Archdruid slams Arts Council of Wales for ‘undermining’ the Welsh language
The Archdruid has slammed the Arts Council of Wales for “undermining and undervaluing” the Welsh language.
Myrddin ap Dafydd, who heads up the Gorsedd of the Bards, has criticised the organisation for its decision to advertise a senior position without a requirement for fluency in Welsh.
He said that you “can’t do the job” of Director of Arts Development properly without being able to speak the language.
The director will be responsible for promoting the Welsh language within the sector and it is one of the most important posts within the organisation.
But the Arts Council says it is looking for someone who is “passionate” about the Welsh language for the post, which comes with a salary of between £59,269 and £75,477.
Originally the job description said fluency in the Welsh language was “desirable” but not “essential”.
However, following an outcry it was amended to say that the “successful candidate will have good practical knowledge of the Welsh language and a commitment to becoming fluent within a reasonable timescale (12 months) if they are not already.”
Myrddin ap Dafydd told Newyddion S4C: “They think that a development officer that isn’t able to speak Welsh, that isn’t able to assess the performances and the standard of dialogue, writing, theatre, and so on, that someone like that will be able to develop the arts in Wales.
“Well, that’s complete twaddle. This business which is always presented as ‘we’re looking for the best person for the job’.
“In this case, you can’t do the job is you don’t have Welsh.
He also warned: “Of course seeing big powerful bodies like the Arts Council of Wales undermining and undervaluing the Welsh language like this, it has a long term impact.”
In an internal letter to the Chair of the Arts Council, the Unite union has expressed its “disappointment” that Welsh was not a requirement for the job.
The Eisteddfod Council has written to the Minister for the Welsh language, Jeremy Miles, to share its “concerns” that someone responsible for language policy and strategy, would not have to be able to speak Welsh.