Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts passes away
The Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts has passed away at the age of 59.
The former Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, from Rhosllannerchrugog, near Wrexham, died yesterday, (February 13) following an illness.
In his role as Commissioner he fought for the rights of Welsh speakers and to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language.
He graduated with a law degree at the University of Aberystwyth in 1983, and he later went on to practice as a solicitor.
His career in politics began when he was first elected to Wrexham County Borough Council in 1991 for the Rhos and Ponciau Ward. In 2003 he became Mayor of Wrexham and the following year was voted in as Leader of the council.
In the 2011 election for the then National Assembly for Wales, he was elected as a Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, going on to become the party’s spokesperson for Children and Young People and for the Welsh language. In the 2016 Assembly election his North Wales regional seat was captured by UKIP.
Following the election he conducted an independent review of Local Authorities’ Welsh Education Strategic Plans for the Welsh Government.
In February 2019, he was chaired the Board that was responsible for implementing the recommendations outlined in his review.
In April 2019 he was appointed by the Welsh Government to the role of Welsh Language Commissioner, succeeding Meri Huws in the post.
Aled was also very active within his local community, and has been a member of the Stiwt Arts Community Centre committee since it was established in the 1980s.
He was a member of the Flintshire Disability Forum and spent time offering his help to the Wrexham Warehouse Project for homeless young people. He also sang with two choirs in the area.
Deputy Welsh Language Commissioner, Gwenith Price, said: “Aled was a warm character with an extraordinary talent to bring people together.
“His love for his community, and his passion for the growth of the Welsh language in north-east Wales, drove him to want to see change which would benefit the whole nation.
“People were at the centre of everything he did. He had a firm vision for increasing rights for Welsh speakers, and for ensuring justice where he saw unfairness. He wished to see a Wales where every citizen had the opportunity to speak and use the language. His enthusiasm was unmatched, and he continued to work throughout his illness. It was a privilege to work with him.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of his death, and we know that everyone who has worked with him will feel the same.
“Our thoughts today are with his family; with his wife, Llinos, and their sons, Ifan and Osian, his mother and sister. Our deepest condolences to them in their loss.”
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