WELSH LANGUAGE POLICY

NORTH AND MID WALES ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS

POLICY APPROVED BY THE ASSOCIATION AND THE  WELSH LANGUAGE BOARD

(Items marked in red are implemented)

(Items marked in blue are in the process of being implemented)

The Scheme

Welsh Language Scheme prepared under the Welsh Language Act 1993. This Scheme received the approval of the Board under section 14 (1) of the Act on ………………………..

1. OPENING STATEMENT

The Association 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 Mid and North Wales.

Aims of the Council

The Association aims:

to enable everyone who receives or uses the Associations 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 region.

2. INTRODUCTION TO THE ASSOCIATION

Amongst the Associations main duties are:

to represent the collective views of the members of the Association and to support Town and Community Councils in the Mid Wales and North Wales area.

The Association currently has 31 members.

3. SERVICE PLANNING AND DELIVERY

3.1. New Policies and Initiatives

3.1.1. In devising new policies and initiatives the Association will:

assess the linguistic effect of any new policies and initiatives and ensure that they are consistent with the Welsh Language Scheme.

The Association will promote and facilitate the use of Welsh wherever possible and will move closer to implementing the principle of equality fully at every opportunity.

The Association will consult with the Welsh Language Board 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

Board’s agreement. The Association will ensure that those involved in formulating policy will be aware of the Scheme, and of the Associations responsibilities under the Welsh Language Act 1993.

And ensure that the measures contained in the Scheme are applied to new policies and initiatives when they are implemented.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

3.2. Standards of Quality

3.2.1. Services provided in English or Welsh will be of an equally high standard and equally prompt.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

4. DEALING WITH WELSH SPEAKING PUBLIC

4.1. Written Communication

4.1.1. The Association will welcome correspondence in either English or Welsh.

4.1.2. Correspondence through the medium of Welsh will not in itself lead to any delay

4.1.3. Every letter received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh.

4.1.4. 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.

4.1.5. All correspondence with a member of the public will be initiated in his/her preferred language if known.

4.1.6. The Association will make arrangements to translate correspondence as needed in order to respond to correspondence promptly and in the original language.

4.1.7. The Association secretary  will be responsible for ensuring translations of Correspondence are completed.

4.1.8. The Associations official headed paper will include a statement in both languages making it clear that correspondence is welcome in either Welsh or English.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

4.2. Telephone Calls

4.2.1. As the Secretary is not bilingual, the Association cannot offer a bilingual greeting, nor deal with calls in Welsh from the outset. However when

a member of the public wishes to speak Welsh the Secretary will offer to arrange for a Welsh speaking Council member to return the call within

2 hours or explain that the individual is welcome to continue with the call in English or send in their enquiry in written form in Welsh.

Members:

4.2.1. As the current Secretary and Members don’t speak Welsh, the Secretary cannot deal with telephone calls in Welsh. However when a member of

the public telephones wishing to speak Welsh, the Secretary will politely explain the situation and offer the individual the opportunity to

continue with the call in English or send in their enquiry in written form in Welsh.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

4.3. Public Meetings and Conferences organised by or on behalf of the Association

4.3.1. Contributions are welcomed in either Welsh or English at public meetings held by the Association. This will be stated clearly in the notices that inform or publicise the meeting.

4.3.2. All publicity for public meetings will be bilingual, and will invite those

attending to notify the Secretary of their language choice at least 7 days in advance so that appropriate translation arrangements can be made for Welsh-speakers.

4.3.3. When the Association 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.

4.3.4. Any written materials such as leaflets or acetates that are used in public meetings will be in English but will be available in Welsh if the public requests the same.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

4.4. Association Meetings

4.4.1. The Association meetings are conducted in English.

4.4.2. The notice and agenda for the Association meetings will be in English and available on request in Welsh.

4.4.3. The minutes will be in English.

4.4.4. The Association will respond to requests for information in relation to the minutes, or sections of the minutes in the preferred language of the individual.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

4.5. Face-to-Face Meetings with the Public

4.5.1. As the current Secretary and some Members don’t speak Welsh, the Association cannot provide face-to-face meetings with members of the public in Welsh. However when a member of the public contacts the Association

wishing to speak Welsh, the Secretary will politely explain the situation and offer the individual the opportunity to discuss the matter in English or send in their enquiry in written form in Welsh.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

