after Helen.
I know that was a question for Sarah, but I can see Helen would like to come in.
Sara, ti wedyn hefyd. Helen.
Sara, you can come in after. Helen.
Just to follow on from that, one of the things that we thought long and hard about when we were picking our shortlist of women, and then put them to a public vote so that we had a mandate for the statue that was going to be the first statue, was that it was very difficult to set the criteria for who should be commemorated. And one of the things we realised was that you can't try to see into the future and think about, 'Is this person worthy of a statue for the next 100 years?', because communities change, people's attitudes change. So, the way we approached it was, 'Did these women reflect the qualities of—[Inaudible.]—over the years?' Therefore, does it even matter if in 20 or 30 years' time people decide that they want to change that statue and to replace it with something that's more meaningful at that particular moment in time? And our attitude to that was, 'Absolutely not—this person is important to us now, we want to make a great piece of art that will enhance the community, but if in 20 or 30 years' time people change their minds and decide they want to replace it with something else, then that shouldn't be a problem'.
Thank you. Sara.
Ie, mae'n ddiddorol clywed Sarah yn dweud am y diffyg diddordeb sydd mewn cerfluniau unwaith iddyn nhw gael eu dadorchuddio, achos, yn sicr, yn trio codi ymwybyddiaeth am gerfluniau o fenywod am dros bron i ddegawd, dwi wedi ffeindio bod e'n anodd iawn i annog diddordeb pobl. Beth sydd wedi fy mhoeni i am, efallai, tôn y drafodaeth fwyaf diweddar yma yw ein bod ni'n defnyddio cerfluniau, efallai, fel proxy i drafod materion gwleidyddol cyfredol—y sifft, efallai, sydd wedi bod nawr mewn disgwyliadau cyhoeddus o gyfranogaeth, o gynrychiolaeth, a bod hwn yn un ffordd lle mae hwn wedi codi ei ben.
Felly, un peth roeddwn i eisiau dweud yw rydyn ni'n gofyn, efallai, fan hyn, i awdurdodau lleol wneud rhyw safiad moesol. Mae'r safiadau yma wedi eu gwneud yn barod. Ewch i droed unrhyw wefan awdurdod lleol a bydd datganiad yn erbyn caethwasiaeth ddynol, er enghraifft. Mi fydd ganddyn nhw bolisïau urddas. Mi fydd ganddyn nhw bolisïau cydraddoldeb, gwrth-fwlio. Mae'r 'rhinweddau', os leiciwch chi, moesol yma wedi eu rhoi i mewn i gyfundrefnau ar hyd a lled awdurdodau lleol, ac felly dylai efallai cerfluniau ddim bod yn eithriad o hynny, ond hefyd mae yna gynsail gryf iawn i ddadwneud penderfyniadau hanesyddol. Os gymerwch chi fel cymhariaeth goed hanesyddol—coed aeddfed yn rhywle fel Caerdydd—dŷn ni'n gwybod eu bod nhw'n dda i ni, does yna ddim un ohonyn nhw wedi gwerthu caethwas yn eu bywyd. Mae pobl yn gwrthwynebu eu tynnu nhw i lawr ac yn gwneud lot o sŵn am hynny, ond mae cynghorau yn dal i wneud hynny. Felly, os dŷch chi'n edrych ar rywbeth fel yna, sydd yn sicr yn ased cymunedol, mae yna gynsail i ddadwneud y penderfyniadau hanesyddol yma ar hyd a lled Cymru. Felly, byddwn i'n gochel rhag trin cerfluniau fel eithriad jest achos eu bod nhw mor symbolaidd.
Yes, it's interesting to hear Sarah talk about the lack of interest in statues once they've been unveiled, because, certainly, in trying to raise awareness about statues of women over a period of a decade, I found that it's very difficult to engender people's interests. What's concerned me about this most recent discussion is that we are using statues as a proxy to discuss political issues of the day—the shift that there's been now in public expectation in terms of participation and representation, and this is one way where this has arisen.
So, one thing I wanted to say is that we are perhaps asking local authorities to take some moral stance here, but these stances have been made already. Go to any local authority website and there will be a statement against slavery. They will have dignity and respect policies. They will have equality policies, anti-bullying policies. The moral 'virtues' are already in place across local authorities, and statues, perhaps, shouldn't be an exception in that, but there is also a very strong precedent to undo historic decisions. If you take as a comparison mature trees—historical trees in Cardiff—we know that they're good for us. They have never been involved in slavery at all. We oppose their felling, and people make a lot of noise about that, but councils continue to do it. So, if you look at something like that that's certainly a community asset, there is a precedent to undo these historical decisions across Wales as a whole. So, I would be guarded in treating statues as an exception just because they are so symbolic.
Diddorol. Unrhyw beth pellach, John?
That's very interesting. Anything further, John?
Yes, I wanted to ask about that successful campaign for a statue to a woman in Cardiff that's led to the statue of Betty Campbell, the teacher, that's due to be erected—
Sorry to cut across you, John. Can I just check, Sarah—? You're off our screens, but can you hear—? I'm sorry, Helen, can you hear us? Can one of the committee team please get in touch with Helen, because it looks as if we may have lost her? Oh, there you are. We've got you back. John was just asking specifically about the campaign. John, complete your question by all means.
Yes, so, I was asking about the successful campaign to erect a statue to a woman in Cardiff, which will lead to the statue of the teacher, Betty Campbell, next year. In fact, there's a big campaign in Newport to erect a statue to Lady Rhondda at the moment, which I think is likely to succeed. I just wanted to ask, really, what lessons can be drawn from that successful campaign in Cardiff—you know, how we can perhaps ensure further statues and commemoration of women across Wales.
Okay, I think the key—. When I was thinking about this in preparation for talking to you, I think the key things that struck me about our process was that (a), it had started out as a bit of a passion project amongst a group of people who were just interested in this particular aspect of what our public art looked like, and then the fact that there were no statues of women. So, (a), it was driven by a group of people who were interested and wanted to see something done about it and were prepared to commit their time. But then we very quickly realised that we were a group of women; we were all friends, so we had lots of interests in common, which might not necessarily reflect the wider community, and that our tastes in art and public art might not be suitable or might not win the affection of the local communities in which we were going to site the statues. So, what we did from the very beginning was try to include as many different people from as many different areas—so, the arts, politics, local communities, historians. And every time we went through a stage of the process, we brought different people in. So, when we commissioned the artist, we had a group of people to help to commission the artist and choose the artist. When we selected the women that should go onto the shortlist for the public vote, we had a different group of people involved in that.
We liaised very closely with the council, with Welsh Government and with the communities where the people who were on the shortlist were from. So, we very much felt that it was necessary to try to engage as many people as possible. And then, obviously, the fundraising side of it is the hard bit, really, because you’re trying to engage people in something that is expensive and also, particularly in relation to—you know, when we were trying to raise money for women who had contributed to Wales, the first question we got asked by most people was, ‘Well, there aren’t any’ or ‘Who are they?’ and they’d never heard of them. So, that was a big hurdle for us. But to me, that was part of the process, because it was about educating people and getting people to understand that these women’s histories had been either overlooked or completely forgotten, and that they were as deserving of representation in public spaces as the men we had in our public spaces. So, that was part of the journey and part of the process, really.
The other thing I’d say, though, is that if you can’t do these things—. When I was reading the report and thinking about how we decide who is commemorated, one of the challenges is—. It comes back to what I was saying about we weren’t trying to choose the best Welsh women, we just thought that these were interesting characters who had achieved interesting things and would inspire people, particularly girls. If they read the story of somebody like Cranogwen, a fascinating character who did amazing things, but relevant today? Not necessarily. Her personality shone through everything that she did, and she’s such an inspirational character, but it would be difficult to say that she necessarily justifies a statue over the other 50 women on our shortlist. And I think that’s where any set of rules that tries to define who is worthy of a statue is a very difficult thing to do. We didn’t necessarily want the best people, we wanted inspirational and interesting people.
Yes. And I suppose we don't ask—it's not as if we only need to commemorate one woman, is it? That was very much part of that campaign, that it is about a range of different experiences, different backgrounds, as others have said. I'll bring Sarah in.
Ac efallai Sara, os ŷch chi'n moyn cyfrannu hefyd. Sarah.
And Sara, if you want to contribute, you can come in after Sarah. Sarah.
Yes. I want to say how lovely it is to hear about that process, because I think when it comes to that, when you asked me about what kinds of practice we think of in instead of statues, in a way, the process is the key thing—right? So, if that leads to a statue, that's great, if that's what that process of commemoration leads to, that's what it leads to. But I think it's actually engendering that process that matters, and I thought it was really interesting that Helen and her group recognised early on that by being a volunteer group, we trend to attracting people who are like ourselves, and that can lead to inequalities in the way that commemoration happens.
There's a lot to be said for looking at the funding of any of these things, as Helen was saying about fundraising. If we are constantly having to convince people who have wealth that a person is worth commemorating, we're always going to commemorate people who are valued by people who have wealth. So, if there isn't public funding for these kinds of things, you will get askew.
Also, I would suggest that there should be some public funding for participation in the process. Because having the time to put aside to these things is a luxury and one of the things that keeps a lot of people out of participating in heritage, particularly from marginalised communities, is that they simply don't have the time to spend an afternoon talking about ideas about who should be commemorated in public space.
That's a really interesting point, actually, and like so many really strong points, it's absolutely obvious once you say it, but not something that's come out in our evidence so far.
Sara, ydych chi am ddod i mewn fan hyn, hefyd?
Sara, did you want to come in at this point?
Ie. Dwi jest yn falch o weld trafodaeth o gyfranogaeth yn y broses yma. O ran y prosiect dwi wedi cyd-sefydlu yn Llundain, dŷn ni wedi defnyddio hadau o arian—dim llawer o gwbl—a dŷn ni wedi llwyddo, trwy ffyrdd cyfranogol a ffyrdd efallai ychydig bach yn fwy chwareus, i ymgysylltu â thros 20,000 o bobl dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, a hefyd wedi gallu amlygu hanesion menywod mewn casgliadau mwy sefydlog—felly gweithio gyda phartneriaid mewn awdurdodau lleol fel Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, i dyrchio yn eu harchifau nhw ac i ddod â'r straeon yma i'r wyneb, ac i'w rhannu nhw yn lleol, a hefyd i ffeindio straeon efallai sydd â mwy o adlais cenedlaethol, a fydd eto yn ysbrydoli. Ac felly, mae hynny'n sicr wedi ei ysbrydoli gan waith Archif Menywod Cymru, a dwi'n credu ei bod hi'n werth cydnabod yn y cyfarfod yma heddiw y cyfraniad y mae'n nhw wedi ei wneud yn eu hymchwil gwreiddiol nhw, i greu'r sylfaen dŷn ni i gyd yn gallu gweithio ohoni heddiw.
