When it comes to Monmouthshire and the Welsh Language many people would find it hard to believe that the Welsh Language in this border county could be said to be in a very strong position.
- At the time of Monmouthshire County Council’s first Welsh Language Scheme in 1998, the level of demand for Welsh-language services in the county was, by any estimation at an all-time low. The 1991 census had revealed that only 2.3% of Monmouthshire’s population spoke Welsh, and there seemed little indication that the fortunes of the language would ever revive in the area.
- However, the census of 2001 revealed that major changes had occurred and were continuing to occur in the linguistic profile of the county. The establishment of the two Welsh-medium primary schools, Ysgol y Ffin and Ysgol Gymraeg y Fenni, the incorporation of Welsh into the national curriculum and a growing interest among residents of all ages in learning the language were all reflected in a substantial increase in the number of people identified as Welsh speakers: a total of 9.3% of the county’s population. The growth in the number of young Welsh speakers was particularly notable. Also Welsh speakers from traditional (Welsh speaking areas have either moved to the area to work in the major towns and cities of the region or grandparents moving to provide family care support.)
- The Census of 2011 once more revealed a slight increase in the numbers of Welsh speakers living in Monmouthshire from 9.3% to 9.9% or 8,780 people (remarkably one of only 2 of the 22 Councils in Wales to see an increase). The authority are proud to have played a part in this due to the Welsh language service it provides as a council, and also at both school and adult learner level, which are both thriving at present in the County.
In the recent past there have been a number of other key events that have happened that have had a positive effect on the Welsh Language in the county:
- As a result of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 the council was allocated a set of Welsh Language Standards which it has had to comply with fully.
- The Eisteddfod Genedlaethol was held in Monmouthshire in August 2016 and brought about an unbelievable resurgence in demand for learning the language in the county which continues to this day.
- The council published a Welsh Language Strategy in 2017 which set out its vision for the Welsh language in the county for the period 2017 – 2022. (This is to be updated early in 2022)
- The Children and Young Peoples Directorate published their 3 year Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) in 2017. (This document is to be updated towards the end of 2021 and will be a 10 year strategy).
- Welsh Language 5 year Strategy 2022-27
- Monmouthshire and the Welsh Language Consultation
- Welsh Education Strategic Plan 2017 2020
- Welsh Language Annual Monitoring Report 2020 2021
- WL Standards Compliance +monitoring report 2020 2021
- Monmouthshire Welsh Language Standards
- MCC Welsh Language Complaints Policy 2021
Welsh Medium Education
Welsh Medium education in the county continues to thrive with parents realising the value of their children being educated through the medium of Welsh. The County has two primary schools, one in Abergavenny and one in Caldicot whilst secondary provision is met by Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool and Ysgol Gyfun Is-Coed in Newport.
Adult Education Welsh classes are as ever in great demand and classes are held all over the county both during the day and in the evening in a large variety of towns and venues.
The local Menter Iaith (Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Mynwy) continues to go from strength to strength and continues to have a very positive influence across the 3 counties and on the many hundreds of speakers and learners it supports:
Finally Monmouthshire and its near neighbours have a number of Welsh clubs and societies at which the language can be spoken and practiced:
Learning and practice opportunities
Welsh Language Complaints
Welsh Language, Standards & Compliance
The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 established a legal framework to impose duties on certain organisations to comply with standards in relation to the Welsh language by way of sub-legislation (Welsh Language Regulation Standards). The standards issued to Monmouthshire County Council are listed in the Monmouthshire County Council Compliance Notice – Section 44 Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011’. Please see the link above.
Complaints or Concerns regarding the Welsh Language will follow the timeframes and steps highlighted in the Council’s Corporate Complaints Policy. The Council, as this policy has already referred to, will make sure that the investigating officers consult with any relevant legislation before determining whether the authority or service area has acted in accordance with legislative requirements or in line with approved policies and procedures.
Complaints regarding the Welsh language and potential non-compliance with the Welsh Language Standards will be led by the Equality and Welsh Language Policy Officer in conjunction with the Corporate Complaints Manager and officers from the directorates or service areas in question. Officers will follow this corporate approach when dealing with any complaints concerning the Welsh Language.
If you feel that the complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily or that someone is interfering with your freedom to use Welsh, you may exercise you right to complain directly to the Welsh Language Commissioner. You can contact the Welsh Language Commissioner by:
- Phone: 0845 6033221
- Email: email@example.com
- Writing to: The Welsh Language Commissioner, Market Chambers, 5-7 St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1AT
If you wish to discuss any Welsh Language issues please contact Alan Burkitt (Welsh Language Officer) on 01633 644010 or firstname.lastname@example.org