4.6. Other Dealings with the Public

4.6.1. The Association contacts the public via modern technology namely computers, website, e-mail etc and these mediums will be available in Welsh if requested or if any communication is received in Welsh.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

5. THE ASSOCIATION’S  PUBLIC FACE

5.1. Corporate Identity

5.1.1. The Associations name is Cymdeithas Cynghorau Trefi a Chymdeithasau Mwyaf Gogledd Cymru (NORTH WALES ASSOCIATION OF TOWN AND LARGER COMMUNITY COUNCILS)

5.1.2. The Association will adopt a bilingual corporate identity by 31st March 2012

5.1.3. The name and address of the Association will appear bilingually on official headed paper, fax papers and compliment slips, and any other promotional material.

5.1.4. The web site home page shall be in both Welsh and English with all other pages in English but available on request in Welsh.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

5.2. Signage

5.2.1. All new information signs or those replacing previous signs on Association property will be bilingual, as will any other public information signs for which the Association is responsible. The two languages will appear

side by side, with the – Welsh and English appearing together. Where it is not practical.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

5.3. Publishing and Printing Material

5.3.1. All publications aimed at the public, such as documents, explanatory material or grant forms will be in English with a Welsh version available on request.

5.3.2. Advertising and publicity activities dealing with the Welsh language, Welsh medium education,  information about the Association will be bilingual.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

5.4. Statutory and promotional functions

5.4.1. In the information that is sent to those intending to apply for financial assistance towards local activities, the Association 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 for which they require financial support. When

considering applications, the Association will ensure that applicants have appropriately reflected the linguistic nature of the community and their audience in their application.

5.4.2. In submitting proposals the bilingual element will be a matter for the applicant to consider and not for the Association to require as a condition of grant

5.4.3. When the Association is consulted on WAG or County Council Documents or Policies, the Association will report in English but have the papers available in Welsh.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

5.5. Services by Other parties

5.5.1. Any arrangements made by the Association 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 Association. The Association

will outline which relevant measures in the Scheme the third party will have to adhere to within the tendering or contract specifications.

5.5.2. The Third party will need to confirm that it has complied with the relevant aspects of the Scheme by letter.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

6. IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING THE SCHEME

6.1. Staffing

6.1.1. None of the Association staff that deal with the public are bilingual. When all posts become vacant the advert(s) for all posts will note that having bilingual skills will be desirable but not essential.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

6.2. Administrative Arrangements

6.2.1. This scheme has the full support of the Association.

6.2.2. The Secretary will be responsible for implementing the Scheme on a day-to-day basis within the Association.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

6.3. The Translation Service

6.3.1. The Secretary will be responsible for the written translation needs of the Association, and will also be responsible for the standard of all Welsh text produced.

6.3.2. If the Secretary cannot complete the work within the timescale, the Association will employ an external translator.

6.3.3. The Secretary will be responsible for arranging simultaneous translation facilities for all the Association’s needs.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

6.4. Monitoring

6.4.1. Responsibility for monitoring the Scheme will rest with the Secretary to the Association.

6.4.2. The Association will receive a brief annual report on implementing the Scheme  with a copy being sent to the Welsh Language Board. 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 with an agenda for member Councils’.

6.4.3. The Report will deal with every aspect of the Scheme.

6.4.4. The Secretary will welcome suggestions from the public regarding improvements to any aspect of the Scheme (via letter or telephone communication).

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2011

6.5. Publicity

6.5.1. The Association will publicise the Scheme regularly through the local press, Web Site and notice boards.

6.5.2.  The Web Site home page shall be bi-lingual, all other pages will be in English but available in Welsh.

Compulsory Timetable: to be in place by 31st March 2012

6.6. Contacting the Association

6.6.1. Any comments, complaints or suggestions regarding the Scheme should be addressed to the Association at Triangle House, Union Street, Welshpool, SY21 7PG

This scheme was approved by the Association at its meeting held on …………………………….

 

SIGNED..]

Chair of the Association

 

SIGNED…

Secretary of the Association