Yes. We're just pleased to see discussion on participation in this process. In terms of the project I jointly established in London, we have used seed funding—not much at all—and we have succeeded, through participative approaches and slightly more playful approaches, perhaps, to engage with over 20,000 people over the past few years, and have been able to highlight women's histories in more established collections—so, working with partners in local authorities, such as Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, to search their archives, and to bring these stories to the fore, and to share them locally, and also to find stories that perhaps have more of a national resonance that will inspire. And that has certainly been inspired by the work of the Wales Women's Archive, and I think it's worth acknowledging the contribution that they have made in their original research to create the foundation that we can all work from today.
Diolch yn fawr iawn am gyfeirio atyn nhw, achos mae eu gwaith nhw'n hynod o bwysig, yn dydy? Mae gyda ni gymaint o gwestiynau dŷn ni am eu gofyn, a dŷn ni yn brin o amser. Os dŷn ni'n rhedeg dros amser o ryw bum neu 10 munud, ydych chi fel tystion yn iawn i aros gyda ni jest dipyn bach yn fwy? Gawn ni weld sut mae'n mynd, ond dwi'n ymwybodol iawn bod amser pobl yn werthfawr. Gaf i ofyn i David Melding ddod i mewn nawr? David.
Thank you very much for referring to them, because their work is extremely important. We do have so many questions to get through; we are short of time, but if we run slightly over, by five or 10 minutes, would you as witnesses be okay to remain with us for slightly longer? We'll see how things go, but I am very aware that people's time is precious. So, if I could invite David Melding to ask questions now. David.
Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. I wonder what the witnesses think of Gaynor Legall's audit for the Welsh Government, as an evidence base, and the richness or otherwise of the analysis, because it's quite detailed in parts, particularly when looking at the people that have been commemorated. So, what do you think about it? And just to say, when Gaynor was here last week, she said that there are no hard-and-fast plans for the next steps, but that we have to do something.
Now, I think the 'something' you've already, some of you, indicated. But is there anything else in the next steps that you've not talked about so far in the answers you gave to my colleague, John Griffiths, that we should be thinking about—if there should be next steps, which presumably you think there should be?
So, reactions to the report and any ideas about what should happen now.
Sara, dŷch chi am gychwyn gyda hwn?
Sara, would you like to start?
Yn gryno iawn, dwi'n falch iawn bod y manylder yna yn yr adroddiad oherwydd fel rhywun sydd yn gyson yn trio codi arian ar gyfer mentrau sydd yn dathlu hanes menywod, er enghraifft, mae cael yr ystadegau yna yn hynod o bwysig. Mae gallu dweud, er enghraifft, mai dim ond tri cherflun sydd yna o fenywod du ym Mhrydain i gyd; mae mwy o gerfluniau o eifr gydag enwau na sydd yna o fenywod o leiafrifoedd ethnig. Mae gyda ni 9 y cant o gerfluniau Prydain sydd o fenywod gydag enw. Mae'r ystadegau yma yn ein helpu ni i amlygu'r math yma o achos, ac ar gyfer ymgyrchoedd fel yr un y mae Helen wedi ei harwain hefyd, yn gallu argyhoeddi pobl. Felly, mae'n bwysig iawn dod â'r ystadegau yna i'r wyneb.
Very briefly, I'm very pleased that that detail is contained within the report because as one who is regularly trying to raise funds for initiatives celebrating women's history, getting those statistics is extremely important. It can tell us that, for example, there are only three statues of black women in the whole of the UK—there are more named statues of goats than there are of women of ethnic minorities. Nine per cent of statues in Britain are of named women. So, these statistics help us to highlight these issues, and help with campaigns such as the one Helen has led, and they can convince people. So, it's very important that we bring those statistics to the fore.
Diolch. Unrhyw syniadau ynglŷn â beth y byddech chi am ei weld nesaf ar ôl y gwaith y mae Gaynor a Cadw wedi ei wneud ar y cyd?
Thank you. Any ideas on what you would like to see happening next following the work done by Gaynor and Cadw?
Dwi'n meddwl y byddwn i'n licio eich gweld chi'n cynnwys y sector treftadaeth yn y camau nesaf. Cof, coffa, dewis beth sy'n cael ei gofio—dyna yw ein bara menyn ni, a dŷn ni'n gweithio gyda'r math yma o beth, atgofion pobl, bob dydd. Ond hefyd, byddwn i'n gochel rhag ateb y cwestiwn yna gyda, 'Rhowch nhw mewn amgueddfa', achos dwi ddim eisiau i ni ddechrau meddwl bod amgueddfa yn lle lle dŷch chi'n rhoi pethau does neb eisiau edrych arnyn nhw rhagor. Dŷn ni'n gweithio'n galed iawn i wneud yn siŵr bod pethau yn ein hamgueddfeydd a'n harchifau a'n llyfrgelloedd ni yn bethau y mae pobl eisiau eu gweld—achos mae'ch cydweithwyr chi sy'n edrych ar ôl treftadaeth, wrth gwrs, yn hoff iawn o niferoedd ymwelwyr. Felly, byddwn i'n gochel rhag rhoi 200 o slavers yng nghrombil Amgueddfa Cymru, er enghraifft—achos mae'n gostus i ddechrau gyda. Felly, byddwn i'n gochel rhag hynny.
Ond byddwn i yn hoffi gweld rhywbeth tebyg i beth y byddem ni wedi gallu ei wneud yn Llundain yn digwydd, rhywbeth sydd efallai yn fwy—yn Saesneg, roedd e'n dweud, 'multi-modal' neu 'pluralsitic', rhywbeth sydd â chymaint o wahanol allbynnau, a rhywbeth, efallai, sydd â bywyd eithaf hir ac sydd yn gyfranogol. Ond mae'n rhaid i mi ddweud, dwi wedi bod yn gwneud y gwaith yma, a dyw'r arian ddim yma yng Nghymru, ac i ryw raddau, y brwdfrydedd cyhoeddus hefyd. Dwi'n meddwl bod pobl yn Llundain wedi arfer cymaint gydag arlwy mor gyfoethog, a chymaint o arian i'r celfyddydau ac i dreftadaeth, ei bod hi'n rhwyddach i ni wneud y gwaith yma yn nwyrain Llundain. Ond fy ngobaith i yw fy mod i'n gallu defnyddio'r hyn dwi wedi ei ddysgu drwy ddechrau'r fenter yma a chreu amgueddfa fenywod gyntaf Cymru a Lloegr, a'n bod ni'n gallu creu prosiect cyfatebol, gobeithio, un dydd, yng Nghymru, pan fydd y conditions yn iawn, os liciwch chi.
Well, I think I would like to see you include the heritage sector in the next steps. Commemoration, choosing what is remembered is our bread and butter, and we work on these issues on a daily basis. But I would not be in favour of just saying, 'Well, let's put them in a museum', because I don't want us to think that museums should be places where we put things that people don't want to see. We work very hard to ensure that there are things in our museums, archives and galleries that people want to see, because colleagues are very keen to have high visitor numbers. So, I would be guarded against actually having 200 slave owners in the Museum of Wales—it's very costly, first of all. So, I wouldn't want to see that.
But I would want to see something similar to what we've been able to do in London—something that is perhaps more multi-modal or pluralistic, which has so many different outcomes and outputs, and something that has longevity and is participative. But I have to say that I have been doing this work, and the funding isn't available in Wales, and to a certain extent, the public enthusiasm isn't here either. I think people in London are so used to having such a rich array of material and so much funding for the arts and heritage that it's easier for us to do this work in London. But my hope is that I can use what I've learned by establishing this initiative in creating England and Wales's first women's museum, and that we can create a corresponding projects in Wales, one day, when the conditions are right to do so.
Diolch. Helen, your reactions to the report and any ideas you have about next steps.
I thought the report was really helpful. Following on from Sara's points, one of the most helpful things about it is just having those statistics, because the challenge we faced was that people didn't believe us when we said there wasn't a single statue; they didn't believe us. And trying to prove a negative is very difficult. So, that is really helpful.
In terms of next steps, this is a massive—. I've got so many thoughts on this. But the two things that struck me, when I was reading the report and this whole question about what do you do with statues that people no longer want in their communities, for example, or statues that maybe have had their time—and it comes back to the fundraising point, and how do you fund art in the public realm and statues. I do think there's a place for—whether it's governments or local authorities—thinking far more creatively about how they use, for example, section 106 money, where developers are required to make a contribution towards the public realm. Often, as part of that, they are required to make a contribution towards public art in the public realm, and, often, a figure is put on that—you have to spend so much on a piece of art to make part of this public realm attractive to the community or whatever—and most developers are not interested in that process. It's just something that they have to do. So, they'll then employ an art consultant, who then goes off and then comes up with something.
If you look around Cardiff, there are some really awful examples of how that money has been wasted. My particular pet hate is the lightning bolt outside the Admiral building, which cost £250,000. How better could we have spent that money if we had some sort of overarching public art creative idea that joins everything up? So, if you take Cardiff, as an example—I'm just talking about Cardiff, because that's where that particular piece of art sits, but it applies to every community or every city—you could use it for so much good in terms of attracting visitors to the area.
I always think of Cartagena in Spain. When you go to Cartagena, there's the most beautiful bronze statue, which is a tribute to victims of terrorism, in the harbour itself. It's vast—it's 4m high—but it's very, very beautiful. People will go to Cartagena just to see that statue. And then, you walk in from the harbour into the town and, because it's a city with such a fantastic maritime history, as you walk up the boulevard towards the city there are life-size statues of sailors walking in the street. So, you could literally pass them by as if they were just people walking in the street, but they're just fantastic, and they really catch your attention and make you think about the city you're in and why it has the history that it has. I think Spanish cities, in particular, have a really positive attitude to using public art to promote their cities. But you have to do it in a co-ordinated way and you have to think creatively about what art can do for a place. It can be about commemorating people, your culture and your history, but it needs to be thought through.
One of the things—just to finish quickly; sorry, I know you're short of time—that we very much thought of when we were commissioning the Betty Campbell statue was that it can't just be a woman on a plinth. It has to be more than that and represent the community. It will be a fantastic piece of art in itself that I think people will come to Cardiff to see.
