[lg policy] Council's Welsh language policy defended

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 11:54:33 EDT 2018

 Council's Welsh language policy defended

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 - Local People
<http://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/archive.cfm?sectionIs=news&cat=Local People>
[image: Gareth Wyn-Williams]

by *Gareth Wyn-Williams* - Local democracy reporter
Cllr Alwyn Gruffydd and Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn

GWYNEDD Council’s leader has launched a passionate defence of its Welsh
language policy, describing opposition claims that they were resting on
their laurels as “pure rubbish”.

During last Thursday’s full council meeting, members rubber stamped the new
Welsh Language Promotion Plan which hopes to see the number of Welsh
speakers increase from 65.4 per cent to 70 per cent by 2023.

According to the plan, while the county’s education system already means
that 92 per cent of the five to 15 age group can speak Welsh, the challenge
is to get those Welsh speakers to continue to do so throughout their lives.

“This plan builds on the decades of work we’ve carried on as a council,”
said portfolio holder, Cllr Nia Jeffreys.

“We were the first council to commission such a strategy on our own accord
in 2010, showing a clear commitment to promoting the language.”

But one of Llais Gwynedd’s most prominent members launched a fierce attack
on the Plaid Cymru administration, accusing them of being too “self

“This document certainly responds to the requirements in ticking the boxes
and says what’s expected of a council working in the most naturally Welsh
speaking area in the world,” said Cllr Alwyn Gruffydd.

“But is easy to fall into self satisfaction, and that’s what we see on
these pages.

“We need more than that, we need some passion and desire and a wish to get
things done.”

He went on to say: “This council has adopted planning objectives that will
undermined the language and decided to close youth clubs.

“We’re not very good at giving priority to our own language even when we
have the power to do so.

“If we’re seriously in favour of the language, why are a third of pupils
taking their GCSE exams in English? That isn’t acceptable.

“Welsh education is growing in parts of Wales but that doesn’t appear to be
the case here.”

But this prompted a response from the council leader, who accused Cllr
Gruffydd of speaking “pure rubbish” and being “negative towards everything”.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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