Venue: by video conference
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business to be conducted at this meeting.
Councillor Arwel Roberts declared a personal interest in
agenda item 7, as he collected donations towards the Eisteddfod yr Urdd.
Councillor Huw Hilditch Roberts
declared a personal interest in agenda item 7 as he was the treasurer for
collecting donations for the Eisteddfod yr Urdd in
Councillor Emrys Wynne declared a personal interest in agenda item 7, as he was on the steering committee for the Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Ruthin.
URGENT MATTERS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR
Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972.
To receive the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on the 13 July 2021 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the Welsh Language Steering Committee held on
13 July 2021 were submitted.
Matters of accuracy –
Members highlighted a typing error with
regards to Councillor Ellie Chard’s name, alongside a small translation error
with regards to the appointment of vice-chair item.
Matters arising –
Members queried actions from the previous
meeting, and whether they had been carried out, these were the powers of the
committee to make decisions as well as the development of the Cylch Meithrin in Ruthin. The
committee administrator assured the committee that the relevant information
would be gathered and circulated to committee members.
Councillor Meirick Lloyd Davies highlighted
whether the number of Welsh language speakers of staff had increased since the
Council formed in 1996. Responding, the Welsh Language Officer informed the
committee that she had contacted Human Resources and whether the information
was obtainable. She was still awaiting a response but would circulate the
answer once she had obtained it.
The Corporate Director: Communities
suggested to the committee that due to the long wait times between meetings
that an update sheet on all the matters arising from the meeting be circulated
a couple of weeks after the meeting, as waiting until the next meeting often
meant the issues were no longer relevant. Members of the committee unanimously
agreed to the suggestion. Both the Welsh Language officer and the committee
administrator would work on responding to members outside of the meeting.
RESOLVED that, subject to
the above, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 July 2021 be received
and approved as a correct record.
To receive a presentation on the work of Mudiad Meithrin.
The Lead Member for Education, Children's
Services and Public Engagement welcomed the Provincial Manager (PM) for Mudiad Meithrin to the committee;
he thanked Mudiad Meithrin
for all the hard work which they’ve carried out with Denbighshire County Council
(DCC) over the years and highlighted the importance of making the committee
aware of the work which Mudiad Meithrin
carried out for the Welsh language speakers in the community.
The PM shared a presentation to the
committee that highlighted all the work carried out by the Mudiad
Meithrin. The main aim of Mudiad
Meithrin was to provide every young child in Wales
with an opportunity to benefit from early years services and experiences
through the medium of Welsh to create new Welsh speakers. The work was achieved
through support, advice, development and expanding the services offered by Mudiad Meithrins Members (Cylchoedd and nurseries).
The PM highlighted how Mudiad
Meithrin supported the Cylchoedd
Management committees, provided training, and qualified the Welsh-medium early
years' workforce and to promote Welsh-medium Childcare and Education.
The PM informed the committee that Mudiad Meithrin was almost on all
forms of social media; this was to raise awareness of the work Mudiad Meithrin carried out.
Multiple programs were created to encourage
and normalize teaching young infants to learn the language. There were also Cymraeg@adre, which were sessions aimed to teach children
the Welsh Language through short videos; this aimed to teach children and their
parents/guardians the Welsh Language together.
The committee were also made aware of the Cylch
Meithrin Ti a Fi, which was
a Welsh parent and toddler group for new-borns to pre-school-aged children.
the following in further detail –
staff retention and hiring in the Cylchoedd Meithrin in Denbighshire was raised, the PM responded that
on the whole, there was no issue with staffing in Denbighshire; however, there
were concerns about the staff requirement at Pentrecelyn.
Arwel Roberts queried the Cylch Meithrin
sites in Rhuddlan not being open since the Pandemic.
The PM clarified that the sites were currently closed. However, there was
community funding being sought to look at hiring a coordinator for both
outlined the programs discussed earlier and whether the pandemic had caused
issues with these as you could not meet face to face. In response, the PM
informed the committee that initially, it was an issue. However, it allowed
parents to have more flexibility, as they could join any programs being held
remotely throughout the County, not ones in their locality.
