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Welsh Language 

The Welsh Language is one of Europe’s oldest languages and here, in Carmarthenshire, we have the highest number of Welsh speakers across Wales.

The Welsh Language is one of Europe’s oldest languages and here, in Carmarthenshire, we have the highest number of Welsh speakers across Wales.
The 2001 Census shows that 83,802 of the County’s population can speak Welsh and further details can be access through our online statistics module.

The 2001 Census is a key source of information regarding the Language, not only on a national level but also on a local level. The number of Welsh speakers across Wales rose from 509,098 in 1991 to 575,730 in 2001.

Across Wales, there was a decrease amongst the Welsh heartlands, including Carmarthenshire where numbers fell from 89,213 in 1991 to 83,802 in 2001.

It must be noted that an increase has been seen amongst young people, particularly between the ages of five and fifteen.

The Council believes that it is a source of pride that the Welsh language is widely used in Carmarthenshire and is increasing in many areas – with more young and older people learning and using the language. The Council is committed to supporting the language and aims to promote it and encourage its use throughout the county.

The Council supports the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision described in the Strategy for the Welsh Language ‘A living language: A language for living’ published in 2010. As the document notes the "Welsh language is an essential part of the cultural identity and character of Wales. It helps to define who we are as a nation - in our communities, in our relationships with friends and families and as individuals."

As part of our commitment to support the Language in our county, we have appointed Councillor Clive Scourfield, a member of the Executive Board to be responsible for Language Development. To advise him on the way forward we have established a Members Advisory Panel on the Welsh Language.

Welsh Language Scheme 2011-2014

Carmarthenshire County Council has adopted the principle that it will treat Welsh and English on a basis of equality. This scheme sets out how the Council will implement that principle in the provision of services to the public in Carmarthenshire.

The Council recognises:

  • that our customers can express their views and needs better in their preferred language
  • that enabling them to use their preferred language is a matter of good practice rather than a concession and
  • that the denial of that right could place members of the public at a real disadvantage.

The Council will, therefore, offer the public the right to choose which language to use when dealing with us.

It is a statutory responsibility, in line with the Welsh Language Act 1993 for public bodies in Wales to adopt and implement a Welsh Language Scheme.

The Scheme should note clearly how the public body will treat the Welsh and English language on the basis of equality when providing services and communicating with the public, and should also contain information on the following:

  • publishing bilingual documents
  • promoting a bilingual corporate identity
  • promoting the use of the Welsh Language in public meetings
  • answering the phone bilingually
  • corresponding with the public bilingually
  • ensuring that third party organisations provide services in Welsh
  • providing bilingual services
  • mainstreaming the Welsh Language into policies and services

The Council aims to:

  • develop bilingualism throughout the council and Carmarthenshire
  • allow everyone who receives or uses our services, or contributes to the democratic process, to do so in Welsh or English, according to their personal choice
  • improve the standard of services provided in Welsh across all departments
  • promote the increased use of the Welsh language throughout Carmarthenshire, which will contribute to the campaign to revitalise the Welsh language throughout Wales, including the National Assembly for Wales’ strategy
  • promote the development and increased use of the Welsh language through all our policies, strategies, projects and partnerships
  • promote the use of the Welsh language by all individuals and organisations across Carmarthenshire
  • develop the ability of school pupils and students of all ages to be confident in speaking, reading and writing in both languages
  • raise the confidence and ability of our staff, councillors and residents in their bilingual skills
  • develop a modern bilingual image for the county as a whole, which values its heritage and promotes the Welsh language
Please click here to view Carmarthenshire County Council’s Welsh Language Scheme 2011–2014.

It is required that the Council prepares an Annual Report to provide detail on the implementation of the Welsh Language Scheme to confirm compliance and to report on performance. Click here to read the Annual Report 2012/2013.

National Developments 

A strategy for the Welsh Language ‘A Living Language: A Language for Living’ was published in December 2010 as a Consultation Document by the Welsh Assembly Government. The strategy reflects the Assembly’s vision which is determined to see the Welsh Language thrive. The strategy builds on the vision set out in Iaith Pawb: the National Action Plan for a Bilingual Wales published in 2003.

The National Assembly for Wales is committed to the future of the Welsh Language and has approved a new Welsh Language Measure in 2011 that:

  • confirms the official status of the Welsh language
  • creates a new system of placing duties on bodies to provide services through the medium of Welsh
  • creates a Welsh Language Commissioner with strong enforcement powers to protect the rights of Welsh speakers to access services through the medium of Welsh
  • establishes a Welsh Language Tribunal
  • gives individuals and bodies the right to appeal decisions made in relation to the provision of services through the medium of Welsh
  • creates a Welsh Language Partnership Council to advise Government on its strategy in relation to the Welsh language
  • allows for an official investigation by the Welsh Language Commissioner of instances where there is an attempt to interfere with the freedom of Welsh speakers to use the language with one another.
Page last updated on 28/10/2013