The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales
On the 4th of July I spent a very beneficial day at Y Gynhadledd Fawr in Aberystwyth discussing the future of the Welsh language.
I’m grateful to the 160 attendees that came to Aberystwyth, as well as the 200 people that watched and participated in the discussion live on the internet. Over a thousand messages were received over the course of the day.
I am also grateful to the people that attended over twenty local focus groups across Wales during the period leading up to the conference – and to the over 2,300 people that have now participated in our online survey.
The response to the national debate, and the conference itself, has been very positive. It is testimony to the commitment and pride people have in the language; and shows that there is an enthusiasm to cooperate for the benefit of Welsh.
We have heard from people of all ages and various backgrounds, including those that do not speak the language themselves. I was especially proud of the young people that took part in Y Gynhadledd and appreciate the fact that they aired their honest opinions on the language. They are the future of the language and it is important that they lead the way to ensure that the language thrives.
During the summer, I will be considering what I heard at Y Gynhadledd and the opinions expressed during the national discussion, as I consider how the Welsh Government will respond to the questions raised by the 2011 Census results. I also look forward to seeing the conclusions of the various policy reviews that will report in the autumn on Welsh language communities, the language and the economy, Welsh for adults (published today), Welsh as a second language and the National Eisteddfod.
I will make a further statement in the autumn on the Government’s response to the national discussion that we have held over the past few weeks.