Pedestrian signage in Penarth is now bi-lingual - with Welsh taking precedence

Pedestrian signage in Penarth is now bi-lingual – with Welsh taking precedence

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ is to consider tomorrow a “Draft Welsh Language Promotion Strategy” which aims to increase the number of people who speak Welsh in Penarth and in the rest of the Vale.

The council is having to comply with a Welsh Assembly Labour Government diktat which requires every local authority in Wales to comply with a 172-point list setting out what they will do to increase the use of Welsh in their respective areas.

First Minister Carwyn wearing Gorsedd robes

Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones wearing Gorsedd robes

The Welsh Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones – who is himself a member of the Gorsedd  – has set a target of there being 1,000,000 (one million) Welsh speakers in Wales by the year 2050 – a target which has already been ridiculed  by the Welsh nationalist party – Plaid Cymru – as “another superficial stunt”.

The 2011 UK Census actually reported a drop in the number of Welsh speakers from 582,000 in 2001 to 562,000, about one in five of the population.

The number of Welsh speakers in Penarth – according to the UK Census –  dropped from 11.4% in 2001 to 11.2% in 2011.  In Penarth a total of 2,226 people can speak Welsh . Most of those are schoolchildren aged between 10 and 14 reflecting what the strategy document calls “the enormous influence of the education system, in particular the growth of  Welsh-medium schools in recent years”.

The draft Welsh Language Strategy document for the Vale of Glamorgan

The draft Welsh Language Strategy document for the Vale of Glamorgan

The strategy document is also to set a “target for increasing or maintaining the percentage of Welsh speakers” – which will be reviewed  every 5 years.

There is to be a six-week period of “public consultation”  on the strategy and the final implementation of the scheme is to be decided by the Vale Council by March 31st 2017

The areas covered in the strategy include:-

  • Welsh medium education
  • Language transmission in the home
  • Welsh for adults
  • Children, young people and families
  • Community and leisure activities
  • Welsh in the workplace.

The council is also to consider increasing the increasing the number of Vale Council Welsh-speaking staff and will discuss how it will provide “simultaneous translation services” for people who wish to follow council and committee meetings in Welsh. [ PDN Note: So far – the council admits – there has not been a single request from any member of the public for simultaneous translation of council proceedings] .

Meanwhile the pupil capacity of  Welsh-medium primary schools is to be increased from the current figure 1,693 to 2,100 places by 2017.

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  1. Peter Church says:

    People don’t speak nor want to speak Welsh in Penarth, I have never ever over heard a conversation in Welsh in Penarth, it’s a semi dead language, get over it and move on.
    Spend the money on things people actually want.

  2. Chris David says:

    What an utter waste of time and money. If people want to learn Welsh then great. But this force it on you attitude alienates people so is counter productive. Wales already spends half a billion pounds a year on Welsh and for what? Optional opt in policy only is what is required.

    • Chris David says:

      Hi – well I have some dialogue with the WG you might be interested in. How do you suggest contact? I wouldn’t put my phone number or private email on here! Chris

  3. Clive says:

    Current Welsh Gov policy to favour Welsh Speakers significantly limits talent pool which is an unspoken issue. I would prefer to see the monies invested to preserve the rich cultural heritage rather than the present approach it has had little impact thus far and what is proposed is more of the same .

    • Simon says:

      What? To be pilloried by the right-on ‘readers’ of Media Wales? Sorry, you must think us daft!

  4. Peter Church says:

    True, we probably don’t mix in the same circles.
    As I have never been to the Cymru Socialist Clwb for spending money that other people have earned, where real names are also not required 🙂

  5. Mr L. Doyle says:

    This in my humble opinion is a waste of valuable resources. The Labour controlled Vale council should be spending more money supporting on our under funded charity sector in Penarth and Barry.
    Having Welsh only speaking charities is divisive, no matter how good the intention was in the first place.
    May I congratulate the editor on the picture of Carwyn Jones, it reminded me of the Hollywood musical La La Land.

    • Mr L. Doyle says:

      Here is the poster for Labour-La-La-Land.

      • Frank Evans says:

        Haha la La labour. They make a song and dance about things they don’t control while education transport and the Welsh NHS go down the bed pan.

