Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Culture, Heledd Fychan MS, has hit out at the Labour Leader of Cardiff Council, Huw Thomas, who last night made “insulting and unfounded” remarks blaming staff and St. Fagans for the National Museum’s woes.

Speaking on S4C’s Y Byd Yn Ei Le programme on Thursday night, Huw Thomas pointed out that more than £30 million had been spent on the St. Fagans project around five years ago, adding that senior managers at the Museum would have been aware of ‘issues’ at the time.

He added that he was surprised that maintenance work had not been prioritised back then when there was more money available, as opposed to spending on “nice to haves” at St. Fagan.

Heledd Fychan MS who also appeared on the programme said:

“These are insulting and unfounded comments from the Labour Leader of Cardiff Council who frankly should know better.

“Just as is the case with the NHS, there is an emerging pattern of Labour politicians blaming staff whether in our Health Boards or our national institutions for their own inability to balance the books in a sustainable way.

“St Fagans is a jewel in the crown of our capital city’s offer to Welsh citizens and visitors alike. It is extraordinary to hear the Leader of Cardiff Council reference major developments at the site – which at the time was the largest ever Heritage Lottery Grant awarded to any organisation in Wales - as ‘nice to have.’

“The Leader of Cardiff Council should be the city’s most vocal supporter of culture. Instead we have someone who is happy to align with his party boss in Wales who this week astonishingly defended his government’s cuts to Amgueddfa Cymru, which further threatens Wales’ collective cultural memory.

“The very least Huw Thomas should do is reflect on his comments and apologise.”


English Translation of quote from Cllr Huw Thomas:

“Obviously there is a need to spend on the upkeep of the building.

“But one thing that strikes me … I’ll say this … is that about five years ago £30 million was spent on redoing St Fagans, a very successful project, but the staff who were managing the museum at the time must have been aware of the ‘issues’ in the museum in Cardiff at the time.

“I’m perplexed why they didn’t prioritise at the time when there was more money to secure the building in Cardiff instead of spending on ‘nice to haves’ in St Fagans.”