Welsh:proposals for the manifestos of Welsh political parties.
13 October 2020
Welsh Government has set an ambitious policy framework for Welsh with its Cymraeg 2050 document (Welsh Government: 2017). The document has received widespread support from a large number of members from all parties of the Welsh Parliament. However, despite this, and the goodwill towards Welsh across Wales, Welsh continues to face significant challenges.
Below, we outline some ideas that Welsh political parties could consider when drawing up their manifestos for the proposed national election.
Education: the need to legislate to ensure legal bases for the provision and entitlement to Welsh-medium education. To set the new designations for the linguistic nature of schools on a legal basis in order to increase the number of pupils who have a fair opportunity to receive their education through the medium of Welsh.
Land Use Planning: the need to develop robust policies and mechanisms that would enable local authorities to take significant account of the Welsh language in land use decisions- including the establishment of a common methodology in order to carry out linguistic impact assessments– and introduce legislation on that basis.
Foundational Economy: the need to adapt the emphasis of economic development policies towards supporting and developing the foundational economy, the part of the economy that accounts for 40% of jobs in Wales.
Green recovery: the need to promote a green economy in Wales and to view that as a means of strengthening the economic viability of our Welsh-speaking communities.
Community Development: the need to support community and co-operative initiatives, ensuring that they reinforce the social viability of the Welsh language.
Agriculture: the need to ensure the viability of the agricultural economy, recognising its special significance to the future of Welsh and Welsh-speaking communities in Wales.
Housing Market: the need to consider taking decisive action to control the sale of houses in linguistically sensitive areas, e.g. conducting thorough research on what is happening in Wales, the measures that are implemented in places outside Wales, and developing effective policy and legislation on that basis.
Health and Social Care: the need to take further steps to ensure that users of health and care services receive services through the medium of Welsh through planning of an increasingly bilingual workforce.
Welsh Organisations: the need, in light of the current pandemic, for the Welsh Government to continue to offer financial support to Welsh language cultural organisations
Language Policy and Planning: the need to establish a robust language policy and planning unit within Welsh Government that would be at arm's length from Ministerial work and would be able to address drawing up long-term plans for supporting and promoting Welsh.
Language Skills and Language Awareness: the need to offer all those working in the public and voluntary sectors, particularly senior officers, the opportunity to receive language skills and language awareness training free of charge.