    • Frank Evans says:

      Welsh media in particular bbc wales dare not criticise anything to do with the language or culture. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Some of the more enlightened stories on Wales originate in the likes of private eye. As a trainee journalist your goal will be the bbc so I doubt you’ll report views accurately.

  6. Mgg says:

    Spend the money on something else ? You know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.
    I remember when Exeter demolished large parts of the Roman wall to build a inner ring road. And we criticise Isis for demolishing Palmyra out of spite. ! Like any situation there will always be extremists but because they shout the loudest isn’t a reason to do the same and knee jerk . Do you actually want to remove the Welsh language from existence and only use English ? That’s called colonisation . P.S. IM English and don’t have to wonder why we are so disliked us in our ex colonies / encroachment.

    • Chris David says:

      I very much doubt you’re English. Its a myth. Anyway if you want Welsh pay for it yourself.

  7. I have friends who were taught in Welsh-medium schools and they find it incredibly difficult changing over to being taught in English at College, University, or when they start employment.
    In my opinion those attending Welsh-medium school are not prepared for any sort of future education.
    I’ve heard other languages spoken in Penarth but not Welsh.

    • Dafydd says:

      That doesn’t matter, Martin. They don’t need to bother with further education. Made for life see, speaking Welsh. They get a job at the Assembly or as a translator and coin it in.

      • Owen says:

        So learning it leads to secure local jobs but it’s a waste of time getting people to learn it?

      • So the target is for a million people to work for the Welsh or local government by 2050? I see!

      • Tim says:

        Owen, they may get jobs pen pushing in the Assembly but it’s all (English) tax payer funded. Wales doesn’t have a self sufficient economy yet it is happy to take money to prop up a language and provide ‘secure local jobs’ (as you laughably put it). Meanwhile, very ill people wait on stretchers for hours in A&E…but as long as you’ve got your nice little number in the Bay, who cares, hey? Lechyd da!

  8. John Evans says:

    Don’t these people know that Brexit means Brexit? Encouraging Welsh speaking immigrants into wales? How could they allow such a thing?

  9. Mark Foster says:

    Hey Lindsay never mind Welsh. Lets ban the Oracle Christophe from Dordogneshire jusqu’à ce qu’il apprend le français. He’s an embarrassment to his fellow rosbifs. He only knows two languages English and Rubbish.

    • Chris David says:

      Were you in the navy Foster|? Its just I heard someone call you “anchor” 🙂 xx

  10. Mark says:

    And you, Lindsay, the lonesome (?) again on one of your favourite subjects – rallying against anyone who doesn’t hold your right-on views.

  11. Mark says:

    I admire the self delusion of these Welsh speakers – thinking they’re superior and persistently banging the same tired drum, not least when it’s evident to the majority of people (albeit of a superior intellect) that these ‘Welsh speakers’ are making the most awful fool of themselves, shouting away and making a spectacle.

  12. snoggerdog says:

    shwmae butt

  13. Once more a brain dead idea gets put forward and most ridiculous of all are the new bilingual signposts , another waste of money , dear oh dear oh dear do these people never learn? I totally agree with Peter Church, Welsh is a dying language no country in the world uses it .and people like Carwyn Jones are living in La La Land not Britain, the man is a clown and a self delusional. We no longer speak Anglo Saxon or Medieval English as time has moved and no one wants to dress up in a pair of curtains anymore like Mr Jones seems to enjoy. Apart from the few fanatics that is.

  14. Beth says:

    Agree Linda. There are lots of Welsh speakers in Penarth and the rest of the Vale. I’m one.

  15. hopenotnasty says:

    Well said. Two dinosaurs still around I sense not for long.

  16. Ralf says:

    Why do you assume that you speak for everybody?.
    The fact that you have never heard a conversation in Welsh in Penarth says more about you than about the language.
    Do you ever have occasion to sing our national anthem?.

  17. Chris David says:

    That’s and idea “Lindsay” Why don’t you meet up with us – or me anyway. Mr Church has the odd pop at me so may not be obliging and Clive I can’t speak for either. But it would be good practice at flattening the feckless for me anyway- all welcome to the “Lindsay” Lecture eh! Are you brave enough? Ps- I have heard a conversation in Welsh here. Victoria Junior where the rude insular teachers would try and hide their little dio-tribes from us children.

