An independent review of Cardiff Council’s vision for developing a truly bilingual capital where Welsh is a natural and integral part of the city’s essence has found plans are on track, built on strong foundations and with strong compliance in place.
The Council’s 5-year Bilingual Cardiff strategy seeks to double the number of Welsh speakers in Cardiff by 2050 to more than 70,000. It aims to do this by nurturing and encouraging the use of the Welsh language in the city, and within its own workforce, enabling access to Council services and support in Welsh and English equally.
Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:
“The Welsh language is thriving in Cardiff and we are committed to nurturing its further growth to create a truly bilingual capital city for Wales.
“We welcome the feedback from the external review of our Bilingual Cardiff strategy and will build on its strengths and the positive relationships with key partners in the city to ensure the Welsh language is very much a part of daily life in the city and the number of Welsh speakers in Cardiff continues to grow.”
The review, which concludes that the Council has a clear vision, priorities and direction of travel for the Welsh language in the city, comes as Cabinet considers the Council’s Welsh Language Standards annual report at its meeting on Thursday, June 14.
In September 2015, the Welsh Language Commissioner issued Cardiff Council with 171 Standards relating to service delivery, policy making, record keeping, promotional and operational standards which aim to ensure that the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than the English language.
The number of Welsh speakers in Cardiff has more than doubled in the last 25 years, and the Council is seeing greater demand for our services in Welsh and the annual report details actions taken to meet the demand and to comply with the Welsh language standards.
Last year saw an 76.4% increase in the number of Council staff with Welsh language skills, largely due to additional Welsh language training opportunities, improved recording arrangements and awareness raising as well as the Bilingual Cardiff Strategy, which includes a target to increase the percentage of staff with Welsh language skills in line with the percentage of Welsh speakers in the community.
Furthermore, the Council’s Bilingual Cardiff team are working with partners and businesses in the city to encourage and support the use of Welsh within shops and businesses to help Cardiff become truly bilingual which will be particularly beneficial as the city hosts this year’s National Eisteddfod in August for the first time in 10 years.
The report shows that the council received 16 complaints from the public regarding potential breaches of the standards and was subject to three investigations by the Commissioner – a reduction in both the number of complaints and investigations. Overall the Council is performing well against the standards.
Key achievements in the report include gaining approval of the Council’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2017-2020 (WESP) from Welsh Government in March 2018 and the Council’s Bilingual Cardiff Team translating over nine million words last year, more than ever before.
Cllr Thomas added:
“I’m pleased to see that the Council’s compliance with the Welsh Language Standards is overall good and we will continue to work hard to ensure that residents can access our services in English or Welsh.”