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Mark Drakeford criticised over lack of Welsh on Senedd election leaflets

27 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Mark Drakeford’s Plaid Cymru opponent in his Cardiff West constituency at the Senedd election has criticised him over a lack of Welsh on his leaflets.

Rhys ab Owen said the monolingual leaflets were an example of Labour’s “empty words” when it comes to their pledge to create a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Some residents in Cardiff West have received a leaflet including ‘news from your local Labour team’ which has only English language text.

Rhys ab Owen accused Labour in Wales of “forgetting to show leadership” on Welsh language targets.

“I have been contacted by constituents who find it incredible that a Labour First Minister is failing so many of his constituents in Cardiff West,” Rhys ab Owen said.

“It’s yet another example of empty words on a million Welsh speakers. You cannot justifiably set a target for 2050 and then walk away from personal responsibility.

“By corresponding with residents bilingually, I hope that I’m able to normalise the use of the Welsh language in an area which is so supportive of the language and which has seen an incredible rise in the number of children attending Welsh-medium education.”

Plaid Cymru within a whisker of capturing Cardiff West at the 2016 Senedd election. That election was fought by candidate Neil McEvoy who is now standing in the same seat for a rival party, Propel.

‘Long-term goal’

The Welsh Government announced an additional £30 million to develop new Welsh-medium education earlier this month.

The capital investment was part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to reach 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050, they said.

Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said at the announcement on 12th March: “Providing first class schools for children in Welsh-medium education is a key driver for Cymraeg 2050. Attending a Welsh-medium school ensures children become at least bilingual.

“We also need to increase the number of learners in English-medium and bilingual schools who are learning Welsh successfully.

“I want to ensure more bilingual schools introduce a greater proportion of the new curriculum in Welsh, to give learners a strong linguistic foundation.

“The funding complements our fantastic 21st century Schools and Colleges programme, which has completed 170 new schools or college projects in its first phase, with 43 new projects in the pipeline.

“We are driving forward the delivery of capital projects to increase the percentage of learners in Welsh-medium education, helping achieve our long-term goal of a million Welsh-speakers by 2050.”

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