National Assembly for Wales

Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee

28/11/2018

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Caroline Jones AM
Dai Lloyd AM
David Melding AM
Mick Antoniw AM
Rhianon Passmore AM

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Celia Hunt Cyfarwyddwr Datblygu Strategol, Cyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru
Director of Strategic Development, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Dr David Blaney Prif Weithredwr, Cyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru
Chief Executive, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Owen Watkin Cadeirydd, Comisiwn Ffiniau a Democratiaeth Leol Cymru
Chair, Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales
Sian Tomos Cyfarwyddwr Menter ac Adfywio, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru
Director, Enterprise and Regeneration, Arts Council of Wales

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a oedd yn bresennol

National Assembly for Wales Officials in Attendance

Adam Vaughan Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Osian Bowyer Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Steve George Clerc
Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.

The meeting began at 09:30.

Penodi Cadeirydd dros dro
Appointment of a temporary Chair

Diolch. Rwyf yn datgan bod y cyfarfod hwn o'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu ar agor. Mae Cadeirydd y pwyllgor yn sâl ac wedi anfon ei hymddiheuriadau ar gyfer y cyfarfod. Felly, yr eitem gyntaf o fusnes yw penodi Cadeirydd dros dro o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.22, ac rwyf yn gwahodd enwebiadau gan aelodau'r pwyllgor. 

Thank you. I declare that this meeting of the Culture, Welsh Langugage and Communications Committee is open. The committee Chair is unwell and has sent her apologies for this meeting. Therefore, the first item of business is the appointment of a temporary Chair under Standing Order 17.22, and I invite nominations from committee members. 

Os nad oes unrhyw enwebiadau eraill—

I see that there are no further nominations—

—felly, rwyf yn datgan bod Dai Lloyd wedi ei ethol ac yr wyf yn ei wahodd i gymryd y gadair. 

—therefore, I declare that Dai Lloyd is elected Chair and I invite him to take the chair. 

Penodwyd Dai Lloyd yn Gadeirydd dros dro.

Dai Lloyd was appointed temporary Chair.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Diolch yn fawr iawn. A ydym ni'n aros i'r tystion?

Thank you very much. Are we waiting for the witnesses?

Fe gariwn ni ymlaen. A allaf i ddiolch yn fawr iawn i fy nghyd-Aelodau am eu hyder yn fy ngallu annigonol i redeg cyfarfod? Diolch yn fawr iawn, ta beth, a chroeso i bawb i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Nawr, mae Jane Hutt a Jenny Rathbone wedi gyrru eu hymddiheuriadau nhw i'r cyfarfod ac, fel rydym ni wedi nodi eisoes, mae Bethan ein Cadeirydd yn sâl felly nid yw hi'n gallu bod yn bresennol, a dyna sut rydw i yn y gadair fel ydw i. 

Tra ein bod ni ar eitem 1, a allaf ofyn i fy nghyd-Aelodau a oes ganddyn nhw unrhyw ddatganiadau o fuddiannau yn ôl y Rheolau Sefydlog? Nac oes. Reit, grêt. Diolch yn fawr. Symudwn ni ymlaen, felly, o eitem 1 i eitem 2.

We'll carry on. May I thank my fellow Members for their confidence in my insufficient ability to run a meeting? Thank you very much anyway, and welcome, all, to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. Now, Jane Hutt and Jenny Rathbone have sent apologies for this meeting and, as has been noted already, Bethan, our Chair, is ill and cannot be with us this morning, and that's how I'm in the chair.

While we're on item 1, may I ask my fellow Members whether anybody has any declarations of interest according to the Standing Orders? No. Right, great. Thank you very much. We'll move on, therefore, from item 1 to item 2.

2. Cefnogi a hybu'r Gymraeg: Ymchwiliad i'r cyd-destun deddfwriaethol, polisi ac ehangach: Sesiwn dystiolaeth 7
2. Supporting and promoting the Welsh language: An inquiry into the legislative, policy and wider context: Evidence session 7

Rydym ni wedi cyrraedd rhan ddiweddaraf ein hymchwiliad ni fel pwyllgor i gefnogi a hybu'r Gymraeg: ymchwiliad i'r cyd-destun deddfwriaethol, polisi ac ehangach. Yn benodol, felly, i ddechrau, byddwn ni'n edrych ar sut mae Mesur iaith 2011 yn gweithredu. Ac i'r perwyl yna y bore yma, rwy'n falch iawn o groesawu i'n plith David Blaney, prif weithredwr Cyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru; Celia Hunt, cyfarwyddwr datblygu strategol, Cyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru; Sian Tomos, cyfarwyddwr menter ac adfywio, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru; a hefyd Owen Watkin, cadeirydd Comisiwn Ffiniau a Democratiaeth Leol Cymru. Croeso i'r pedwar ohonoch chi. 

Yn naturiol, rydym ni wedi derbyn eich tystiolaeth ysgrifenedig ymlaen llaw, a diolch am hynny. Felly, yn ôl ein harfer, mae gydag Aelodau nifer sylweddol o gwestiynau maen nhw eisiau mynd ar eu holau nhw, ac i ddechrau mi wnaf i, fel Cadeirydd dros dro'r pwyllgor yma, yn sylfaenol ac yn gyffredinol, efallai, holi am gryfderau a gwendidau Mesur 2011. A allaf i ofyn ichi yn y lle cyntaf beth ydych chi'n gweld fel effaith Mesur 2011 ar hawliau siaradwyr Cymraeg? Gyda llaw, a allaf i ei gwneud hi'n glir ar y dechrau y bydd nifer o gwestiynau ond nid oes rhaid i'r pedwar ohonoch chi ateb pob cwestiwn, ond os oes rhywbeth sydd yn mynnu cael ei ychwanegu at unrhyw ateb, teimlwch yn rhydd i gyfranogi. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Pwy sydd eisiau dechrau efo effeithiau cyffredinol Mesur 2011 ar hawliau siaradwyr Cymraeg? Fedrch chi ymhelaethu ar nodweddion cadarnhaol y Mesur—lle mae o'n gryf a le mae o'n wan, efallai. Drosodd i chi.

We have reached the latest stage of our inquiry as a committee into supporting and promoting the Welsh language: an inquiry into the legislative policy and wider context. Specifically, therefore, to begin with, we'll look at how the 2011 language Measure operates and, in that context, I'm very glad to welcome David Blaney, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; Celia Hunt, the director of strategic development, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; Sian Tomos, the director of enterprise and regeneration, Arts Council of Wales; and also Owen Watkin, chair of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales. Welcome to the four of you. 

Naturally, we have received your written evidence beforehand, and thank you for that. Therefore, as usual, Members have a significant number of questions that they'd like to ask, and to start with. as temporary Chair of this committee, basically I'll start with general questions to ask about the strengths and weaknesses of the 2011 Measure. May I ask you in the first place what you see as the impact of the 2011 Measure on Welsh speakers' rights? By the way, may I make it clear at the beginning that there will be a number of questions and the four of you don't have to answer every question, but if there's anything specifically that needs to be added to a response, please feel free to contribute. Thank you. So, who would like to start with the general impacts of the 2011 Measure on Welsh speakers' rights. You may expand on the positive characteristics of the Measure—where it's strong, where it's weak, perhaps. Over to you. 

A ydych chi eisiau i fi fynd yn gyntaf?

Shall I go first?

Gadeirydd, diolch yn fawr iawn am y croeso a diolch am y cyfle i roi tystiolaeth ichi. A gaf i ddechrau drwy ddweud, wrth gwrs, fod y Mesur mewn grym ers rhai blynyddoedd nawr, ac mae'n anodd iawn i fynd yn ôl at y dadleuon—a llawer o ddadleuon—a gafwyd cyn i'r Mesur gael ei basio gan y Cynulliad. 

