Members of Denbighshire County Council have formally approved a draft Welsh Language Strategy which sets out how the authority will promote and enhance the language over the next five years.
The five year strategy (2017-2022) has been written in direct response to the implementation of the Welsh Language Standards. The strategy has been broken down into key themes – children and young people, business and the economy, community and internal administration within the Council.
The Council has drawn up a Vision for the Welsh Language:
- Denbighshire is a predominantly bilingual county with a rich culture and heritage. We are proud of this and want this pride to be reflected in our day to day interaction with communities, residents and with our staff.
- We are committed to ensuring that the principles of the Welsh Language Standards underpin the way we deliver services to the public; we want people to be able to access services through the language of their choice naturally, at all stages of their lives.
- We want to enhance the bilingual culture and ethos of the organisation, providing training and social opportunities for our staff to work in Welsh and increase their confidence in using the language in the workplace.
- We want to work with partners and the wider communities to ensure that Welsh is a thriving language in Denbighshire.
- We have an ambition to be sector leaders in the development of the Welsh Language in Wales.
Councillor Huw Jones, Cabinet Lead Member with responsibility for the Welsh Language, said:
“Our ambition is to halt the decline in the number of Welsh speakers in Denbighshire. As a result, we are proposing to increase the number of Welsh speakers in Denbighshire by 0.5 % over the next five years, with a view to considering a longer term target to increase the number of Welsh speakers over the next 15 years.
“The Council will deliver the main elements of this strategy by working with a host of community organisations to further mainstream the Welsh Language into service delivery and ensure that it becomes an essential consideration in future projects, strategies and work plans.
“It is essential that the Welsh Language forms a key component of all policy making in all areas of our work, including planning, regeneration, education and social care.
“To this end, the Council will work with partners to make linguistic planning a more strategically focussed outcome, with the aim of ensuring that all partners work together towards the same objective: to protect and enhance the Welsh Language in Denbighshire”.