Wales: MP slams Welsh language leaflet policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Jul 9 15:02:11 UTC 2008

MP slams Welsh language leaflet policy
Jul 8 2008 By David Simister

David Jones

A CLWYD MP has slammed moves by the Home Office this week to ration
the amount of crime prevention leaflets available in the Welsh
language. David Jones, MP for Clwyd West, says that crime-fighters in
the Vale can only be offered 25 copies of the government-produced
leaflets in the language, a massive reduction compared to those
available in other tongues such as Polish. "It is astonishing that the
Home Office refuse to supply more than 25 copies of this valuable
leaflet. Welsh is the oldest native British language and the most
widely-spoken language in many parts of my constituency" he said.

"In the village of Llansannan, where Neighbourhood Watch intended to
conduct a leaflet campaign, almost everyone speaks Welsh. 25 leaflets
would go nowhere." The move comes after one of David's constituents,
Raymond Jones, chairman of Conwy County Neighbourhood Watch was
snubbed by the Home Office after requested Welsh-language leaflets. He
had attempted to obtain 500 Welsh language copies of a leaflet called
"Be Safe, Be Secure – Your Practical Guide to Crime Reduction", only
to be told that only 25 copies could be delivered.

However it is possible to order twice as many of the same leaflet when
printed in Urdu or Punjabi, over 100 for Arabic, Chinese and Bengali
editions, and up to 1,000 in the Polish language. "I have written to
the Home Office about this unacceptable state of affairs. This is an
important leaflet and it is essential that Welsh speakers should be
able to read it in their own preferred language" David added.
The Welsh Language Board, which aims to promote further use of the
language throughout the country, said they were unable to comment on
the specific nature of the case.

"We have been in touch with the Home Office and we are waiting to hear
from them on this issue" said Mieron Prys Jones, the board's Chief
Executive. The Home Office website confirmed that only 25 copies could
be ordered in Welsh and that the leaflet is currently out of stock.

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