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Monday, August 12, 2013

County council to carry out Welsh language audit

Denbighshire County Council has announced it is to carry out a county-wide audit of the Welsh language, to try and halt the decline in the number of Welsh speakers in its communities.

The 2011 Census data notes that 24.6% of Denbighshire residents can speak Welsh, with 18.6% able to speak, read and write in Welsh. 

This compares to 20.7% of residents being able to speak, read and write in Welsh in the 2001 Census, a decline of 2%. 

Hywyn Williams, Corporate Director for Communities and Learning, said: "Nationally, efforts are being made to enhance the Welsh language through  the publication of the Welsh Government’s Welsh Language Measure (Wales) 2011,  the appointment of a Welsh Language Commissioner,  the imminent introduction of Welsh Language Standards and the publication of the Welsh Government’s  A Living Language:  A Language for Living, a Welsh Language Strategy.

"The Council feels it is timely to undertake a full audit of the use of the Welsh Language within our community, to respond to the situation locally.  The findings from the audit should pave the way forward in order to develop a strategy to secure the growth of the language well into the future.

"Other key developments within the County such as the adoption of the Local Development Plan, the Modernising Education Strategy and our Regeneration & Economic Ambition Strategy will present challenges and opportunities in terms of the development of the Welsh Language.

"The risk of a further decline in the use of the Welsh Language is a real one, and if no action is taken, in all likelihood, the 2021 Census will confirm this decline.

The audit will look at four key areas:

1) Education provision, which will include the provision of Welsh Medium and Bilingual Education across the Authority, childcare provision, informal learning provided largely through the statutory Youth Service and broader Youth Support Services, pre-school provision and Adult Learning Provision

2) The support provided for families.  This to include the information that is provided for families and the information and support provided for the most vulnerable of families, together with the support for families to develop the Welsh Language within the home context and the support provided for non-Welsh speaking families, where their children are educated in Welsh medium/bilingual education.

3) The support for the Welsh Language and culture within communities which includes the support for voluntary sector organisations, business support and key policies that shape the future of communities such as the Local Development Plan, Modernising Education Policy and housing provision

4) Services provided directly and indirectly by the Council to include internal working arrangements, our ability to respond through the medium of Welsh and bilingually to residents and visitors, the way the Council promotes the use of the Welsh Language, the minuting of meetings, translation facilities, the use of social media, and the place of the Welsh Language in policy development

Councillor Huw Jones, Cabinet Lead Member with responsibility for the Welsh Language said: "Our intention is to begin the audit in September and we will consult widely with interested groups and individuals such as Menter Iaith, Urdd, the business and voluntary sectors.

"The audit work will be carried out by an independent organisation and we expect to have clear recommendations as to how  Denbighshire should take the important matter of promoting and facilitating the acquisition and use of the Welsh Language within its community further through a robust action plan, which will lead to a greater number of residents able to use the Welsh language confidently by 2021".

1 comment:

  1. What a joke,the council were more than willing to close down Welsh Primary schools in the local area, now their scratching their heads wondering why the welsh language is in decline. You really couldn't make it up?

    It also doesn't help that they fill the council houses with people from the Liverpool and Manchester areas, rather than local people. Again, pushing those who can speak welsh out of the local area.