Y mesur cadarnhaol, wrth gwrs, yw ei fod yn gosod hawliau i bobl gyffredin ddefnyddio'r iaith ble bynnag maen nhw am ei wneud, yn enwedig yn y sector cyhoeddus. Ac efallai dyna'r cryfder. Ar y ffordd i mewn y bore yma, roeddwn i'n cofio—. Cefais fy magu yng Nghaerdydd—person o Gaerdydd ydw i—ac rwy'n cofio yn y 1950au a 1960au, prin roeddwn i'n gweld Cymraeg yn gyhoeddus, ond nawr mae hi i'w gweld. A dyna un effaith gadarnhaol i'r Mesur. 

Yr ail beth y buaswn i'n hoffi'i godi—fe ddewch chi at hyn—yw cwestiwn y safonau. A ydy'r safonau yn gymwys ac yn weithredol? Roedd hi'n bwysig iawn cael rhyw gyfundrefn i weithredu'r hawliau, ond efallai mai'r ddadl yw ai dyna'r ffordd orau o weithredu'r hawliau.

Chair, thank you very much for the welcome and thank you for the opportunity to provide evidence to you. May I start by saying that the Measure has been in force for some years now and it's very difficult to return to many of the debates and arguments that were had before the Measure was passed by the Assembly. 

The positive outcome, of course, is that it provides rights for ordinary people to use the Welsh language where they choose, particularly in the public sector. And that is perhaps its strength. On the way in this morning, I recalled—. I was brought up in Cardiff—I'm from Cardiff—and I recall that, in the 1950s and 1960s, you hardly ever saw the Welsh language publicly, but now it's very visible. And that's one positive impact of the Measure. 

The second thing I'd like to mention—and I'm sure you will come to this point—is the issue of the standards. Are the standards appropriate and operational? It was important to have some sort of regime to implement the rights, but the argument perhaps is whether that is the most effective way of implementing those rights. 

09:35

Ie, dyna un o brif pwyntiau ein hymchwiliad ni. A ydych chi eisiau—? 

That's one of the main points of our inquiry. Would you like to contribute? 

Rwy'n meddwl ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn cael y balans rhwng cydymffurfiaeth a hawliau, ac annog a chymell pobl i ddewis defnyddio'r Gymraeg. Ond heb yr hawliau a heb y gydymffurfiaeth, nid oes dim byd yn bosibl. Fel cam sylfaenol, mae hynny'n hollbwysig, rwy'n credu. 

Pan ddaeth y safonau i mewn—mae'r cyngor celfyddydau, yn amlwg, yn defnyddio'r Gymraeg yn eithaf naturiol oherwydd y gwaith a natur y gwaith—nid oedd o'n gymaint o gam i ni ag rwy'n siŵr ei bod wedi bod i lot o gyrff eraill. Ond, wedi dweud hynny, mi oedd o'n stretch, a phan wnaethom ni gael y rhestr o safonau roeddem ni'n gorfod cwrdd â nhw, mi oedd o wedi'n herio ni, yn fewnol, yn bendant. Trwy ymestyn ymgyrraedd y safonau i fusnes mewnol cyrff cyhoeddus, mae wedi codi ymwybyddiaeth a gwneud y Gymraeg lot yn fwy gweladwy yn fewnol i'r cyngor celfyddydau, achos, heb yn wybod i ni, ac efallai ddim o ddewis, rîli, iaith naturiol fewnol y cyngor celfyddydau oedd Saesneg. Roeddem ni jest yn derbyn hynny. Ond, drwy ddod â'r safonau i mewn, rydym ni wedi gweld cynnydd mawr yn y defnydd o'r Gymraeg yn fewnol. Mae wedi ein galluogi ni i ddod â staff i fewn i'r adnoddau dynol a thechnoleg gwybodaeth, ac rydym ni'n trin y staff fel y cyhoedd yn y modd rydym ni'n siarad â nhw. So, pan fyddwn ni'n siarad â'r staff i gyd, rydym ni'n derbyn rŵan ein bod ni'n gorfod gwneud hynny'n ddwyieithog. Mae hynny wedi gwneud y Gymraeg yn llawer iawn fwy gweladwy o fewn y cyngor celfyddydau.

A'r gwaith allanol hefyd—. Mae o wedi ein galluogi ni i weithio efo pobl rydym yn gweithio mewn partneriaeth efo nhw—y cyrff rydym ni'n eu hariannu a'r grantiau rydym ni wedi eu rhoi—ac wedi ein galluogi ni i wneud mwy i weithio mewn partneriaeth efo'r bobl rydym yn gweithio efo nhw hefyd i annog y defnydd o'r Gymraeg.   

I think it's very important to have the balance between compliance and rights, and encouraging and persuading people to use the Welsh language. But without the rights and without the compliance, nothing is possible. So, as a basic step, that is vital, I think. 

When the standards were introduced—the arts council, clearly, uses the Welsh language quite naturally because of the work and the nature of the work—it wasn't such a big step for us as it has been perhaps for many other bodies. But having said that, it was a stretch, and when we did receive the list of standards that we had to meet, it did challenge us internally, certainly. Through expanding the reach of the standards to the internal business of public bodies, it has raised awareness and has made the Welsh language more visible within the arts council, because—perhaps not out of choice for us—the natural language internally of the arts council was English, and we just accepted that. But, through bringing the standards in, we've seen a great increase in the use of the Welsh language internally. It has enabled us to bring staff into human resources and IT, and we treat the staff in the same way as we would the public in the way that we speak with them. So, when we speak to the whole staff, we accept that we have to do that bilingually, and that has meant that the Welsh language is much more visible within the arts council. 

And the external work as well—. It's enabled us to work with people that we work in partnership with—the bodies that we fund, the grants that we provide—and to do more work in partnership with the people that we work with also to encourage the use of the Welsh language. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi. A oes yna farn o Gyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru? 

Thank you very much. Is there a view from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales? 

Yes. I think we would argue that the introduction of the standards has caused us to think quite hard about how we do things—what our habits are, if you like, in terms of the use of Welsh. We obviously did use Welsh beforehand, and we have been active for many years in promoting Welsh-medium higher education. So, it's not unfamiliar territory for us, but, nonetheless, it was a challenge, as Sian has just described, and, I think, a positive challenge in terms of causing us to think again about the operational habits that we have.

We have over the last three years been developing our own role as a regulator of higher education, following 2015 legislation. And there's, I think, a very helpful continuum of intervention between those circumstances where the people you regulate both understand what they need to do and are doing it, which you can celebrate as a regulator, and, at the other extreme, where people understand what they should be doing but are determined not to do it, where you actually have to start deploying some of the regulatory tools. Between those two extremes there's an awful lot of work that is about supporting, developing and guiding the people you regulate. My sense is that, if we're not careful, we will focus too much on the compliance part of the machinery here, and I think there's a lot to be done in terms of helping the various regulated bodies understand better what the expectations are and carry on the journey that they've started. And if we get into the kind of territory where you have to smack the people you're regulating, actually some of the rest of it has gone wrong somewhere. So, that's about balance, really.      

Grêt, diolch yn fawr. Fel rydych chi wedi olrhain eisoes, fe fyddwn ni yn mynd i fewn i fanylion, a'r adran gyntaf o fanylu am fanylion ydy'r safonau, ac mae Mick Antoniw yn mynd i arwain ar gwestiynau ar y safonau. Mick. 

Great, thank you very much. As you have outlined already, we will be going into detail, and the first set of details is on the standards, and Mick will lead on this with his questions. Mick.

Okay. Part of what we're looking at is where we've come from, how the system has worked, what the implication of it is, and, of course, that has an impact on where we might want to go, issues around possibly new legislation, and so on. There's no doubt, I think, from the evidence collectively, that everyone was aware of the potential burden in terms of applying suddenly a set of standards, and so on. But collectively, it seems  that the view from all your evidence is that hasn't turned out to actually be the case, that the implementation of standards has actually worked far more practically than I think perhaps any of you would have envisaged right at the beginning. Is that a fair assessment as to where you're coming from?