Committee and the PM outlined the difficulties the pandemic had caused for
children and the Welsh Language, as many parents found teaching at home through
the medium of Welsh challenging. The PM stated that roughly two years’ worth of
children had not come through the Mudiad and agreed
they were difficult times.
that the Welsh Language Steering Committee note the information with regards to
To receive an update on the more than words evaluation report.
Director: Communities (CDC) presented the Welsh Language Steering Committee an
update following the More than Words Evaluation report (previously circulated).
The CDC drew
members' attention to the letter which had been circulated to members. The
areas of progress were –
increase in the use of visual markers to identify Welsh-speaking staff and
investment in Welsh language higher education courses in health and social
increase in the focus placed on the importance of Welsh language provision and
the Active Offer (offering a service in Welsh without someone having to ask for
it) within higher education and inductions for new staff members.
8 buy-in at the middle
management or operational planning level
understanding of how to improve Welsh language service
provision, beyond recognizing the importance of doing so
10 targeting of training
to the areas and staff for whom this would make the most difference to Welsh
language service provision
11 Data collection systems
and processes to record and share information on the Welsh language needs of
services users and Welsh language capacity of the workforce.
The following steps
for More than Words were -
Welsh Language in Health and Social Care Partnership Board oversees the
delivery of More than Words. Members of the board have proposed the
establishment of a small Task and Finish Group to work up a 5-year work plan
for More than just Words based on the recommendations
of the evaluation and other evidence.
Task and Finish Group would meet regularly starting in September 2021 and
provide Eluned Morgan AS/MS (Minister for Health and
Social Services) on the next steps by the fifth of November.
CDC informed the committee that since the publication of the More than Words
report on the 31st August 2021, Denbighshire County Council had organized Welsh
language sessions for people who have Alzheimer's.
the following in further detail –
commended all the hard work carried out by officers since the report was
Meirick Lloyd Davies queried the Seven Key objectives within the evaluation
report, as the link within the letter was not working. Officers responded,
stating that the seven objectives were –
9 National and Local
Leadership, and National Policy
10 Mapping, Auditing, Data
Collection, and Research
11 Service Planning,
Commissioning, Contracting and Workforce Planning
12 Promotion and
13 Professional Education
14 Welsh in the Workplace
15 Regulation and
that the Welsh Language Steering Committee note the update regarding the More
than Words follow-up letter.
To consider a report by the Welsh Language Officer (copy enclosed) updating members on Eisteddfod yr Urdd.
The Welsh Language
Officer (WLO) presented the members with an update on preparations for the
Eisteddfod and the Council’s role in the event (previously circulated).
The WLO guided
members through a short presentation on work carried out in preparation for the
Council, as a critical partner, would have a marquee on a prominent site on the
Eisteddfod field. The theme for the
marquee was all about Welsh language, culture, heritage, tradition, recycling,
climate change, and the countryside.
Council’s activities would be carried out through the medium of Welsh (Urdd
speakers and learners would staff the Marquee throughout the week. The WLO
informed the committee that a manager would be allocated to the stand each day
and supported by a team of corporate staff members. The Council would also be
involved in a press briefing on the Monday of the Eisteddfod week
were multiple groups throughout Denbighshire working to ensure that the
organization went as smoothly as possible. These included the; Safety advisory
group, Communications group and the Education group.
made the committee aware that Primary Schools were invited to participate in
the Primary School show. The show would take place in the main pavilion on
the WLO informed the committee that the Lead Officer - Destination, Marketing,
and Communication Team had been working closely with the Acting Director of the
Urdd Eisteddfod and the Arts with a partnership between the Urdd and Denbighshire.
the following in further detail –
challenges the pandemic had caused with the collection of donations was
highlighted as a significant task by the committee. The WLO agreed that virtual
collecting had been a challenge.
informed the committee that the Eisteddfod yr Urdd
was celebrating 100 years since it was established by Syr
Ifan ab Owen Edwards in 1922. She asked if anyone had
any stories to share about the first ever Eisteddfod held in Corwen in 1929 if they could send any information onto her,
she would then liaise with the relevant officers.
to queries the WLO informed members that promoting local myths and legends
would be carried through the medium of art at the Eisteddfod.
that the Welsh Language Steering Committee approve the content of the report.
