PENARTH TOWN COUNCIL IS REFERRED TO THE OMBUDSMAN FOR WALES

Penarth Town Council offices at West House, Stanwell Road  no longer flies any flgas

Penarth Town Council no longer flies any flags on its five flag-poles 

The Penarth branch of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Cymraeg [The Welsh Language Society] has referred Penarth Town Council to the Ombudsman for Wales over its alleged non-compliance with legislation on the Welsh Language.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Nick Bennett

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Nick Bennett

The Society has written to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, pointing out, that under the law, public authorities in Wales must treat the Welsh Language no less favourably than the English language.

The Welsh Language Society – which has campaigned to defend the language for over half-a-century – claims that none of Penarth Town Council’s staff speaks Welsh and also (wrongly) asserts that council’s revamped website is in “English only ” .

For Welsh-language users there is a "Translate" button (bottom of screen right hand side) which converts everythiing into Welsh

For Welsh-language users there is a “Translate” button (bottom of screen right hand side) which converts most text into Welsh

[PDN Note: The Society may not have spotted the “translate” button (see left) on the bottom of the screen which enables much of the content of Penarth Council’s new web-site to be accessed in Welsh.]

 The Society complains that meetings of the council are all in English only . It also asserts – more contentiously – that the public is “not welcome” to express their views in Welsh at such meetings.

The letter says that thousands of people in and around Penarth are Welsh-speaking and are paying the salaries and expenses of councillors and council staff  who “refuse to recognise” what is the official language of Wales.

Penarth Town Council has this week installed a bi-lingual notice at the entrance to the town cemetery

Penarth Town Council has this week installed a bi-lingual notice at the entrance to the town cemetery

The Society says some bilingual members of the public feel more comfortable expressing themselves in Welsh – particularly when “dealing with jurisdiction” – and are being disadvantaged by not being able to do so.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith tells the Ombusdman  – whose role is to investigate “maladministration” – that Penarth Council is “discriminating” against its members and against the  “thousands” of people in and around the town who speak Welsh. 

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14 Responses to PENARTH TOWN COUNCIL IS REFERRED TO THE OMBUDSMAN FOR WALES

  1. Cymdeithas yr Iaith are sometimes thier own worst enemy. Yes they are needed but i think they can nit pick a little to much which makes them seem petty.

  2. Henry Johntson says:

    When I moved to Wales many years ago, I thought good on them and their likes for supporting a separate language cause. But unfortunately these little publicity stunts makes be feel utter contempt for them. Small minded, people in bedsits with an enormous chips on their collective shoulders. If people wanted to speak Welsh they would do so without having roads signs translated for them. Do people watch S4C, NO. Do they listen to BBC Cymru, NO. Do they read Welsh Papers (insert one here if you can think of any) No.
    A sad minority of people, who can not accept things move on.

    Cue, the replies from as the usual posters, spouting vitriol……

    • snoggerdog says:

      henry i come in peace, (& agree),we will stand together,at the bar,by the way its your round!

    • Ralf says:

      It looks like you got the vitriol in first.
      Judging by your comment “with an enormous chips on their collective shoulders” it looks like you’re having some difficulty with English never mind Welsh.

  3. Local Penarth Resident (born in Wales) says:

    This will end up costing us all money. Is it true in the Welsh speaking parts of Wales there are money trees a plenty?
    Can we refer Cymdiethasyriaith to the common sense ombudsman.

  4. Mr. Tim Gould says:

    No replies yet from the land of sour grapes?
    The reason is the english text must be taken to the bard of translation, he then scribes the translated text onto velum where it it read out loud at a ceremony held between large blue stones with small children dressed as sheep baaing their diss-approval.
    Only when this happens do the fellows of the Cymdeithas order the few who actually speak english to reply on here to say they are the chosen people of Wales.
    It is further complicated as none own a computer or smart phone. They instead have to find a local telephone kiosk and phone the “dial a comment” service, run by Dai-the-Internet
    So, it may take a day or two, but the process has now firmly started and you will be all in for a good tongue lashing.

    • Don says:

      What a ridiculous and condescending post. For the record I don’t agree with most of what cymdeithas y iaith do but someone had to stand up for the language, be it right or wrong. Your post is a disgrace making out Welsh speakers are backwards. Shame on you.

      • Tim Gould says:

        I presume you are being sarcastic too. Some do have smart phones, but it seems very few have any sense of humour.

  5. zanksky says:

    These annoying people are wasting council tax payers money and council time. i believe it is a very small minority of individuals that just like the sound of their introverted voices. They do an injustice to all Welsh speaking people with common sense (which is by far the majority) and certainly do not represent a majority view. As I see it the council does what it can to be representative of all legitimate interests in our town, and does a pretty good and balanced job considering the limited budget. All this challenge will do is channel our (council tax payers) money away from worthwhile community use to satisfy the small minded appetites of a divisive few. Let’s hope the ombudsman kicks their case into the long grass – or better still, into the Bristol Channel..

  6. jojo says:

    By law welsh has to be given equal prominence to English in all written work. Therefore a “translate” button dies breach this.
    With new more stringent welsh language policy emerging this year, Penarth council must put their house in order or face huge fines

  7. Mr E Vole says:

    Fine will probably be cheaper than the excessive expenditure to comply in full.

  8. Johnabutt says:

    The sign on the cemetery had become unreadable in any language, so replacing it would have been needed anyway. Comes out of the R & M budget.

  9. I’m sure people will lay out the arguments on both sides and much discussion will be had on this blog post. But there is ONE incontestable, inarguable fact:
    * An awful lot of public money will be spent on investigating this.

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