Our Biggest Industry
That’s tourism, of course. We have so many lovely and interesting places in our land that it’s a pleasure for our visitors to have a browse.
Alas, though, visitors from Mother England decreased greatly in 2015.
That’s a sad fact, because tourism aids our incomes, directly or indirectly. And we really do “keep a welcome” for anyone who comes on holiday here. Yes, there are still a tiny few of The People of Wales who complain about “These English” clogging up our roads and pavements in our major holiday-locations. But the overwhelming majority of us welcome visitors – and that’s nothing to do with financial gain, that’s to do with Welsh folk being naturally warm-hearted.
Our Assembly Government is aware of what’s happened. And the question I hope they’re asking when they see the falling holiday-maker figures is “Why?”.
Educational Effects On Communities
One of our excellent holiday destinations in Wales is South Pembrokeshire. But, apart from the loss of visitors, the communities there have to tick along.
Which is why I was saddened to hear that three primary schools in the delightful Angle peninsular are going to close.
Yes, there will be another school to which those primary-children will be able to go. But growing-up together helps build stronger communities. Getting to know other people living in your area is such a good thing. And that’s where local schools are important.
There seem to be perfectly sound economic reasons for the school closures. And I daresay the new school will be an admirable establishment.
But will going there help to build stronger local communities?
The Cost Of Education
I understand that, if one takes one’s child out of school for family reasons without permission, one can get a walloping sixty-pound fine! It could be, of course, that parental holiday-breaks from their places of employment are within term times. And that’s a good reason for the kids having some time away from the classrooms.
Now there a groundswell of opinion that, here in Wales, those fines could be paid back to the “guilty” parents. Let us hope so – but only to those who have had genuine reasons for their children’s absence from classes.
Of course, it could be that youngsters benefit more from being with their parents than from sitting in a schoolroom. Some children are made that way.
Meantime, if you’re going to take your offspring out of school in term time, get permission from the authorities – whoever they be – beforehand.