Will Hayward Profile picture
Jan 15 22 tweets 5 min read Read on X
So I have been having a little look at the people who run some of the Welsh anti-20mph Facebook groups.

It seems that many of them a run by Tory politicians.... who live in England....and support 20mph where they live....

Let's go on a journey (at a very safe speed).

I had a look at 4 Facebook pages that opposed Wales' new 20mph limit:

- South Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits - 5.3k members

- West Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits - 4.3k

- North Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits - 2.6k

- Mid Wal Against Blanket 20mph limits - 225
The tone in Facebook groups has been particularly vitriolic at times.

However when you dig a little deeper there are reasons to suggest that the opposition has not entirely been driven by concerned members of the public.
Looking at the admins on the group you can see that many are either members, employers or elected representatives of the Conservative Party.

All four groups have multiple admins and two names come up for them all - Lyall J Reed and Alfie White.
Mr Reed is actually a Conservative councillor for Sunderland.

In his bio on the Sunderland Conservatives website he speaks a great deal about his love for Sunderland but at no point mentions any links to Wales. He said: “I am currently the chairman of Sunderland Conservatives Association and a councillor for St Michael's Ward. I am a graduate of Northumbria University earning a degree in history and politics. I have lived my entire life in St Michael's Ward and it is an honour and a privilege to represent my home ward on the Sunderland City Council. I care deeply about my home ward and home city, and I know that Sunderland can never reach its full potential whilst Labour are still calling the shots in Sunderland City Council.”Image
Though Mr Reed has seemingly dedicated significant energy opposing the 20mph limit in Wales, his opposition doesn’t seem to transfer to his home town.

He posed for this picture where he proudly announced he had arranged an “extension of the 20mph zone”. Image
He has posted regularly about road safety and was quoted in the Sunderland Echo describing how “Conservative members were continuing to push for further measures to reduce speeding”
Rather hilariously, within hours of me approaching Mr Reed for comment, he apparently removed himself as the admin from all the groups.

This kids, is why you always screenshot. Image
Mr Reed is not alone in changing his views on 20mph.

Back in 2018 Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies spoke to leaders of the 20's Plenty group which campaign for a reduction in the speed limit. Image
The other person listed as an admin on the all the Facebook pages, Alfie White, has been harder to track down.

However, he shares a name with an Alfie White who stood as a Conservative candidate for for Burnley in the 2021 council elections....
Other admins for the groups all appear to have links to the Conservative Party.

Let's go through them one by one...
South Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits

Rebeka Fudge - Appears to previously have been part of Swansea Young Conservatives
West Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits

Ben Sansome - Hard to find details but only has three friends on Facebook, one of which is Alfie White.
North Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits

Will Martin - Campaign manager - North Shropshire Conservative Party

Victoria Relf - Junior area campaign manager, Conservative Party North Wales

Janie Loise Rees - Campaign manager, Wrexham Conservatives
Mid Wales Against Blanket 20mph limits

Chris Kirkham - Shares a name with the election agent for Vale of Glamorgan Conservatives
Mr Reed gave comment to WalesOnline.

He said:

"Across Wales it is clear that a blanket policy of 20mph is unpopular. In my ward I personally advocate for 20mph zones in front of schools and nurseries which are all sensible locations. There is a clear difference between targeted zones and a blanket policy."
It is worth noting that Sunderland Echo reported that the 20mph limited was applied in "several residential areas" as well as outside schools.

The Conservatives have not responded to our requests for comment.
The point I am making is not that many people arn't genuinely opposed to 20mph. Many are.

Just that it is clear that there is an orchestrated attempt by the Conservative Party to keep fanning these flames and it is often been carried out by people outside of Wales.
Plus these people don't seem quite as opposed to 20mph when it is where they happen to live...
Facebook groups have been a key place where opposition to 20mph has been fostered and often gotten very nasty with personal attacks on journalists, campaigners and politicians.
You can read the full piece about how English politicians are seeking to influence the 20mph debate in Wales here:
If you like this sort of journalism, there is a very easy way you can support it to help me do more:

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More from @WillHayCardiff

Dec 4, 2023
The ongoing crisis at S4C is a real mess and deserves much wider attention.

If this was the BBC/Channel 4, people would be losing their minds.

Last week I interviewed the sacked CEO Sian Doyle.

This week I asked to interview Chairman Rhodri Williams. They said no.

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There are so many outstanding questions.

It can be a bit confusing keeping up with all this so let me take you through them.

1. Why has Rhodri Williams declined our request for an interview?
This is a really serious crisis for the broadcaster which receives huge amounts of public money and provides a vital function. There is absolutely a public interest and duty for the chairman to front up over this.
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I wrote a piece today about how much cash the former head of the National Museum of Wales had received as part of a settlement.

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It is wild and there are serious question to answer about how public money is spent.

This is the former director general of the National Museum of Wales, David Anderson. Image
He ended up in a dispute with the NMW while his was still director general. Both sides decided to enter a “settlement agreement” instead of going through an employment tribunal.

All of this is laid out in a damning report by the Auditor General (there are a lot of "generals").
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A new report is out looking at the challenges for the Welsh NHS over the next 10-25 years.

Long story short, we can't carry on as we are.

The report is pretty hefty but here are some key points...

[Thread] Image
First thing first, the context.

These are the lengths of different waiting lists in Wales.

The very longest ones are going down but the year long waits are actually going up. Plus this only runs to mid summer.

The direction of travel could get worse in winter. Image
We must not accept waiting lists as inevitable, about 10 years ago there was no one waiting a year.

So what does the report say? Image
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Oct 5, 2023
Everyone & their mother knows that Wales has been shafted by successive UK Govs when it comes to rail funding.

This is undisputable - look at the figures.

But what many don't understand is why they are able to do this to.

This is a wrong that needs to be righted.

Very briefly (because I have done this to death) let's just mention the HS2 example which, after the PMs announcement yesterday, is all the more appalling.

Basically, because the UK Gov decided to class HS2 as an England AND Wales project, despite non of it being in Wales.
This means that Wales get's no money, despite Scotland and Northern Ireland both getting billions in consequentials.

The same is true for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The excuses justifying the Eng/Wal classification as as wide ranging as they are bollocks.
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Sep 25, 2023
This map of Wales is really interesting and could help change how the Welsh Government supports communities in Wales.

This is (IMO) really interesting so let's have a deeper look.

[Thread] Image
The sheer gulf in the quality of life enjoyed by people who live in different areas of Wales has been laid bare in new research that identifies the places in Wales where life is hardest.

It is hoped the research will guide policymakers to help those most in need.
Poverty is a huge driving force in making life difficult but it is far from the only factor.

Up until now, Wales has largely relied on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) to measure and rank the relative levels of deprivation across the country
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Aug 15, 2023
Right time for a good old fashioned fact check about this £1,600 to illegal immigrants claim.

As always, this takes some unpacking but it is well worth it because some of our politicians are making claims with are demonstrably false.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has for the past six months been relentless in what he claims is the Welsh Government “paying £1,600 a month to illegal immigrants”.

It is a policy he has described as “scandalous” and has tweeted about over 40 times.
Mr Davies is the leader of the opposition inside the Welsh Parliament.

He is the equivalent of Keir Starmer in Westminster and what he says is really important.

To try and get to the bottom of whether what he is saying is true @WalesOnline has fact checked his claims.
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