I must say I'm really looking forward to seeing it. It's exciting. I'll bring you in in a moment, Sarah, but Sara just wanted to come back in response to something that Helen said then, I think. Sara. Can we unmute Sara?
Sorry, I automatically remuted myself. Whoever had me on the bingo card, mark it down. I just wanted to endorse what Helen was saying. The East End Women's Museum especially would not have been able to grow in the way that it has without what previously used to be called section 106 or strategic community infrastructure levy funding. It has been absolutely instrumental. Because the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the Greater London Authority, who are supporting us as well, have realised that we are perhaps a different kind of institution that can do work around equality, that can do work around commemoration. That SCIL funding has been absolutely instrumental in helping us bed in in that borough, do the community consultation, to become a proper local organisation that is owned by the community.
You mentioned Spain, Helen; one note that I put down here on my crib sheet is the word 'Namibia'. Namibia was only made independent in 1994 and they are dealing with, and have dealt with successfully, the legacy of colonial statues of German colonisers. The phrase that they have used in their rationale has stuck with me ever since I heard it, and that is that these are figures that are no longer of monumental significance. So, when we're talking about what we're doing with a statue, it isn't about erasing history, it's not about deleting these people. It's to say, 'Of course, these people played a role in history, but they're not the people who we literally put on a pedestal anymore'. So, I think there's something very, very symbolic about the idea of just bringing a statue down to ground level and perhaps opening up that plinth or that pedestal for something new. But I wanted to leave you just with that phrase: 'no longer of monumental significance'.
That's a really useful phrase to think about. I think we've got some more questions that we might expand a little bit more about what happens when we make those decisions. Sarah, just to bring us back to David's original question on the review and what you'd like to see as next steps. But obviously, feel free to respond to what others have said.
I'll keep it brief, because we want to get through as many questions as possible—and really to echo the other two. We don't need to go over that much, because I don't disagree. So, you can take it that I agree.
I think that the report is immensely significant, both in its quality and its timing. I think that it's exactly the kind of thing that a Government should be doing to respond to the kinds of concerns that were raised this summer about the nature of commemoration. I think it's a really, really important first step. Having that solid basis will make all further steps much easier, because you always have that solid piece of work to go back to. So, I think that, really, both the authors of the report and the Government are to be commended for that.
I also think, in terms of next steps, that it is true that it's really worth looking at how some other countries are dealing with these kinds of things. I note the situation in Barbados, where the statue of Nelson has been taken down, which was a really celebratory day in which they took that down—there was dancing, there was singing and the statue was taken down carefully. Now, in fairness, their intention there is to put it in a museum and I would be with Sara in saying that that is not a sensible thing to be doing, because, as she rightly points out, you don't want to be putting the things you don't like in museums—museums aren't there for that. It's a difficult enough job that museums have without putting that on them as well.
I also think it's important not to see statues as magical. They are not a representation; they are not an embodiment of history. They're an object—sometimes a good piece of art, sometimes not so much a good piece of art—that represents a moment in time and a particular process that took place. There's loads and loads of that kind of material all through heritage, across our society in buildings, in artefacts, in things that have been knocked down—I'm an archeologist by background—and in rubbish dumps. There are so many ways that we can touch our past—we really don't need to be making statues into something that is an exceptional case.
So, some statues may be something that we can use in another way. Other statues may simply be really great scrap metal. You know, bronze is quite expensive, and if you're making a new statue, you've got a whole pile of bronze here, why not use it again? And you can do that creatively as well as simply making a brand new statue. If you think about the example in Bolivia, where the Bolivian dictator's statue was literally cut up and squashed between pieces of concrete and held down, it really evokes this idea of you have to keep an eye on these people. He's not just pushed off—he's there, but he's squashed down. So, we can think creatively. And I think, really, to emphasise the points that Sara and Helen have made, this is about funding those processes and using things like section 106, but potentially, given the importance of the matter for Welsh people at the moment, trying to free up some other funds, which encourage communities to think about their heritage in these more creative fashions and to think about what kinds of values do we want to have in our public spaces, and how can we use practice and art to do that.
I will just flag to you that one of the local authority archaeologists for Chester—I know it's not inside Wales, but it's very close—has done a doctorate on the question of public art and heritage, specifically around these questions. His name is James Dixon. I recommend you contact him. He looked at Bristol and the example of the redevelopment in Cabot Circus, where they had an artist in residence as part of their section 106, and he worked alongside the artist in residence there.
That's really interesting stuff. I'm sorry to have to move us along. David, anything further from you?
I think my question on general principles is, perhaps, something that Carwyn might be able to look at when he's asking, if he intends to, about criteria that might be used, and I could respond to that.
I do want to challenge something that's been said, and that's that we shouldn't put things we don't like in museums. I would have thought it's very important to put things that we don't like in museums, because it's a salutary lesson, isn't it? And previous to that, we heard a principle that if something or a person is no longer a fitting monumental commemoration, then they should be removed. I would agree with that, but with the proviso they should be removed from a prominent public place. But you could create a gallery of horrors in any large public park and not destroy statutes. Isn't that better, so that our descendants will be able to look at what we thought was important in our public life, as we reflect on those of previous generations?
I'll bring in Sara, and then I think you, Sarah, wanted to come in.
Sylw cyffredinol oedd hynny. Dwi'n meddwl, weithiau, mae'r syniad o, 'Rhowch nhw mewn amgueddfa' wedi cael ei ddefnyddio fel rhyw banasea. Yn sicr, mae sefydliadau fel Amgueddfa Cymru ac Archifau Cymru—mae lot o waith yn digwydd yn y fan yna i edrych ar hanes sydd yn ein gwneud ni'n anghyfforddus. Dwi ddim eisiau 'coddle-o' neb. Mae yna wrthrychau rydyn ni'n gallu problemateiddio ym mhob un casgliad yng Nghymru, ond beth dwi'n meddwl yw, weithiau, wrth i ni feddwl am rhywbeth fel Colston ym Mryste, mae'r gwaith o adfer y cerflun yna o'r harbwr, ei lanhau e i lefel cadwraeth, i'w storio fe, ac yna ei roi e ar blinth mewn amgueddfa—rydych chi'n sôn am gannoedd o filoedd o bunnoedd. Byddwn i'n dweud, yn achos Colston—achos beth ddigwyddodd i'r cerflun yna, mae hynny'n bwysig, mae hynny'n hanesyddol. Ond os ydych chi'n sôn am efallai 200 o gerfluniau o bobl doedd pobl ddim cweit yn sylwi arnyn nhw tan nawr, ond rŷn ni wedi penderfynu nad ydyn ni'n licio nhw—dŷn ni ddim eisiau creu rhyw fynwent o gerfluniau Lenin math o beth. Ac mae eisiau cofio bod atynnu pobl yn rhan bwysig o'n diwylliant treftadaeth ni, a bod mwynhad yn rhan bwysig o gymhelliad pobl i gymryd rhan. Felly dŷn ni ddim eisiau gwneud i bobl deimlo'n euog ac yn anghynnes am bopeth. Ond dwi'n cymryd y pwynt—mae eisiau i ni hefyd fod yn rhoi sialens i bobl i wynebu'r straeon mwy anodd yma hefyd.
That was a general comment. I think this idea of, 'Well, put them in a museum' has been used as a panacea. Certainly, organisations such as Amgueddfa Cymru and the archives in Wales—there's a great deal of work happening to look at history that makes us uncomfortable. We don't want to coddle anyone. There are objects that could be problematic in all collections in Wales, but on occasion, if we look at Colston in Bristol, the work of recovering that statue from the harbour, to clean it for conservation, to store it, and to place it on a plinth in a museum—you're talking about hundreds of thousands of pounds. And I would say, in the case of Colston—because what happened to that statue, that is important, it has historical significance. But if you're talking about 200 statues of people that people didn't really notice until now, and we've decided we don't really like them—we don't want to create a graveyard of Lenin statues, for example. And we do need to bear in mind that attracting people is an important part of our heritage culture, and that enjoyment is an important part of people's motivation for participating. So we don't want to make people feel uncomfortable and guilty about everything. But I do take your point—we also need to challenge people to face up to these more difficult histories too.
Diolch, Sara. Sarah, you wanted to come in on that as well.
I just want to clarify that when I said that we don't want to be putting things that we don't like in museums, the importance of dealing with difficult heritage can't be overemphasised. One of my areas of research is looking at relationships between nuclear waste management and heritage, so I'm aware of the idea that we can't just pretend that difficult heritage doesn't exist. But when you talk about the idea of a park with a gallery of horrors, galleries of horrors are generally not something that encourages community reflection on difficult histories. That's not actually how people receive galleries of horror. So, when we think how do we actually represent difficult pasts in museums, it's a really complicated mater, and filling museums up with a pile of statues is not going to make the job that museums do in addressing difficult histories easier.
One of the things that I have come across in looking at how do we mark nuclear waste going forward for the next 100,000 years is that one of the real difficulties is that wherever you put any kind of marker, people assume that it's a commemoration. So, the people working on this problem have found that it's really hard to make something that says, 'We don't like this', right, because, mostly, as soon as people see some kind of monument, we assume that it's something to do with honour. It's just part of the way that people respond to monuments. So, I think we need to be really careful to think that we can change that response simply by relocating them.
That's interesting. Anything further, David?
Yes, just one very focused question—and those were subtle and interesting answers, and I'm sorry if I challenged in too broad terms, and I don't think anything that's been said has been unreasonable. It's all worth reflecting on. Sir Thomas Picton: his marble statue in city hall surely should be relocated somewhere, with interpretation, as a summary of this whole debate, this whole pivot in how we've looked at slavery and colonialism, so that future generations can collect—. One of the many statues in the national museum, but, surely, his would be one that would need future prominence so people reflect on this.
Who would like to respond to that? Sara, I know you don't want us cluttering up the museums with too many of these creatures, but you did say, with regard to the Colston statue, because of the process and because of the history, you felt it was appropriate for that to be in a museum and contextualised and explained. How do you respond to what David says about Picton?
I think it would be interesting to get the curatorial perspective from the national museum on something like this, because I know the specimens acquisition grant has shrunk quite a lot. There have been cuts to the heritage sector over the years, which means that they do have to be very, very judicious in what they acquire. And, also, what they undertake to conserve and store and display into perpetuity. So, legally, it would have the same status as the one of the Monets. And I think we're under a lot of pressure in the archives, museums and library sectors to prove different, and that's what I would question as well. There's been a lot of inflated discussion about these statues, but I wonder, again, two years down the line, how many people really would want to see this? Would it be a headliner exhibition that people would be queuing around the corner to see? Would museum, library and gallery budgets be better placed—? Would it be more cost efficient to do something different? So, I'd be interested in your asking the National Museum Wales for that. Oh, I've just switched languages and just cottoned on. Sorry.
