Thursday, 4 March 2010

Welsh for some but not for WAG

Attended the much awaited technical briefing on the Welsh language measure today. In its 135 pages it lays down rights for the language. It reinfoces its status, sets up a Language Commissioner who we can all run too if we think our rights to using the  Welsh language are not best served.  How such powers are needed are graphically illustrated by the Welsh Assembly Government itself.
Having just looked at the Welsh Assemmbly goverenment web side I came across a consultation document that has just closed in February  It was titled 'Developing a modern regulatory framework for Housing Associations in Wales - Performance standards.'
Not the sexiest of titles I grant you. But it  focuses on governance and financial management standards for Housing Associations.
One of the set of standards suggested in the 'Living public service values' (whatever that means), is one relating to the Welsh language. And suggests that they [Housing Associations] treat the Welsh and English languages on the basis of equality. Fair point, well made, government!
But hold on, closing the consultation documentationon page 5  the very same government says "We need to prioritise our use of the finite translation resources available to the Assembly Government. Unfortunately, on that basis, we are unable to provide a Welsh version of this consultation paper.This is because other items have been given a higher priority rating and have taken precedence in the allocation of resources....." To be fair they did translate the little message into Welsh.
I notice that First Minister, Carwyn Jones, welcomes the measure as it 'provides us with someof the tools  we need to ensure that the Welsh language can continue to prosper.'
Tools that can be used by the Assembly Government, I wonder.
Start of consultation: 01/12/2009

End of consultation: 01/02/2010

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