Monmouthshire County Council is rising to the challenge set by Cymraeg 2050, the Welsh Government’s target of a million Welsh speakers living in the country by the middle of the century. Currently about 560,000 people in Wales speak the language – almost 20% of the population.
The council has made impressive steps to promote the language following the introduction of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure in 2011. This legislation allocated 176 standards to the council for compliance, with the majority to be completed by 1st April 2016.
Progress since then has included:
- A fully bilingual website
- The council’s Facebook and Twitter social media accounts are in Welsh and English
- All press releases are bilingual
- A bespoke Welsh language phone line has been installed
- Over 98% of vacancies are now assessed as Welsh language desirable
- The National Eisteddfod hosted by the council in Abergavenny last summer was a massive success attracting over 140,000 visitors
- A massive increase in people wanting to learn Welsh in Monmouthshire; the number of learners has more than doubled from 225 in 2016 to 467 this year and classes have increased from 19 to 47
- 65 members of the council’s staff have attended Welsh language classes in the workplace
Meanwhile, the call for Welsh-medium education within Monmouthshire continues to grow.
Councillor Sara Jones, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for the Welsh language said: “Promoting the language and complying with the Welsh Language Standards are huge challenges, as is the government’s Cymraeg 2050 initiative, but the council is working hard to achieve success. More people demonstrating a demand for the language puts us in a better position to satisfy that demand.”
For further information on Monmouthshire’s Welsh language policy contact Welsh Language Officer, Alan Burkitt – firstname.lastname@example.org