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Welsh language row erupts after Pembrokeshire Council says there is "no need to worry if you're not bilingual"

By Rarken  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

The Pembrokeshire County Council website before it was changed

Comments (6)

A ROW has broken out after Pembrokeshire County Council said on its website that “there is no need to worry if you’re not bilingual”.

The comment is in relation to applications for social work jobs.

The council has since admitted it was wrong to say Welsh was not prominent in social care and has changed the wording on its website.

But language pressure groups have said the statement is "an insult" to people living there and they have asked the Welsh language commissioner to intervene.

According to the 2011 census, just six of Wales's 22 local authorities have more Welsh speakers than Pembrokeshire.

Welsh language pressure groups Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) and Dyfodol i'r Iaith (Future of the Language) together with language initiative Menter Iaith Sir Benfro have all said they will write to the council and the Welsh language commissioner to complain about the wording on the council website.

The website originally said: "In Pembrokeshire, the Welsh language does not feature prominently in the delivery of social care.

"Generally, Welsh is only spoken as a first language in some parts of north Pembrokeshire.

"The internal language of the council is English, so there is no need to worry if you're not bilingual.

"We support social work, and other, employees who would like to learn the language - if only to master a few phrases in Welsh as a courtesy to service users - through free Welsh language training.

"This learning is open to all employees and can be a fun thing to do in its own right."

Tudur Lewis, Menter Iaith Sir Benfro's development officer, told the BBC: "The wording of this statement shows a scandalous attitude by the council towards the Welsh language by Pembrokeshire Council.

"The council needs to have more respect for the Welsh language and realise many people in the county conduct most of their lives by using Welsh only."

A Pembrokeshire council spokesman said: "We acknowledge that stating that Welsh is not prominent in social care is incorrect, and we will therefore be removing this statement.

"This is a difficult field to recruit into, and to preclude all those who were unable to speak Welsh would seriously impede recruitment.

"However, we will be altering the text to make it clear, in the first instance, that any recruits will be given the opportunity to learn Welsh if they are not Welsh speakers."

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  • odinhouse  |  March 04 2014, 8:45PM

    Try again, . 163ct034 . are you mad or what, a independence Wales. Look what is happening around the world when they get independence... ? as for MPs they are serving the UK. Not Flipping AM'

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  • 163ct034  |  March 04 2014, 3:31PM

    odinhouse how about No More MP's at west minster and an independent Wales! representing us here in wales. I agree! with you if there are cuts every thing! should be included and that incluides the welsh language but each time you read any! letter page that mentions the welsh language you get the same anti welsh old anti-welsh B@locks! like you I'm a proud welsh man and have proved it by serving in the army the welsh guards so I sometimes get peed-off! when people attack anything that puts wales 1st language goverment or anything that makes us better end of rant!

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  • odinhouse  |  March 03 2014, 2:18PM

    163ct034 . i am a Proud Welsh man, But when the Cuts come's it should be on Every thing including the Welsh Subsidies. and No More AM's..

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  • 163ct034  |  March 02 2014, 1:03PM

    Looks like odinhouse and the wenglish are out in force with their thumbs down to any body who will give an alternative view point sometime I think these people forget what country they live in sad B%!tards

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  • odinhouse  |  February 03 2014, 3:41PM

    i have looked at what County councils are trying to save money on. How about Cutting back on Subsiding the WELSH SERVICES that is being used in our area's . My local one is spending about £30 million each year, that works out to about £2.5 million per month, over a 5 Year Term it is £150Million

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  • Neathboy234  |  January 17 2014, 4:39PM

    I wonder if people feel the same about English in some parts of London. Would they say no need to worry if you don't speak English

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