Calls for Pembrokeshire County Council to 'take Welsh seriously'
4:07pm Monday 10th March 2014 in News
WELSH language campaigners have called on the county council to ‘start taking the language seriously’ and make it easier for people to access services in Welsh.
Members and supporters of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg met on Castle Square, Haverfordwest, on Saturday (March 8) to highlight their disappointment that the council’s ‘first language’ is English.
The rally followed a recent council job advertisement that implied Welsh was not essential in order to work in Pembrokeshire.
Addressing campaigners, Hefin Wyn said: "We call upon Pembrokeshire County Council to adopt a positive attitude towards the Welsh language so that ratepayers do not have to ask over and over again for various services through the medium of Welsh.”
He added: “We do not ask for concessions here and there but for clear unequivocal leadership.”
Local people also had the chance to share their experiences of dealing with the council in Welsh.
Among those speaking was Gaynor Watts-Lewis from Boncath, who said she had experienced problems when trying to access swimming lessons for her children in Welsh.
Campaigner Bill Davies added: “It’s about time that the officials we have in this county to show respect towards Welsh speakers and the language.
“It should be essential for people working in the council to be able to speak Welsh. It is no different to someone needing the right licence before getting a job as a bus driver, or a doctor getting the right training and qualifications for the job.”
A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said the authority was “committed to working with the Welsh Language Commissioner and Welsh Government on proposals for new standards of conduct relating to the Welsh language”.
He added: “The council is currently participating in the investigation and consultation process and will, towards the end of this year, discover which of the proposed Welsh Language Standards will be made applicable.”
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