Cardiff Council is continuing to make positive progress towards its vision of developing a truly bilingual capital city.
The Council’s annual Welsh Language Standards report for 2018/19 outlines how the authority is performing well overall in its compliance with the standards and how its five-year Bilingual Cardiff Strategy, which has been praised as a local authority exemplar, is helping to nurture and encourage the use of the Welsh language in the city, and within its own workforce.
Under the Welsh Language Standards, the Council is required to publish the annual report which details the Council’s compliance with the standards. The report will be considered by Cabinet at its next meeting on Thursday, June 13.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:
“The Welsh language is thriving in the capital and we have much to celebrate as we work towards seamlessly embedding the language in the very essence of city life and increasing the number of Welsh speakers in the city over time.
“Welsh medium education continues to grow significantly and our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan will be a key driver in ensuring the future development of the language. We’re actively encouraging the use of Welsh with staff as they go about their day to day roles as well as promoting the Council as a Welsh language employer in schools to the workforce of the future.
“With measures such as our Draft Street Naming Policy which aims to ensure equality between the number of Welsh and English street names as well as forthcoming planning recommendations about bilingual shop front signage, we’re making good progress and are keen to encourage businesses and partner organisations in the city to follow suit and commit to increase their use of the Welsh language too.”
The annual report outlines how the Bilingual Cardiff Strategy was showcased in the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Successful Practices Seminar as ‘one of the most successful examples of a local authority 5-year strategy due to a strong governance structure, a clear vision, extensive consultation, and communication.’
The strategy targets an increase in the number of Welsh speakers in Cardiff by 15.9% to 42,584 by the 2021 census in order for the capital to play its part towards the national goal of reaching one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The Commissioner’s view states that ‘Cardiff Council has clearly set out its commitment to contributing to the Welsh Government’s vision to achieve one million Welsh speakers’ and ‘the impact of the strategy is already visible’.
Following an independent review of the strategy last year that recognised strong foundations and strong compliance, a revised action plan is included in the report to further strengthen the implementation of the strategy.
Other highlights within the report include a successful Tafwyl festival in July 2018, which was attended by over 40,000 people and the return of the National Eisteddfod to the capital in August- both of which were supported by Cardiff Council.
Bilingual Cardiff translated a record-breaking 11,488,333 words last year, a new Welsh language staff network, C4 (Clwb Cymraeg Cyngor Caerdydd), was launched on St David’s Day and the number of staff registered with Welsh language skills increased by 22.5% since 2017/18.