FIRST MINISTER IGNORING THE BIG CONFERENCE
Dyfodol i’r Iaith (Future for the Language) has alleged that the First Minister is ignoring the main conclusions of the Big Conference on the Welsh language, held in July this year .
“According the Big Conference the most significant challenge to the Welsh language is the shifting population and the need for economic policies, housing and planning policies , educational policies and community development policies to meet this challenge,” said Heini Gruffudd , chairman of Dyfodol.
Dyfodol is concerned that a statement by the First Minister on 12th November does nothing to address this major challenge. Dyfodol further asserts that the First Minister in his statement repeats Government policies that had already been published before the Big Conference .
Dyfodol has written to the First Minister to seek clarification on the statement. Letter to FM
Dyfodol claims that the Government’s internal Improvement Plan (on the Welsh language), guidelines to support TAN20 and money for Welsh IT programmes were initiatives that had already been announced or started before the Big Conference. Dyfodol also asked the First Minister how much consultation had been prior to issuing his statement with the Welsh Language Partnership Council, which has a statutory role in relation to advising the Welsh Government on its language strategy.
Heini Gruffudd , Chairman of Dyfodol said, “It seems that the First Minister’s statement is more about trying to present a positive public face than taking things forward.
“We do not want to argue with the steps that the Prime Minister has announced today, but we must say that we are disappointed that much of what he has said is old statements that have been reworked.
“We appreciate the awareness that the Government needs to do more, but we have to see much broader and more radical policies and actions if we are to see any hope of increasing the number of Welsh speakers and increase the use of Welsh by Welsh speakers ” .