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More Welsh Government action needed to support our language - Aled Roberts

2013 Ionawr 30 3:55 PM

The Welsh Labour Government is failing in its Welsh Language Strategy according to Aled Roberts AM, commenting on detailed results from the 2011 census released today which show that the number of people who speak Welsh in many of our communities has fallen in the past 10 years.

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, commented:

"Whilst the figures for some areas indicate an increase in the use of Welsh, I am concerned that traditional Welsh-speaking heartlands are losing their Welsh speakers.

"The Welsh Labour Government can take little comfort in the increase in demand for Welsh-medium education if those children have lost their language skills within five years of leaving school.

"We need to create a situation where young people are given the opportunity to use the Welsh language in their workplace and in their everyday lives. Although there is a strategy in place, it seems that monitoring that strategy and making sure language targets are met is not a priority for this Government. I welcome the announcement by the Welsh Language Commissioner stating that they are to set up an observatory to consider policy options regarding the Welsh language. This is something the Welsh Labour government must engage with to halt the decline in the number of people who speak Welsh.

"Wales' education inspectorate Estyn recently produced a report which highlighted gaps in teachers' knowledge which were having a negative impact on the learning of Welsh in primary schools. In the Senedd today the Education Minister invited me to contact him to discuss ideas for improvement in Welsh language teaching and I look forward to meeting with him in the very near future.