09:40

If I start, certainly, I would say that was our experience. When we first looked at the range of the potential standards that might have applied to us, there was an awful lot there, and we had to expend a fair bit of energy just understanding that. But I would say that the commissioner's office were very prepared to engage with us in that process of understanding and interpreting the standards. And, also, in allowing us to share with them our operational practices and the extent to which it was feasible for us to deliver on the full range of standards. So, I think we had a good engagement there. And, in fairness to the commissioner's office, they can't know the operational detail of all the bodies they regulate without those conversations happening. So, I think we—. It was a process. It was a process that required some energy and some resource, but I think, in the end, we got to a good place with it, and, as I said earlier, the requirement to comply with those standards has caused us to think about how we do things in a very positive way. So, I think it's fine, actually. It's turned out to be much better, as you say, than it might have been. 

I would agree with that. I think that was our experience as well, and I think it was good to have stretch targets, in hindsight. I think that was really good for us internally, as I said before; it certainly raised the profile. And it also highlighted the area around technology, websites. There is a lot of stuff that we could publish on our website that would be a resource for the sector, which we choose not to because we can't afford to translate, or the use of technology—Apple, Microsoft, the big tech giants, and that sort of easy translation interface is very challenging for the Welsh language. I think we really need to get behind the drive to get that done, and it should be a key investment, I think, to enable us to roll out the use of Welsh in future, where there's going to be a shift from the narrative and the written to the audiovisual and the verbal. 

So, I think it's really important that we get Alexa and Siri speaking Welsh and things like that, and Google Translate needs more use so that it gets better, because those technological solutions are part of it. And we had a very positive and interesting and fruitful dialogue with the commissioner around that sort of area, and they did moderate some of the standards around that, bearing that in mind—the need for third party information to come in. We don't want to devoid sectors of information and services that they could maybe benefit from. 

I take that as being a fairly general reflection of all of your views. What is relevant, of course, is that the issue of the amount of time, the amount of resource, the amount of cost that applies to the administration of standards, the implementation of standards, was not only an issue at the beginning, but, of course, it is an issue that is continually raised, and is raised in terms of the development of further standards. So, your experience is actually really quite important in terms of further stages. 

So, I would ask you, although I think I probably know the answer to it, generally, about the impact on your resources, your ability to do your main functions and so on, and the cost of that. How is that being managed and what impact has that had on you as organisations? 

Can I come in? On your first point, where did we come from? We came from a position where there was a Welsh language plan. Therefore, most organisations, from the mid-1990s or mid-1980s, had language plans. So, what's the migration to standards was against the background of existing plans. The standards were, for our organisation, which is tiny organisation—we have nine staff—. We had 168 standards. So, the issue is how do we migrate to the standard regime? One thing I have to say in general is that one of the impressive features of local government and the public sector in Wales is that they'll absorb anything that's put to them and come out successfully. And I think that's the evidence you're hearing. Nevertheless, it is a resource issue. So, that's one thing. It can be absorbed. It required attention from staff, and as the consultative document says, the diversion of staff to different tasks. 

I think the second thing I'd like to say is that I just wonder about the vocabulary used in the compliance notices. I think this is reflected in the consultative document, in its analysis. I come from a position where we had a voluntary language plan in the 1970s, and we had a statutory Welsh language plan imposed on us. Now, the words 'compliance', 'imposition', 'you must', 'you must not', are not friendly words to people who are supposed to engage. The evidence that you had is that people do engage, and that is a laudable part of the reaction of the public sector. In fact, the wording is better in Welsh: 'hysbyseb cydymffurfio'—compliance notice. Lawyers would say, well a commencement date, or a start date, is an easier—it's a softer way of doing it.

And I think one of the issues that we've had is that a harder edged approach in order to get the standards in place may have a reaction. And the reaction I can point out to—from a publication from the Welsh Language Commissioner, 'A Measure of Success' 2017-18, it looks as though in cases that there's been a spike in compliance soon after 2016-17, and a decline in 2017-18. I wonder why. Now, is that a spike because people were geared up and engineered their systems to comply, and then there's a fall off? That's not to say—and I want to make the point that there have been huge successes, and you've heard already that things have moved on considerably. But I just wonder whether, as the consultative document identifies, there is a need to think of other ways of carrying people with the whole concept.

09:45

Well, that's where I wanted to get to, really, with the next question, which is that one of the points that's identified within submissions is, of course, the level of support for, I suppose, the next stage, and that is the development of language skills. And, having won hearts and minds, and so on, people can then be felt left alone with a set of standards, and the need for ongoing support, the ongoing development of that. How do you feel about the level of support that there was to actually go beyond just the implementation of a standard, and to, I suppose, ingrain it within the culture and operation of your organisations?

I think, certainly from us—we're bigger than Owen's organisation, with 50 staff, but, again, implementing the full range of standards would have been a serious challenge for us, and we have people who are experts who happen to be monoglot Anglophones, and having everybody bilingual would mean clearing out most of the organisation. So, actually we're very lucky that the Welsh Language Commissioner was perfectly sensitive to that, and so the timelines for implementation, and the various standards that we didn't have to adhere to, were sorted out sensibly. But, in a sense, it's reflecting on one of my earlier answers—I think there's a lot of work that needs to be done between the extremes of compliance, you know, people who are brilliant and people who are very bad. Actually, the bit in the middle is what really matters. And so, increasing the availability of support and guidance, I think, is—and possibly even co-ordinating what's already around, not necessarily changing the legal frameworks around that. It's possible in Wales for people to work together perfectly happily, if they're given the space to do it, so I think co-ordinating some of that availability would be helpful.

Fe wnaf i siarad yn Gymraeg. Rydw i'n meddwl, efallai oherwydd natur gwaith y cyngor celfyddydau, rydym ni dipyn bach ar flaen y gad yn y fan hyn. So, rydw i'n meddwl bod arsylwi ar ein profiad ni efallai yn eithaf pwysig ar y pwynt yma. Oherwydd mi fedrwn ni gael y safonau yn eu lle a gweithredu pethau, ond pan ydym ni'n gweld y data yn dod i mewn rŵan, rydym ni'n gweld llai o geisiadau yn dod i mewn drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, gostyngiad yn lefel y gweithgareddau trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, a llai o gymryd rhan trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Nawr, mae yna stori y tu ôl i'r ffigurau yna, yn bennaf, y cynnydd mewn gwaith dwyieithog, sydd efallai yn beth da o ran defnyddio'r Gymraeg. Ond mae o yn codi pwyntiau sylweddol, rydw i'n meddwl, sydd yn eithaf pwysig.

Un ydy'r ffaith bod eisiau annog a gwneud i bobl ddewis defnyddio'r iaith. Nid yw'n fater o jest eu cael nhw yn eu lle, er rydw i'n derbyn ac yn cefnogi 100 y cant yr angen am yr hawliau yna i wneud yr holl beth yn bosib. Ond i annog pobl i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg, ac yn enwedig i ddewis yr opsiynau Cymraeg, mae'n rhaid magu hyder a chael Cymraeg sydd yn ddealladwy ac yn hawdd ac yn syml ac yn cyfathrebu. Rydw i'n meddwl bod ein profiadau ni, a buaswn i'n fodlon rhannu tystiolaeth mewn dyfnder ar hyn, yn dangos y tueddiad yna: y mwyaf yn y byd rydych chi'n canolbwyntio ar un ai dewis Cymraeg neu Saesneg—ac eto, mae technoleg yn caniatáu pobl i wneud hynny nawr gan fod system ffôn yn ateb y ffôn, dim person, so, mae dewis Cymraeg neu ddewis Saesneg—wedyn mae pobl yn gorfod teimlo'n hyderus i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg. Buaswn i'n rhoi fy hun yn y camp yma. Mae yna sawl ffurflen rydw i wedi gorfod cymryd yn Saesneg, oherwydd nad oeddwn i'n sicr y buaswn i'n deall y fersiwn Gymraeg—ffurflen dreth neu rywbeth fel yna. Buaswn i'n licio ei chael hi'n ddwyieithog er mwyn i mi allu 'check-o' fy mod i wedi deall y Gymraeg yn iawn.