Wel, mae tueddiad, onid oes, i ateb y person yn yr iaith maen nhw—so, dyna beth dwi'n tueddu i wneud.
There is a tendency to answer people in the language the question was asked—that's what I tend to do.
Did anybody else want to come in on what we might want to do with the Picton statue? David, I think I'm—. Sarah. Yes, quickly, if you can.
I'd just briefly say that I think that if we were going to say—and I completely agree with Sara, talk to the national museum before you make any kind of statements for what they do with their budgets. But, more importantly, or more directly to your question, not more importantly, I think, if you want to have that statue, right, as the thing that represents this debate, maybe instead of saying, 'That statue should be the thing that represents this debate', maybe have a think about what does represent this debate. Start with that, in the same way that Helen's group started with, 'How do we represent women?' How do we represent this debate? It may be that by holding on to one of these statues and representing them in a certain way, in a cultural setting, that's a good way to do it. But I think we're not yet in a position to know that, what is the way. And it seems to me that, at the moment, that statue has largely been treated with great care and respect. It may well be moved, but it's not actually—unlike the Colston statue, it hasn't got any evidence in it of the anger, of the distress that the statue has caused. I think one of the things we have to be really aware of is that these statues actually do cause distress to people.
Yes, and we took evidence on that.
So, my point is, if you're going to use the statue to try to represent the debate, you need to do something with that statue that it holds some of that anger, that it holds some of that pain.
Well, that's back to your earlier points about process and how we involve people in those discussions, and if we have time, we'll come on to that. I'm going to need to move on to Carwyn Jones now.
Thank you, Chair, and I'll keep my questions short. Can you hear me? Thank you. Okay. Basically, I was just wondering if our witnesses—good morning—had any views on whether acts of public commemoration should be judged against fixed criteria, and if so, what might they look like?
Would anybody like to make start on this? I mean, you are just—
Yes, sure, Sarah.
I'll start since I'm sure. I'd say 'no'. One of the questions that came up beforehand was, 'Should you use the same kinds of things that you use for listed buildings?' My answer to that, really, was very straight from the beginning: 'No, they don't even work for listed buildings'. I worked for a long time for English Heritage, as it was, but it's now Historic England. Listed building regulations were set up in the context of war, and they do a particular thing and they don't do it particularly well. I think having fixed sets of criteria implies a fixed response to commemorative space, and I think that you really are not wise to go down that route.
Helen, I can see you agreeing with that. If I can bring you in.
I think once you start to try and set criteria—. We realised this when we started our process, because our first thought was, 'Well, what criteria will we use?' And then once you start to try and narrow that down, it becomes very, very difficult. And I also think the danger with any set criteria is that, (a), you lose the creativity in the process, and secondly, I think it then becomes too bureaucratic. And people who maybe wouldn't be the first people that a process would identify as the correct people to be remembered would be missed out, even though their communities might feel very strongly that these people had a particular impact or created a particular benefit to that community, and they want to remember them. I don't think we should stop people from trying to make the commemorations within their own communities as relevant to them as possible, even if they don't match a criteria that has been devised. And I think that would be shame, if we stifled the opportunities for people to remember people who mean something to them.
Thank you. Sara.
Jest i ategu beth ddywedais i mewn ateb i gwestiwn blaenorol, mae'r cyfundrefnau yma'n bodoli'n barod; does yna ddim safiad moesol ychwanegol i'w wneud fan hyn, dwi'n meddwl. Mae gyda ni bolisïau i wneud gyda chydraddoldeb, urddas, ymddygiad, gwrth-gaethwasiaeth, gwrth-drais yn erbyn menywod ac ati. Felly, dwi'n credu bod digon o bapur yn bodoli'n barod, a bod yr egwyddorion wedi eu gosod yn rheini.
Just to echo what I said in response to a previous question, these systems are in place already; there is no additional moral or ethical stance to take here. We have policies related to equality, dignity, conduct, anti-slavery, anti-violence against women and so on and so forth. So, I think there's plenty of paper out there already, and the principles are already put in place in those papers.
Thank you. Carwyn.
That's very clear. Just following up, then. Helen mentioned about the involvement of local people in terms of commemoration. Could I ask, if a public authority wants to remove or transfer a statue or monument, is there a process, do you think, that should be evoked for that to be done? How do you involve local people, and is there a role for the planning system, perhaps?
Sara, achos chi wedi cael y profiad yma roeddech chi'n cyfeirio ato yn Llundain.
Sara, because you've had this experience that you referred to in London.
Mae yna reolaethau, mae yna codes of ethics ar gyfer gweithio gyda chasgliadau—mae International Council of Museums, er enghraifft, sy'n gweithio'n fyd eang. Mae yna gyfundrefnau yn bodoli o fewn y sector treftadaeth ynglŷn â sut i wneud hyn, yn enwedig os ydych chi'n sôn, efallai, am rhywbeth sydd yn gyfreithiol ar dir y cyngor, ond mae rhywun wedi talu amdano fe a dydych chi ddim cweit yn siŵr sut i gysylltu gydag ystâd y person yna a beth i wneud gyda'u barn nhw. Mae yna weithdrefnau yn bodoli'n barod ar gyfer gwneud hyn, a byddwn i jest yn gochel rhag cyfranogaeth docenistig. Os ydych chi yn mynd i ddod â'r gymuned mewn, gwnewch e mewn ffordd ofalus. Gofynnwch: a yw cynnal y drafodaeth yma'n mynd i achosi mwy o hollt, neu yw e'n mynd i ddod â rhagor o ddealltwriaeth rhwng cymunedau? Achos, weithiau, mae gwneud hynny bach yn hap a damwain er mwyn gwneud iddo fe edrych fel ein bod ni wedi ymgynghori, efallai'n gallu creu mwy o niwed na diddymu'r cerflun ei hunan.
There is regulation in place, there are codes of ethics for working with collections—International Council of Museums, for example, working on a global level. These regimes are already in place within the heritage sector as to how this should be done, especially if you're talking about something that is legally on council land, but that someone has paid for, and you're not quite sure how to get in touch with that person's estate and what to do with their view. So, there are procedures already in place for doing this, and I would just say that we should be wary of tokenistic participation. If you are going to bring the community in, then do it in a careful way. Ask whether having this debate is going to cause more split than it will in bringing communities closer together. Because, sometimes, doing that can be slightly ad hoc to make it look as if we've consulted, and that can do more damage than actually getting rid of the statue itself.
Sarah, do you want to come in on this?
I would just say I'm thinking, actually, Sara's said it all. [Laughter.]
Helen, have you got anything to add?
Only on a practical perspective. I think one of the other challenges we've faced is who owns these statues going forward. Because they're funded by donations, but then they're on somebody's land, and they have to be looked after. Local authorities are reluctant to take them on because of the cost of maintenance and cleaning and that kind of thing. And then, when you eventually get to the point where the purpose of that land is changing and the statue needs to be moved, who owns it, and who decides what happens to it? And it's a challenge for us in terms of how we navigate those things. One of the ideas I've come up with is that if you get to the point where a statue is no longer considered appropriate or no longer liked, then it should be auctioned off to raise money for something to replace it, because even the scrap value would be better than nothing, and if people feel very strongly about it, they'll raise the money—
That's an interesting thought.
Nothing, diolch, Gadeirydd.
Anything further—? Thank you. It appears I might have a bit of trouble with my internet. Can people hear me? Can you hear me? Yes, okay, good—[Inaudible.]—what that means, probably best not to think about it. I just want to come back then, and we've touched on this already, I think you've told us a lot about what shouldn't—[Inaudible.]—and I just wonder if you've got any thoughts about what, well, we have had some comment—any further thoughts about what should be done with them? We have mentioned—we've touched on one or two international examples, and I don't know if, just in the last couple of minutes, you want to say any more about what should we do with these things and what have other countries done that perhaps we could go away and take a look at. Sara, do you want to start with this?
Yes, I think use the situation, as contributors have mentioned today, as a creative challenge. We've been mentioning melting them down, squashing them, putting them in a museum, there's so many different things, and I think perhaps an artist and a community would probably be best placed to come up with a creative solution, and it might be, if those discussions are stewarded carefully, that you will come up with different kinds of ways of expressing what we want to do with these statues. As I've said, personally, I think the act of bringing them down off a plinth in and of itself is a really, really powerful act, and you can leave them in situ, you can make sure that they're safe and the participatory process will, kind of, happen on its own, I'm pretty sure.
But, as I mentioned, I really think that looking to countries like Namibia, where these questions have been grappled with and, to a certain extent, solved—I think that we need to look especially at places that have looked, perhaps, more closely at the legacy of colonialism and have perhaps had to live with the more violent consequences of it, that we look to those countries, because they are way ahead of us in terms of dealing with this, because it is ever so much more prominent for them, and I think countries in Africa, and the West Indies, as well, are places that we should be looking at for case studies of best practice.
That's really helpful. If any of you are aware of any articles—of anywhere where some of these experiences have been written up, we'd be really grateful for any references you might have, whether that's press articles or whether that's academic articles or anywhere we might go and look to get—because, obviously, time is a bit short today. Helen, do you want to comment on this? What might we do with them and did you look at any other examples in your process?
The two that struck me in particular were Germany after the second world war, where it actually became illegal to have any representation that glorified the Third Reich, so there was a Government policy to remove all monuments to that era, and that was a very extreme example of how to deal with a history that people didn't want to celebrate in any way.
But the other one I find really interesting was the Indian example, where they moved all the statues that represented colonialism to a park with the intention of creating a park for people to visit around these statues, and what's actually happened is that that's never happened. The statues are there, the park has never been developed, because nobody was that interested in it and didn't want to spend the money on it, and it's become derelict. When you see the photographs of it now, it's a very poignant view, actually, because what it demonstrates is that, as you say, these are no longer of monumental significance. In fact, the photographs of them sitting forlornly in this derelict park are a great example of exactly how much colonialism means to modern India, and, actually, in itself, it's a piece of art now, I think. It represents exactly how they feel about those statues, but that's happened by accident, rather than design, and it's just a fascinating insight, I think, into how these things happen.
My personal view is that, unless there's some intrinsic value in the art in and of itself, once the person is no longer—once people no longer want to commemorate them or remember them in any detail, we've got history books that we can read, we've got online resources that we can look at, and I think we should move on and we should use the materials or use the money that could be raised from disposing of them to do better and more creative things.
