Plaid Cymru launches a year-long conversation on the future of the Welsh language
The Party of Wales is today launching a year-long consultation on the future of the Welsh language, to coincide with the release of localised census figures. The aim of the consultation is to put forward concrete proposals which can be implemented by a Plaid Cymru government following the 2016 Assembly election.
The consultation will go live on the party’s website on Thursday January 31st and will be open for a year. The party will encourage submissions of evidence from members, non-party members, Welsh speakers and those who may not speak the language, but are supportive of it, as well as organisations to contribute to an open and honest debate. The consultation will also be supported with a series of public meetings over the next year which will take place across Wales.
The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood said:
“What the census figures showed us is that despite positive actions and good intentions, the Welsh language continues to lose strength. Only far-reaching and radical action will reverse this trend, and this is why we need a clear plan to implement when Plaid Cymru form the government of Wales.
“We are proud of what Plaid Cymru has achieved over the years but we know that there is much more that needs to be done. We want the Welsh Government to take initial steps to tackle this problem now, such as by implementing the existing standards from the Welsh language measure, by strengthening our mentrau iaith to ensure effectiveness in their work, and to reform public sector procurement regulations to apply Welsh language clauses.
“The Welsh language belongs to everyone in Wales, and it is vitally important that everyone has their say. The Welsh language cannot survive on consensus and good will alone. It needs government support and practical action to grow and thrive, and that is what Plaid Cymru intends to deliver when we form a government in 2016.”
The Party of Wales’s Director of Policy Heledd Fychan said:
“Now is not the time to rest on our laurels, and hope for the best. Unless decisive action is taken, the Welsh language will die as a community language. We need to tackle head on why certain policies aren't as successful as were initially hoped, and radically rethink how we will ensure a future for the Welsh language as a living and dynamic language.This consultation will tackle difficult issues surrounding the language head on, and encourage everyone in Wales to have their say.
“We need to bring everyone's concerns to the forefront - from those of Welsh speakers to learners or supporters or even those who are currently hostile to the language - and come up with a plan that will give the Welsh language a clear role within a modern and independent Wales. It is said in Welsh - cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon (A nation without a language is a nation without a heart). We cannot allow Wales to lose a language that is a central part of it's very soul and essence.”
The consultation can be accessed here: http://www.renew.plaidcymru.org/