International body warns against scrapping Language Commissioner

Welsh Language Commissioner best placed to hold government to account, says international body, as Welsh Government poised to scrap the role

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A leaked letter from the International Association of Language Commissioners has revealed important questions about the implications of scrapping the Welsh Language Commissioner. The letter, signed by the Vice Chair of the Association Rónán Ó Domhnaill and obtained by Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price , said that there is “no better body than an independent single Language Commissioner to hold to account the government”.

Speaking on the leaked letter from the International Association of Language Commissioners that he received, Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price said:

“The International Association of Language Commissioners has stated clearly that there is “no better body than an independent single Language Commissioner to hold to account the Government”. They make it clear that they have come to that conclusion as a result of their wealth of experience.

“The Language Commissioner plays an important role in regulating provision of Welsh language services, and scrapping the role is almost certainly be detrimental to the positive progress that has been achieved.”

Speaking on the floor of the Chamber, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Welsh Language Sian Gwenllian noted the successes of the Welsh Language Commissioner and called on the new Minister for the Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan to reconsider the government’s decision to abolish the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner, warning that it would weaken the rights of Welsh speakers.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Welsh Language Sian Gwenllian said:

“The Labour government’s efforts to scrap the Welsh Language Commissioner are short sighted and will weaken the rights of Welsh speakers.

“Only a year since the introduction of the language standards system, which is managed by the Welsh Language Commissioner, there have been many positive developments. The perception of Welsh speakers about the services available to them has improved, there has been an increase in the number of telephone services available to Welsh speakers and more of our councils provide more services in Welsh.

“We want to build on this success, but scrapping the role of the Commissioner will certainly roll it back.

“The new Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan should reconsider the government’s decision to abolish the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner.”

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