Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg – the Welsh Language Society – has accused Penarth Town Council of what it calls “contempt” towards the Welsh Language following the council’s decision this week to use English rather than Welsh for new street-names in the town.
The Society asserts that none of the council’s officers can speak Welsh, not a single one of the councillors speaks Welsh and claims that the council’s official website doesn’t have a single word of Welsh in it apart from “Penarth” . [See PDN Note at end of item*]
Cymdeithas yr Iaith also criticises the published job-description drawn up prior to the appointment of the new Town Clerk which specified that the “ability to speak or
understand Welsh” was a “desirable” attribute for candidates – rather than being an essential one. The society claims the council is not treating Welsh and English equally – as it is obliged to do by statute.
The decision to adopt English-language names [suggested by pupils at St Joseph’s School] for streets on an adjacent new housing estate on Sully Road is – the Society claims – contrary to Vale of Glamorgan Council policy.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith has now written to the Vale of Glamorgan Council and to the Welsh Language Commissioner.
Meanwhile there is an accolade for at least one Penarth councillor.
In its latest press release the Welsh Language Society offers its thanks to Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) who – the Society says – is “probably the only councillor who has any thought about the value of the Welsh Language”.
* [ PDN Note: In fact the Council website does now contain pdf files of council agendas translated into Welsh. The council’s external publicity material is published bilingually. The council’s official Welsh Language Policy document appears on http://www.penarthtowncouncil.gov.uk/Core/Penarth-Town-Council/UserFiles/Files/PTC%20Welsh%20Language%20Scheme.pdf but only in English.]