So, rydw i'n meddwl bod pethau fel hyn yn bwysig iawn wrth inni symud ymlaen. Rydym ni wedi defnyddio'r cwrs Cymraeg Clir, gan anfon ein staff sy'n ysgrifennu yn Gymraeg ar y cwrs yna. Buaswn i ddim yn medru ei ganmol fwy, a dweud y gwir. Rwy'n meddwl bod pethau fel yna yn bwysig iawn. Roedd yn gwneud y gwahaniaeth rhwng gwneud rhywbeth yn syml ac yn glir ac yn hawdd i'w ddeall, neu jest cael fersiwn Gymraeg. Mae pethau fel hyn, rydw i'n meddwl, yn annog pobl i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg yn ei gwneud hi'n iaith fyw, rhywbeth deniadol. 

Eto, buaswn i yn annog bod yna rôl i'r celfyddydau yn fan hyn achos rydym yn gweld cysylltiad efo sgiliau iaith a lefel rhywun yn siarad Cymraeg—y mwyaf tebygol ydyn nhw o fynychu'r celfyddydau a chymryd rhan yn y celfyddydau. Nid ydym ni'n gwybod beth sy'n achosi beth, ond rydym yn clywed gan y mentrau iaith, wrth annog pobl i ddysgu'r Gymraeg, pa mor bwysig ydy cael mynd i'r theatr neu ddarllen llyfr neu ddarllen cerdd. So, mae cael gweithgareddau sydd yn ddeniadol ac yn cŵl—. Rydw i'n poeni'n ofnadwy fod lot o bobl ifanc sy'n dysgu Cymraeg fel iaith academaidd yn yr ysgol â dim hanner digon o ddarpariaeth ddiwylliannol fywiog a deniadol iddyn nhw allan yna wedyn iddyn nhw droi'r iaith academaidd honno yn iaith fyw, teuluol y buasen nhw'n magu plant ynddi yn y pen draw.

So, rydw i'n meddwl, ydy, mae cydymffurfiaeth—. O ran yr adnoddau, mi oedd yna stretch, ond unwaith y mae rhywun wedi cyfieithu polisïau, maen nhw wedi eu cyfieithu, ond, wrth gwrs, mae hynny'n cymryd adnoddau. Mae wedi 'stretch-o' ein hadran gyfieithu ni i'r eithaf. Rydym ni wedi gorfod dethol a dewis beth rydym ni'n ei gyfieithu rŵan, mae hynny'n bendant, oherwydd y pwysau ar yr ochr cyfieithu. So, mae yn sugno capasiti ac mae eisiau gwneud yn siŵr bod y capasiti yn cael ei ddefnyddio yn y lle iawn, really, onid oes?

I will answer in Welsh. I do think, perhaps because of the nature of the work of the arts council, we are a little in the vanguard here. So, I think looking at our experience might be quite important at this point. Because we can put the standards in place and implement them, but when we see the data coming in now, we see fewer bids and applications coming in through the medium of Welsh, a reduction in the level of Welsh-medium activity, and a fall in participation through the medium of Welsh. Now, there's a story underlying those figures, mainly the increase in the bilingual work, which is perhaps positive in terms of the use of the Welsh language. But it does raise some significant points, which are important.

One is about the fact that we do need to encourage and incentivise people to use the Welsh language. It's not just a matter of putting things in place, but I do support, 100 per cent, having those rights in place to make things possible. But to encourage people to use the Welsh language, and particularly to encourage people to choose Welsh-language options, then we have to develop confidence and use Welsh that is simple and easily understood and can communicate with people. Our experience, and I'd be happy to share some more detailed evidence on this, does show that trend, I think, in that the more you focus either on an option of English or Welsh—and again, technology allows people to do that now, you have a telephone system answering the phone rather than an individual, and you can choose Welsh or English through that technology—people then have to have the confidence to use the Welsh language. I would put myself in that camp. There are a number of forms that I've had to fill in through the medium of English, because I wouldn't necessarily understand the Welsh-language version—a tax form, for example: I want it to be bilingual so that I can check that I have understood the Welsh language properly. 

So, I think these kinds of things are very important as we move forward. We've used the  Cymraeg Clir course, sending our staff who draft in Welsh on that course. I couldn't praise it highly enough. I think that kind of thing is very important. It outlined the importance of making things simple, and clear and easily understood, or just having a Welsh language version. I think these kinds of things will encourage people to use the Welsh language and make it a living language and something that's attractive.

And I would encourage a role for the arts here, because we do see a link between language skills and one's level in terms of communication in Welsh—the more likely they are to participate in the arts. We don't know what the cause and effect is, but we hear, from the mentrau iaith, in encouraging people to learn Welsh, how important it is to go to the theatre or to read a book or read a poem, so, having activities that are attractive and are cool—. I am greatly concerned that for very many young people, who learn Welsh as an academic language in school, there isn't anywhere near enough cultural provision that's attractive and lively out there for them so that they can turn that academic language into a living language and the language of the family and the language in which they bring up their children, ultimately.

So, I think, yes, compliance is—. In terms of resources, there was a stretch, but once one has translated policies, they are translated, but, of course, that takes up resources. It's stretched our translation department to the very limits. We've had to be selective in terms of what we do translate, that's without doubt, because of the pressure on translation. So, it does suck up capacity and we have to ensure that the capacity is in the right place, really, don't we?

09:50

Bydd yna ragor o gwestiynau ar y math yna o beth. Owen, a oeddet ti eisiau ychwanegu?

There'll be more questions on that type of thing. Owen, would you like to add to that?

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Ar y trywydd o beth allwn ni ei wneud sydd yn bositif—nid wyf eisiau bod yn rhy negyddol ar hyn, achos mae yna atebion positif, ac fel rydych chi wedi ei glywed, mae'r celfyddydau yn hynod, hynod o bwysig. Beth sydd yn fy nharo i yw bod yna syniad sy'n cael ei alw yn Saesneg yn 'nudge factor'. Byddwch chi'n gyfarwydd â'r meddylfryd yma, sef yn lle bod yna orfodaeth, mae yna anogaeth a ffordd o helpu pobl i wneud pethau yn bositif, ac maen nhw'n teimlo'n falch o hynny.

Nawr yr enghraifft sy'n dod i'm meddwl i, achos bod y comisiwn newydd fynd drwy'r broses yn ddiweddar, yw rhywbeth tebyg i Fuddsoddwyr mewn Pobl—IIP. Nid oes rhaid i chi ei wneud e fel yna, ond petai cyrff yn gallu ymffrostio yn eu cynnydd, a chael logo ar eu papur neu rywbeth, neu eu bod nhw'n cyrraedd y lefel aur, neu arian neu efydd neu'n gallu symud o un lefel i'r llall, byddai hwnnw'n rhoi gwedd bositif allanol, achos rwy'n credu bod y drafodaeth ynglŷn â'r safonau yn drafodaeth rhwng y corff, sy'n cael ei adolygu, a'r comisiwn iaith—dim ond deialog rhwng dau berson neu ddau barti yw hyn. Mae'n rhaid i'r corff sy'n cael ei adolygu, wrth gwrs, feithrin staff a sgiliau a dangos parodrwydd i ddefnyddio'r iaith, ond hefyd, mae yna le iddyn nhw ymfalchïo yn eu cyraeddiadau. Beth sy'n fy nharo i yw efallai bod eisiau rhyw fodd—ac nid oes gen i syniad sut i'w wneud e—fel IIP i drio cael hyn yn allanol yn hytrach nag ei fod e i gyd yn fewnol. Nawr, nid wyf yn arbenigwr ar nudge factors nac IIP, ac rydw i'n siŵr bod llawer o bobl yn llawer mwy cymwys na fi, ond jest i blannu hedyn o syniad a all efallai helpu’r arfogaeth o symud y peth ymlaen yn y dyfodol.