Thank you. And Sarah.
I really love Helen's auction idea. I think there are some possible unintended consequences about people trying to value people, contrarians, that kind of thing, but at the heart I think it's really great. I also think the case of post-war Germany is worth considering, and also not just because it's not as good practice. I agree with Sara that good practice is probably looking at countries that have experienced the horrors of colonialism. In post-war Germany it was effective, however it has left an odd attitude towards commemorative space in Germany as a whole. And looking at, for instance, the Humboldt Forum and the debates around the Humboldt Forum, how you might use the past and what kinds of past are usable in those circumstances, actually Germany hasn't moved forward in terms of serving its communities commemoratively very well. And perhaps that very heavy-handed, complete removal wasn't a very effective method in the long run. So I think, although I don't think we should be looking to the future and future generations, that kind of framing, I do think we need to look at examples of what's happened over time and look at it as a process.
There's an interesting example from Cork in the Republic of Ireland around a particular statue of Victoria, which has moved around all sorts of different places and been moved, in the end, to other countries as people value this object differently. So, if we think of these as objects with life histories that we're now intervening in and look at that process in other places. I'm happy to send you some links.
Yes, again, I was just going to say that if you've got any links, do send them on.
I'm sorry to have to bring this to an end.
Mae wedi bod yn sesiwn hynod o ddiddorol, a lot o bethau inni feddwl amdanyn nhw. Rydyn ni'n hynod o ddiolchgar ichi am eich amser. Rydyn ni wir yn ei werthfawrogi—profiad defnyddiol iawn. Byddwn ni'n anfon trawsgrifiad o'r rhan yma o'r cyfarfod ichi er mwyn ichi sicrhau ein bod ni wedi cofnodi popeth yn gywir. Hefyd, os ydych chi'n darllen hyn ac rydych chi'n meddwl, 'Dylwn i fod wedi dweud hyn', neu, 'Allaf i ychwanegu rhywbeth?', mae croeso cynnes ichi ein e-bostio ni. Ac eto, yr enghreifftiau roeddech chi'n sôn amdanyn nhw am weithrediadau yn llefydd eraill ac unrhyw syniadau pellach sydd gennych chi, os oes yna references i ffyrdd o wneud y prosesau yma o ymgynghori â phobl a thynnu pobl i mewn mewn ffordd effeithiol, byddai hynny'n ddefnyddiol iawn i ni. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn i'r tair ohonoch chi am sesiwn ddiddorol iawn.
Aelodau, dwi'n ymwybodol iawn ein bod ni'n rhedeg dros amser, ond mae angen inni gael brêc bach. So, gwnaf i dynnu'r sesiwn yma i ben a gofyn ichi ddod nôl erbyn 10:40, os yw hynny'n iawn gyda chi. So, os gwnawn ni ddod â'r darllediad i ben nawr am y toriad.
It has been an extremely interesting session, and there's a great deal for us to think about. We're very grateful to you for your time. We truly appreciate the very useful information you've provided. We will be sending a transcript of this part of the meeting to you in order for you to check that it's been recorded accurately, but also as you read the transcript and you think, 'Well, I should have said this', or, 'Could I add that?', then you're more than welcome to e-mail us. And, again, with those examples that you mentioned in terms of how they've dealt with this elsewhere and any further ideas that you may have, if there are references to ways of consulting with people and drawing people in, that would be most useful indeed. So, thank you very much to the three of you for a very interesting session.
Members, I'm very aware that we are running over time, but we do need to take a short break. So, I'll draw this session to a close and ask you to return by 10:40, if that's okay. So, if we can bring the broadcast to an end for a break.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:33 a 10:42.
The meeting adjourned between 10:33 and 10:42.
Bore da eto, a chroeso cynnes yn ôl i gyfarfod Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu y Senedd. Dŷn ni'n symud i eitem 3 ar yr agenda, eto yn cymryd tystiolaeth ar yr ymchwiliad mewn i bwy sy'n cael eu coffáu yn ein llefydd cyhoeddus ni. Dwi'n ddiolchgar iawn i'r Cynghorydd Cefin Campbell sy'n ymuno â ni y bore yma o Gyngor Sir Gâr, ac mae Cefin wedi bod yn arwain y broses sydd yn edrych mewn i'r materion yma. So, mi wnaf i jest ofyn i ti gyflwyno dy hunan i ddechrau, Cefin, a jest dweud pwy wyt ti, a dy rôl di ar y cyngor, ac wedyn mi wnawn ni ddechrau'r cwestiynau.
Good morning once again, and welcome back to the meeting of the Senedd's Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. We move now to item 3 on our agenda, again gathering evidence as part of our inquiry into who gets commemorated in public spaces. I'm very grateful to Councillor Cefin Campbell who is joining us this morning from Carmarthenshire County Council. Cefin has been leading a process looking into these issues at the council. So, I will just ask you to introduce yourself first of all. Tell us who you are and what your role is on the council, and then we'll move to questions.
Wel, diolch yn fawr iawn i chi, Gadeirydd, a diolch i'r pwyllgor am fy ngwahodd i rannu tystiolaeth gyda chi y bore yma. Rwy'n gynghorydd sir ar gyngor sir Gaerfyrddin, yn aelod o'r bwrdd gweithredol gyda chyfrifoldeb am faterion gwledig a chymunedau, a dwi'n cadeirio grŵp tasg a gorffen ar hyn o bryd, sydd yn edrych i mewn i faterion yn ymwneud â hiliaeth a gwahaniaethu, a sut mae'r gymuned BAME yn sir Gaerfyrddin yn cael eu trin.
Well, thank you very much, Chair, and thank you to the committee for inviting me to share evidence with you this morning. I am a county councillor on Carmarthenshire County Council. I'm a member of the executive board with responsibility for communities and rural affairs, and I chair a task and finish group, looking into issues around racism and discrimination, and how the BAME community in Carmarthenshire are treated.
Diolch yn fawr iawn am y cyflwyniad yna, Cefin. Mae'r Aelodau'n mynd i ofyn cwestiynau i chi ynglŷn â'r broses—yr Aelodau eraill—ond rydw i'n deall eich bod chi bron â bod yn barod i gyhoeddi'r adroddiad, ac rwyt ti wedi cytuno i ddweud tipyn bach wrthym ni ynglŷn â beth mae'r ymgynghoriad wedi ffeindio mas, y casgliadau. So, os ydyn ni'n dechrau fanna, wedyn mi wnaf i dynnu'r Aelodau i mewn i drafod mwy o'r broses.
Thank you very much for that introduction, Cefin. Members will be asking questions on the process—other Members—but I am given to understand that you're almost ready to publish the report, and you've agreed just to tell us a little bit about what the consultation has thrown up in terms of conclusions. So, if we can start there, then I will bring Members in to discuss procedural issues.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. I'm going to be presenting the main findings of the report in Welsh.
Ac wedyn mi wnaf i—
And then I'll—
And then I'll answer questions in either language later on, if that's okay.
Yn ystod y flwyddyn yma, mae dau rhybudd o gynnig wedi cael eu cyflwyno gerbon y cyngor sir, ac mae'r ddau ohonyn nhw yn ymwneud â'r gymuned BAME, a hefyd fel ymateb i farwolaeth drasig George Floyd yn America, a dechrau'r ymgyrch o gwmpas Black Lives Matter. Beth wnaeth y ddau rhybudd o gynnig hynny oedd sefydlu grŵp tasg a gorffen trawsbleidiol i edrych ar sut rŷn ni'n ymdrin â'r gymuned BAME yn sir Gaerfyrddin, a sut rŷn ni'n codi ymwybyddiaeth o hiliaeth a gwahaniaethu a rhagfarn o fewn ein cymuned.
Wrth gwrs, yn ystod cyfnod yr ail rybudd o gynnig ym mis Gorffennaf, roedd yna lawer iawn o ymgyrchoedd dros y byd i gyd ynglŷn â Black Lives Matter, ac roedd yna sylw mawr yn sir Gaerfyrddin yn arbennig i gofeb Syr Thomas Picton, sydd yng nghanol tref Caerfyrddin. Mae cylch gorchwyl y grŵp tasg a gorffen yn eang iawn, iawn. Mae'n ymwneud â sut rŷn ni'n cyflwyno ymwybyddiaeth o hiliaeth ac ati o fewn cwricwlwm yr ysgol, sut rŷn ni'n mynd ati i recriwtio i'r cyngor sir mwy o bobl o'r gymuned BAME, sut mae'r heddlu yn mynd ati i recriwtio hefyd, a sut maen nhw'n delio â'r gymuned BAME.
Felly, mae'r cylch gorchwyl yn eang, ond un o'r tasgau oedd gyda ni oedd ymgynghori ynglŷn â chofeb Syr Thomas Picton. Felly, dechreuodd y gwaith ar 2 Awst ac, o fewn pythefnos, roeddem ni wedi llunio holiadur i'w anfon mas i bobl yn sir Gaerfyrddin, yn gofyn y cwestiwn syml: beth oedden nhw eisiau gwneud gyda'r gofeb? Roedd yna bob math o opsiynau yn yr holiadur ynglŷn â sut roedden nhw'n mynd i ymateb i hyn, ond yn y bôn, roeddem ni eisiau gwybod a oedden nhw eisiau cadw'r gofeb, tynnu'r gofeb lawr neu wneud rhywbeth gwahanol gyda'r gofeb.
During this year, we've had two motions to the council, and both of them relate to the BAME community, and have been a response to the tragic death of George Floyd in America, and the beginning of the Black Lives Matter campaign. What those two motions led to was the establishment of a cross-party task and finish group, to look at how we deal with the BAME community in Carmarthenshire, and how we raise awareness of racism, discrimination and prejudice within our community.
Of course, during the period following that second motion in July, there were many campaigns on a global level on Black Lives Matter, and there was a great deal of attention in Carmarthenshire particularly focused on the Sir Thomas Picton memorial in the middle of Carmarthen town. The remit of the task and finish group is very broad. It deals with how we introduce awareness of racism within the school curriculum, how we recruit to the county council more people from the BAME community, how the police recruit, and how they deal with the BAME community.
So, the remit was very broad indeed, but one of the tasks that we had was to consult on the Sir Thomas Picton memorial. So, the work commenced on 2 August, and within a fortnight we'd drawn up a questionnaire to send out to people in Carmarthenshire, asking the simple question of what they wanted to see done with this memorial. There were all sorts of options in the questionnaire in terms of how they could respond to this, but essentially we wanted to know whether they wanted to keep the memorial, to see it removed, or to do something different with the memorial.
