decline in Welsh speakers in Gwynedd


Plaid Cymru Gwynedd Councillors express concern regarding decline in Welsh speakers in Gwynedd


The Plaid Cymru Group Councillors share the concerns of many of the county’s residents regarding the recent figures published showing that 3.6% fewer people speak Welsh in Gwynedd. Strengthening and promoting the Welsh language and culture is a very high priority for the Group and Gwynedd Council.

"Plaid is determined to leave no stone unturned in an attempt to stop the decline here and to see the Welsh language thrive and flourish in our County," said Council Leader Dyfed Edwards

As a result of this a special meeting will be held in early in the New Year to discuss how Plaid Cymru and Gwynedd Council can work with others to try to transform the situation from one of decline to one of growth.

He said: "The Initial figures have not yet been analyzed in detail, but there is reason to believe that growth in the level of immigration by those who don’t speak Welsh into the County has led to the fall rather than fewer people who have been born here or have been educated here speaking Welsh. In addition, it is likely that a percentage of our young people are leaving the area and that we lose Welsh speakers in this way.

"The Plaid Cymru Group will be looking at ways of strengthening  the Welsh language. We will explore the issues that effect the Welsh language in the areas of planning, housing and the economy and see what we need to do differently as Council but also what policies we need national leadership on.  We do have pioneering policies regarding the Welsh language but we need to look at what has worked and what has not worked in order to know what to focus on during the next few years. We also need to think of how we can strengthen policies and which new ones might deliver the impact we require."
Two members of the Plaid Cymru Group will attend a special seminar in Aberystwyth tomorrow, organised by Iaith Cyf - the centre for language planning, about the future of the language. Attention will be given to the statistics published and aspects of social, economic and community which effect the language. Members will also attend a rally organised by Cymdeithas Yr Iaith in Caernarfon on Saturday.