[lg policy] UK: Gwynedd housing group urged to provide 'assurances' over its Welsh language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Jan 7 21:37:23 UTC 2015

Gwynedd housing group urged to provide 'assurances' over its Welsh language

   -  Jan 06, 2015 11:30 <http://www.dailypost.co.uk/by-date/06-01-2015>
   - By Hywel Trewyn <http://www.dailypost.co.uk/authors/hywel-trewyn/>

  Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws wants Bangor based CCG to clarify
whether it breached its own rules  by deciding that Welsh is not essential
for top posts

    [image: Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws]
Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws

A language tsar has urged a housing group to provide “assurances” that it
is complying with its own language policy.

Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws has once again urged Cartrefi
Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) in Bangor, which is landlord for 6,300 former
council homes, to delay advertising for two top jobs after it changed its
policy in September and deemed that the ability to speak Welsh wasn’t

Ms Huws wants CCG to delay the recruitment process while she carried out an
investigation. The board, and its chief executive Ffrancon Williams, said
it decided to ditch Welsh as a language requirement for two out of three
top jobs - paying £82,000 - to “maximise” its chances of getting more

Ms Huws had given CCG a January 5 deadline to supply evidence about how it
came to its decision. The closing date for applications is January 9.

But a defiant Mr Williams, said they had responded to a previous letter
from the Commissioner
and confirmed that they would “not be delaying the process of recruiting”
the new directors.

Today Ms Huws said she had received a response from the CCG chair Claire
Russell Griffiths which “raised numerous issues on which the Commissioner
is seeking further assurance from the organisation”.

She said she “maintains her position that the recruitment process should be
paused until such assurances are received”.

Ms Huws added: “When an institution adopts a Welsh language scheme, they
are expected to keep to it. Clarity is needed as to how CCG’s actions are
compliant with their own language scheme. I have yet to receive that
detailed explanation.”

CCG chief Ffrancon Williams said; “I can confirm we have received an email
from the Language Commissioner’s office acknowledging they have received
our response and that they are reviewing our reply.”

 [image: CCG chief executive Ffrancon Williams] CCG chief executive
Ffrancon Williams

The row over the jobs has created a storm of criticism
and was denounced by politicians including Arfon AM Alun Ffred Jones.

CCG board member Cllr Sian Gwenllian felt so strongly about the issue that
she resigned.

Before the latest exchange of letters with Ms Huws, Mr Williams had said:
“These three jobs are crucial to our ability to provide those services, and
to the future of CCG.

It is possible that delaying the recruitment process could be damaging to
the business.

“We will of course continue to work as closely as possible with the
Commissioner and if non-Welsh speakers are appointed to these two posts we
will do all we can to support them to learn the language.

“With over 95% of our staff and a high percentage of our customers Welsh
speakers we will continue to lead the way in terms of providing a fully
bilingual service.”

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