DYFODOL I’R IAITH SUPPORT WELSH GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH WELSH LANGUAGE COMMISSION

Public Meeting Lampeter 17.11.17

Dyfodol i’r Iaith have welcomed the Welsh Government’s intention to establish a Welsh Language Commission to plan and implement public policies in support of the Language. A powerful independent body with wide responsibilities in the filed of Language Planning could set the stage for the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to revitalise the Welsh as a national language.

Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s chair said, “It was Dyfodol that launched the idea of establishing an independent body to promote Welsh in our manifesto, Creating a Future for the Welsh Language, published in 2015. We lobbied the political parties in the run-up to the 2016 election and submitted a special document, A Welsh Language Agency, to the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru (who had established a Compact with the Labour Government) in November 2016. We are delighted that the Welsh Government now intend to legislate to establish this new Commission.

“Although we disgaree with certain aspectsof the White Paper which the minister, Alun Davies, published at the Ynys Môn Eisteddfod, the Government have accepted the main thrust of our recommendations. It is vitally important that supporters of the language pull together to make a success of the new arrangements. As the Bill proceeds through the National Assembly we need to exert pressure so as to ensure that that the White Paper’s intentions are not watered down and that certain weaknesses be corrected.”

Cynog Dafis said, “The Government will have to show that Welsh speakers’ rights are not weakened because the existing Commissioner’s role is being included within the new Commission. But the establishment of the Commission is a golden opportunity to develop exciting progarmmes for the encouragement and promotion of Welsh within the family and the community as well as in the world of work and of course through radically expanding Welsh-medium education.

“However, good intentions are not enough. If the Government’s aim to create a million Welsh speakers by 2050 is to be taken seriously, substantial financial resources will have to be provided and well-qualified, committed people must be placed in the key posts.

” We are encouraged by the fact that the Welsh Government is acquainted with the situation in the Basque Country and Catalonia where comprehensive policies to revitalise their indigenous languages have been successfully implemented.”

These issues will be discussed further in a public meeting to be held in Lampeter at Brondeifi Chapel Vestry at 7pm this evening and a warm welcome to all.

Ben Lake MP, who chairs this evening’s Lampeter meeting, said, “I’m pleased to chair this meeting in my hometown and to hear about Dyfodol’s important work in influencing Welsh Government policies”.

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