St David Awards: Nominations open for first Welsh honours

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Media captionThe annual St David Awards will be presented next March

Nominations for the first Welsh honours have opened following their official launch by the first minister.

The annual St David Awards will recognise "inspirational people making a difference to our country" and will first be presented next March.

Eight will be open to public nomination and one will be chosen by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The awards have cross-party support but the Taxpayers' Alliance have questioned their value for money.

The categories are bravery, citizenship, culture, enterprise, innovation and technology, international award, sport and young person's award.

'Real difference'

Mr Jones and his successors will choose the First Minister's Special St David Award for an exceptional individual or team.

The Welsh government has said the awards will be given to people who are not simply doing their jobs but "making a real difference to the quality of life in Wales".

The finalist and eventual winner of each category will be decided by a separate judging panel, each chaired by Lord Rowe-Beddoe, the chair of the Wales Millennium Centre and president of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

The winners will receive a hand-forged award designed by sculptor Gideon Petersen.

Mr Jones said the awards had been set up to ensure they recognised "the good work that is done in our communities by so many people".

"It is not intended to replace the current honours system but to run parallel with it.

"We know there are people out there who do so much good work in communities.

"They don't want recognition but it's nice to see their good work rewarded with a system like this."

The first minister added that not many Welsh people received the higher awards in the British honours system.

However, Jonathan Isaby of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "At the moment resources are very tight .

"The Welsh government have to explain to us how much taxpayers' money is going to be spent on running these awards and is it really worth it."

Nominations are open until Tuesday 5 November.

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