Cefin, sori i dorri ar draws, ond allet ti, jest yn fyr, ddisgrifio for the record beth rwyt ti'n sôn amdano fe, achos mae'n eithaf striking? Dyw e ddim yn gerflun arferol, nag yw e? Efallai bydd lot o bobl ddim mor gyfarwydd â'r ardal â thithau a minnau.
Cefin, sorry to interrupt, but can you just briefly, for the record, describe what you're talking about, because it is quite striking? It's not your usual statue, is it? And perhaps many people won't be as familiar with the area as you and I perhaps are.
Mae'r obelisg yma yn Picton Terrace, wrth gwrs—ble arall—yn nhref Caerfyrddin, ac mae yn gofeb o goncrid, tal iawn. Dwi ddim yn siŵr iawn beth yw ei fesuriadau, ond mae e'n rhywbeth, buaswn i'n meddwl, fel 25 o droedfeddi—mae'n anferth o gofeb. Dyw e, yn sicr, ddim yn rhywbeth rŷch chi'n gallu symud heb eich bod chi'n ei ddymchwel e ac ail-greu rhywbeth yn ei le. Mae'n wahanol iawn o ran maint i'r gofeb i Picton sydd yn Neuadd y Ddinas yng Nghaerdydd.
This obelisk is in Picton Terrace—where else—in Carmarthen town, and it is a very tall, concrete memorial. I'm not sure quite how high it is, but it is very, very tall. It's something in the region of 25 ft, so it is a huge memorial. It's certainly not something that you could move without toppling it first and replacing it with something else. It's very different in terms of scale to the Picton memorial at City Hall in Cardiff.
Roeddwn i'n meddwl ei bod hi'n bwysig, jest i'r cyhoedd sy'n gwrando, i ddeall hynny. So, roeddech chi wedi creu'r holiadur yma a oedd yn mynd allan i bobl.
Yes, I thought it was important for the public to understand what we were talking about here. So, you mentioned the questionnaire that was issued to people.
Do, ac fe wnaethon ni anfon yr holiadur ar-lein, trwy'r papurau newyddion lleol, oddi ar wefan y cyngor sir. Roedd manylion amdano fe yn cael eu cyhoeddi ar y radio lleol, mor eang ag oeddem ni'n gallu. Roeddem ni eisiau cymaint o bobl i ymateb â phosibl.
Fe gawsom ni 2,470 o ymatebion, sydd yn anhygoel, a dweud y gwir. Mae hynny'n llawer, llawer uwch nag unrhyw beth arall mae'r cyngor sir wedi cael ymateb iddo. Dŷn ni ddim yn cael hanner gymaint â hynny yn yr ymatebion rŷn ni'n eu cael i ymgynghoriad gyllideb y cyngor sir bob blwyddyn. Felly, mae'n dangos maint y diddordeb yn y gofeb arbennig yma. Roedd yna gyfle yn yr holiadur i bobl ychwanegu sylwadau pellach, ac o'r 2,470, roedd 2,357 wedi ysgrifennu ymatebion ychwanegol, sydd eto yn dangos lefel y diddordeb.
Felly, dyma beth ydy prif ganfyddiadau'r arolwg, ac mae'r adroddiad yma, gyda llaw, yn cael ei gyhoeddi yfory. Dwi wedi cael caniatâd i rannu'r prif ystadegau gyda chi y bore yma, ond dwi, yn anffodus, ddim yn gallu rhannu'r argymhellion gyda chi—fyddai hynny ddim yn deg, gan fod aelodau'r cyngor ddim wedi gweld yr argymhellion eto. Ond dwi'n gallu rhannu'r prif ganfyddiadau.
Roedd 73 y cant o'r bobl a oedd wedi ymateb yn dod o sir Gaerfyrddin. Roedd 30 y cant o'r ymatebwyr yn dod o dref Caerfyrddin ei hunan, ac roedd 9 y cant yn dod o'r gymuned BAME. Felly, mae hynny'n galonogol. O ran sut maen nhw wedi ymateb, roedd y cwestiwn yn gofyn yn syml: a oes angen i'r cyngor sir gymryd camau, mewn ymateb i'r sylw diweddar roedd y gofeb wedi cael, i wneud rhywbeth gyda chofeb Syr Thomas Picton? Rŷn ni wedi rhannu'r ymatebion yn ôl grwpiau oedran, ac yn gyson ar draws y tri grŵp oedran, sef 16 i 24, 25 i 54 a 55 ac uwch, yn gyson mae dau i un o blaid cadw'r gofeb mwy neu lai fel y mae hi—dau yn erbyn un ddim eisiau tynnu'r gofeb lawr. Yn ddiddorol, pan rydym ni'n edrych ar ymatebion pobl BAME, roedd pedwar i un eisiau cadw'r gofeb fel y mae hi mwy neu lai. Nawr, o fewn y sylwadau unigol, rydym ni wedi cael llawr o bobl ar y ddwy ochr yn dweud, 'Os ydych chi'n cadw'r gofeb, mae angen rhoi rhywbeth o gwmpas y gofeb neu ar y gofeb sydd yn cyflwyno Syr Thomas Picton yn gyflawn, ei holl hanes e', achos beth sydd yn cael ei goffau ar y gofeb yw Thomas Picton yr arwr milwrol. Does yna ddim sôn am ei gyfnod e fel llywodraethwr creulon Trinidad.
Felly, yn y bôn, Gadeirydd, dyna ydy'r prif ganfyddiadau, ac rydym ni wedi edrych yn fanwl ar yr ymatebion ac fel y byddech chi'n disgwyl, roedd y mwyafrif sydd o blaid cadw'r gofeb—ac rydym ni wedi gwneud rhyw fath o word clouds o gwmpas hyn yn yr adroddiad, a dwi'n hapus, Gadeirydd, i anfon copi o'r adroddiad atoch chi fory, a byddai hynny yn eich helpu chi, rwy'n siŵr, fel pwyllgor—ond roedd y rhai oedd o blaid cadw'r gofeb yn sôn amdano fe fel arwr milwrol, yn rhan o'n hanes ni, yn arwr yn ei gyfnod, ddylem ni ddim edrych ar hanes trwy brism a gwerthoedd heddiw. Ac roedd y rhai oedd o blaid tynnu'r gofeb i lawr, wrth gwrs, yn cyfeirio ato fe fel perchennog caethweision, y ffaith bod e wedi llywodraethu mewn ffordd greulon iawn yn Nhrinidad, a bod e wedi bod yn rhan o lawer iawn o erchyllterau yn erbyn y ddynoliaeth. Felly, yn y bôn, Gadeirydd, dyna ydy prif gasgliadau'r adroddiad.
Yes, and we provided the questionnaire online, through local newspapers, it was on the council's website and there were details published on local radio. We took it as broadly as possible. We wanted as many responses as possible.
We had 2,470 responses, which is incredible. It's much, much more than anything else that the council has sought responses to. We don't get half as many responses to consultations on the council's budget on an annual basis, so it does show the scale of the interest in this particular memorial. There was an opportunity in the questionnaire for people to make further comments, and from the 2,470 responses, 2,357 had written additional responses, which, again, shows the level of interest.
So, these are the main findings of the survey, and this report, by the way, is to be published tomorrow. I have been given permission to share the main statistics with you this morning, but unfortunately I can't share the recommendations with you—that wouldn't be fair, because council members haven't yet seen those recommendations. But I can share the main findings with you.
Seventy-three per cent of respondents were from Carmarthenshire. Thirty per cent of respondents were from the town of Carmarthen itself, and 9 per cent came from the BAME community. So, that's encouraging. In terms of their responses, the question simply asked whether the county council needed to take steps, in response to the recent coverage that the memorial had had, to do something with the Sir Thomas Picton memorial. Now, we have split the responses according to age group, and consistently, across the three age groups, which is 16 to 24, 25 to 54 and 55 and higher, consistently it's two to one in favour of keeping the memorial more or less as it is—two to one don't want to see the memorial toppled. Interestingly, when we look at the responses of people from the BAME community, four to one wanted to see the memorial retained in its current form more or less. Now, within the individual comments, we've had many people on both sides of the argument saying, 'If you keep the monument, then something needs to be provided around it or on it that presents Sir Thomas Picton providing a holistic picture of all of his history', because what is commemorated is Thomas Picton the war hero. There is no mention of his time as the cruel governor of Trinidad.
So, essentially, Chair, those are the main findings, and we have looked in detail at the responses and as you would expect, the majority in favour of keeping the obelisk—and we have done some word clouds around this in the report and, Chair, I would be happy to send you a copy of the report tomorrow, and I'm sure that will help you as a committee—but those in favour of retaining the memorial talked about him as a military hero, as part of our history, a hero of his time, they say that we shouldn't look at history through the prism and values of today. And those who were in favour of removing the monument referred to him as a slave owner, the fact that he had governed in a very cruel and callous manner in Trinidad, and that he had been involved with many atrocities against humanity. So, essentially, Chair, those are the main findings of the report.
Diolch am rannu'r rhain gyda ni, Cefin, ac rydyn ni'n edrych ymlaen at weld yr adroddiad ei hun. So, mi wna'i ofyn i John Griffiths ddod mewn gyda'r set o gwestiynau cyntaf. John, os gwelwch yn dda.
Thank you for sharing those with us, Cefin, and we do look forward to reading the report itself. So, I will now invite John Griffiths to ask the first set of questions. John.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Bore da, Cefin. I wonder, you mentioned the Black Lives Matter campaign, Cefin, in terms of the way that it instigated the process that you've been through. Did you receive complaints from members of the public, or was it mainly elected members that drove the concern?
Thank you. We had a number of e-mails and letters from members of the public around the Black Lives Matter movement, and they reflected the two sides of the argument, really, because they were homing in on the Picton monument more than anything else, because it became a huge focus of attention in Carmarthenshire and in Carmarthen town itself. I think the main reason for presenting the notice of motion was to reflect what was going on globally around Black Lives Matter, and we decided to unanimously pass the motion so that we in Carmarthenshire could take a very hard look at ourselves and how we were dealing with racism and discrimination, and what we were going to do about public monuments and street names associated with people who have known links to slavery. So, it was driven by our own desire to self-reflect, but it was also a reflection of the public interest in this matter anyway.
Thank you. John.
Okay, diolch yn fawr, Cefin. I just wonder, obviously, there are different views, as your question there discovered, around these matters. Do you think it might be helpful if there was some sort of framework that aided decision making?
