Pressure for the Prime Minister to act in support of the Welsh language

Representatives from Celebrating our Language met the Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to call for a strong response to the worrying results of the Census and to act with measures to promote the Welsh language. Concern was expressed that there are no clear steps in mind to meet the challenge of securing the future of the Welsh language. A number of reviews on the state of the language which were commissioned by the Government have now been published and the clear recommendation is that additional resources are required to promote the Welsh language.

Tegwen Morris, Director of  Merched y Wawr said, “There was a flurry of ideas and enthusiasm in the Great Conference held last year to consider the disappointing Census results but we are still waiting for the Government to act. Welsh-speaking communities suffer from a lack of resources and social activities”.

Rebecca Williams, Policy Officer UCAC, expressed concern about the impact of local government cuts on Welsh education. “The cuts in transportation services will affect the ability of parents to send their children to Welsh-medium education. The Government needs to ensure that their policies will give everyone a fair chance to be educated in their language of choice. There is also a need to ensure that training is available to provide a workforce for the increasing demand for Welsh education in our schools.”

According to Penri Williams, Chairman of Celebrating our Language, “We need to be confident about the future of the language, we can not afford further delays before tackling the issues. There is support from all sides of the Welsh Assembly and it is important that the County Councils also ensure equitable provision .

“The Prime Minister clearly recognizes the seriousness of the situation and is considering the most effective ways of implementing the recommendation of the reports.

“There is no lack of ideas or vision ” said Penri Williams , “We have compiled a list of over 50 actions that can be implemented, many by working with existing funds and other actions requiring additional investment to provide further opportunities to use the language.”

Celebrating Our Language – Mudiadau Dathlu’r Gymraeg believes that more resources are needed to ensure that the Welsh language thrives in the future.  We believe that current expenditure should be diversified to ensure that a fair share of the budget can be used to develop and strengthen opportunities to use the language.

Celebrating Our Language is organizing a conference in May with the expectation that the Government plans will have been announced by then. The aim of the conference will be to explore how we can ensure that the Welsh language is central to the provision of government, county councils and other public bodies.