There is a need to establish a language authority that will lead the work of promoting the Welsh language. This is claimed by Dyfodol i’r Iaith following a call by Gareth Jones to establish such a body.
Heini Gruffudd, Chairman of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, said “Since the summer we have been calling for such a body. It has been more and more apparent that there is a need for a new arrangement that will on the one hand safeguard the Welsh language, as the environment is protected, but an arrangement that will on the other hand map a flourishing future for the language.”
“In spite of the Government’s good, it has become obvious that piecemeal decisions are made without coordination. Policies are needed across government departments, which connect with one another and which promote Welsh creatively.”
“The Welsh Language Commissioner’s work, – although valuable – and the good will of civil servants have not established a system that makes a difference for Welsh. A language authority, run by experts in language planning, and with more powers than the old Welsh Language Board, is essential.”
“We are looking forward to convincing political parties that this is a matter of urgency for the Welsh Assembly and the language.”
The Welsh language pressure group, Dyfodol i’r Iaith, has condemned Lidl UK’s policy of banning staff from speaking languages other than English with each other.
Dyfodol has compared the ban on the use of Welsh as similar to some of the anti-Welsh penal laws of the Middle Ages.
Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith said:
“We’ve written to the company today to inform them that their policy of banning people in Wales from speaking Welsh is illegal.
“Welsh is an official language in Wales. There is no way that a private company can ban the use of a country’s official language.
“The ban on Welsh reminds me of some of the anti-Welsh penal laws of the middle ages. It cannot be justified in a civilized society.”
“This case clearly shows the need for the Language Law and the powers of the Language Commissioner to extend to the private sector.”
The row began when LidlUK banned staff from Poland from speaking Polish with Polish customers.
Heini Gruffudd said:
“We would also like to express our support for Poles living in Wales. We passionately believe that members of ethnic minorities living in Wales have the right to use their own language with one another.”
Lidl have now lifted this ban on the use of Welsh in their stores.
Meirion Prys Jones, former head of the Welsh Language Board, will evaluate the Government’s performance on the Welsh language in the annual conference of Dyfodol i’r Iaith.
Meirion will Judge how successful the Government has been in transferring the furthering of the Welsh language to the Civil Service.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has criticized the Government for reducing money given to Welsh for Adults but has applauded it for providing finance to set up Welsh Language Centres.
Heini Gruffudd, chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, said, “As a movement we believe that Welsh needs to be promoted on a large scale and a body needs to be established to be responsible for this and to safeguard the language.”
He added, “We have sent evidence to the Assembly’s scrutiny committee on the Planning Bill, and hope to see Welsh recognized in planning law.”
“Meirion has vast experience of promoting Welsh, and knows in detail of efforts in other European countries, which will help us to consider our priorities for the next few years.”
The Dyfodol i’r Iaith conference will be held on Saturday morning, 15 November, in the Arad Goch Centre, Aberystwyth, at 11.30.