I think there should be, because it's a very complex issue. It's always a bone of contention whenever you put someone up to be remembered or commemorated in any way, because there are always polarised opinions about these people. Certainly, when Picton was commemorated as being a war hero in the battle of Waterloo, I don’t think anyone, or hardly anyone, took account of his cruel reign of terror as the governor of Trinidad. So I think, in the light of what we know today, and using moral yardsticks, I think it would be right to set criteria, although that can be difficult, because it's always subjective. Our views of famous people are always subjective. But I think we should have a set of criteria, yes.
Yes. My next question, Cefin, is how members of the public raise their concerns over particular acts of commemoration with your local authority. Is it just in the way that people would raise any concerns or complaints they have, or is there a particular process?
Before we undertook the consultation, we obviously had a lot of correspondence, and I individually, and others—the chief executive and the leader of the council—had a number of letters from people asking the council what are we going to do about the Picton monument. So, it was a response to that level of interest, mainly. I suppose what we did have as well, and I forgot to mention this, we did have a number of letters and e-mails from people outside of Carmarthenshire who are part of a wider campaign—and you're probably aware of the 'Save Our Monuments' campaign—and I had a number of very offensive letters from right-wing groups who really nailed their colours to the mast around their racism and feelings of discrimination. It was quite unappealing, really, to read some of the comments that we received.
That is disappointing but perhaps not surprising to hear. John.
No. But if people do have concerns on any particular commemoration, Cefin, they would contact the local authority in the usual way, really.
Well, they did so before the consultation, but what the consultation did was to give them an opportunity, in a structured way, to voice their opinions, and we then could analyse their responses in an academic, scientific way.
Okay. Cefin, in terms of Welsh Government, would guidance be helpful do you think, for local authorities—guidance on how these matters are best dealt with?
Absolutely, because we did this consultation very much in the dark. I think we are the first local authority to do this. So, we weren’t guided more than by our own instincts, really, about what was right to do. We kept the questionnaire in a very simple way. We didn't want to overcomplicate it. Basically, we just wanted to know what people wished us to do with regard to the monument. And it’s not as simple as Carmarthenshire taking it down, because it's a listed building, so that would obviously involve Cadw, and it would also be a planning deliberation for the Planning Inspectorate in Cardiff. So, it's a much more complicated issue than people think.
Okay. Cefin, one further question from me on the Legall audit of public commemoration across Wales and what's out there. Have you got any initial thoughts on the audit, and indeed any next steps that might follow from it?
Well, I've read the review undertaken by the Welsh Government. I think it's an excellent piece of work—very, very detailed. And I think we should take account of its findings, but certainly I and, I think, all local authorities, would welcome some clear guidance on how local authorities in the future should undertake consultations like this, or should go about tackling some of the issues around public commemorations and statues and so on within their boundaries. It is a bone of contention; it does raise a great deal of tensions for and against, so clear guidance from Welsh Government, I think would be greatly welcomed.
Okay. Diolch yn fawr.
Diolch, Cefin. David Melding.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. I must say, I find this evidence fascinating, because the witness is really dealing with such a practical instance of what I'm sure is going to be an increasing phenomenon as we become more rigorous in reviewing our public spaces. And I'm sure that I speak for the other committee members in saying how grateful I am to Councillor Campbell, because he's sharing as much of the report that's going to be published tomorrow as is appropriate before his colleagues actually see the recommendations. So, thank you very much for that.
I just wanted to finish the point of criteria, guidance, shaping the consultation, which I think you said you did, and then that these things helped you in your analysis. So, when you went out to consultation, was there something available on the website that, you know, 'You might want to frame your responses in this manner'? How did you deal with that, or was it a very open process?
It was very open, it was a set questionnaire and it was available online on our website, there were links in the local newspapers and publicity was given to it on local radio and in the newspapers, and any means of communication that we could use to raise awareness of this questionnaire, we used. And the fact that we had 2,470 respondents, which is far more than we've ever had as a local authority, shows that we actually got the message across and people were willing to engage.
Yes. I'm sure, if we've not asked already, Chair, sight of the questionnaire—. It's a remarkable piece of citizen engagement if nothing else, to get 2,400 responses and the majority from Carmarthenshire.
I was brought up in Neath, so Carmarthen was, for my family, definitely a very pleasurable day visit. I can't remember the first time I was taken there, but very close members of my family still love visiting and I've taken them, and I've attended functions at Trinity Saint David. But my engagement with the memorial, really—there it is, I turn right and I go up the hill; I've never stopped to actually go close to the monument. I had no idea that it just referred to Waterloo. But anyone who goes to Carmarthen sees the monument, even if it's only the top of it, I would say. So, it is a very, very significant place, and I just wonder, and if you don't know this directly, please just respond in writing, when was the monument—I don't know if you could unveil something as big as that, or inaugurate it. I mean, how old is it, if you know?
Right. I don't have the exact date, but I do know that there was an original monument there that was erected shortly after his death in the battle of Waterloo and it was replaced by this rather imposing obelisk that is there now. And I should know when that was erected, but I'm sorry, I can't share that with you—I can't remember, to be perfectly honest, but I will get that information to you. But it's a hugely impressive monument, and not only is the monument associated with Picton, but we have street names and we even have a ward in Glangwili Hospital that is named after Thomas Picton. So, I mean, obviously Carmarthen people are proud, in one way, of that monument and that a war hero was associated with the town. But it's only fairly recently, to be fair, that the other side of his character has become known. And I suppose there are other well-known personalities and celebrities of whom we've only known about the dark side of their characters after their death; during their lifetime, they were celebrated.
Of course, we have a connection—. Well, I should say I represent South Wales Central, which includes Cardiff. His presence in the Marble Hall, which is one of the most magnificent architectural jewels of the nation—and again, I knew about his death at Waterloo; I was less aware that his main contribution was in the peninsular war, where he is regarded, after Wellington, as one of Britain's most successful and influential generals. He was an outstanding soldier—there's no doubt about that. But this question of him being a bad man I think was raised at the time, wasn't it? He was denied a peerage, which caused him great resentment, and his own contemporaries had certain misgivings about him—which is for historians to evaluate. But do you think, if you're looking at some sort of criteria about how we commemorate or judge people, that it's that sort of fuller view that we need to take? And what sort of weight should we be placing on it? Because most people have a fairly mixed moral inheritance, don't they? We had one historian say recently that how our descendents look at what we did on climate change, for instance, might be quite withering. And whatever our other achievements, we may be judged about what we did with that, you know? And we're kind of doing that now, I suppose, with Picton. So, how do you think these things need to be weighed up in the public debate?
It's a hugely important question, and a difficult question to answer as well. Because as I mentioned earlier on, anyone's view on a person is always going to be subjective, and if you put a group of people together, with different subjective views, then you're going to have differing views, and there will never be a clear consensus, maybe. But I think what you need is a balanced assessment of a person's contribution to public life, using a moral yardstick, I would argue, to judge their significance. And as I've said, it's not an easy task. But I think we do all understand the simple question, 'Did they do more good than bad? Did they cause offence? Did they cause suffering?' Those are the moral yardsticks we can all use. But if we are commemorating people, then it should be warts and all—it should be the good and the bad. And I think, without giving too much away around our recommendations, you will find tomorrow that we will be recommending, along those lines, that we take a more complete view of Picton and present that to the public.
We won't ask you to give us any more spoilers, Cefin. David.
My final question has to be framed quite carefully, because I genuinely don't push a witness into saying more than he intends to in terms of recommendations. But again, looking at what sort of criteria or principles we use, I suppose you were faced with, 'Is the monument in a prominent public place?' Well, it's not quite in the centre of Carmarthen, but it's in a very prominent part of Carmarthen, which is no distance from the centre, and it is conspicuous. So, presumably that adds significant weight, because that is a prominent public place. And I think, as you've alluded to as well, its removal does not seem that feasible. But then again, as I think you hinted, there might be scope to contextualise that part that is entirely missing—so, his record as governor of Trinidad. So, were these some of the things you were looking at in coming to a decision? Because obviously, the number of options you had, presumably, was limited by some of these physical factors.
Absolutely. All of that exercised our minds for—I think we had a two and a half hour meeting, and it was just all about, 'What do we do with the monument?' And we did come to a unanimous decision, cross-party unanimous decision—
Is this the task and finish group, Cefin?
I'm talking about that task and finish group, absolutely; it hasn't gone to full council yet. But the task and finish group were clear that we need to educate people, and in that process of educating people, they need to have that rounded information, rounded view, of the person. Bearing in mind that the obelisk is in the middle of a busy road—you have to actually cross the road to get to the middle where the obelisk is—so, there are health and safety aspects that we considered as well. Now, along the bottom part of the obelisk there are plaques that commemorate the battles that Picton was involved with, not only Waterloo but others as well, so we came up with a problem immediately—if we were going to recontextualise the obelisk, then there was no physical space to add anything else on to the monument, where people could actually read. So, we've come up with alternatives, which you will see tomorrow, and I hope that answers—
As much as you can tell us today.
—as much as I can tell you, absolutely—some of the dilemmas we face around how we educate people and how we present historical figures.
That's very helpful, Cefin, diolch. Carwyn.
Diolch, Gadeirydd. Mae'r cwestiynau roeddwn i'n mynd i'w gofyn wedi cael eu hateb, mewn ffordd. Mae yna un gyda fi. Rwy'n credu y byddai fe o les i'r pwyllgor petasem ni'n gallu ystyried yr adroddiad pan fydd e'n barod. Rwy'n deall bod yna lawer o gwestiynau sy'n ffaelu cael eu hateb ar hyn o bryd, er parch i'r cyngor, a'r cyngor ddylai, wrth gwrs, wybod gyntaf. Ond mae sawl peth mae Cefin wedi eu dweud rwy'n credu y byddan nhw o les i ni fel pwyllgor i ystyried pan fydd yr amser yn iawn a phan fydd y cyngor wedi gweld yr adroddiad.
Jest un peth—gwnaeth Cefin sôn am ohebiaeth yr oedd wedi ei chael gan grwpiau o'r asgell dde. Gwnaeth e enwi Save our Statues yn enwedig. Dyw e ddim yn glir os oedd e'n dweud eu bod nhw'n rhan o'r asgell dde neu na, ond fe wnaeth e enwi Save our Statues. Wrth gwrs, fe glywsom ni dystiolaeth ganddyn nhw wythnos diwethaf. Nawr, byddai unrhyw ohebiaeth, wrth gwrs, ar gael i'r cyhoedd ta beth drwy'r ddeddfwriaeth, ond roeddwn i jest yn meddwl a fyddai Cefin yn gallu rhoi rhyw fath o flas i ni o ran beth oedd Save our Statues yn dadlau ynglŷn â beth ddylai ddigwydd i'r gofeb.
