Conference on the Future of Welsh Broadcsting
9 November 2017 at Yr Hen Lyfrgell, Cardiff
Conference on the Future of Welsh Broadcsting
9 November 2017 at Yr Hen Lyfrgell, Cardiff
Today, March 30, Dathlu’r Gymraeg, an umbrella group of Welsh language organisations is pleased to see that the 2011 Welsh Language Act is being implemented. The Act states that the Welsh language should be treated no less favorably than the English language. The new standards that come into force today will put the onus on the Government and local authorities to provide services in Welsh.
Dathlu’r Gymraeg calls on the Government, the National Park Authorities and County Councils to act positively and to offer complete provision. The emphasis has shifted from the individual and the responsibility is now on the statutory bodies to provide the service.
The Standards in the Welsh Language Act set the requriements for the provision of services through the Welsh language including individual and public meetings and training. The bodies are expected to give wide publicity to the new provisions.
Penri Williams, Chairman of Dathlu’r Gymraeg stated “The implementation of the Welsh Language Act has taken a long time but now the work of developing the provision can begin. I would encourage people to ask for the new services which will be available and for the Welsh Language Commissioner to take action if there is any failur in the provision. It is high time that the Welsh language is given equal status with English and there is no reason why the new standards should not be implemented across Wales. We will be using the social media networks to report the changes brought about by the Language Act. ”
Provisions of the Welsh Language Act
1. Right to correspond and communicate with organizations in Welsh
2. Right to Welsh telephone service
3. Right to personal meetings in Welsh
4. Right to participate in public meetings in Welsh
5. The right to see and hear public information in Welsh
6. Right to online and interactive services in Welsh
7. Right to face to face services in Welsh
8. Right to education courses in Welsh, such as swimming lessons.
The Welsh Language Commissioner states
On 30 March this year the first set of Welsh language standards become operational. These standards state what organizations should do in Welsh.
The standards create new rights for people to use Welsh.
County councils, the Welsh Government and the National Parks are the first organizations to implement the standards. Over time they will be presented to institutions and other sectors, such as health, post-16 education, public transport, energy, postal services, social housing, telecommunications and much more.
Standards are based on the law; and there is a duty on organizations to comply with them. They should give you confidence that you can use Welsh when dealing with organizations who implement the standards. If you have not been able to receive a satisfactory service in Welsh, please contact me to complain.
To learn more about your rights please visit the ‘Rights to Use Welsh’ section of the website comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru and follow #hawliau on social networks. You are welcome to also contact us by telephone or in writing.
Dathlu’r Gymraeg, an umbrella group of Welsh language organisations, is calling on the Government to reconsider the budget cuts planned for the Welsh Language. The draft budget shows a significant drop in funding for the work of the Government in promoting the Welsh language in the community and for the Welsh Language Commissioner. It is proposed to reduce the budget from £ 8.6m to £ 6.9m. This is a proposed cut of 19% to the budget for projects to promote the language. To reduce the effect of such a cut the Government is proposing to set aside £1.2m from other budgets but this will not be sufficient to maintain the current funding.
Dathlu’r Gymraeg stated that the draft budget cuts strengthens the case for adopting a long-term target for investment in Welsh. In its manifesto for the Assembly elections it asks the parties to plan to invest 1% of the Welsh budget in initiatives to promote the Welsh language, the same percentage as the Basque Country which saw steady growth in the number of Basque speakers over recent decades.
Penri Williams, Chairman of Dathlu’r Gymraeg, representing over twenty Welsh language organisations said:
“These cuts will underline the need for the Welsh Government to set out targets in the future for the percentage of the budget to be invested in the Welsh language. The target of 1% follows the international best practice and demonstrates a clear commitment to it. As a minority language, there is a need for security and stability over a fairly long period in order to plan and get results. We have seen precedents in other areas on a British level, such as international development, and how such a target can offer long-term stability. For example, it is difficult to see how the Welsh Language Commissioner could effectively act independently if the cuts continue.
“Of course, there is considerable concern regarding the ability of the government to fulfill their objectives in terms of the Welsh language, if such cuts occur. Indeed, it is difficult to see how the budget meets the Government’s commitment to ensure the growth of the Welsh language. “
Dathlu’r Gymraeg is calling on the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to ensure that the current expenditure on the Welsh language is maintained and ways are considered to expand the provision in the future.
Shwmae Sumae 2014 was a great success, with celebrations taking place across Wales and beyond – in Pwllheli, Newport, Merthyr, Lampeter, Vienna, Patagonia, Bangor, Amlwch, Derby, Flintshire and Pembrokeshire. Everyone is working hard to raise the profile of the language, but most importantly to use and promote and encourage others to do so throughout the year.
Shwmae Sumae Day now has a momentum of its own and is spreading throughout the country via a variety of activities organised by schools, individuals and societies, just like a Mexican wave at the World Cup. It is very difficult to keep a track on all that happened, but by keeping an eye on the feedback on our Facebook page and Twitter account I’m sure that there were over 500 events held in 2014. So lets hope that there will be even more this year.
As you know the success and continuity of Shwmae Sumae day lies in your hands, so please let us know about your event by contacting our Facebook page and following us on Twitter . There are a number of tips and ideas on our facebook page and a list of last year’s event which may inspire you on our website event’s page
Please contact me if you want to discuss anything and remember – Give it a go!
Monday August 4th will see the launch of Diwrnod Shwmae Sumae Day 2014 in the Maes D pod at the National Eisteddfod which his being held in Llanelli,Carmarthenshire. The umbrella group Dathlu’r Gymraeg will launch the campaign in to celebrate the second Shwmae Sumae Day (DSS2014) which once again will take place on October 15th.
