A Welsh county council has granted its workers a day off to celebrate St David’s Day.

Gwynedd Council, in north Wales, has decided to make the March 1 patron saint’s day a public holiday within its own borders.

The move was granted at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, despite the UK Government previously rejecting plans for a national bank holiday on the date.

The plan, the council estimates, will cost around £200,000, mainly through having to employ casual workers to maintain public services.

In October last year, the council called on the UK Government to consider officially recognising St David’s Day as a day of national celebration but the idea was rejected. The Cabinet said too many people commute across the Welsh and English border to make it feasible.

READ MORE: Mark Drakeford launches blistering attack on Boris Johnson's Omicron response

The council had also asked that the power to create bank holidays for Wales be devolved to the Welsh Government, but this too was rejected.

Councillor Nia Jeffreys, head of Gwynedd Council’s corporate affairs, said: “This is an important message.

“It is a national disgrace that in Wales we cannot choose and identify our own significant events, be they culturally, linguistically or of importance to our heritage.

Westminster refuses to devolve the power to the Welsh Government to decide on this fundamental right.

“We are seeking the same powers as Scotland and Northern Ireland to choose our own bank holidays and give proper status to our nationally significant events.”

Both devolved governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have been given the power to create bank holidays, and the patron saints of those countries, St Andrew and St Patrick, are celebrated in this way.

St George’s Day, observed across England every April 23, is not a bank holiday.

At a full council meeting in October 2021, all Gwynedd councillors unanimously voted for St David’s Day to be made a holiday for the workforce.

Council Chairman Simon Glyn wrote in a letter to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP: “It has been an affront to the Welsh people for centuries that, as a country, we do not have the power to celebrate our patron saint’s day.

"The cost is always put forward as an argument, but a bank holiday is a great boost for the economy of rural areas.”

That Wales is the only country in the Union not to have the power to create bank holidays has been called “embarrassing”, he noted.

READ MORE: Tories bid to bolster Union with Boris Johnson-chaired council of devolved leaders

In reply, Paul Scully MP, the Minster for Small Business, said: “While we appreciate that the people of Wales want to celebrate their patron saint, more people work across the English/Welsh border than across the English/Scottish border.

“This closer degree of integration could cause greater business disruption. If we had separate bank holidays in England and Wales, the impact on both employees and businesses is difficult to predict.”

The current proposal discussed today called Westminster's response on the issue “extremely disappointing”.

The council said it had consulted with trade unions on the matter, but teachers would not be included in the plans because that would have to be granted on a national level.