  18. Robert says:

    Yes I haven’t heard a Welsh conversation in Penarth. Ops apart from the those bickering at Dyffryn gardens with the big prams and cars trying to out do each other.

  19. Frank Evans says:

    Why do they insist on wasting money on vanity schemes. Trouble is the sort of people who complain about standard of debate while supporting stupid policies and not putting up any proper arguments.

  20. Gretchla says:

    With budgets already stretched to their absolute maximum, I find it very difficult to agree with money being diverted from health/education/social service budgets to accommodate the ever increasing number of Welsh Language edicts.

  21. penarthblog says:

    I’m English and I use Welsh everyday in Penarth, on buses, trains, in taxis, shops, pubs and cafes.

    • Richard the Lionheart says:

      Whoopee Doo. Still puts you in the minority. Maybe the train company could provide an all Welsh speaking carriage…give the rest of us some peace

  22. LJS says:

    The language/iath will find its own level, if it is of use, people will use and speak it, if it isn’t then it won’t be use. To spend vast sums on support at a time when health needs are great and poverty exists, is I believe a poor use of public money.
    I learned Welsh at school, passed exams in it but have rare use for it. People who seek to use Welsh should be given every opportunity to use it and supported but I believe public money should not be used to force the use of it.

  23. Ian Symonds says:

    When comments are made about people not speaking Welsh in Penarth I am reminded of my mother’s experience having a conversation in Welsh with a friend whilst shopping in Penarth in the 60s when they were interrupted by a woman saying ‘Speak English when in England’. Wrong on so many levels and I would like to think that such bigotry against Welsh no longer exists.

  24. Big Davey says:

    Why not look to Quebec as the model. They enforce a language that is actually useful elsewhere in the world – French.

    They have language police and have policed most businesses out of Quebec, it is a complete wasteland and a basket case, but they have achieved what is left is in French!

  25. Big Davey says:

    Thinking about 1m million Welsh speakers as the target, that is as many people that are employed by government in Wales.

    Why not force all govt’ employees to learn and speak Welsh and give the rest of us a break.

    • End the waste says:

      Big Davey as a government employee I can assure you they try every way they can to force us to use welsh. Job vacancies are increasingly demanding a knowledge of welsh. I have to answer the phone in welsh. All this means an ever smaller pool of talent to recruit from and a likelihood the general public will receive a poorer service.

      • Big Davey says:

        You have my empathy.

        As you say, a very small gene pool to chose from.

        Just look at the calibre of our assembly members. They couldn’t get a decent job in the real world yet they have massive salaries and benefits and many are near literate and or enumerate.

  26. Richard the Lionheart says:

    Such a fantastic way to waste much needed funds, if there were a public vote on this proposal,it would end up trashed. The Taffia needs to wake up or move to the north ! Bunch of basket cases.

  27. snoggerdog says:

    maybe we should be learning arabic,when the muslims take charge of allahs land (the uk) simply by force of numbers i think we should as my scouts motto went “be prepared”.

  28. Freddie says:

    Made all the better by your usual quality contribution, Lindsay.

  29. Chris David says:

    End the waste. For a few years I ran the S East office for a business section of the WG. We had to order all our marketing literature in equal quantities – Welsh English. There was an awful lot of it. We had an expensive so called cross-cutting department to ensure we all complied. After the first year we had so much paper in Welsh left over I asked my assistant to telephone the 3 other regions and offer the left overs (95%) to them. The response from all regions- please don’t send us anything. Most of our literature is still in boxes not needed or asked for- indeed refused. And it doesn’t end there. Disgraceful and you the reader are paying for all this as is the environment. Opt in policy required. We could save the thick end of half a billion a year and spend it on health and core education.

    • Hilary says:

      I agree, it’s shocking. Meanwhile the Welsh Assembly purports to be progressive with its 5p carrier bag charge in the name of the environment while wasting zillions of pounds and trees printing ‘literature’ nobody reads.

  30. Lizzyloo says:

    What you say Mr David is probably true of many households in Penarth – I certainly would like to see the dual mail stopped, building up mountains of waste paper, a hazard to the environment as well. Give people a choice as to whether they require everything in dual language and I am sure they would opt out immediately. English is fine, we all understand it, those who want Welsh should pay for it and not the entire population!

  31. Paul says:

    Carwyn Jones looks like a Welsh muslim, in his chador:

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