Monday 22 July 2013

Having your say on the Welsh language in Carmarthenshire

Following the publication of the Census results earlier this year which showed that the Welsh language was losing ground in Carmarthenshire in particular, the County Council set up a cross-party working group to examine the census results and make recommendations.

The original announcement dated 28 May can be found here, and in it the council invites members of the public to write in with comments, suggestions and evidence by 31 July.

This is technically not an official consultation, and it is unlikely that the working group will have been inundated with post because from what Cneifiwr can tell, no effort whatsoever has gone into publicising this request for the public's views.

Although this blog recently mentioned the consultation in Welsh, a reader has suggested that there are many non-Welsh speakers or people who don't feel comfortable with written Welsh, but who nevertheless care about the language, and who may want to contribute.

You can e-mail the group at this address: .

Although the council changed its constitution a few years back to stop people who don't live, work or have a business in the county from asking questions when, horror of horrors, someone from outside the county asked a question about food sourcing, perhaps the Working Group will be a little more welcoming.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith has asked the Working Group to extend the closing date, and perhaps by inference, to ensure that the invitation is actually publicised.

Cymdeithas also recently submitted its Charter for Carmarthenshire to the council. This document sets out a series of practical proposals which it is urging the council to act on. You can download it in Welsh or English here.

Themes which anyone responding may wish to consider include:

  • Strengthening Welsh medium education, starting with rural parts of the county
  • Following the example set by Gwynedd to use Welsh as the working language for at least some council departments in Carmarthenshire
  • Raising the standard of Welsh required for posts classified as "Welsh essential" so that we make more use of home-grown talent, less of expensive imports, and end up with senior officers who really can communicate in the language of nearly half the county's population.
  • Insisting that "strategic" partners and suppliers have a sound and effective language policy in place. Despite receiving large amounts of public money, some of the council's local partners make no effort to promote themselves in Welsh, leave alone offer services in Welsh.
  • Improving the provision of Welsh education for adults in the county. A recent report for the Welsh Government showed that take-up of Welsh courses in Carmarthenshire was way below that of comparable authorities.
Cneifiwr will also be happy to pass on any interesting ideas and comments to the Working Group posted on this blog.

Trolls please note - your comments will not be published, so don't bother.


Anonymous said...

Housing for locals and those who are needed here for work purposes;

Welsh as an administrative language at the council.

Anonymous said...

Giving the children educated through the medium of english a decent command of welsh would be a start.
encouraging welsh language education id understandable but neglecting the english medium students is foolish., especially as the number of welsh speaking teachers in english medium primary schools especially is so high .Why wait until english speakers are adults to actually teach then conversationsl welsh?