Thank you, Chair. The questions I was going to ask have been answered, in a way. I do have one question. I think it would be beneficial to the committee if we could consider the report once it's published. I understand that there are a number of questions that can't be answered at the moment, with respect to the council, of course, and the council should know this first. But there are many things that Cefin has said that would be useful for us as committee to discuss when the time is right and when the council has had sight of the report.
Just one thing—Cefin mentioned correspondence he'd received from right-wing groups. He mentioned Save our Statues. It wasn't clear if he was saying that they were a right-wing group or not, but he did name them, and we took evidence from them last week. Now, any correspondence would be available to the public through the relevant legislation, of course, but I was just wondering whether Cefin could give us some flavour of the case that Save our Statues was making in terms of what should happen to this memorial.
Sori, rwy'n credu wnes i gamgymeriad. Gwnes i gyfeirio atyn nhw fel 'Save our Monuments', ond Save our Statues ydy enw'r grŵp.
Sorry, I think I made a mistake. I made reference to them as 'Save our Monuments', but I was talking about Save our Statues.
'Save our Statues' glywais i.
I heard 'Save our Statues'.
Yn y bôn, roedden nhw eisiau i ni gadw'r gofeb a pheidio â gwneud dim newidiadau o gwbl. Diolch am y cwestiwn arbennig yna, achos mae'n rhoi cyfle i fi ddweud hyn: fe gawsom ni lawer iawn, iawn o bobl gyda chefndir milwrol yn ysgrifennu atom ni. Dwi'n adnabod rhai ohonyn nhw'n bersonol, ac mae gen i'r parch mwyaf atyn nhw fel unigolion, ac roedden nhw'n gwbl ddidwyll yn credu bod yn rhaid i ni edrych ar Picton yn unig fel arwr milwrol, a bod gwneud unrhyw beth i dynnu sylw oddi wrth hynny yn gwneud cam â'r cefndir milwrol yna, a gan eu bod nhw wedi bod yn aelodau o'r lluoedd arfog neu o'r llynges neu beth bynnag, eu bod nhw'n teimlo bod unrhyw sarhad ar Picton yn sarhad ar eu galwedigaeth nhw fel cynfilwyr ac yn y blaen. Ac roeddwn i'n derbyn hynny fel safbwynt diffuant iawn. Ond, wrth gwrs, beth geisiom ni ddadlau oedd, ie, mae'n rhaid i ni dderbyn bod Picton yn arwr milwrol, ond allwn ni ddim ag anghofio chwaith bod ganddo fe hanes gwahanol, mwy lliwgar, ond hanes sy'n ymwneud â chreulondeb a thrais yn erbyn caethweision a'i bod hi'n annheg ac yn anfoesol i ni, a dweud y gwir, anghofio'r rhan yna o'i hanes e.
Essentially, they wanted us to retain the monument and make no changes to it at all. Thank you for that particular question, because it does give me an opportunity to say this: we had very many people of a military background writing to us. I know some of them personally, and I have great respect for them as individuals, and they were sincerely of the opinion that we needed to look at Picton solely as a military hero, and that doing anything to draw attention from that would detract from that military background, and because they had served in the armed forces, the navy or whatever else it may have been, that they felt that any slur on Picton was a slur on their calling as veterans and so on and so forth. And I accepted that as a sincerely held opinion. But, of course, what we argued was, well, yes, we have to accept that Picton was a war hero, but we cannot forget that he also had a different, more colourful history related to cruelty and violence against slaves, and that it would be unfair and unethical of us to ignore that part of his history.
Iawn. Mae hwnna'n ddigon i fi, Gadeirydd. Dwi wedi clywed y dystiolaeth roeddwn i eisiau.
Thank you. That's enough for me, Chair. I've heard the evidence that I was looking for.
Diolch yn fawr, a diolch yn fawr iawn i ti, Cefin. Fel mae David Melding wedi'i ddweud, mae wedi bod yn sesiwn hynod o ddiddorol i ni. Dŷn ni'n deall, wrth gwrs, dy fod ti ddim yn gallu rhannu'r argymhellion gyda ni cyn bod y cyngor wedi eu gweld nhw, ond, fel y mae Carwyn Jones wedi'i ddweud, unwaith rydym ni'n gweld yr adroddiad, efallai bydd yna gwestiynau pellach. Wyt ti'n hapus i ni ysgrifennu atat ti ac at y task a finish group? Dwi'n gwybod bod gwaith dal i'w wneud ar y gwaith ehangach dŷch chi'n ei wneud. Os oes cwestiynau gyda ni ar ôl gweld yr adroddiad, byddai hynny'n ddefnyddiol. Ydy hynny'n iawn? Dwi ddim eisiau creu llwyth o waith i ti, ond os yw hwnna'n iawn—.
Thank you, and thank you very much, Cefin. As David Melding has said, the session has been very interesting indeed for us. We do understand that you can't share the recommendations with us before the council has seen them, but as Carwyn Jones has said, once we have sight of the report, we may have further questions. Would you be happy for us to write to you and to the task and finish group? I know that there is broader work to be done by that group. If we do have any questions once we've read the report, that would be useful. Would that be okay? I don't want to create too much work for you, but if that's okay with you—.
Byddwn i'n hapus dros ben, achos dwi yn meddwl bod angen i awdurdodau lleol gydweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r Senedd i sicrhau ein bod ni i gyd yn gallu symud gyda'n gilydd i ddelio â mater sydd yn fater dadleuol ac yn gallu creu tipyn o densiynau yn lleol.
I would be more than happy, because I do think that local authorities need to work very closely with the Senedd to ensure that we can all move together in dealing with an issue that is very contentious and can create local tensions.
Ie, a dyna pam dŷn ni, fel pwyllgor, wedi penderfynu gwneud y gwaith yma, fel ein bod ni'n gallu trio gweld os oes yna gyngor y gallwn ni ei roi i Lywodraeth Cymru ynglŷn â sut dŷn ni'n gallu cael y trafodaethau yma mewn ffordd adeiladol, a dyna beth dŷch chi wedi ceisio ei wneud, wrth gwrs, yn sir Gâr. So, fel mae David yn dweud, mae'n dda cael enghraifft ymarferol o waith.
Diolch eto i ti, Cefin. Rwy'n gwerthfawrogi eich amser yn fawr. Mae wedi bod yn ddefnyddiol iawn. Fe wnawn ni anfon trawsgrifiad o'r rhan yma o'r cyfarfod atat ti, fel dy fod ti'n gallu sicrhau ei fod yn gywir a'n bod ni wedi cofnodi pethau'n iawn. Wrth i ti weld hwn, os wyt ti'n meddwl, 'Liciwn i petaswn i wedi dweud hyn', neu, 'Gallwn i fod wedi ychwanegu'r llall', plis ysgrifennwch atom ni. Ac yn ogystal â gweld copi o'r adroddiad pan mae e'n barod, fel gofynnodd David Melding, ydy e'n iawn i ni weld copi o'r holiadur wnaethoch chi ddanfon allan i ddechrau'r broses? Achos, eto, efallai bydd hynny'n rhoi syniadau i ni y medrwn ni eu rhannu. Ydy hynna'n iawn?
Yes, and that's why we as a committee decided to undertake this work, so that we could try and see whether there is advice that we can provide to the Welsh Government as to how we can have these discussions in a constructive manner, and that's what you've sought to do in Carmarthenshire. And, as David said, it's good to have a practical example of work.
Thank you once again, Cefin. I appreciate your time very much. It's been very useful to us. We will send you a transcript of this part of the meeting, so that you can check it for accuracy—that everything's been recorded properly. Once you read the transcript, if you think, 'I should have said this', or 'I could have added that', then please do write to us with any further information. And in addition to providing a copy of the report once it's ready, as David Melding mentioned, would it be okay for us to see a copy of the questionnaire too, which you sent out at the beginning of the process? Because, again, that could give us some ideas that we could share. Is that okay?
Ydy, dim problem—y pleser mwyaf, a phob lwc i chi gyda'r gwaith pwysig yma.
Yes, it would be a great pleasure to do so and good luck with this important work.
Diolch yn fawr iawn i ti a diolch am yr holl waith. Rwy'n gwybod ei bod hi wedi bod yn waith personnol iawn i ti o ran dy safiad pwysig moesol ynglŷn â'r issues anodd yma. Dyw e ddim wedi bod yn broses hawdd, dwi'n gwybod, so diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am eich gwaith. Croeso i chi ein gadael ni rŵan, fel ein bod yn symud at y darn nesaf. Diolch yn fawr iawn i ti, Cefin.
Thank you very much and thank you for all the work that you've done. I know that it has been personally important to you in terms of your moral and ethical stance on these difficult issues and I know it hasn't been an easy process, so thank you very much for your work. You're welcome to leave us at this point, as we move to our next item. Thank you very much, Cefin.
Ocê, pob hwyl. Diolch yn fawr.
Okay, all the best. Thank you.
Dŷn ni'n symud wedyn at eitem 4 ar yr agenda, sef papurau i'w nodi. Dŷn ni wedi derbyn gohebiaeth o dan eitem 4.1 gan y Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol ynglŷn â'r national development framework a'r iaith Gymraeg. Hapus i nodi? Diolch. A hefyd, dŷn ni wedi derbyn llythyr gan y Gweinidog diwylliant a chwaraeon. Hapus i nodi hwn? Diolch yn fawr iawn.
We now move to item 4 on our agenda, papers to note. We've received correspondence under item 4.1 from the Minister for Housing and Local Government regarding the national development framework and the Welsh Language. Are we happy to note? Thank you. And we've also received a letter from the Minister of State for Digital and Culture. Happy to note? Yes. Thank you.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(ix).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Felly, mae hwnna'n dod â rhan gyhoeddus cyfarfod heddiw i ben, a dwi'n cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(ix) ein bod ni'n symud i mewn i sesiwn breifat i drafod ymhellach. Ydy Aelodau'n hapus i wneud hynny? Diolch yn fawr. Felly dwi'n gofyn i'r broadcast ddod i ben, os gwelwch yn dda. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
That brings the public part of our meeting to a close. I move under Standing Order 17.42(ix) that we move into private session to have further discussion. Are Members content? Thank you very much. So, I request that the broadcast come to an end. Thank you very much.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:18.
The public part of the meeting ended at 11:18.