Thank you, Chair. On what we can do positively—I don't want to sound too negative on this, because there are positive responses, and as you've heard, the arts are extremely important. What strikes me is that there is this idea of the 'nudge factor', and you'll be familiar with this, that instead of there being enforcement, there is encouragement and a way of helping people to do things in a positive manner, and they feel proud of that.

The example that comes to mind, because the commission has just gone through the process recently, is something similar to Investors in People—the IIP. You don't have to do it like that, but if bodies could boast about their progress, and have a logo on their paper or something, or if they reach the gold standard, or silver or bronze or be able to move from one level to another, that gives a positive aspect on an external basis, because I think the discussion about the standards is between the body that's being reviewed and the language commission—there's only dialogue between two people or two parties here. The body that's being reviewed has to nurture staff and skills and show a willingness to use the language, but also, there is room for them to be proud of their achievements. What strikes me is that perhaps there's a need for some way—I don't know how to do it—such as IIP to do this on an external basis, rather than it all be internally based. Now, I'm not an expert in nudge factors or IIP, and I'm sure that there are many people who are more qualified than me, but I'm just planting the seed of an idea here of something that could help with the tools of moving this forward in future.

09:55

Dyna ni. Diolch yn fawr. Mae hynny'n werthfawr. Mick, a wyt ti wedi gorffen dy gwestiynau di?

Thank you very much. That's valuable. Mick, have you finished your questions?

Just one point that follows on: Do you think that there is a weakness in the functioning of the language commissioner, that this actually could be part of the responsibility and process of the language commissioner to actually take on board that aspect? We know that Government usages are a key issue that we've been discussing, and we know that there are clearly the main functions with regard to Government, but in terms of the implementation of standards and our understanding of the implementation of standards, that the promotion of, and the well-being of the implementation of those standards—I think what you're suggesting is that we need to give some more thought to the responsibilities and the functions as to how that can be achieved.

Chairman, IIP, obviously, started off in Government, I understand, and then it became a not-for-profit company that is apart from the public sector. Quite honestly, I don't know. It may be an independent body adjudicating on success. It may be a more objective way, rather than the invigilator—there's that schoolteacher, again—giving the gold star. And it may have more credibility if there's a degree of separation.

However, I'm very conscious of the resources that would be involved, the cost, especially in a time of receding funding for the public sector. We want to avoid adding cost. But, perhaps, if this was considered, it may be that the cost—that there is a benefit, there's a value-added coming out of whatever resource goes into it. Whether it's the commission—I'm quite honestly unable to help you on that.

Ocê, diolch yn fawr. Symudwn ymlaen i'r adran nesaf nawr, a materion ynglŷn â'r gweithlu a chynllunio gweithlu. David Melding.

Okay, thank you very much. Moving on to our next section—issues on the workforce and workforce planning. David Melding.

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. I wonder if there's been any shift in your own internal working practices. I'd presume that all your major lines of work or projects are done on a team basis. Are any now led in Welsh, or conducted at least bilingually?

I think internally, certainly, for us, the answer to that is probably ‘no', but what we have got, I think, is an increasing incidence of people using Welsh in the office. There's partly the issue about confidence, which Sian touched on earlier, where people who are like me—dwi'n ddysgwr—I need to actually use it more in the office, even though my Welsh is limited, but there's also the encouragement of people who are first-language Welsh speakers also to use it and not feel uncomfortable about the fact that there are some monoglot Anglophones there who might not be able to follow the conversation. Clearly, you don't want to be exclusive, but on the other hand, you don't want people to feel that avoiding the exclusivity is such a barrier that they don't use it. And I think we're seeing a shift in habits within the office. Celia.

And I think that’s the difference with the standards, that, previously, we had a scheme, a Welsh-language scheme, that was very outward looking, and the standards have made us focus much more on our own staff, on our own services to our staff, and that, in return, is starting to build confidence, and we’re starting to see some outcomes of that in terms of the use of Welsh in the office and, as you say, hopefully moving towards—. I mean, it’s very early days, actually, to look at the impact, but we are starting to see the signs of more use of Welsh in the office and in the workplace.

Buaswn i'n cytuno â hynny, yn bendant. Mae wedi codi ymwybyddiaeth o'r Gymraeg, a'i gwneud yn lot fwy gweladwy yn fewnol. Pethau'r un fath â, lle rydym ni'n rhedeg hyfforddiant, mae hwnnw’n cael ei gynnig yn Gymraeg rŵan i staff. Rydym ni'n gwneud polisi: os ydym ni'n medru cael hyfforddwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith, mi wnawn ni. 'Facilitate-io' gweithdai neu ddigwyddiadau—rydym ni'n gwneud hynny'n hollol ddwyieithog rŵan, ac rydw i'n meddwl ei bod yn beth da i'w wneud, achos mae'n gwneud y Gymraeg yn iaith fyw, onid ydy? Yn rhywbeth sydd yn cael ei ddefnyddio yng nghyd-destun bywyd cyhoeddus yn lle bod—. Mae hyd yn oed, heb offer cyfieithu, jest cael defnydd o eiriau Cymraeg yn gwneud gwahaniaeth. Rydym ni'n gwneud lot mwy o hynny rŵan. Rydw i'n meddwl, pe buasech chi'n cerdded i mewn i'r cyngor celfyddydau rŵan, a gweld sut oeddem ni bum mlynedd yn ôl, yn fewnol, mae proffil y Gymraeg llawer iawn uwch. A hefyd, wrth inni ailbenodi pobl, wrth i swyddi ddod yn wag, rydym ni'n gwneud asesiad iaith. Ac, wrth gwrs, wrth i'r safonau ddod i rym, mae'n siŵr ei fod o'n codi'r angen i gael mwy o staff dwyieithog. So, dros amser—. Er, nid yw'r ffigurau'n dangos hynny chwaith, oherwydd ein bod ni wedi colli staff oherwydd ailstrwythuro ydy hynny. So, eto, mae yna stori y tu ôl i'r ystadegau weithiau. Ond mi ydym ni'n cynllunio'r gweithlu fel hynny, yn unol â lle rydym ni'n gweld bod angen sgiliau iaith yn gynyddol. 

I would definitely agree with that. It has raised awareness of the Welsh language and has made it much more visible internally. Things such as, where we run training, that's offered through the medium of Welsh now to staff. We have a policy of, if we can, getting in trainers who are Welsh speaking. Facilitating workshops or events—we do that completely bilingually now, and I think it's a good thing to do, because it makes the language a living language, doesn't it? It's something that's used in the public life context rather than—. Even without translation equipment, just to use Welsh language words makes a difference. We do much more of that now. I think, if you walked into the arts council now, and see how we were five years ago, internally, the profile of the Welsh language is much, much higher. And also, as we reappoint people, as vacancies arise, we carry out language assessments. And, of course, as the standards are imposed, I'm sure it increases the need for more bilingual staff. So, over time—. Although, the figures don't show that either, because we've lost staff as a result of the restructuring. So, again, there's a story behind statistics sometimes. But we are planning the workforce like that, according to where we see there is a need for language skills increasingly.

