Fears new Welsh Language Commissioner could be ‘trying to turn back the clock’ on role
Language campaigners have raised concerns that the proposed new Welsh Language Commissioner could be “trying to turn back the clock” on the role’s functions, following a Senedd Culture Committee hearing today, 13 October.
The favoured candidate for the position suggested that she would like to see the Commissioner doing less regulatory work imposing language duties on bodies and more “soft” promotional work, language rights group Cymdeithas yr Iaith has said.
Aled Powell, Chair of the Cymdeithas yr Iaith said: “In 2017, the Government announced plans to weaken the Commissioner’s role and the Standards and introduce more soft promotion, despite there being no demand for such a move.
“Following widespread objection, those plans to weaken the legislation were dropped due to lack of support. The last thing we need is to turn back the clock and waste everyone’s time and energy returning to this old debate five years later.
“The Welsh Language Commissioner’s role is to impose Standards on bodies and ensure Welsh language services for the people of Wales in their everyday lives, without them being at the disadvantage of having to spend their own time trying to get organisations to comply with the law.
“The Commissioner is a small organisation but it can have significant influence if it focuses its resources on that and does its work effectively. At the moment there are organisations breaking the Standards repeatedly, and there are many important organisations and companies who aren’t yet included within the scope of the Standards.
“Anyone trying to live their lives through the medium of Welsh will know full well how far we have to go in that respect, so the focus of the Commissioner’s work has to be regulation, as legislated for relatively recently.”
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Interesting comment that “The favoured candidate for the position suggested that she would like to see the Commissioner doing less regulatory work imposing language duties on bodies and more “soft” promotional work, “. What’s to stop her and her team doing both, a mix of regulatory and the softer stuff ? I suspect that our modern breed of politicians and governance wonks like the soft stuff because it makes the job cushier and avoids confrontation. Sometimes a streak of meanness is called for to push change in those harder corners.
Where are the intellectual rabble rousers that motivated Cymric pride and patriotism since the days of Taliesin, Llywelyn, Glyndwr, the Tudor family of Anglese y…..?
Is it a Labour thing or a Senedd thing?
It’s pretty obvious to most people that businesses and institutions need to be dragged kicking and screaming into provision of services in Cymraeg.
It’s clearly this Commissioner’s role to enforce that, as asking politely clearly hasn’t worked and won’t work.
They need to understand that we’re not requesting this, but demanding it as our legal right.
We need to SHOUT more.
Yes very true
How can you protect something if the very the ones entrusted with its future are themselves undermining its very foundations.
I contacted the Welsh Language Commissioner some time back to report a big company who was breaking the Welsh Language Measure but not providing bilingual announcements, only English.
I did not even receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the email sent!
I made a formal complaint about Welsh language provision on trains and buses in Gwynedd last week and to be fair I received two responses almost by return, one accepting the complaint about the Welsh ministers in respect of the train services, which is a public body and thus within the scope of the WLM, and a second explaining that the buses, being a private company is not but advising how to deal with the complaint and saying they would raise it with the company i.e. using their ‘soft power’ approach. The problem is there is a gaping hole in… Read more »
“We should all be ‘commissioners’ for the Welsh language all the time” – much as I said in a comment on the earlier article on this matter. If we as users don’t push for our rights as speakers then we are consigning the language into the “out of sight, out of mind” box which is where many in the Bay bubble want it. Just another step in the process of assimilation if we allow it.
There doesn’t seem to be much enforcement of the use of Welsh as it is at the moment without watering it down further