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Language campaigners call for action to reverse the decline of Welsh speakers in Ceredigion

22 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Photo Cymdeithas yr Iaith

Welsh Language campaigners have challenged Ceredigion Council over the decline in Welsh speakers recorded in the 2021 Census results.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the percentage of Welsh speakers in the county fell from 47.3% in 2011 to 45.3% in 2021.

In 2021, there were around 3,300 fewer Welsh-speaking Ceredigion residents (over the age of three years) compared with 2011.

Ceredigion also recorded the largest population decline in Wales over the last 10 years at 5.9% according to the Census, and the average age of residents increased by five years, from 42 to 47 years of age.

At an open meeting yesterday attended by the council leader Bryan Davies and other members of the cabinet, Cymdeithas yr Iaith urged the council to move to work through the Welsh language, to ensure that the county’s children receive education through the Welsh language and to use new powers to tackle second homes and holiday homes.

Responsibility

Tamsin Davies on behalf of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Ceredigion said: “Ceredigion saw the biggest drop in population in Wales over the last decade, and figures show that it is mainly young people that are leaving the county.

“There are many reasons for this – lack of job opportunities, lack of affordable housing and cuts to services. People in power, who create and set policy, need to take responsibility for tackling this.

“We were therefore pleased that the members of the council’s cabinet and the leader of the council were there to hear and to contribute.”

According to the census data, the percentage of people able to speak Welsh decreased in all local authorities except Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil between 2011 and 2021.

Overall, Carmarthenshire saw the largest decrease in Welsh speakers, with a fall from 43.9% in 2011 to 39.9% in 2021, a fall of 4.1 percentage points.

Carmarthenshire had also recorded the largest decline between the 2001 and 2011 Census.

Ms Davies added: “The meeting was the starting point, and it will be the basis for Cymdeithas’ campaigns in the county and an opportunity for us to work with the county’s communities to prevent a further fall in the number of Welsh speakers and communities.

“But we have set a challenge to the County Council as well – to respond positively to the results of the Census by addressing the issues raised today.”


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Frank
Frank
9 days ago

I do not believe this claim at all. Schoolchildren, more than ever, are being taught through the medium of Cymraeg so the figures should be increasing. One could put it down to refugees from across the border moving here in droves and watering down the Welsh-speaking population.

Sikejsudjek
Sikejsudjek
9 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Except that the population is dropping so its not immigration causing it!

Dai
Dai
9 days ago
Reply to  Frank

16% of students being taught in Welsh medium today is not enough to make up for the 150+ years where Welsh was totally excluded and discouraged in the education system

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
8 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Frank – I see (to date: 23/01/23 at 1.45pm) that 4 people have clicked on the ‘disagree/dislike’ button with regard to your comment. However, speaking as a first-language Welsh-speaker in north Pembrokeshire, I have observed the decline of our Welsh-speaking communities over the decades and you are correct. Demographic shift is, in large part responsible for the percentage drop in Welsh-speakers in regions such as mine and just about anywhere in Wales which has lovely countryside and had cheap house prices and no jobs for young people. There are no longer any cheap houses of course, and that is part… Read more »

Iago
Iago
9 days ago

This is a nationwide problem in Wales. The Welsh leaders and people have sold their souls to hammer and sickle nationalism where the language, history and culture have no place in their future Wales. They think listening to or singing Yma o Hyd and the anthem is enough to prove their patriotism. The tunes just enter their ears, but the words mean nothing. Lost and soulless people of Wales you have nobody to blame but yourselves!

Cilmeri
Cilmeri
9 days ago

Four simple policies that would help stem the tide.
1. All those employed in the public sector – particularly all roles in the council should be fluent Welsh speakers.
2. Penglais Lampeter , Tregaron and Cardigan become Welsh Medium Schools. No English medium primary schools
3 300% council tax on all second houses with the exception of local businesses such as family farms who have converted out houses as businesses
4. Any local youth club, youth activity to be available in Welsh.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
9 days ago
Reply to  Cilmeri

Great idea “NOT”- all public sector workers fluent Welsh speakers – we cannot get enough Drs and Nurses now so goodness knows were these Welsh speakers are going to come from. The reality is that over 70% of people who live in Wales do not speak Welsh – yes encourage the welsh language but forcing it like you want will just encourage more people to leave Wales.

Frank
Frank
8 days ago

When using the word “forced” remember that the English language was “forced” on us. That’s different of course isn’t it?

Dafydd
Dafydd
8 days ago

The main problem is rural stagnation caused by Welsh Gov policies on Housing and Planning. It is virtually impossible to obtain planning in rural areas as WG insist that new builds should be on bus routs. This policy is excused by the carbon reduction attempt but in reality it is welsh labours attempt to keep the masses in poverty. Secondly the abandonment of local housing policy that gave priority to young working couples has also resulted in forcing young people to move to other areas as local housing stock is prioritised towards the so called homeless that usually come from… Read more »

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