JEREMY Miles MS, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language is announcing today at the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod the launch of the Commission for Welsh-speaking communities. This follows the outline of his vision for the language earlier this year.
The Minister says:
“The Commission will help us develop future policies to sustain the language in those communities traditionally considered its heartlands. This isn’t about setting up a new body, it’s a group of experts in a range of fields who will give us a completely candid view about how the economy, policy decisions and demographics are affecting the Welsh language on the ground.
It is imperative that we strengthen the community base of our language in the light of socio-economic and societal changes, so that we maintain and increase the use of Cymraeg in these communities. This work is therefore central to our vision Cymraeg 2050–A Million Welsh speakers. For the Welsh language to thrive we need sustainable communities and good job opportunities in the areas where it is widely spoken.
Establishing this Commission also reflects our commitment to mainstreaming Cymraeg as a policy consideration across all areas of our work in the Welsh Government. Making sure Welsh is considered in the context of every team’s work, in every department across Government every time.
The Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities will publish its report within two years. The report will make policy recommendations and consider interventions that may be beneficial in terms of responding to the socio-economic, societal and educational contexts which affect Cymraeg as a community language. It may also make recommendations more directly in terms of language policy.
The Commission will also offer an analysis of the results of the 2021 census in our Welsh-speaking communities which will help us better understand the exact current situation of our language. This work will identify areas of linguistic sensitivity which may require particular policy interventions to support and strengthen Cymraeg as a community language.
After its submission of recommendations to the Welsh Government about Cymraeg as a community language in areas of linguistic sensitivity, the Commission will also consider its future as a community language in other areas of Wales.
The Commission will be chaired by Dr. Simon Brooks. Today, I am announcing the names of the entire Commission. The members will serve during the period in which the Commission considers Cymraeg as a community language in areas of linguistic sensitivity. The members are as follows:
Talat Chaudhri; Lowri Cunnington Wynn; Cynog Dafis; Meinir Ebbsworth; Delyth Evans; Dafydd Gruffydd; Myfanwy Jones; Shan Lloyd Williams; Cris Tomos and Rhys Tudur.
As I have often said, Cymraeg belongs to us all—as does the responsibility for its future. We are going to have to be bold and not be afraid to tackle sometimes difficult issues together. I am sure that some of what the Commission will tell us may be pretty challenging – but crucially, that is what will help us come up with the most effective actions”.
Dr Simon Brooks said:
“As a Commission, we’ll examine the linguistic reality of Welsh-speaking communities today in order to make policy recommendations which will help safeguard them for future generations.
The Commission will produce a comprehensive report, bridging policy areas from education to the economy. By looking at these together, we want to help develop answers to the challenges facing our Welsh-speaking communities as a whole. Cymraeg belongs to us all and developing Welsh-speaking communities is crucial to its future as a living language.”