Call to boost Welsh in Newport – ‘a lot of ethnic minority people want their children to speak it’
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A Newport councillor has argued that a lot of people from ethnic minority communities want the opportunity for their children to learn Welsh, as the council considered a report on how to boost the Welsh language in the city.
Newport City Council’s Many Faces of Welsh-ness campaign aims to create a Welsh identity and inclusiveness across the city, and avoid the perception that it is, in the words of one councillor, a “white British language”.
The annual Welsh language report was presented to the committee at an Overview and Scrutiny meeting yesterday.
Councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi, who represents Stow Hill, said: “Quite a lot of ethnic minority people want their children to speak Welsh.”
Janice Dent, policy and partnerships manager, said that engaging with the language could help people to feel more at home in Newport and Wales.
“It might be seen as a white British language but we’re trying to engage all communities in Newport in the language,” she said.
The report also referenced the council’s Welsh in the Community Grant scheme which aims to support activities across Newport that promote the language.
In Since May 2021, more than £32,000 has been handed out to local groups and communities – Eglwys Mynnydd Seion used its grant to buy equipment to create a Welsh language podcast, and Meithrin Brynglas used the grant to buy Welsh language toys and resources.
Labour councillor Al-Nuaimi and Conservative councillor Matthew Evans both asked for more detail to be included in the report, in addition to clearer goals to reaching the Welsh Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
In the report, council chief executive Beverly Owen said: “We again recognise that whilst we have made good progress in a number of areas in challenging circumstances, we must continue work to improve our Welsh language performance across all aspects of the council’s functions.”
The report will now go to Cabinet for approval.
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