Conservative Councillor criticised after saying Welsh place names ‘impossible to pronounce’

Cllr Shaun Jenkins and a bilingual sign. Picture by Still ePsiLoN (CC BY 2.0).

A Cardiff Conservative Councillor has been criticised after he said that some place names in Wales were impossible to pronounce for non-Welsh speakers.

Shaun Jenkins who represents the Llanishen ward on Cardiff Council was responding to a call from BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards to stop the changing of Welsh place names.

“It’s been going on for years — with some really gruesome and offensive examples — and virtually nothing’s been done about it,” Huw Edwards tweeted.

However, Shaun Jenkins responded say that Wales wasn’t “losing its heritage at all”.

“There are some place names that are almost impossible to pronounce for non-Welsh language speakers,” he said.

“The reality is that some Welsh language speakers want everything their own way and for the Welsh language to be put above all else.”

Huw Edwards responded with: “Sorry mate just a word of advice — don’t go on any foreign hols after lockdown — lots of dodgy names to cope with. Stay in Llanishen? Diolch.”

 

‘Untrustworthy’

Fellow Cardiff Councillor Stephen Cunnah who represents Labour on the Canton ward said that the comments were “disgraceful”

“These are disgraceful comments by a senior member of the Conservatives on Cardiff Council. Every place that was named in Welsh should retain that name – and place names too,” he said.

Cardiff North Plaid Cymru responded to say that the comments were “a reminder as to why the Tories cannot ever be trusted to hold power on Cardiff Council and in the Welsh Government”.

“Totally untrustworthy as guardians of one of our national treasures – Yr Iaith Gymraeg.”

Responding on Twitter to the original comment, the Western Mail’s rugby correspondent Simon Thomas said: “Speak for yourself. One of the daftest tweets I have ever seen on here and that’s saying something.”

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