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Swansea Council 5 year strategy for the Welsh language

The strategy covers two major areas of operation - Community and Authority.

Community refers to tasks and initiatives through which the council (alone or in partnership) can identify and nurture Welsh language activities and resources outside the council - with the aim, as a minimum, of maintaining numbers of Welsh speakers in the area.

  • Initial tasks will identify the baseline against which we shall measure progress.
  • Ongoing tasks will develop, support and monitor initiatives in this area.

Authority refers to actions specifically within the council.

  • Regulatory tasks deal with the Standards, their interpretation and enforcement.
  • Support tasks manage the infrastructure to support the use of Welsh internally - some of these resources may also be of use in the Community arena.

An annual report will be produced covering both of the areas above and including information as required by the standards.

Tasks (with proposed initial timescales) are described after the flow diagrams for Community and Authority. Activities will modify during the strategy in line with experience and results of monitoring.

1.  Determine baseline figures

There is a requirement to maintain or increase the numbers or percentage of Welsh speakers over a five year period. This activity will provide the baseline figures to allow the comparison. The figures will be derived from existing official sources, for example Census, StatsWales.

To be initiated October 2016

2.  Evaluate local demographic

The baseline figures will be refined into (as a minimum) relevant figures for each electoral ward. Where wards cover a relatively large geographic area, this may need further breakdown.

To be undertaken as part of the above task

3.  Identify community resources

This activity will determine the current level of community resource available in the medium of Welsh. The information will be gathered from existing Welsh language organisations - but also their members, who will be able to identify clubs, groups, businesses and others where Welsh is the primary means of communication or, for businesses, where the language is spoken and available at most times.

Running from Oct 2016 until Jan 2017

4.  Map resources to areas

The resources identified above will be mapped geographically so that local availability of services can be gauged.

Ongoing - initially from Oct 2016 to Jan 2017

5.  Identify hotspots / shortfalls

The above exercise will identify those areas where Welsh language resources are more readily available, as well as other areas where they are thin on the ground.

Ongoing - commencing Jan 2017

6.  Develop supportive actions

In line with the information collected above, and discussions with local Welsh speakers, Welsh learners and other interested parties (Welsh medium schools and PTAs, etc.) identify suitable actions to be initiated to encourage and support the use of Welsh in the community.

Ongoing - commencing Jan 2017

7.  Monitor available resources

This will be an ongoing activity, receiving information on new, amended or lost Welsh language resources in the community. On an annual basis, contact will be made with all currently recorded resources with a positive response necessary from each for them to remain on the directory.

Ongoing from Jan 2017 - plus annual update

8.  Update baseline / demographic

Update demographic information with whatever has become available. Reissue mapped data. Feed any changes into an annual report.

Annually from March 2018

9.  Report on progress

The initial version of this report will provide the baseline figures against which future progress can be measured. Future versions will show updated figures (as and when they become available), detailing changes and highlighting trends. The report will also describe community and council initiatives - existing and projected - and describe the various Welsh language resources identified in the community. Annual figures from the authority as required by standards will be included.

Annually from March 2017

A.  Liaise with Commissioner

Responding to communications from the OWLC.
Passing questions and queries regarding interpretation of standards up to the OWLC.
Reporting as required by and within defined standards.

Ad hoc - ongoing

B.  Interpret standards

Answer questions from departments regarding standards and their interpretation. Liaise with other authorities and public bodies to, where possible, give present a united front.

Ad hoc - ongoing

C.  Advise on standards

Produce and distribute relevant documentation (handy guides, etc.). Liaise with Welsh language champions to disseminate information and good practice. Encourage and facilitate compliance.

Ad hoc - ongoing

Ch. Enforce standards

Champion Welsh language issues and their inclusion at the earliest stages of any initiative. Pre-empt compliance issues. Inform areas of complaints, issues and comments which may also be relevant to them. Appraise managers and relevant others of external developments.

Ongoing - commencing Jan 2017

D.  Identify current skills

Members of staff need to be (re)asked to assess their Welsh language skills. Areas of operation will need to gauge their (team) skill levels and ability to provide a Welsh language service.

Ad hoc - ongoing

Dd. Develop support materials

Handy guides; Standard translations; Good practice; Welsh language classes. Anything which is requested by staff members or Welsh language champions, or indicated through practical experience or by the Commissioner.

Ad hoc - ongoing

E.  Support skills

Presentations on standards and how they work; Induction and CPD courses; visits / talks to departments; lunchtime 'chat' and drop-in advice sessions.

Ad hoc - ongoing

F.  Develop skills

Promote the language internally (StaffNet and elsewhere). Promote Welsh language classes. Develop internal glossary of terms. Support standards-compliant methods of working. Facilitate inter-departmental and cross-cultural cooperation.

Ad hoc - ongoing

G.  Report on progress

Included as part of the 'community' report on progress (above).

Annually from March 2017


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