10:00

A gaf i jest ategu, rydym ni'n gorff bach iawn o'i gymharu â sefydliadau eraill? Un o'r anawsterau rydym ni'n ei wynebu yw cyflogi staff dwyieithog. Rydym ni'n gorfod ei wneud e drwy'r broses—achos eu bod nhw ar yr un telerau â gweision sifil, rydym ni'n gorfod hysbysebu'n gyntaf ar wefan y gwasanaeth sifil, a phrin yw'r Cymry Cymraeg sy'n dod trwy hynny. Felly, o ran penodi, rydym i'n ei chael hi'n anodd ffeindio Cymry Cymraeg. Er, rydym ni wedi cael llwyddiant yn ddiweddar—rydym ni wedi penodi Cymro Cymraeg i'r comisiwn.

Gwedd arall o hyn yw'r ffordd mae'r comisiwn yn gweithredu'n gyhoeddus—mae popeth rydym ni'n ei wneud yn ddwyieithog. Mae cyfarfodydd â chynghorau sir a chynghorau bro yn ddwyieithog, neu drwy'r Gymraeg os ydyn nhw'n dymuno hynny. Er enghraifft, rydym ni wedi cael cyfarfodydd â Gwynedd a Cheredigion, a chynghorau bro yng Ngwynedd a Cheredigion, ac yn Ninbych a Chonwy, ac os oes dymuniad, Cymraeg yw'r cyfrwng. Ac os nad oes siaradwr Cymraeg ar y staff, rydw i'n mynd i siarad Cymraeg gyda nhw.

Felly, mae'n rhaid inni, mewn corff bach, fod yn hyblyg a defnyddio’r adnoddau prin sydd gyda ni er mwyn ateb y galw. Byddai'n wych, fel mae Sian wedi dweud, o ran y plant sy'n dod drwy'r ysgol, iddyn nhw ffeindio gyrfa lle gallan nhw ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg a chael swyddi lle mae'r Gymraeg yn bwysig. Dyna'r ddelfryd. Byddai'n wych petai hynny'n digwydd. Ond ar hyn o bryd, nes ein bod ni'n cyrraedd y pwynt hynny, mae'n rhaid inni ddefnyddio'r adnoddau sydd ar gael.

May I just say that we're a very small organisation as compared to the other organisations? One of the difficulties that we face is employing bilingual staff. Because they're on the same terms and conditions as civil servants, we have to advertise first on the civil service website, and there are few Welsh speakers attracted in that way. So, in terms of appointing staff, we find difficulty in appointing Welsh-speaking staff. Although, we have been successful recently in appointing a Welsh speaker to the commission.

Another aspect of this is the way in which the commission operates publicly—everything we do is bilingual. Meetings with county councils and community councils are bilingual, or through the medium of Welsh if they so choose. For example, we've had meetings with Gwynedd, Ceredigion, and community councils in Gwynedd and Ceredigion, and in Denbigh and Conwy, and if they so choose, then those meetings are held in Welsh. And if there's no Welsh speaker on the staff who's able to attend, I attend in order to speak Welsh with them.

So, as a small organisation, we have to be flexible and use the scarce resources we have to meet the demands. It would be excellent, as Sian has said, in terms of the children coming through the education system, if they could find a career where they could use the Welsh language and find jobs where the Welsh language is an important aspect. That's the ideal. It would be wonderful if that were to happen. But at the moment, until we reach that point, we do have to use the resources available to us.

One of the reasons I've put my question this way—I will ask more basic ones about the workforce challenges you face—is that, to me, if we had a bilingual culture and, obviously, Britain has a deeply monoglot approach to nearly all its national life, which makes it fairly unusual—. I was really interested at the start of this session that Mr Watkin, in reference to compliance issues, said that the phrase in Welsh is much more efficacious, and if we had a bilingual culture, that's what would happen in your teams and your work streams, isn't it—you'd be working through and then, a couple of people on there whose first language was Welsh would say, 'We can tackle this perhaps more effectively by going through the Welsh language route'? And I'm sure that if I asked the civil service this question, I'd get similar answers, and I realise that you're a smaller organisations, but I don't see much evidence that that internal working culture is yet at that level, then. Would that be fair? And, as I said, I'm not making this, in any way, as a point that I feel you're failing—it's just a measure of where we're at, really, in our shift to a bilingual culture, generally as well as you specifically.

Shall I get mine out of the way because it's so small? English is the medium of communication because that is the language of the majority of the staff. As I said, were we able to appoint bilingual staff, then it would change. And I agree with your point that was excellently made, that the perception of the vocabulary is critical when people have to do things in response to an outside organisation that is a supervisor requiring them to do things.

Dyna fuasai'r uchelgais gennym ni, rydw i'n meddwl—rydw i'n meddwl ein bod ni'n gweithio tuag at hynny—a hefyd i beidio â gelyniaethu neb, a thynnu pobl ar wahân. Mynd â phobl at ei gilydd sy'n bwysig a chael y ddeialog rhwng y gwahanol ddiwylliannau. Os rhywbeth, rydw i'n meddwl bod hynny'n bwysicach. 

That would be the ambition—I think we're working towards that point—and also not to alienate anyone. What is important is bringing people together and have that dialogue between the various different cultures. And I think, if anything, that's more important.

We have around 10 per cent of our staff who are able to use Welsh confidently as part of a working language, but that doesn't give us enough mass, really, to conduct much of our operation through the medium of Welsh. But, again, we are actively trying to—. You know, some of them can, and where they can, they're using Welsh, but we are very conscious of the need to build the competency base of our staff. And that's not just about recruiting Welsh speakers, it's also about developing Welsh language learning facilities and encouraging people to move through that, and, actually, encouraging people like me, whose Welsh is limited, to use what we can. All of that, I think, is changing as a result of the imposition of these standards and the need to reflect on what we do internally.

10:05

Someone said to me yesterday, about the standards, that as a Welsh speaker they felt they had permission to use the language in the workplace. That's not to say they didn't have permission before, but it's a formalised permission, and more people are using Welsh in the workplace. There has been research at Canolfan Bedwyr in Bangor that has shown that the more Welsh speakers speak to each other in the workplace, it does increase that culture of bilingualism. So, I think we're at early stages, but we are moving in that direction.

I want to shift to—. The central point, really, of our inquiry, is the whole robustness of the standards approach, which obviously the Government have now put on hold in a fairly dramatic change of policy, or at least a pausing of policy. It seems to me, given that a standards regime inevitably has a sharper edge than a policy scheme, for instance, that you had a lot of misgivings about how, practically, this would affect you, but I've heard nothing in this morning's session to suggest that the regime you find yourself under is unreasonable or disproportionate. It seems to have been very natural and it's got rigour, but your interaction with the commissioner, for instance, has not been well known for appearing before the beak every morning and trying to explain why you failed in standard 32 or whatever. Despite the internal rigour of this approach, it seems to me to have been applied in a way that reflects the capacity of your organisations whilst, obviously, pushing you to more measurable standards and a higher level of service, really, to those you interact with.

Yes, I think, certainly, that was our experience, that Meri was a sensitive regulator, wasn't a pushover, but nonetheless we were able to have proper, sensible exchanges and get to a reasonable place, which has got a degree of stretch, as Siân has indicated, but which is not such that we are simply going to fall over trying to get there.

Ie, buaswn i'n cytuno efo hynny. Rydw i'n meddwl bod deialog resymol wedi digwydd. Pan mae rhywun yn gweld 61 o safonau eisiau dod i mewn, mae o'n—. Ond roedd actually gweithio trwyddo fo yn haws na meddwl amdano fo, ac roedd yna ddeialog bositif iawn gyda'r comisiynydd i'w gwneud nhw i wneud sens i ni. Roedd yn rhan bwysig o'r deialog o'u creu nhw, rydw i'n credu, a'u gweithredu nhw.

Yes, I would agree with that. I think reasonable dialogue has occurred. When you see 61 standards wanting to come in, it's—. But working through it was easier than thinking about it, and there was a very positive dialogue with the commissioner to ensure that they made sense for us. That was an important part of the dialogue in creating them and implementing them, I think.

