Thursday, 20 May 2010

Welsh Essential.

This is a letter which I wrote to the Western Mail in response to Dr Sibani Roy's letter of the 12th May 2010, where she claims that a requirement to be able to speak Welsh for particular jobs discriminates against non Welsh speakers.

Dear Editor,

I would be grateful if you could allow me an opportunity to reply to Dr Sibani Roy’s letter (Plaid and Language, May 12). As is the case in Wrecsam, I’m sure that one of the biggest employers in Colwyn Bay is Conwy Borough Council and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Perhaps it would strengthen Dr Roy’s case if she provided evidence to support her assertion that the need for SOME jobs to be Welsh essential is discriminatory.

Let’s take Wrecsam as an example, 14% of the population of Wrecsam County Borough Council speak Welsh but only 5% of the Council’s 6,450 staff speak Welsh and less than 10 non teaching council posts are deemed to be Welsh essential. Of teaching jobs in Wrecsam 190 are Welsh essential, which is hardly surprising when we have 5 Welsh medium primary schools and one Welsh medium Secondary School in the County Borough. Incidentally Wrecsam spend LESS than 0.1% of the budget on Welsh language translation.

Perhaps Dr Roy can obtain similar figures from Conwy County Borough Council and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd so we can examine the data and ascertain whether her assertions are based on fact or just on her perceptions.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Arfon Jones.

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