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