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Council is "committed" to the Welsh language

Created on 11/08/2020 @ 07:02
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Powys County Council has stressed that it is committed to supporting and promoting the Welsh language in all parts of the county.

It comes in the wake of a furore caused by comments made by a councillor about the Welsh language.

An online petition was signed by over 1,600 people asking for Cllr Amanda Jenner to be disciplined over remarks she made in an article published on the Conservative Home website – which she insisted was about “empowering” local communities when it came to decision-making.

Portfolio holder for corporate governance and engagement, Cllr Graham Breeze, said:  “The council is committed to providing services in Welsh according to the requirements of the Welsh Language Standards and to treat the Welsh language no less favourably than English in the way in which it provides services to residents and visitors to the county.

“We already provide training for elected members as part of the member training programme on the requirements of the Welsh Language Standards, including service delivery, policy making, operational and promotional standards which are scheduled in the diary.”

Plaud Cymru’s PCC group leader Cllr Elwyn Vaughan welcomed the commitment as a “positive development”.

He said: “I’m pleased that language awareness training has been organised for all councillors.

“Every councillor from whatever political shade, needs to accept the legal fact and reality, that the language is relevant to all parts of Wales.”

He added: “What needs to happen is to build on the good work that already exists, learn why parts of Powys that only recently had a high percentage of Welsh speakers have seen substantial decreases.”

At PCC meeting on Thursday, 30 July, councillors approved the Welsh Annual Standards report.

The report had included criticisms by the Welsh language commissioner, Aled Roberts, but work is being done to improve the council’s use of the language.

At this point Cllr Amanda Jenner who represents Trewern, was criticised for comments she had made in an article.

She said: "I want Welsh language and Welsh culture to be naturally embraced and to grow organically. I don’t want to see the Welsh language forced upon every nook and cranny of Wales, including upon those communities whose traditions and cultures may not have the Welsh Language embedded in them.’

She explained at the meeting that what she wrote was not “solely referring to Powys,” and there are parts that don’t have “Welsh embedded.”

Speaking afterwards, she added: “As explained in my article,  I would like to see communities and local areas empowered and to lead on decision making for more things impacting their area, including growing the Welsh language.

“It is clear that I am talking about policy in the future."

The council’s Conservative group leader Cllr Aled Davies, has strongly defended Cllr Jenner, and pointed out that she had received abuse on social media in the wake of the row.


By Elgan Hearn, Local democracy Reporting Service



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