THE decision by Denbighshire Council to commission an audit on the Welsh Language has been welcomed by campaigners.
The council has commissioned Sbectrwm to get peoples views on the language and communities.
Toni Schiavone, communities spokesman for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg who lives near Llansannan, said: "We welcome the news that the council is acting on one of our recommendations – something we've been calling on them to do for twenty-five years.
“At the moment, the council's planning policy is wiping the Welsh language off the county map. Let's hope these meetings will not be just a talking shop, but lead to real changes to the planning system that strengthen the language in the county.
“A language which, after all, is a right and unique inheritance for everyone, whatever their background, who chooses to make Wales their home.
“However, in order for us to make real progress, the Welsh Government needs to accept its responsibilties. The Planning Bill, currently in draft form, needs to include a specific requirement to ensure that all councils include an assessment of impact on the Welsh language in their local development plans.
“Other local authorities should follow the lead taken by Denbighshire and instigate a similar analysis as a matter of urgency.”
Three meetings, arranged in conjunction with Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych, will be held on the following dates:
January 21, Corwen Sports Pavilion (7pm)
January 22, Scala Arts Centre, Prestatyn (7pm)
January 23, Denbigh Town Hall (7pm)
Hywyn Williams, the council’s corporate director – communities, said: “There has been a decline in the number of Welsh speakers in the county, which reflects the national position and we are keen to see an increase by the next census. The council was also very eager to build on the interest in the Welsh language and culture following the tremendous success of the National Eisteddfod held in our county this year”.
John Glyn Jones, chairman of Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych, said: “This is an open meeting for all those interested in the future of the language. Non-Welsh speakers are particularly welcome as there will be simultaneous translation facilities available on the evening to allow everyone to participate fully in the discussions.”
Confirm your attendance by no later than January 10, by phoning Sbectrwm on 01558 668663 or Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych on 01745 812822. Or by e.mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.