ANNUAL REPORT TO THE WELSH LANGUAGE COMMISSIONER
To receive a report from the Team Leader - Communications & Campaign Management on the Annual Report to the Welsh Language Commissioner (copy enclosed)
Team Leader – Communications and Campaign Management (TLCCM) gave a
presentation on the Annual Report to the Welsh Language Commissioner.
reports were published on the Denbighshire website every year so that the Welsh
language Commissioner could access it and if any concerns were raised they
would arrange a meeting.
report reviewed processes and developments within the council.
of the team’s successful events was the Eisteddfod y Cyngor, staff from various
departments made the event a success. The original plan was to host the
Eisteddfod y Cyngor every two years, however due to its success and demand it
will be held annually.
TLCCM explained some of the ongoing projects they had. They had recently
provided training for members of staff that could speak welsh but did not feel
comfortable writing, the course gave confidence to staff and proved a success.
Welsh Language Officer (WLO) stated that 22 staff members had signed up to
begin Welsh Lessons in September. Activates such as Walking clubs and the Tea
and Talk sessions were supported by staff. She did however disclose that she
was having problems organising activities for all levels, but current
activities were suited to the members of staff.
The TLCCM advised members of one particular thing that the Welsh
Language Champions had raised was something that Conwy had already introduced.
A setting on emails could be activated to allow users to choose options such
as, Welsh Speaker, Learner etc. on their email. He explained that there were
many simple technological changes that could be made to promote the use of
were advised that within the Welsh Language Commissioner report any Welsh
language complaints should be reported. The previous report had only 2 official
complaints, one being the naming of SC2 and the second was a temporary out of
order poster on a parking machine.
advised members that when complaints were received the team would resolve them and
plan to ensure further complaints would not be received.
areas that were reported on were;
Ø Number of Welsh
speakers in the Contact Centre
Ø Number of staff members
receiving Welsh lessons
Ø Welsh education
TLCCM advised that they receive an annual report on the progress of staff
attending the Welsh lessons. With the report they would review whether the
course was appropriate for the member of staff or if another course would
benefit them more.
conclude his presentation before members had the opportunity to comment he said
that if members were happy then the report would be published on the website.
Emrys Wynne raised a concern regarding road signs. He explained that there was
a problem with external companies using bi-lingual road signs. He acknowledged
that it wasn’t a massive problem however complaints did arise due to it.
The TLCCM confirmed that when a problem is reported to them, they would contact the department and ask for the signs to be removed. Currently the team were trying to get a system in place that all translated signs are sent to them for checking
added that third party contractors must follow the Authority’s Welsh Language
highlighted that internally there were some issues also, staff create their own
paper sign without realising the Welsh Language Standards apply. However
Denbighshire as a whole were very good.
The TLCCM acknowledged that members of staff could have worked in other Local
Authorities previously and were not aware of Denbighshire’s Welsh Standards,
due to this they had suggested that the Welsh Language Standards be part of the
induction process, so that they were aware from the beginning.
response to a query regarding support staff within schools, Councillor Huw
Hilditch-Roberts – Lead Member for Education, Children and Young People
explained that he had reviewed this already. The county and the teachers
decided to spread the budget between the schools to ensure there was someone
with the knowledge in the school every day.
He advised members that Denbighshire had the highest Welsh language
standards in junior schools in Wales, therefore he felt the statistics
reflected how well the current process was working.
Ann Davies raised an issue regarding A-Level students. She asked how students
could be encouraged to stay in Welsh schools to study their A-Levels.
Huw Hilditch-Roberts highlighted that Welsh Sixth Form classes were small in
numbers, which resulted in schools working together and opening their courses
for students from other schools. Unfortunately, he advised that transport had
become a problem and that posed risks for sixth form students getting to and
from their classes.
Meirick Lloyd-Davies suggested that the issues of signs and the Welsh language
standards be returned to scrutiny for review, as he felt there had been no
change since the previous time it was raised. To conclude, he commended the
‘Denbighshire Today’ and the sections in Welsh.
chair asked fellow members whether they perceived things as getting better, no
change or worsening in terms of the Welsh language in Denbighshire.
Huw Hilditch-Roberts noted that it had improved. He continued to say that the
Welsh Language Standards had made people more aware, the result of it being
that phone messages were now bilingual, front line staff spoke welsh. He did
however acknowledge that the authority could not provide everything, the
individual must be willing to follow the standards.
Emrys Wynne suggested that during a member of staff’s 6 months probationary
period the Welsh Language Standards should be monitored as part of their
Ann Davies felt that there had been no improvements and that more had to be
chair acknowledged that it was incredibly difficult to monitor Welsh language
standards especially with the pressure of jobs etc.
members agree the contents of the report.