A gaf i jest ychwanegu—? Buodd y comisiynydd yn hyblyg wrth beidio â gorfodi'r comisiwn i hybu'r iaith, achos rydym ni mor fach—nid ein swyddogaeth ni yw gwneud unrhyw beth ond adolygu trefniadau etholiadol. Felly, roedd yn beth da nad oeddem ni yn y categori o hybu, er ein bod ni'n gwneud hynny mewn ffordd naturiol, gudd, drwy gyhoeddi a siarad Cymraeg.

If I may just add that the commissioner was flexible in not requiring the commission to promote the language, because we are so small—our function is to do nothing more than to review electoral arrangements. So, it was positive that we weren't in that promotion category, although we did that in hidden, natural means by publishing through the medium of Welsh and using the Welsh language.

Ocê, diolch yn fawr. David, wyt ti wedi gorffen? Reit, diolch, David.

Symudwn ymlaen i adran arall rŵan, o dan ofal Rhianon, ynglŷn â hyrwyddo'r iaith yn fewnol. Nawr, rydw i'n sylweddoli o rai o'ch atebion cynhwysfawr chi mor belled y byddwch chi wedi ateb ambell gwestiwn yn fan hyn, ond Rhianon, mae'r llawr gyda ti.

Okay, thank you very much. David, have you finished? Thank you, David.

Moving on to another section now, which Rhianon will lead on, on promoting the language internally. Now, I do realise, from your comprehensive answers, that you may have covered some of the questions in this section, but Rhianon, the floor is yours.

Diolch, Chair. Firstly, apologies for logistics this morning and being late. In terms of promoting the language internally—apologies if I go over ground that you've already covered, but perhaps you can inform me if that's the case. So, we're talking very much at the moment in terms of internal cultures within organisations and with regard to the onerous nature or not, or the applicability or not, of that culture within your organisation. So, particularly in terms of the Arts Council of Wales, in terms of the arts portfolio organisations—and there are many of them—how do you feel that the application of the standards is being cascaded down to those organisations in terms of promotion in particular, and also in terms of the requirement and duty within that mandate for you as an arts council?

10:10

Yes. Well, I think we've taken it on three levels: what we can do ourselves internally as an organisation in terms of our own operations, secondly, what we can do in partnership with the organisations we fund, and then, thirdly, taking a leadership role. You know, you realise you're a public body and you can make a difference and use your influence. So, we try to do that in support of the Welsh language. But, in terms of the partnership with the portfolio organisations that we fund regularly, they have to have Welsh language plans as part of their business planning, which is what we use as a tool for assessing and working with them and working around their funding. And those are assessed and given positive feedback or negative feedback from us. So, there is a level of engagement around the quality of those plans: we don't just check them off, although I'm sure we could improve the way that we do that.

I don't know whether you're aware, but we've seconded one of our senior managers into the well-being of future generations commissioner's office to specifically look at developing the Welsh language goal. So, a lot of that work around mentoring, ideas of good practice, examples from Wales elsewhere, bringing communities together, making connections, networking—we're trying to do that in partnership with the well-being of future generations office under the cultural goal so that we don't have too many levels of legislation and reporting and accountability. Because I think that's a key point, and I'm sure our portfolio organisations would attest to this very strongly: capacity is at a complete premium in everything we do. 

Absolutely. Yes. So, on that particular point—and that's very encouraging and innovative, in my view, on many levels—how, then, in terms of promotion and in terms of the application to become part of that portfolio, if an organisation—? And this is purely for clarification and purely to Arts Council of Wales: if an organisation comes to you and they don't have the appropriate plans in place, are they immediately disbarred or do you then help them and enable them to come up to the appropriate level of application in this regard?

Well, we don't regularly invite people into the portfolio, do we? That would be part of a portfolio review. But, obviously, I think Welsh language planning and cultural diversity in its whole entirety, really, would be part of that assessment process, obviously. And, also, in terms of the lottery grants we award as well, we do look at those to make sure that they're advertising bilingually. Of course, we can't police everything that happens, but it is a requirement on—

So, in terms of an organisation at that review point coming to you without the appropriate plans in place, would they then be advised and supported and mentored by you to make that—?

Within our capacity to do so, yes. 

Okay. Okay. Okay, thank you. And, internally, in terms of the boundary commission and HEFCW, your view in terms of that cultural analysis—we talked earlier about alienation, and, obviously, in a majority of the monoglot area that I represent, which has got a thriving and progressive Welsh-medium education foundation base, and that continues to grow—how do you approach that type of an issue in regard to promotion within the Welsh language context? I don't know who wants to take that first. Because it is an issue, and it tends to be skirted about a little bit. 

Chair, I'd just explain that the promotion category is not applied to the boundary commission, for clear reasons. Internally, there always has been a very healthy attitude towards the use of Welsh. A small staff, but the attitude is positive—

I don't want you to repeat what you said earlier, but that's interesting. 

But what is significant is that we have to recruit, as I explained, on the civil service, and people who come to us who perhaps are not from Wales are often more enthusiastic about using Welsh than others and they're willing to learn Welsh. 

I think because they think we're different. Coming to Wales is a different experience, and they want to be part of it. In draft reports and electoral reviews to all authorities, including those in south-east Wales, they're all published bilingually, and, if there is a wish to discuss the draft or any report through Welsh, then we're absolutely delighted to provide facilities to do that.

Similarly, we've always had, I think, a healthy attitude towards the use of and promotion of Welsh within the organisation. I just haven't seen that as an issue at all. Our difficulty is getting people who have the Welsh language skills, but also the technical skills that we need in some of our jobs. We also have had a long-established role in terms of promoting the use of Welsh in higher education, of course, and that work continues. Celia could give examples of where universities are helping in respect of promoting the use of Welsh. Universities are captured by the standards themselves. We don't have a role in monitoring their compliance with the standards, of course; that's with the Welsh Language Commissioner. 

10:15

Okay. And, finally, Chair, in regard to the use of technology and translation search and find—and we have Google obviously—do you think that there needs to be a drive in terms of research and development around translation in Wales? 

Yn bendant, lle rydw i yn y cwestiwn; rydw i wedi codi'r pwynt eisoes. Rydw i'n meddwl, i'r cwmnïau yna, nid yw dwyieithrwydd, amlieithrwydd, yn broblem. Mae pob gwlad arall heblaw Lloegr yn ddwyieithog, amlieithog. So, mae'r dechnoleg yn gallu handlo ieithoedd gwahanol, onid ydy, ac mae'n bwysig, bwysig, bwysig ein bod ni'n buddsoddi mewn cael y Gymraeg i'r un lefel â bob iaith arall, neu, yn y dyfodol, wrth i ni symud yn fwy at Alexa a Siri yn gwneud bob dim, ni fydd y Gymraeg yn gallu cadw i fyny.  

Yes, definitely. I've raised the point already. I think, for those companies, bilingualism, multilingualism, isn't a problem. Every other country, except for England, is bilingual or multilingual. So, the technology can handle different languages, can't it, and it's very important that we invest in ensuring that the Welsh language is at the same level as every other language, or, in the future, as we move more towards Alexa and Siri being able to do everything, the Welsh language will not be able to keep up. 

And, in regard to HEFCW, do you think that there is a deficit there in terms of what we can do in Wales in this regard? 

Well, I think we need to think about the broader picture as well. So, for example, we're working with the National Union of Students about mental health, student mental health, and one of the issues that's coming up there is about the facility for accessing bilingual counselling, a lot of which is online. So, we're starting to think about that but, of course, it's a big cost, so it's not just about those sorts of issues; it's a much broader picture. 

There's also—. And Siân made the point earlier: we also need people to use the tools that are there. Google Translate actually improves every time somebody uses it, and it's so much better now than it was even three years ago, but it will get better again if people keep using it.

