Literature and publishing in Wales review 'not transparent'

Professor Medwin Hughes

Arrangements for a publishing and literature review in Wales have not been transparent, critics have claimed.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David vice chancellor Medwin Hughes was appointed by the Welsh Government to chair the review.

But it has been argued the work will not be done in a "balanced way" because two publishers come under the university's wing.

The Welsh Government described the criticism as "nonsense".

A university spokesman said there was a process in place to react to a conflict of interest.

'Behind closed doors'

The study will look at whether or not the Welsh Government's aims in supporting the industry were being achieved.

Jasmine Donahaye, associate professor at Swansea University, welcomed the review but said the process had been "problematic" because of Mr Hughes's connection with the University of Wales Press and Canolfan Peniarth.

She told BBC Cymru Fyw: "It reinforces the point there are matters going on behind closed doors and in the wake of the proposed government cuts to the books council."

The Welsh Government said two meetings of the group had taken place before the announcement about establishing the review two weeks ago.

A University of Wales spokesman said: "[Medwin Hughes] noted that all the members were aware of the importance of transparency and a process was in place to react to a conflict of interest."

A Welsh Government spokesman said it was "nonsense to suggest that the arrangements for this review have not been transparent", adding members signed terms binding them to openness and honesty.

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