Welsh Tories criticise council prioritising the Welsh language over English
Welsh Conservatives have criticised a council for prioritising the Welsh language over English.
Gwynedd Council or ‘Cyngor Gwynedd’ as it will now increasingly be known has recently adopted a reformed Welsh Language Policy.
The policy will see staff only using the Welsh name “Cyngor Gwynedd” when referring to the council in written formats, and as part of its corporate image.
The change aims to ensure that the Welsh language will continue to be prioritised in all aspect of the council’s work.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Local Government Minister, Sam Rowlands MS said: “Our aim should always be to promote the Welsh language by giving it parity with English, not prioritising one language over the other.
“It seems that in the minds of some, exclusionary signage is acceptable as long as it is English speakers being excluded.
“We need to ensure that we remain an inclusive nation, given the fact that 80% of the population speaks only English. I would urge Gwynedd Council to rethink their strategy and to keep the bilingual policy in place.”
The move by Gwynedd has been welcomed by Cymdeithas yr Iaith, who are now urging other local authorities to follow suit.
Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas Yr Iaith said: “Gwynedd Council has been working mainly through the Welsh language for years and is an example to other councils and organisations.
“The authority has understood from the beginning that the standards are the minimum, a foundation to build on.
“There is nothing to prevent other organisations from drawing similar language policies to build on the standards in an effort to meet people’s expectations and therefore promote and facilitate wider use of the Welsh language.
“It is a matter of great sadness that many other organisations, several years since the introduction of the standards, still treat them as targets and even boast that they fulfil these minimum statutory requirements in terms of the Welsh language.”
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