To consider a report by the Welsh Language Officer (copy
enclosed) updating the committee on the findings of the Committee – areas for
improvement and areas for promoting during 2021.
The Welsh Language
Officer (WLO) presented the results of the Welsh Language Commissioner’s
Monitoring Report. Every year, the Welsh Language Commissioner carries out
checks amongst organisations implementing the statutory Welsh Language
Standards to ensure those organisations comply with the legislation.
team also arrange an annual meeting to discuss the findings and to report on
progress with the yearly Welsh Language Monitoring Report. Dylan Jones, on
behalf of the Commissioner, explained the Commissioner's new way of working
from this year on looking at organisations' compliance with the relevant
standards. Recruitment was their priority.
The findings – Service Delivery -
During May and June
2021, Welsh Language commissioner officers had negative experiences when
corresponding with the Council by receiving English-only responses to
correspondence sent via the Council's online form. The WLO explained the
process when the Council received such correspondence and explained that she
had discussed it with the managers of the relevant departments. It seems that
the mistakes of individual officers were to blame. Managers have been sent
a message for cascading to all their staff
During the 2021-22
surveys, portions of the automated message when phoning the main Council number
were unclear. The investigation discovered that not all documents and forms contained
a statement on the English versions that they were also available in Welsh.
There was 1 example of a document that did not comply with standard 49, namely:
Denbighshire Schools Information Guide 2021-22, as well as two examples of a
form that did not comply with standard 50A. These were: Denbighshire County
Council concern/complaint form.
Language commissioner officers made two visits to the reception area of the
Council offices in Caledfryn, Denbigh. They received no Welsh services during
either visit. The WLO noted that one member of staff (a Welsh learner) had
left, and therefore the WLO suggested the appointment of a Welsh speaker before the pandemic. The
proposal was still in place, and consequently, a Welsh-speaking receptionist
would be assigned once the reception in Caledfryn reopened.
It was noted that
the Council's self-assessment evidence when considering the impact of policy
decisions on the Welsh language was positive. The possibility of exploring this
further was discussed to create an example of effective practice for that
particular section on the Commissioner's new website. Promoting the Welsh
language - Assess the achievement of a Welsh language promotion strategy
The WLO noted that
work is underway to revise the strategy for a launch at the Urdd National
Eisteddfod in Denbigh in 2022. The WLO felt frustrated that the results of the
census in terms of the Welsh language would not be available by the time the
new Strategy was published, which made it difficult to see whether the target
which was set five years ago had been met. The lack of information also has an
impact on setting a target for the next strategy, as well as knowing where
resources need to be targeted. The WLO mentioned the possibility of planning a
10-year strategy with more ambitious long-term targets.
the following in further detail –
· Members highlighted swimming lessons within the report; they queried why there were so few swimming lessons held in the medium of Welsh in contrast to ones held through the medium of English. The WLO informed the committee that wait times were for both mediums; however, there was never a shortage of English lessons. The WLO also clarified that when parents would register their children for classes, they would specify their chosen languages. However, most parents were not willing to wait until enough children were waiting for Welsh-medium swimming ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To consider the Committee’s forward work programme (copy attached).
committee’s forward work programme was presented for consideration.
raised the following matters –
The Welsh Language Policy would be discussed at the next meeting.
Members queried whether the next meeting could be held at the Welsh Language
Centre in St. Asaph. Officers responded, stating they would look into the
Meirick Lloyd Davies raised complaints regarding the standard of the Welsh
Language and how they were not reported. The WLO informed the member that each
formal complaint, which was concerning the Welsh Language, was noted within the
annual Welsh Language Commissioner’s Monitoring Report. However, there was a
difference between formal and non-formal complaints; the appropriate Head of
Service would deal with the non-formal points raised at meetings.
RESOLVED that, subject to the above, the Committee’s Forward Work Programme be
received and noted.
meeting concluded at 12.20 p.m.