Dyfodol i’r Iaith welcomes the discussions currently taking place between Labour and Plaid Cymru and hopes that this will provide an opportunity to reset the agenda in terms of policies to support the Welsh language.
Heini Gruffudd, the organisation’s Chair said:
“We will be encouraging both parties to regard these discussions as an opportunity to consider the true needs of the Welsh language in order to meet the target of creating a million Welsh speakers.”
Among their priorities, the organisation calls upon both parties to:
- Elevate the status of the Welsh Language Division within Government
- Extend Welsh language medium education and introduce an ambitious Welsh language training programme for education workers
- Draw up a Planning policy which protects the language and addresses the housing crisis
- Act urgently to implement the recommendations of Dr Simon Brooks’s report on
- Develop the Arfor scheme which aims to promote Welsh and develop the economy of the language’s heartlands
- Extend the use of the Welsh language within the workplace
- Strengthen the language’s status within the private sector
And finally, and with no cost implications at all –
- Increase the use of the Welsh language within the Senedd, including leaders and ministers.
Following reports that a company based at the Shard in London has bought farms in Carmarthenshire for planting forestry, Dyfodol i’r Iaith has called upon the Welsh Government to adopt comprehensive environmental policies which protect communities as well as the planet, based upon the principles of its own Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.
On behalf of Dyfodol, Cynog Dafis said:
*Burning fossil fuels has undoubtedly been the main cause of global warming, and while accepting the pressing need for more forests to capture carbon, it is a sorry situation that these large companies are now trying to greenwash their activities while accumulating grants and profit at the expense of Welsh communities, their culture and assets.
We therefore call upon the Welsh Government to keep in mind the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and acknowledge that sustainability is based upon consideration of the environment, communities and the key role played by the economy. It should adopt policies which protect the prosperity of the community rather than selling local assets to those that, through greed, are mainly responsible for the precariousness of the planet.
We insist that the Welsh Government develops policies that are genuinely sustainable, and work hand in hand with rural communities to protect their ownership of the land while ensuring maximum carbon capture and carbon neutral use. Wales has an abundance of Agri-ecologists, who are as knowledgeable about the needs of the planet as the contribution of food producers and the local economy. This is the kind of extensive and balanced expertise that needs to inform policy-making, not a retread of the old disastrous route of prioritising the interests of those who are mainly responsible for the damage.”
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.