Wales needs a new body to promote Welsh, says ex-Deputy First Minister
Wales should have a new body to promote the Welsh language, a former Deputy First Minister has suggested.
Ex-Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, who entered government as part of the One Wales coalition with Labour in 2007, made the suggestion in his autobiography.
Hr argued that it’s “difficult” for the government to promote the Welsh language “internally” and that a “separate” body should be created.
The One Wales coalition government established the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol as well as the office of the Welsh Language Commissioner.
Ieuan Wyn Jones said: “I believe that the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol have achieved what we had hoped, to a degree.
“From Coleg Cymraeg’s point of view, we had hoped that it would be given more resources, but I think, on the whole, it has established itself in the sense that there are more opportunities for people to do courses through the medium of Welsh and that opportunities have increased. It is certainly something we should be proud of.
“As far as the Commissioner is concerned, he can enforce his powers to ensure public bodies comply and offer Welsh language provision.
“But, the question is, to what extent can you move that forward into the private sector? Certainly, the Commissioner has the power to ensure compliance rather than goodwill, as in the days of the Welsh Language Board.
“But there is still room for a separate body to promote the Welsh language – and our experience since the measure has shown that its very difficult for the Government to do that internally.”
Ieuan Wyn Jones’ autobiography, ‘O’r Cyrion i’r Canol’, published by Y Lolfa is available in local book shops or from Y Lolfa’s website, www.ylolfa.com.
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