Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Another BBC Wales attack on Cymraeg tonight?

Sometimes I wonder when BBC Wales presents one of its  investigations into then Welsh Language it does so with the intention of proving that it is not a hotbed of Welsh Nationalism.
I don't normally criticise something I haven't watched and the latest Week In Week Out, BBC One Wales, will be screened tonight .
But since the BBC has already treated this as NEWS I can comment on the coverage.
According to the website
New Welsh language laws could cost public bodies £200m, a BBC Wales investigation has discovered.Torfaen council's deputy leader, Anthony Hunt, said he was shocked to find the authority may have to spend £868,000 during a time of cuts.
Services and information from public bodies have to be provided bilingually.
The Welsh Government said the cost involved should not be disproportionate if councils had followed Welsh language schemes in recent years.
Local authorities are the first to have to conform to the new rules, which came into effect in April.
Regulations will eventually be rolled out to all public bodies and financial impact assessments submitted by them to the Welsh Government suggested the total cost could reach £200m.
BBC Wales' Week In Week Out discovered 278 appeals have been launched,
It then chooses Torfaen to present its 2"Facts",
Torfaen council's deputy leader, Anthony Hunt, said he was shocked to find the authority may have to spend £868,000 during a time of cuts.
Note "May" no real analysis is given
Mr Hunt said:
 "Councils run a plethora of different services and we've had to make really stringent cuts in some of those areas.
"You're talking of tens of millions of pounds over the last five or six years, just to keep going. If it was going to make a real difference to the language I can understand it, but my issue comes where it's maybe more tokenistic."
He said about 2% of people access the council's website in Welsh
 
Independent councillor Ron Burnett said:

"It's too much too late. Torfaen has never been a Welsh-speaking area, it's never going to be a Welsh-speaking area.
"I'm a proud Welshman and I know we have to protect our Welsh language and our heritage but at what cost? This is a time of austerity, can we afford it? I think not

No one on the newspage seems to questioning the figures apart from Conservative AM for South Wales West, Suzy Davies, who is the party's spokeswoman on the Welsh language, said she supported the new laws but was surprised by the costs involved.
"There is an interesting question here, though, for local authorities isn't there, about how they use their assembly members.
"Because those conversations with the Welsh language commissioner may well have been taking place but I didn't hear anything from the Welsh Local Government Association saying 'come on now, assembly members come and help us with this'," 
Even if the program is fair and balanced the BEEBs reporting even before the program is broadcast does not fill me with promise .

We need to ensure that support  for the Language is as effective as possible and it may be that incurring costs in this manner is not the best way .

But if we are to  have such a debate then we need realistic audits and maybe councils other public bodies should try and be a bit more positive in their implementation.


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