Welsh Language Scheme
Caernarfon Town Council has adopted the principle that in the conduct of public business in Wales 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 Caernarfon
The Council recognises that members of the public 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 in dealings with the Council.
In relation to this Scheme, the Council aims:
- to enable everyone who receives or uses the Council’s services or contributes to the democratic process to do so through the medium of Welsh or English, according to personal choice.
- to encourage the use of the Welsh language in the community.
- to encourage others to use the Welsh language in the community.
Amongst the Council’s main duties are:
- consider planning matters;
- suggest improvements regarding highways;
- work with the police to safeguard the community;
- provide Christmas lights every year;
- provide financial assistance for various voluntary organisations and charities;
- look after the bus shelters in the town
- appoint representatives to numerous local and outside bodies.
The Council has 17 of elected members, and the Clerk works full time.
There are a number of social, cultural and community groups that play a prominent part in the life of the community. The Council is working to promote community development and social activities and respond to local needs to improve the living standards in the area.
In devising new policies and initiatives the Council will:
- assess their linguistic effect and ensure that they are consistent with the Welsh Language Scheme;
- promote and facilitate the use of Welsh wherever possible and will move closer to implementing the principle of equality fully at every opportunity;
- consult with the Welsh Language Commissioner in advance regarding proposals that will affect the scheme, or the scheme of any other public body. The scheme will not be altered without the Commissioner’s agreement;
- ensure that those involved in formulating policy will be aware of the Scheme, and of the Council’s responsibilities under the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011;
- ensure that the measures contained in the Scheme are applied to new policies and initiatives when they are implemented.
- When the Council is consulted on planning applications, the Council will encourage applicants to erect signs in Welsh or bilingually in locations such as offices, businesses and shops and supermarkets by referring to the linguistic nature of the area.
- When the Council is consulted on the naming of streets, developments and new estates, the Council will support the use of Welsh, bilingual or indigenous names.
- Where only minor differences exist between the Welsh and English spelling of place, street, ward, or community names, the Council will support the adoption of the Welsh version.
Services provided in English or Welsh will be of an equally high standard and equally prompt.
Written communication (mail and e-mail)
- The Council will welcome correspondence in either English or Welsh.
- Correspondence through the medium of Welsh will not in itself lead to any delay
- Every letter received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh.
- All correspondence following a telephone or face-to-face conversation in Welsh or a meeting where it was established that Welsh is the preferred language of the person, although the discussion may not have been held through the medium of Welsh, will be in Welsh.
- All correspondence with a member of the public will be initiated in his/her preferred language if known.
- If it is not known initial correspondence from the Council will be bilingual.
- All circular or standard letters to the public will be bilingual.
- Where relevant, the Council’s official headed paper will include a statement in both languages making it clear that correspondence is welcome in either Welsh or English.
- The Clerk will give a bilingual greeting and will welcome telephone calls to the office in Welsh.
- When the Clerk’s post becomes vacant it will be advertised confirming that bilingual skills will be essential so that the Council can offer a bilingual service to the public.
- Contributions are welcomed in either Welsh or English at public meetings held by the Council. This will be stated clearly in the notices that inform or publicise the meeting.
- Any public meeting that is held to discuss the Welsh Language, Welsh medium education, Council Tax or any information regarding local elections/by-elections will be bilingual.
- All publicity for public meetings will be bilingual.
- If it is evident at the beginning of a meeting that all those present speak Welsh, the meeting will be held in Welsh. (THE TRANSLATOR WILL BE RELASED AFTER 20 MINUTES )
- The Council will provide translation facilities for non Welsh-speakers, according to need, for public meetings arranged by or on behalf of the Council.
- When the Council is aware that a member of the public wishes to speak Welsh in a public meeting that would otherwise be conducted in English, this should be respected by providing appropriate translation arrangements.
- At the start of the meeting, the Chair shall draw attendees’attention to interpretation services when available.
- Some Members and key speaker/s will use Welsh in public meetings arranged by or on behalf of the Council.
- Every staff member will present at public meetings to welcome the public and to deal with enquiries, questions or comments in Welsh.
- Most elected members present at public meetings will be able to welcome the public and to deal with enquiries, questions or comments in Welsh.
- Any written materials such as leaflets or slides that are used in public meetings will be bilingual when produced by the Council.
- The Council’s meetings are conducted in Welsh.
- The notice and Agenda for the Council’s meetings will be bilingual.
- The minutes will be in Welsh or bilingual.
- The Council will welcome meetings with the public in either Welsh or English, and will ensure that appropriate arrangements are taken to enable any member of the public to discuss matters with the Clerk in Welsh should they wish to do so.
Announcements made on the internet on behalf of the Council will be in Welsh or in Welsh and English.
The Council’s name is to be in Welsh or Welsh and English.
All new information signs or those replacing previous signs on Council property will be bilingual, as will any other public information signs for which the Council is responsible. The two languages will appear side by side, with the Welsh version appearing to the left or above the English. The size, quality, legibility and prominence of text will be equal in Welsh and English.
- All publications aimed at the public, such as documents, explanatory material or grant forms will be bilingual with both language versions forming one document. The versions will be printed side-by-side where possible to facilitate easy cross-reference, distribution and offer language choice. A rare exception to this would be tender documents with a limited and Specialist target audience.
- If Welsh and English versions are published separately they will appear simultaneously, be distributed together and be equally accessible.
- All Advertising and publicity activities will be bilingual.
- Council advertisements and notices – to be placed in the press, on notice boards or any other medium will be bilingual.
- Job advertisements will appear bilingually in English/bilingual publications and in Welsh only in Welsh language publications with a footnote in English.
- In the information that is sent to those intending to apply for financial assistance towards local activities, the Council will make it clear that there is need for applicants to describe how they intend to reflect the bilingual nature of the community and their audience in the activity(ies) for which they require financial support. When considering applications, the Council will ensure that applicants have appropriately reflected the linguistic nature of the community and their audience in their application.
- The Council will also notify the applicant that the local menter iaith can provide advice and practical assistance in relation to the bilingual content of the activity, including information on grants available for this purpose.
- Any arrangements made by the Council to use a third party to deliver services to the public on its behalf will comply with the specific requirements in the Scheme as outlined by the Council. The Council will outline which relevant measures in the Scheme the third party will have to adhere to within the tendering or contract specifications.
- The Third party will need to confirm that it has complied with the relevant aspects of the Scheme by letter, report or submit evidence.
- This scheme has the full support of the Council.
- The Clerk will be responsible for implementing the Scheme on a day-to-day basis within the Council.
- According to need, the Clerk will ensure that guidelines and instructions will be available to all who are involved in the implementation of the scheme.
- Responsibility for monitoring the Scheme will rest with the Clerk of the Council.
- The Council will receive a brief annual report on implementing the Scheme that will be displayed locally (for example, the local press, local information boards, monthly papur bro and so on) with a copy being sent to the Welsh Language Commissioner. Also the Council will invite local Welsh speaking residents to offer their views on the service and how it could be improved, by placing a copy of the Report in the local office, library or leisure centre.
- The Council will publicise the Scheme regularly
Any comments, complaints or suggestions regarding the Scheme should be addressed to:
Mrs Katherine Owen, Clerk of the Council Caernarfon Town Council, Institute Building, Pavillion Hill, Caernarfon. LL55 1AS
The Council shall review the contents of this Scheme every 3 years.