The launch will also introduce this year’s language ambassadors who will include Martyn Croydon, 2013 Learner of the Year, renowned bard and brewer, Myrddin ap Dafydd, S4C presenter Angharad Mair and the author Bethan Gwanas with many more to be confirmed during the campaign.
There was an overwhelming response to the first Diwrnod Shwmae Sumae Day in 2013. Up to a 150 activities took place from the Andes to Ysgol Brynmawr. Schools, businesses, Welsh learner groups and various societies took the day to heart, infusing the events with boundless energy.
There were rapping workshops in Ceredigion, flashmobs in Crymych and coffee mornings from Creigiau to Dyffryn Nantlle. Things are simmering away nicely for this year’s celebrations with an awards ceremony in Pembrokeshire to recognise the achievements of those who have contributed most to the Welsh language in the county. Whilst at Archbishop McGrath High School, Brackla the pupils are already brimming with ideas for October 15th.
It is a grassroots campaign that operates without any sponsorship showing that the Welsh language belongs to everyone.
Catrin Dafydd, of Dathlu’r Gymraeg said: “Last year was an inspiration and has had a positive knock on effect. As a result of one coffee morning the parents in a school decided to hold Welsh classes to encourage each other to learn the language.
“Dathlu’r Gymraeg hopes that communities across Wales will take ownership of day once again. Some Welsh Adult Learning Centres are already busy organizing events for the day. Shwmae Sumae Day is a day when everyone is encouraged to have confidence in speaking Welsh.
“The Welsh language belongs to everyone who has chosen to make Wales their home, and we, the people of Wales have the power to keep the language alive. Everyone can be a part of the journey from the moment they say “Shwmae” or “Su’mae” at the beginning of a conversation, however fluent we are. ”
For more information, or if you would like to attend the launch, please contact: Gaynor Jones, 07775 847710/ 01554 833902
Dathlu’r Gymraeg Membership:
CAER, Coleg Cymraeg, Cronfa Glyndwr, Cwlwm Cyhoeddwyr Cymru, CYDAG, Friends of the Earth, Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin, Cymdeithas Bob Owen, Cymdeithas Cerdd Dant Cymru, Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru, Cymdeithas y Cymod, Cymdeithas yr iaith Gymraeg, Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, Merched y Wawr, Mentrau iaith Cymru, RhAG, UAC, UCAC, UMCA, UMCB, Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Facebook: Diwrnod Shwmae Sumae 2014
Language experts and politicians will converge on Merthyr Tydfil this Wednesday to discuss fairer funding for the Welsh language. Paul Bilbao, a campaigner for the Basque language will be addressing the conference along with Kirsty Williams, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru and Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives.
The afternoon session will include presentations by Sian Lewis of Menter Iaith Caerdydd and Dai Bryer of Urdd Gobaith Cymru who will discuss the youth sector. Cllr Cefin Campbell of Carmarthenshire County Council will be reporting on his recent findings on the state of the Welsh language in the county and Rhian Huws Williams, Chief Executive of the Care Council for Wales will also highlight the care sector . The day’s proceedings will be chaired by the veteran BBC broadcaster, Vaughan Roderick.
Penri Williams, Chair of Mudiadau Dathlu’r Gymraeg said:
“We have put together a discussion paper targeting extra investment for the Welsh language and have presented it to all the political parties in the Senedd. We have researched the matter thoroughly and we hope that the conference will build on that consensus.
“We are all looking forward to hearing what Paul Bilbao has to say as we gain much from the Basque experience.”
Paul Bilbao represents Kontseilua Paul Bilbao is the Secretary General of Kontseilua, The Council of Social Bodies in favour of the Basque Language which was established by 45 associations 10 years ago. Their aim is to work in favour of the Basque language, promoting, developing and normalising the language as one body.
Paul Bilbao said :
“A minoritised language is not recovered through resources alone. An integrated language policy is needed, including both the implementation of adequate regulations and detailed planning.
“How much is spent is not the only issue; what the money is spent on is even more important. When stipulating language policies and the allotment of resources, it is important to focus on two main areas: people and spaces.
“Policies must target people’s knowledge of the minority language, and secondly the spaces in which it is possible to use the language that one has learnt, in order to live though that language and use the language.
“We cannot put all our resources into having people learn the language and then give them nowhere to use the language once they have learned it.”
The Basque-language organisation, Kontseilua, which Paul Bilbao represents has made a demand with regard to the Basque Autonomous region’s general budget, highlighting that a minimum of 2% of the general budget should be allotted to language recovery.
Notes to Editors
10.00 Penri Williams, Chair Mudiadau Dathlu’r Gymraeg
10.40 Cllr Ernie Galsworthy, Merthyr Tudful Borough Council
11:00 Leanne Wood AM, Kirsty Williams AM, Andrew RT Davies AM, Keith Davies AC
11.45 Paul Bilbao, Basque language campaigner
12.30 Cllr Cefin Campbell, Carmarthenshire County Council
13.45 Sian Lewis, Menter Iaith Caerdydd a Dai Bryer, Urdd
14.15 Rhian Huws Williams, Wales Care Council
14.40 Discussion & Manifesto
For more information, or if you would like to be present in the conference, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01554 833902 07775 847710
Mudiadau Dathlu’r Gymraeg Membership:
CAER, Cronfa Glyndwr, Cwlwm Cyhoeddwyr Cymru, CYDAG, Friends of the Earth, Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin, Cymdeithas Bob Owen, Cymdeithas Cerdd Dant Cymru, Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru Cymdeithas y Cymod, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, Merched y Wawr, Mentrau Iaith Cymru, RhAG UAC, UCAC, UMCA, UMCB, Urdd Gobaith Cymru