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Language Proposal 2023 (As Amended)

Motion or resolution considered by Powys County Council

This motion was heard on 02/03/2023. It was proposed by Elwyn Vaughan and seconded by Bryn Davies .

Motion as voted upon

The results of the recent Census have revealed the desperate need to act immediately and comprehensively in relation to the Welsh language in Powys. We have heard much about environmental sustainability and the need for action, well the same is true of our Welsh communities.

Between 2011 and 2021 Powys lost over 2,600 Welsh speakers, and the percentage is now down to 16%. This also includes a fall of 1,864 in the number of children 3-15 years of age who can speak Welsh.

Powys is the only County during recent years, where a lower percentage had access to Welsh education than the percentage of Welsh speakers in the community. It’s no surprise therefore that we are seeing figures decline every decade.

Of course there are a number of reasons for the decline: economic weakness; a change in the agricultural pattern with less people working on the land, which is traditionally is the sector with a high percentage of Welsh speakers; young people moving from the area, and older people moving in; overdevelopment of houses in some communities which do not truly reflect those communities; but also the historical lack of action by Powys county council in favour of the Welsh language, and the lack of status afforded the language and Welsh education. That is why we need to promote the economic foundation and have a development body similar to the old Development Board for Rural Wales.

If sustainability is to mean anything, and if we want to change the situation by the next Census, then we must act now. Don’t think that Powys is alone in this situation; traditional communities or other historically linguistic communities across Europe have faced similar challenges, and there are lessons to be learned, especially from the Basque country in respect of the language and the economy. We must do this with a package of actions which include –

Therefore the Council would like to -

[*] Accept the principle that the Welsh language belongs to every part of Powys

[*] Support the call for a rural economic development agency

[*] Call on the Welsh Government to extend the ARFOR scheme (a linguistic economic scheme worth £11m in West Wales) to [Amendment: Whole of Powys] to promote the Welsh language and the economy

[*] Learn lessons and transfer knowledge of best practice of what has happened in ANDOAIN in the Basque country by intertwining economic activity and language. Focus will be on how Powys can learn and benefit sustainable Welsh speaking communities.

[*] Support the development of a cultural tourism plan making the most of the wealth of history in the county such as Sycharth, Brynglas, Cilmeri, Canolfan Glynd?r etc, ensuring that Powys is as much part of the future as the past. This to be done by identifying suitable grant sources for it’s delivery.

[*] Ensure sustainability for the Welsh language to be an integral part of the new Local Development Plan.

[*] [Amendment: TBC]

[*] Set an aim of increasing the percentage of fluent Welsh speakers in the Council’s workplaces to 16% to represent society.

[*] A language awareness workshop for all members of the Council as well as the workforce.

[*] Move 12 primary schools along the language continuum or create new Welsh provision/Welsh schools where that option does not exist as a matter or urgency.

[*] Establish 3 new Welsh medium high schools as soon as possible.

[*] Increase the IMMERSION provision in order to facilitate bilingualism.

[Amendment: [*] Note the growing evidence that bilingual people benefit from a number of advantages that help their health, learning skills and lifestyles, including improved concentration, better performance in IQ tests and examinations, slowing the onset of dementia and the ability to learn further languages, and ask Council to promote the benefits of bilingualism through Welsh medium education to people’s health, learning skills and lifestyles within the resources already available for Welsh Medium Education.]

For - 49
Abstained - 3

Result: Passed
Vote Requirement: Simple Majority

  Voting Record

Below is the individual voting record for all councillors on this motion/resolution.

Name Ward Party Vote
Baynham, Beverley Presteigne  Independent Group For
Bebb, Danny Churchstoke  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Beecham, Matt Crickhowell with Cwmdu and Tretower  Non-Affiliated For
Beecham, Sarah-Jane Crickhowell with Cwmdu and Tretower  Non-Affiliated For
Berriman, Jake Llandrindod North  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Breeze, Ben Kerry  Welsh Conservatives Group For
Brighouse, Little Disserth and Trecoed with Newbridge  Non-Affiliated For
Brignell-Thorp, Jeremy Forden and Montgomery  Non-Affiliated For
Cartwright, Anita Talybont-on-Usk  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Charlton, Jackie Llangattock and Llangynidr  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Church, Richard Welshpool Castle  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Colbert, Tom Bronllys and Felin-fach  Non-Affiliated For
Cox, Sian Llangors with Bwlch  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Davies, Aled Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Llansilin  Welsh Conservatives Group For
Davies, Angela Rhayader  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Davies, Bryan Llanafanfawr with Garth  Independents for Powys Group For
Davies, Bryn Banwy, Llanfihangel and Llanwddyn  Plaid Cymru Group For
Davies, Sandra Cwm-twrch  Welsh Labour Group For
Dorrance, Matthew Brecon West  Welsh Labour Group For
Ewing, Josie Llandrindod South  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Healy, Kelly Newtown Central and South  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
James, Peter Llanwrtyd Wells  Independent Group For
Johnson-Wood, Claire Llanyre with Nantmel  Independents for Powys Group For
Jones, Adrian Berriew and Castle Caereinion  Welsh Conservatives Group For
Jones, Ed Old Radnor  Independents for Powys Group For
Jones, Gareth E Llanelwedd  Independents for Powys Group For
Kennerley, Adam Newtown North  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Kenyon-Wade, Corinna Knighton with Beguildy  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Lewington, Pete Newtown West  Welsh Conservatives Group Abstained
Lewis, Karl Llandinam with Dolfor  Welsh Conservatives Group For
Lloyd, William Gwernyfed  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
McIntosh, Iain Yscir with Honddu Isaf and Llanddew  Welsh Conservatives Group Abstained
McNicholas, Susan Ynyscedwyn  Welsh Labour Group For
Meredith, David Brecon West  Welsh Labour Group For
Mitchell, Gary Llanbrynmair  Plaid Cymru Group For
Morgan, Gareth Llanidloes  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Morgan, Geoff Ithon Valley  Non-Affiliated For
Powell, William Talgarth  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Preston, Glyn Llanidloes  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Pugh, Gareth Dolforwyn  Welsh Conservatives Group Abstained
Ratcliffe, Gareth Hay  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Rijnenberg, Liz Brecon East  Welsh Labour Group For
Robinson, Carol Welshpool Gungrog  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Roderick, Edwin Maescar and Llywel  Independent Group For
Selby, David Newtown Central and South  Welsh Liberal Democrat Group For
Thomas, David Tawe Uchaf  Welsh Labour Group For
Vaughan, Elwyn Glantwymyn  Plaid Cymru Group For
Walsh, Chris Brecon East  Welsh Labour Group For
Williams, Ange Knighton with Beguildy  Independents for Powys Group For
Williams, Huw Aber-craf and Ystradgynlais  Welsh Labour Group For
Williams, Michael Machynlleth  Independent Group For
Williams, Sarah Aber-craf and Ystradgynlais  Welsh Labour Group For

Source: Voting Record