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Cymraeg 2050 is our national strategy for increasing the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050.
The Welsh Government is fully committed to the new strategy, with the target of a million speakers included in its Programme for Government. A thriving Welsh language is also included in one of the 7 well-being goals in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
We also have a statutory obligation to fully consider the effects of our work on the Welsh Language. This means that any Welsh Government policy should consider how our policies affect the language and those who speak it. The Cymraeg 2050 strategy has 3 interrelated themes:
Theme 1: Increasing the number of Welsh speakers
- Language transmission in the family
- The early years
- Statutory education
- Post-compulsory education
- The education workforce, resources and qualifications
Theme 2: Increasing the use of Welsh
- The workplace
- Social use of Welsh
Theme 3: Creating favourable conditions - infrastructure and context
- Community and economy
- Culture and media
- Wales and the wider world
- Digital technology
- Linguistic infrastructure
- Language planning
- Evaluation and research
The headings under each theme outline the scope of activities that can affect the language.
As a general rule, if your policy has the potential to impact on people, it will impact in some way on Welsh speakers and therefore on the Welsh language.
1. Welsh Language Impact Assessment reference number
Completed by the Welsh Language Standards Team, email: Safonau.Standards@gov.wales: 3 September 2023.
2. Does the proposal demonstrate a clear link with the Welsh Government’s strategy for the Welsh language?
There are links between the proposals in the legislation relating to increasing the size of the Senedd and constituency boundaries and the Welsh Government’s strategy for the Welsh language.
In broad terms, measures to increase the size of the Senedd will improve its ability to conduct policy and legislative scrutiny, including in relation to cultural wellbeing and the Welsh language. The expanded Senedd will continue to operate on a bilingual basis.
There is a clear link between the boundaries aspects of the legislation and the Cymraeg 2050. The Work Programme for 2021-26 Welsh place-names is also included in the Cymraeg 2050: Welsh language strategy action plan 2023 to 2024. In our Programme for Government, we commit to working to protect Welsh place-names, and this has been reinforced by the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru. A linguistic infrastructure unit will be responsible for Welsh Government policy on Welsh place-names.
The naming of Senedd constituencies is a central part of the renamed LDBCW’s reviews of Senedd constituency boundaries, and the Bill places requirements on the renamed LDBCW to consult the Welsh Language Commissioner on the orthography (the accepted way of spelling and writing words) of the proposed Welsh names for new Senedd constituencies or proposed changes to the Welsh names of Senedd constituencies (given the Commissioner’s responsibility for providing advice on the standard form of Welsh place-names).
There may be valuable principles from the standard forms of Welsh place names that may be applied to the names of Senedd constituencies. This will mean that the Welsh names for Senedd constituencies are accurate and reflect certain conventions (for example, when hyphens should be used, whether names should be written as one word or more, etc).
3. Describe and explain the impact of the proposal on the Welsh language, and explain how you will address these impacts in order to improve outcomes for the Welsh language.
How will the proposal affect Welsh speakers of all ages (both positive and/or adverse effects)? You should note your responses to the following in your answer to this question, along with any other relevant information:
As is outlined under the ‘rural proofing’ section of the Integrated Impact Assessment, some rural communities may be concerned that future Senedd boundary reviews could lead to significant changes and that Welsh speaking communities could be split between Senedd constituencies, which may then impact or undermine the use of Welsh language within their communities. However, the renamed LDBCW may take into account as part of the ‘pairing’ boundary review (ahead of the 2026 Senedd election) “any local ties that would be broken by the proposed pairings”. In addition, when considering whether there should be changes to the Senedd constituencies as part of the review to take place ahead of the 2030 election (and subsequent reviews), the renamed LDBCW may also take into account “any local ties that would be broken by such changes”. In previous local government boundary reviews, the LDBCW considered Welsh Language as an aspect of local ties that should be considered.
The renamed LDBCW is subject to Welsh Language Standards. It has publicised the standards that apply to it and how it will comply in a document on its website. As a result, in terms of participating in Senedd boundary reviews and facilitating the use of the Welsh language, individuals will be able to contribute to the reviews through the medium of Welsh, for example by submitting consultation responses or speaking at public hearings. All guidance documents and reports will also be published in both English and Welsh.
Following the completion of the reviews, it is important to note that the regulations implementing new Senedd constituencies in law following completion of boundary reviews will be made both in English and Welsh. The Order that sets out the current Senedd constituencies - The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006 (as amended) - is in English only. Therefore, the Welsh names of Senedd constituencies will exist in law for the first time, which is considered an important milestone.
In practice however, the existing Senedd constituencies have been referred to by both their English and Welsh names. The Bill makes provision for the continuation of this, as the renamed LDBCW, as part of its reviews, must propose constituency names in English and Welsh, or if a name is acceptable in both languages, they should propose that one name. In the scenario where there are different names in English and Welsh, both names must be included in the English and Welsh versions of the reports they publish as part of the review. This will enable electors to more easily and readily consider the approach taken in identifying the recommended constituency names in both languages.