There would appear to be no shortage of goodwill towards the Welsh language within the Senedd, but the challenge of turning words into action remains. In our opinion the Cymraeg 2050 Action Plan raises more questions than answers and emphasises the urgency to act. Many of the goals and targets have been around since 2017 and point to an alarming level of delay. The work is complex and needs to be mapped out carefully, step by step, allocating resources and responsibility for each aspect of the plan. Again, it is pertinent to point out the need for a powerful Authority for the Welsh language to set a strategic direction and co-ordinate the responsibilities and contribution of each department, agency, and partner to this immense agenda.
The Welsh Language Minister has said that these are early days for the new Government and therefore there are, as yet few details. We would emphasise again that a strong Welsh Language Authority would lead to consistent and seamless policy development and action. This is what is currently missing and what is sorely needed.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has welcomed the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling the housing crisis which is threatening the viability of the Welsh language within so many communities. The organisation is keen to emphasise however that the Government’s scheme must introduce a new use class for second homes, an option that is currently unavailable.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“We hope that the pilot scheme will be a positive development, but if we are to ensure a good outcome, the Government must, in line with Dr Simon Brooks’s recommendation, allocate a new use class for second homes as part of the trial. Following this, it would be possible to set restrictions on turning permanent dwellings into second homes and ultimately, restrict the number of second homes within those communities where the problem is at its worst.”
In the meantime, Dyfodol also calls upon the Government to adopt a comprehensive response to the crisis, and to urgently press on with social housing schemes and equity schemes to help local people to buy homes within their own communities.