Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales
It gives me pleasure to make this statement regarding the appointment of the second Welsh Language Commissioner (“the Commissioner”). The Commissioner holds office for a period of seven years; the term of the current Commissioner, Meri Huws, comes to an end on 31 March 2019. I am pleased to announce my decision to offer the position to Aled Roberts.
The selection panel comprised of Rhian Huws Williams as chair and senior independent panel member; Bethan Sayed AC, who was nominated by the National Assembly’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee; Chris Burns, nominated by the Welsh Ministers as a person with relevant experience; and Bethan Webb, Deputy Director of the Welsh Language Division within Welsh Government. The post was advertised during the summer of 2018 and I am pleased to say that the panel were encouraged by the number and the standard of the applications submitted.
After considering the selection panel’s recommendations, I am confident that Aled has the skills, the experiences, and the credibility to be Welsh Language Commissioner and to play a leading role in the public discussion on the Welsh language during the challenging years ahead. The Commissioner’s main role is to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language, and this appointment will therefore be key to realising the Welsh Government’s ambitions in the Cymraeg 2050 Strategy.
Aled is a lawyer, a former local authority leader, a school governor, and of course a former well respected Assembly Member. A number of you will remember Aled from his time in the National Assembly and will recall that he was an enthusiastic advocate for the Welsh language. More recently Aled has led the work of conducting a review of the system for planning Welsh medium education. He has worked diligently with local authorities to improve their Welsh in Education Strategic Plans. I am grateful to him for this work. Aled has agreed to step down from this role so that he can be appointed as Welsh Language Commissioner.
Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank Meri Huws for what she has achieved during her term as Welsh Language Commissioner. Meri has taken to the role with conviction to ensure more rights for Welsh speakers and has put firm foundations in place for the second Commissioner.