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  • Language campaigners say Welsh is threatened by moves to give English official status on Anglesey


    The Cymdeithas yr Iaith website
    The Cymdeithas yr Iaith website

    Language campaigners say Welsh is under threat on Anglesey because town hall bosses want to give official status to English in a new policy.

    Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) said the policy, discussed on Monday, misinterprets the latest language legislation.

    The group maintains the 2011 Welsh Language Measure only gives official status to the Welsh language and establishes that it should be treated no less favourably than English.

    Cymdeithas say Anglesey’s proposed policy gives official status to the English language and states the two languages should be treated equally.

    Calls to save the language: Why speaking Welsh is good for your health

    In a letter to the council chair of the Gwynedd and Anglesey region of Cymdeithas Menna Machreth writes: “It appears you have mistakenly used the old principle in the Welsh Language Act 1993 of treating the two languages on the basis of ‘equality’ instead of ‘treating the Welsh language no less favourably than English’ as is required by the current language law.

    “Clearly this mistake has occurred because [clauses in the policy] have been taken straight out of the old language scheme – without adapting them to the present legal framework.”

    She asks for confirmation that the authority will “correct these errors straight away” and ensure “up-to-date guidance” is available to officials.

    And the campaigner maintains Welsh should be the only language used internally by the council as happens in neighbouring Gwynedd.

    The authority is also criticised for asking Welsh language groups to present written correspondence to council public meetings in English as well as Welsh.

    It's not the first council row over the language in recent memory: Welsh language is not a part of Cardiff's 'social fabric', says council leader Phil Bale

    The campaigner maintains this is forcing English on Welsh language groups.

    A spokesman for the authority said they would finalise revisions and amendments to the policy before it’s presented to the full council shortly.

    “The county council will, of course, ensure that the policy conforms to the relevant legal framework,” they added.





  • WALES 44 : une réunion des Comités de Jumelage au Pays Nantais

     Une cure de jeunesse des jumelages avec le pays de Galles ?

    • Huit comités de jumelage avec le pays de Galles se sont retrouvés samedi à Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu.
      Huit comités de jumelage avec le pays de Galles se sont retrouvés samedi à Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu. | 

    « Cette année, les comités de jumelage des villes de Loire-Atlantique, jumelées avec le pays de Galles, se sont retrouvés à Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu. »

    Samedi dernier, Alain Fourier, le président du comité de jumelage, Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu - Radyr & Morganstown et les bénévoles ont organisé la 17e rencontre des comités de jumelage gallois, qui se réunissent chaque année dans une ville différente. « Le groupement est informel et nommé Wales 44. »

    Huit comités se sont retrouvés, samedi, pour évoquer leurs projets : Clisson, Derval, Guérande, Orvault, Ligné, Varades, Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire et Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu.

    « Basse-Goulaine nous a rejoints cette année, a annoncé le président, car, si son comité existe depuis vingt-huit ans avec l'Allemagne et l'Espagne, ils souhaitent une relation avec la Grande-Bretagne et plus particulièrement avec le pays de Galles. »

    Des jumelages ronronnent

    Une des difficultés que rencontrent les comités, c'est l'âge de leurs bénévoles. « Si le nombre d'adhérents est relativement stable, il est de plus en plus difficile d'organiser des échanges, car les membres de chaque côté de la Manche vieillissent... » Et avec les jeunes : « Outre les difficultés administratives pour les groupes, ces échanges tiennent le plus souvent grâce à un professeur motivé. Si celui-ci part en retraite ou est muté, tout s'arrête. »

    Ces difficultés expliquent la mise en sommeil de plusieurs comités, comme Sautron, Le Pouliguen ou Missillac. L'année prochaine, les comités se retrouveront à Clisson.

    Contact : comité de jumelage Saint-Philbert - Radyr : 02 40 78 90 51.



  • Nouvelle école en gallois à Cardiff

    Parents pinching themselves as new Welsh language school finally gets green light


    Parents have welcomed plans for a new Welsh-medium school in Butetown, Cardiff

    Parents in Cardiff campaigning for a new Welsh-medium school serving Grangetown and Butetown say they are having to pinch themselves now that plans are finally going ahead.

    Campaign group Ymgyrch TAG, set up by parents in the area to remind Cardiff council of its obligation to provide “local schools for local children”, said Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Hamadryad had been a long time coming.

    The new two-form entry school will be built on land adjacent to the old Royal Hamadryad Hospital in Butetown and will initially open with 30 places from September in temporary accommodation adjacent to Ninian Park Primary School in Grangetown.

    It will transfer to its permanent site a year later and the new build is expected to cost £8.3m, with £2m having been set aside to buy land in Hamadryad Road from Cardiff Community Housing Association (CCHA).

    Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Hamadryad will have space for 420 pupils aged three to 11 and its development marks the end of a long campaign to provide Welsh-medium education in the area.

    Tale of woe and frustration

    Huw Williams, secretary of Ymgyrch TAG, said: “From the outset this has been about securing equality of educational opportunity for all parents and children in this part of the city.

    “During the tail-end of the last decade Cardiff saw a flowering of Welsh-medium education across the city and it is only right that parents from all backgrounds should have the same access and opportunities as others.

    Read more: New Cardiff school to pay homage to former hospital

    “This is especially so when you consider the unique nature of our communities and the relative lack of wealth and resources.”

    The planned opening of Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Hamadryad represents a happy ending for what has at times been a tale of woe and frustration for parents and campaigners in Grangetown and Butetown.

    Welsh Government funding for the project was approved as far back as 2011 but the emergence of controversial plans to enlarge Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch, in Leckwith , triggered concerns that plans for a new school would be shelved.

    Most multicultural wards in Wales

    Mr Williams, who lives in Grangetown, said: “Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

    “It has been such a long time coming; to finally see the doors opening for our school in September will be a very emotional moment and also a significant one for the Welsh language.

    “I honestly believe we cannot underestimate the importance of establishing a Welsh-medium school at the heart of the most multicultural wards in Wales.

    “It embodies the most important message of all – that the Welsh language really is for everyone.

    “In this respect it will be the responsibility of the new head teacher and the board of governors to ensure that over the coming years the school comes to truly reflect the communities it serves.”

    Dream come true

    Branwen Gwyn, vice-chairwoman of Ymgyrch TAG, said: “As a Cardiff girl, born and bred, it gives me great pleasure to see a Welsh-medium school being established in our community within walking distance for the majority of parents.

    “Like many others as a child I always faced at least a half-hour bus journey to get to the nearest Welsh-medium school so it’s great to see Grangetown and Butetown emulating other areas and having a school of its own.

    “To have a Welsh-medium school for my daughter on the doorstep is like a dream come true.”

    • An open morning for parents to see the temporary facilities next to Ninian Park Primary School will be held on Saturday from 10am until noon.