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Robust language standards must be introduced immediately

05/03/2013

Government must introduce a robust scheme

As the Welsh Government has rejected the Language Commissioner’s proposed language standards, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on the Welsh language has expressed his disappointment that the Commissioner’s Office has failed to come to an agreement with the Minister. Simon Thomas has also called on the government to implement the language standards as quickly as possible in order to safeguard the status of the Welsh language.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on the Welsh language, Simon Thomas, said:

“The Language Commissioner’s office plays a vital part in safeguarding the status of the language, and it is therefore unfortunate that its first year of work has been valueless as regards drawing up standards. Although the Commissioner has an independent role, that relationship is dependent on co-operation with the government, and it is disappointing that the Commissioner and the Minister cannot agree.

“It’s incredible that government officials and the Commissioner are now co-operating on new language standards. Why on earth wasn’t this done in the first place, which would have avoided all the fuss and disagreement?

“It was good to hear the Minister’s opinion that the Commissioner’s office still has validity, but it is important now that this relationship is restored. The Commissioner must have support to continue with her work.

“The government must now introduce a scheme of standards, and must do so promptly. The Minister must also announce a detailed timetable for the operation of these standards. Two years have passed since the Language Act was passed, and it would be grossly unfair to wait another two years before suitable language standards are drawn up.