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Call for ideas to protect Welsh language communities as commission chair warns they are at ‘tipping point’

09 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Criccieth picture by the Welsh Government. © Crown copyright (2022)

A new Welsh Government commission is looking for ideas on how to protect threatened Welsh language communities, as its chair warned that they are at a “tipping point”.

The Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities, chaired by Dr. Simon Brooks, has been set up by the Welsh Government to make recommendations on how to help make sure the communities can thrive.

Campaigners point to rising house prices and increasing amounts of second homes as one issue facing Welsh-speaking communities. Welsh speakers who have grown up in those communities are finding it difficult to buy homes in the area, they say.

Simon Brooks pointed at the cost of living crisis, Brexit and Covid as additional issues that have pushed the communities to the brink.

He said: “We want to give everyone the chance to have their say on the future of our Welsh-speaking communities. Evidence and ideas submitted will be vital for us as we work on our recommendations as a commission.

“I’d encourage as many people to take part as possible, and I can promise that all ideas will be considered carefully.”

In comments made to the Guardian newspaper, Simon Brooks said that newcomers buying up homes after Covid, together with the economic stress of Brexit and the cost of living crisis, were pushing the Welsh language to a “tipping point”.

“What we face is an important moment in history,” he said. “Lots of things have been going on in a short period of time.

“You’ve had Brexit, which is a huge economic jolt, then the pandemic, which led to a race for space. To my mind, anglicisation has gathered pace.

“There can be a tipping point in terms of language use. The fear is that a lot of these communities are at that tipping point.”

‘Challenges’

The call for evidence opens today, 9 November 2022, and responses should be submitted by 13 January 2023.

The commission said that they wanted to hear from members of the public and organisations on all kinds of issues affecting Welsh-speaking communities, from housing and education to community development and regeneration.

Minister Jeremy Miles said that strengthening Welsh-speaking communities was central to the Welsh Government’s strategy of doubling daily use of Welsh by 2050.

“It’s crucial that our communities are strong and protected so Cymraeg can thrive,” he said.

“Challenges facing Welsh-speaking communities have increased in recent years, and I’m sure lots of people will have views and suggestions to change this.

“This report will be valuable in seeing how the economy, policy decisions and demographics will affect the future of Cymraeg in our communities.”


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Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Wel un peth y gall Llywodraeth Cymru ei wneud yw rhoi’r gorau i orfodi Cynghorau Sir i gael niferoedd afrealistig o dai yn eu Cynlluniau Gwladychu Lleol. Mae eu ‘hamcanestyniadau poblogaeth’ yn seiliedig ar fewnlifiad, a’r tai a godir felly yn ateb, nid galw lleol, ond anghenion mewnlifiad. Mae’n anodd iawn gen i gredu fod gan Lywodraeth Cymru ddiddordeb yn y Fro Gymraeg. Tybiaf y’i gwelant fel bygythiad – fel rhyw genedl o fewn cenedl neu wlad o fewn gwlad sy’n fygythiad i Gymru unffurf, sifig, Saesneg ei iaith, ond lle mae yna yna arwyddion dwyieithog, a phawb yn dweud… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Rhufawn Jones
John
1 month ago

It’s Wales! The Welsh communities must stand up and fight. Passivity is of no use, you will be absorbed by the creeping Angelo’s. Fight.

John
John
1 month ago

I’m an owner of a ‘second home’ in Ceredigion, I have a full-time job in Aberystwyth, I live in my ‘second home’ 4/5 days a week. My family are fluent Welsh speakers. I might face a substantial increase in council tax next year. The Welsh Government and local authorities should be aware that using council tax to warn off ‘incomers’ may be like using a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’. Finally, the available social housing in Ceredigion is often taken up by people from Birmingham and Manchester. It is duplicitous for local authorities to cry wolf about their communities increase… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by John
hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  John

You cover a lot of issues in your comment, simply because these are often concurrent & overlapping. If you work in Aber why not treat your second home as your main residence? You have good grounds for doing so, unless of course your current “first” home is also in an area adopting extra taxation in which case you are a prime example of the law of unintended consequences. Your remarks about social housing reflect a truth that nobody is willing to acknowledge except for the odd snippet of news when one of those families or households kicks off and locals… Read more »

Mawkernewek
29 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Does the local authority get paid a premium for such residents? I can’t imagine there is a shortage of local applicants with todays housing costs in the private sector.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago
Reply to  John

There are very few policies available in real world politics which are so precise they avoid a proportion of the unintended being disadvantaged. Count yourself lucky you can choose one of two roofs to shelter beneath.

As for your view about Welsh councils willingness to relocate ‘challenging clients’ from urbanised areas. Without a doubt its been a flawed strategy for recipient authorities and has clearly contributed to language and education issue, and still does. Regardless of teaching policies in schools.

Brian
Brian
1 month ago
Reply to  Argol fawr!

I count myself ‘lucky’ to have had a family who supported me through school and university, I count myself ‘lucky’ to have worked with supportive work colleagues. I count myself ‘lucky’ to have a supportive partner and son. I purchased a ‘second’ home to enable me not to waste my life savings on rented accommodation and to do a job I love doing. Consequently, I am not ‘lucky’ to have a choice of two roofs.

Brian
Brian
1 month ago

Campaigners aiming to protect communities may be better off working on more targeted campaigns. For example, a campaign entitled ‘local social housing for local people’.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago

“This report will be valuable in seeing how the economy, policy decisions and demographics will affect the future of Cymraeg in our communities.”

Like watching the Titanic go down unless its backed up by serious Gov policies.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

Copy Jersey, or copy Hungary.

When you do neither, that makes you Welsh Labour.

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