Big stink lifts as 'Y Farteg' name change plan dropped

Big stink lifts as 'Y Farteg' name change plan dropped

Big stink lifts as 'Y Farteg' name change plan dropped

First published in News
Last updated

CONTROVERSIAL plans to re-name Varteg ‘Y Farteg’, branded a "huge waste of money and time" by one resident have been scrapped.

Plans to give the area its name in Welsh rather than English caused a bit of a stink when they were first suggested, but after a consultation which gave people in the area the chance to have their say, the idea is off the table.

Residents also handed in a signature petition signed by more than 120 people calling for the idea to be scrapped.

Richie Rowlinson, landlord of The Crown Hotel in Varteg, branded it a "stupid idea" and welcomed the news that Varteg will keep its current name.

THE decision to drop plans for re-naming Varteg ‘Y Farteg’ has received a mixed response from people in the area.

The row is over after 64 per cent of respondents to an online consultation said they “disagreed” with the proposal to adopt the Welsh version of the place name.

A residents’ petition was also handed in to Torfaen council ahead of Christmas with more than 120 people saying it should be dropped.

Torfaen councillor Richard Clark, the local authority cabinet member for health, social care, wellbeing and equalities, confirmed the issue had been decided.

“The people have spoken and I have listened to them,” he said “the language commissioner has been told that we will not be accepting the name with an F. “As far as Torfaen is concerned it will be staying as it is.”

According to the council website, 32 per cent voted for Y Farteg to be used.

A mere five per cent wanted just Farteg, it said.

Bleanavon historian John Harris called it a “huge waste of money and time”.

“It is something the local authority could have done without at a time when they are desperately trying to save money,” he said

Richie Rowlinson, landlord of The Crown Hotel in Varteg who previously called it a ‘stupid idea’, said: “The people have made their opinion quite clear.

“It would have opened the whole area up to ridicule.”

Some locals took to social media sites to voice disappointment in the outcome however.

Facebook user Simon Jenkins said: “Shame that a village with a Welsh school keeps an English version of the Welsh name.”

Bronwen Mair Davies added: “Very short sighted indeed.”

But Abersychan ward councillor Giles Davies, who presented the petition on behalf of residents, said he felt common sense had prevailed.

Varteg resident Ray Williams added: “Hopefully that will be the back of it.”

The consultation was re-launched after an initial proposal earlier this year, in which it was suggested the Welsh place name should be adopted as there is no ‘V’ in the Welsh alphabet.

It sparked widespread humour and concern at the time, and such was the stink that news outlets as far away as Canada and Minnesota in America picked up on it.

But some locals said they feared becoming the butt of jokes if the change was approved, saying that the ancient name Varteg accurately reflected the history of the locality.

Janet Jones at Foy Williams estate agents in Blaenavon said she did not feel the change would represent money well spent in times of biting austerity across the borough, despite supporting bilingualism.

Blaenavon mayor councillor Gareth Davies said he did not feel it would greatly impact the day to day life of the residents.

In response to the consultation results a spokesman for the Welsh Language Commissioner said: “The commissioner has no jurisdiction in the matter, but was asked for advice and information which was supplied.”

Comments (5)

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4:18pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Silcoxski says...

Torfaen Council had finally started getting on board with the Welsh Language Act, but now they've taken a step back for childish reasons.
Torfaen Council had finally started getting on board with the Welsh Language Act, but now they've taken a step back for childish reasons. Silcoxski
  • Score: -10

4:31pm Wed 8 Jan 14

whatintheworld says...

"According to the council website, 32 per cent voted for Y Farteg to be used.

A mere five per cent wanted Y Farteg, it said."
- huh? is it 32% or 5%?

either way, good decision. i wonder if this sets a precedent for future rufusals of the comissioner's recomenations?
"According to the council website, 32 per cent voted for Y Farteg to be used. A mere five per cent wanted Y Farteg, it said." - huh? is it 32% or 5%? either way, good decision. i wonder if this sets a precedent for future rufusals of the comissioner's recomenations? whatintheworld
  • Score: 4

4:32pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Silcoxski wrote:
Torfaen Council had finally started getting on board with the Welsh Language Act, but now they've taken a step back for childish reasons.
Or they've decided to prioritise the majority of their Council Tax payers and the services they actually need. A place name is used to identify where somewhere is. Since the ones we have all seem to be working perfectly well, there must be better uses for the money. I mean have you ever heard ANYONE refer to Usk as 'Brynbuga'? I certainly haven't. Rather than have huge numbers of people being kept fed in the road sign industry I'd rather have more social workers.
[quote][p][bold]Silcoxski[/bold] wrote: Torfaen Council had finally started getting on board with the Welsh Language Act, but now they've taken a step back for childish reasons.[/p][/quote]Or they've decided to prioritise the majority of their Council Tax payers and the services they actually need. A place name is used to identify where somewhere is. Since the ones we have all seem to be working perfectly well, there must be better uses for the money. I mean have you ever heard ANYONE refer to Usk as 'Brynbuga'? I certainly haven't. Rather than have huge numbers of people being kept fed in the road sign industry I'd rather have more social workers. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 7

4:33pm Wed 8 Jan 14

endthelies says...

The majority spoke and they were listened to. All that money was saved. Got to be a good thing hasn't it?
The majority spoke and they were listened to. All that money was saved. Got to be a good thing hasn't it? endthelies
  • Score: 5

5:14pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

whatintheworld
Apologies. Badly worded but now corrected.
32% for Y Farteg. 5% for just Farteg (without the Y).
whatintheworld Apologies. Badly worded but now corrected. 32% for Y Farteg. 5% for just Farteg (without the Y). Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 1

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