Council updated on Welsh language strategy

The Equalities committee of Bridgend County Borough Council has received an update on how it is meeting its Welsh language responsibilities.

Running until 2021, the five-year strategy sets out how the council will promote the language and facilitate its use in the county borough.

Within the council, four Welsh-speaking apprentices have been appointed to permanent roles, the Welsh in the Workplace policy has been made available to employees via the staff intranet, and updated Welsh language training plans have been put in place for key frontline services.

Welsh language skills are assessed for each job vacancy when advertised and monitoring is carried out monthly to identify the demand for Welsh across all channels within Customer Services.

The council continues to work with Menter Bro Ogwr (MBO) to advertise Welsh-essential jobs and MBO is working with Halo and Awen Trust to provide recreational courses through the medium of Welsh for adults in Bridgend.

Over the past 12 months, the council has helped to raise the profile of the Welsh language, culture, and local activities and events. A rolling calendar of Welsh language activities is still in place and details are shared across internal and external communications channels.

The committee heard that the council has worked in partnership and supported activities across the county borough with organisations such as Menter Bro Ogwr and the Urdd Sports Department.

With Menter Bro Ogwr, the council delivered half term activities in February and the autumn and the partnership with the Urdd has included continuing the successful development of the family ‘Chwaraeon Bach’ programmes which include rugby, netball and football, introducing a structured programme of Welsh medium activities for second language schools, and supporting more than 2,700 children and young people accessing Welsh medium provision, with 57% of girls attending weekly provision and 33 leaders and coaches receiving training.

The Council’s Welsh Language Champion & Cabinet Member for Wellbeing & Future Generations, Cllr Dhanisha Patel said: “The council takes its responsibilities to the Welsh language very seriously. We are increasing awareness of the language in the workplace with e-learning modules and a training programme offered to council staff.

“Plans are also well underway for four early years settings in Bettws, Ogmore Valley, Porthcawl and Bridgend Town to feed current Welsh-medium primary schools in Bridgend.

“We will now work on the new five-year strategy, due for publication in September 2021.”