Wales politics

Plans for 1m Welsh speakers 'lacks clarity and detail'

Bethan Jenkins
Image caption Committee chairwoman Bethan Jenkins said the plans require considerable extra resources

Plans to double the number of Welsh speakers in Wales to one million by 2050 lacks clarity and detail, a cross-party group of AMs has said.

The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee called the proposal "ambitious".

But it also warns that without extra resources, education priorities could be distorted by the strategy.

Ministers said the final proposals, due to be published in the summer, would include "a series of indicators".

The report, by the assembly's Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, said the proposals "need to be delivered in large part through the education system".

The committee warned of a "clear risk that this may have a distortive effect on the delivery of educational priorities as the system is realigned to be able to deliver the language strategy".

"It is therefore important that the resources and capacity needed to implement the policy are in addition to current spending on education," the report added.

Image caption Minister Alun Davies says the proposals are starting from a strong position

Committee chairwoman, Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins, said the AMs fully supported the "bold" aim of the "radical" policy.

"It is clear from considering the evidence that success will require hard work, considerable additional resources and clear targets," she said.

"It will also need to be founded on the continuing support of the people of Wales, Welsh and non-Welsh speakers alike."

The Welsh Government said it had "done a lot of work on the areas covered by the report", after a consultation on the draft strategy.

Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies said: "The final language strategy will set a strong long-term direction including a series of indicators to monitor progress towards achieving the million, in addition to an increased use of the Welsh language."

Calling the one million speakers target "deliberately ambitious" he said: "There are challenges ahead, but we are building from a position of strength."

In January, Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws said the education system needed to be "radically changed" to reach the figure, with all children under seven needing to be immersed in Welsh.

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