Even though BBC Wales always seem proud to show their support for the nepotism that’s been going on for years at Literature Wales it seems they had no choice but to report this:
“An organisation that promotes and develops reading and writing is to have its funding and responsibilities cut following a critical report.
The board of Literature Wales has been described as “lacking the skills and experience” to spend public money.
The Welsh Government-commissioned report was written by Professor Medwin Hughes.
Literature Wales said it would give the report “careful and thorough consideration.”
The findings include:
- There was no evidence of strong governance at Literature Wales
- A feeling among respondents that there was a culture of “entitlement”
- Literature Wales did not contain the right composition of skills and experience to run a body spending public money
- Its mission and goals were “unrealistic and vague”
Literature Wales was created in 2011 following a merger of various organisations and had an income of around £1.2m last year, including £717,000 from the Welsh Government via the Arts Council of Wales.
Following the publication of the report on Tuesday, the economy minister Ken Skates announced that several responsibilities will now transfer from Literature Wales to the Welsh Books Council.
Literature Wales will retain control of the Ty Newydd writing centre in Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd and some events and festivals.
Mr Skates said the changes were in “response to specific needs in a specific area of activity”.
“They are not a reflection on the wider work of the arts council and my appreciation of the good work that Literature Wales has delivered in some areas,” he added.
“However, I am persuaded that these steps are needed to create a support structure for publishing and literature that is more effective and fit for purpose.”
‘Challenging and far-reaching’
A spokeswoman for Literature Wales said: “The Welsh Government’s Independent Review of Support for Publishing and Literature in Wales presents a number of recommendations which will require careful and thorough consideration.
“We look forward to reading the report in full and working with colleagues in Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Books Council to ensure that literature in all its forms continues to be accessible to a wide range of communities and individuals throughout Wales.”
A spokesman for the Arts Council of Wales, which provides most of Literature Wales’s funding, said: “This is a very substantial report that has drawn on the views of a large number of individuals and organisations.
“With some 60 recommendations, the report deserves detailed and careful consideration.
“Some of the headline recommendations are challenging and far-reaching.
“The report proposes a change of approach and we must consider whether an alternative strategy is likely to deliver better results. We expect to reach our initial conclusions when the council meets in early July.”
Since it was established in 2011, Literature Wales has awarded nearly half a million pounds in bursaries to writers and helped organise big events like the recent Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl celebrations.Thomas and Roald Dahl celebrations.“
It’s that time of the year again. When the unelected people who give your taxpayers money to their friends and family give even more of it to even more of their friends and family and even charge you for the privilege of watching them rub their greedy little hands together. This year it seems that a number of University Professors have fallen on hard times as well as the usual suspects like Owen ‘bad boy’ Sheers, ‘Gross Writer’, ‘Horrid Henry’ and ‘Gloating Gower’.
This year, in Pulp of the Year 2016 the nominees are: Philip Gross (previous parasite), Paul Henry (bursary regular – £6,425), Stephen Payne (Professor who needs the cash?), Kate Hamer (bursary score – £5,000), Thomas Morris (lives in Dublin but still got a ticket), Owen Sheers (more public cash thrown at him than any other shit writer?), Jasmine Donahaye (Cash score – £20,000+), Eluned Gramich (other public money – £1,000), Daniel G. Williams (Professor who needs more cash), Mererid Hopwood (bursary score – £6,000), Gruffudd Owen (Arts Council Trougher), Cen Williams (big jobs for the boys), Jon Gower (bursary score – £8,000), Caryl Lewis (Wales Literature Exchange), Dewi Prysor (was interesting until he made this list), Simon Brooks (bursary score – £2,003), Gruffydd Aled Williams (another hard-up Professor) and Emyr Glyn Williams.
Well, summer’s here and the time is right for dishing out cash for crap again. Yep, Literature Wales announced that Other People’s Countries by Patrick McGuinness is the English-language Wales Book of the Year 2015. Didn’t he win a pile of cash before? Judges were Alex Clark, Tessa Hadley (£4,810) and Paul Henry (£6,425).
The winner of the Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Prize 2015 was Jonathan Edwards (£4,000).
So basically, four crap writers (if you could call them that) and three unheard of judges.
More cynical observers might also note that most of the names above have already had cash from Literature Wales (figures in brackets) or the Arts Council (no figures for these) for other crap they’ve been involved in.
This month sees yet another £81,000 of taxpayers money dished out to so-called “writers” no-one has ever heard of. True, there are a few unpublished writers in there too (six we counted, although LW say it is eleven) but once again the vast majority of the cash is gifted to “published” writers – most, if not all, are unknown, talentless and worse still – previous bursary recipients! Disgusting you might say? Well, we’ll agree with you.
But if this serious business of handing out taxpayers money without scrutiny wasn’t enough, Literature Wales even have the gall to announce to the world that they have awarded over £1 million in Writers’ Bursaries to their friends and family!
And out of that million quid the only “famous” writers they can come up with are: Belinda Bauer, Lloyd Jones, Daniel Morden & Gwyneth Lewis. Yes, you’re right again, no-one outside Wales has ever heard of them.
How sad that in this, Dylan Thomas’s centenary year, LW still can’t give 100% of its financial support to new writers!
Link to who got what this year – click here.
That well known writer (joke), Martin Daws, has just received a Creative Wales Ambassadors Award of £25,000. Why you might ask? Good question. Well the answer is simple. This bloke wants to go on holiday to the USA and so we (the great Welsh taxpayer) need to be able to (in his own words) “develop his skills as a poet”.
The Creative Wales Ambassadors Awards are made by nomination and recognise significant individual achievement in the arts, along with the aim to raise the profile of Welsh culture outside of Wales. Alongside Martin, Julia Griffiths Jones and Richard Gwyn have also received the prestigious Creative Wales Ambassadors Award 2013/14.
Professor Dai Smith, Chair, Arts Council of Wales, father of Owen Smith MP has congratulated this year’s successful ambassadors:
“We are pleased to have been able to augment these awards in difficult times.”
Too bloody right they are difficult times!! Well, they are for the rest of us, but once again the Taffia seem to be able to snap their fingers and cash appears… Yep, sick indeed.