Welsh council workers want extra day off on top of usual Bank Holidays

Welsh council workers want extra day off on top of usual Bank Holidays to honour St David at cost to taxpayers of £200,000

  • Patriotic Welsh council staff want a day off on March 1 for St David’s Day
  • But Boris Johnson’s Tory Government say too many people would be off 
  • It means if it goes ahead anyway it could cost as much as £200,000
  • Taxpayers face coughing up £200,000 for a council staff to get a day off for the Welsh patron saint – after the government refused the extra holiday.

    Welsh nationalists want to mark St David’s Day on March 1 with the special day off work on top of bank holidays.

    But Boris Johnson‘s Government rejected the request because too many people commute across the Wales and English border to work.

    It is now set to be discussed by Gwynedd Council in North Wales.

    Gwynedd Council in North Wales are going to be having a meeting about the day off plans

    Gwynedd Council in North Wales are going to be having a meeting about the day off plans

    Saint David was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw but is now the adored patron saint of Wales

    Saint David was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw but is now the adored patron saint of Wales

    But already it is feared it cost £200,000 to employ part-time staff to keep the council running for the day off.

    The proposal suggests: ‘St David’s Day 2022 is designated as an additional holiday day for Council staff working on the terms of employment of local government employees, for celebrating our patron saint’s day.’

    An alternative suggestion of a half-day off, which would cost £100,000, is also mooted.

    St David is beloved throughout Wales with his day being observed by everyone in the country

    St David is beloved throughout Wales with his day being observed by everyone in the country

    David the Waterdrinker: Hill-raiser and patron saint of doves 

    As well as being the patron saint of Wales, St David is also the patron saint of doves and is known as Dewi Sant in Welsh.

    Born in Caerfai in Pembrokeshire around 500 AD, he was recognised as the Welsh patron saint during the country’s resistance to the Normans. After his studies, St David travelled and made pilgrimages to Jerusalem where he was made an archbishop.

    He then went on to teach Christianity and minimise belief in Pelegrian heresy, the idea that sin did not taint human nature and divine aid is not needed to differentiate between good and evil.

    St David founded 12 monasteries where monks abstained from pleasure. 

    He is well-known for performing miracles with the most famous being how he was able to raise the ground under him to form a hill so that the Synod of Brefi crowd could hear his sermon. Legend also reveals that St David could be the nephew of King Arthur but in other tales, his mother was the niece of the King. The patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick is also said to have foreseen the birth of St David.

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    But in a letter Paul Scully MP, the Minster for Small Business, rejected the calls.

    He said: ‘While we appreciate that the people of Wales want to celebrate their patron saint, more people work across the English/Welsh border than across the English/Scottish border.

    ‘This closer degree of integration could cause greater business disruption. If we had separate bank holidays in England and Wales, the impact on both employees and businesses is difficult to predict.’

    Gwynedd Council said the response was ‘hugely disappointing’ that the Welsh Government cannot make the decision – but that it has to be made in Westminster.

    They said: ‘It is obvious that the current government at Westminster has no intention of devolving this right and so it will not be possible for the Welsh Government to respond to the council’s demand for now.’

    The Bank Holiday wish will be discussed by councillors tomorrow. 

    St David is accepted as the greatest figure in the 6th century Welsh Age of Saints.

    He was the founder of scores of religious communities, and is said to have been the only native-born patron saint of the countries of Britain and Ireland.

    St David died on 1 March – St David’s Day – in 589 and was canonised by Pope Callixtus in the 12th century.

    He had an unusual nickname of David the Waterdrinker because he ate extremely modestly on a died of bread and water, forgoing meat and beer.