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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 10:48 GMT
Rock giants aid citizenship classes
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin III was written near Machynlleth in 1970
Hard rock band Led Zeppelin could be used to provide background music for citizenship ceremonies being introduced in mid Wales.

Next month, Powys Council, like all other local authorities, have to introduce citizenship ceremonies under the National Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

The move ends the current practice of naturalisation as a British citizen and aims to provide people with a greater understanding of their community.

The local authority want to provide background music for the ceremony and they are hoping to use Led Zeppelin tracks - they wrote one of their albums while living in Machynlleth in the early 1970s.

We want to play background music during the ceremony that reflects the music of Powys
David Parsons, Powys Council

Other possibilities are trad-jazz, reflecting the success of Brecon jazz, or hymns written by Llanfyllin born Ann Griffiths.

CD players

David Parsons, the council's scrutiny and democratic services manager said that regalia including the Union Jack and a Welsh flag were being bought for the ceremonies.

He added that CD players to play the English and Welsh national anthems would also be used.

"We want to play background music during the ceremony that reflects the music of Powys," said Mr Parsons.

"But we haven't decided what that music will be as yet."

Home Office figures suggest 153 people became citizens in Powys last year.

However, this number is an estimate because the SY postcode stretches to Shrewsbury to the east and Aberystwyth to the west.

"Nevertheless I envisage that there could be at least one citizenship ceremony a month in Powys once we are up and running from March onwards," said Mr Parsons.

All of the county's eight superintendent registrars that normally officiate in marriage ceremonies have been trained to undertake the new ceremony.

"We will also be able to conduct the ceremony in Welsh and English on request," said Mr Parsons.

Initially, the ceremonies will be held in the council's three shire headquarters at Brecon, Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool.

Other Welsh councils contacted by BBC News Online said they had not yet considered what music would be played at their ceremonies.

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