Carmarthenshire Assembly Member, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, will lead a Welsh Government review of Welsh language use in local government and in economic development it has been announced.
The Welsh Government Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews AM, who has established the working group, told Assembly Members that councils influence local economic development through functions such as housing, education, regeneration and cultural activities.
He said “Local Government has a vital role to play in the delivery of services through the medium of Welsh, in the economic development of predominantly Welsh-speaking areas and in the strengthening of the Welsh language in daily use in the workplace and the wider community.”
The Minister has asked local Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas to Chair the working group and report back to the Welsh Government by the end of May.
The terms of reference for the group will be to investigate best practice in:
- The use of Welsh in the administration of local government;
- The role of local government as a facilitator of economic development in support of the Welsh language; and
- Make recommendations in relation to the above in the context of Local Government reform and the duties imposed on local authorities by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
Rhodri Glyn Thomas said he was grateful to have been asked to lead the review, and that this was an opportunity to make a real difference to the strength of the language in public administration and our local economy.
The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM said:
“Local councils are major employers and are responsible for spending substantial sums of money. In the case of Carmarthenshire the local authority is the largest employer in the county. The working group I chair we be looking at how this vast sum of public money can best support local economic development and the use of the Welsh language.
“The west of Wales will inevitably be the starting point for our work, whereby local authorities conduct much of their business through the medium of Welsh. We will be looking at how councils offer and conduct services to local residents, and what good practice can be shared across local authorities across Wales.
“I believe this is an opportunity to make a real difference to the way in which the language is actively supported and indeed how its use can be strengthened in both the public and, perhaps more crucially, in the private sector.
“I’m grateful to have been asked by the government to lead the working group, and look forward to starting this work in earnest.”