Ocê. Symud ymlaen i hyrwyddo'r iaith yn gyffredinol ac, eto, rydych chi wedi nodi nifer o'r pwyntiau roeddem ni eisiau eu codi fan hyn. Roeddwn i'n licio eich syniad chi o anogaeth, mae'n rhaid i mi ei ddweud, ac rhyw fath o fathodyn ychwanegol ar yr un un llinellau â Buddsoddwyr mewn Pobl, fel buddsoddwyr mewn iaith. Fe gawn ni feddwl am hynny fel rhyw fath o argymhelliad, ond roeddwn i'n licio'r gwaith meddal yna yn y cefndir heb fod yn gorfodi, achos mae yna fwy nag un ffordd o fynd â pethau i'r wal, yn naturiol, yn y byd yma.

A hefyd, roeddwn i'n cymryd y pwynt ynglŷn â chyfieithu i'r Gymraeg. Mae yna nifer o bobl sydd ddim cweit yn rhugl yn y Gymraeg, ond hefyd y rheini sydd yn rhugl yn y Gymraeg—weithiau mae'n anodd deall ffurflenni yn y Gymraeg hyd yn oed pan ydych chi'n rhugl yn y Gymraeg, ac rwy'n credu bod yna her i'r sawl sydd yn cyfieithu i'r Gymraeg i wneud yn siŵr bod yna Gymraeg fyw, yn defnyddio geiriau rydym yn debygol o fod yn eu defnyddio ein hunain o ddydd i ddydd, ac mae hynny'n her i gyfieithu'n gyffredinol mewn sawl iaith, nid dim ond i'r Gymraeg. 

Ond, yn y bôn, yr unig gwestiwn ar ôl o fy ochr i ydy, yn fan hyn: efo'r Mesur ac ati, rydym ni wedi cael rhyw fath o gydbwysedd, efallai nid cyfartal, rhwng rheoliadau a gorfod rheoli a hyrwyddo—y cydbwysedd yna. Yn nhermau beth mae'r Llywodraeth eisiau ei wneud, beth fuasech chi'n meddwl buasai'r ffordd orau ymlaen—cael Bil newydd neu diwygio'r Mesur sydd gyda ni ar hyn o bryd? 

Okay. Moving on to promoting the language generally, again, you have noted a number of points that I wanted to raise here. I liked your idea of incentivising and some sort of additional badge along the same sort of lines as Investors in People, such as investors in language. We can think of that as some sort of recommendation, but I liked that soft work in the background without it being enforcement, because there's more than one way of solving things. 

And I also took the point about translating into Welsh. A number of people who aren't quite fluent in the Welsh language, but also those who are fluent in the Welsh language—sometimes it's difficult to understand forms in Welsh even when you're fluent in the language, and I think there's a challenge there for those who translate into Welsh to ensure that there is living Welsh, using words that we are using from day to day, and that is a challenge for translation in many languages, not just the Welsh language.  

But, essentially, the only question I have on this aspect is: with the Measure and so forth, we've had some sort of balance, that perhaps isn't equal, between regulation and promotion—that balance. In terms of what the Government wants to do, what do you think would be the best way forward—having a new Bill or amending the Measure we have at present? 

Rwy'n meddwl, lle rydym ni yn y cwestiwn, rydym ni yn meddwl bod y fframwaith yn ein galluogi ni i wneud beth y buasem ni'n dymuno ei wneud beth bynnag, heb orfod defnyddio amser i greu deddfwriaeth newydd, yn enwedig y Ddeddf llesiant, rili, a chenedlaethau'r dyfodol. Rydw i yn gweld honno yn ffordd o—yn enwedig gan bod un o'r saith gôl yn un sy'n ymwneud â'r iaith Gymraeg a'r diwylliant Cymraeg a Chymreig, a bod modd ei wneud o yn fanna. Mae'r Ddeddf yna i'w defnyddio, mewn ffordd, onid oes, ac mae yna le cyfoethog iawn i ddod â pobl at ei gilydd yn fanna, rydw i'n credu, a gwneud yn siŵr bod pob corff o dan y Ddeddf yn cyfrannu at greu Cymraeg fel iaith fyw, a'n bod ni'n gallu mynd i unrhyw theatr neu unrhyw adeilad cyhoeddus a gallu ordro paned drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg—ei fod o’n beth naturiol inni ei wneud, ei fod o’n naturiol inni glywed Cymraeg.

As far as we're concerned, we think the framework enables us to do what we would want to do, without having to take the time to create new legislation, particularly in terms of the well-being of future generations Act. I do see that as a means—particularly as one of the seven goals relates to the Welsh language and Welsh culture more generally, then it could be done using that mechanism. We could use that legislation, and there is great scope for bringing people together in that regard and ensuring that everybody captured under that legislation does contribute towards making the Welsh language a living language, so that we could go to any theatre or any public building and order a cuppa through the medium of Welsh—that it should become natural, it should be natural for us to hear Welsh.

10:20

Cadeirydd, rydw i’n cytuno. Mae’r amser a’r egni sydd yn gysylltiedig â symud deddfwriaeth trwy senedd yn ormod yn y cyd-destun yma. Mae yna Fesur gyda ni; beth sydd ei eisiau yw meddwl sut i’w ddefnyddio yn y ffordd orau. O bosib, gyda chyhoeddiad o gomisiynydd, ac, efallai, os daw bwrdd newydd gyda phrif weithredwr newydd, efallai bydd diwylliant mewnol y comisiwn yn wahanol, achos mae eisiau creu diwylliant adeiladol, positif sydd yn cydweithredu, sydd yn annog pobl yn y cyrff, yn y sectorau, sydd ynghlwm â’r safonau i weithio mewn ffordd i wella, yn enwedig gyda’r her o gyrraedd miliwn o siaradwyr. Mae yna waith caled gan bawb i’w wneud, ac mae’n rhaid cario pobl gyda ni yn hytrach na chreu unrhyw anhawster. Felly, y syniad yw gwaredu unrhyw anhawster, a'i wneud e mor rhwydd a hyblyg ag sy’n bosib.

Chair, I agree. The time and effort that's associated with taking legislation through a parliament is too much in this context. We do have a Measure; what's needed is to think how to use it in the best way. Possibly, with the announcement of a new commissioner, and if a new board with a new chief executive arises, perhaps the internal culture of the commission will be different, because there is a need to create a constructive culture that is positive, that collaborates and encourages people in the sectors and bodies that are associated with the standards to work in a way that will improve the situation, in particular with the challenge of reaching a million Welsh speakers. Everybody has some hard work ahead, and we have to take people with us rather than create any sort of difficulty. So, the idea is to get rid of any difficulties so that it's as easy and flexible as possible.

Dyna chi. A oes yna farn o'r cyngor cyllido addysg uwch?

There you are. Is there a view from the higher education funding council?

Yes. We would agree with that, I think. We've been through a process where there's been a fairly substantial transition, and the cost associated with that transition, both for regulated bodies, but also for the commissioner and her staff—I can't see a great appetite for going through another version of that. All it does is it will stop momentum, and I think, both we as regulated bodies and the commission will now have more space because that framework is there—more space, more time—to actually think about how to promote and how to maintain momentum. If we start again, then, actually, we'll just go backwards, would be my view.

And all this effort, really, has been about making the services available. We now need to embed that and to build the confidence, magu hyder, so that people are able, not just people like David and minnau, who've learned the language, but also fluent Welsh speakers, as you say, to fill in the forms, to use the services available. Maybe that's the next stage.

Diolch yn fawr. Mae gan Rhianon y cwestiynau nesaf ar yr un math o drywydd, sydd yn rhannol wedi'u hateb eisoes. Rhianon.

Thank you very much. Rhianon has questions on the same sort of line, which have partly been answered already. Rhianon.

Diolch, Chair. Just very succinctly, then, in that regard, would you go further than that and say that, potentially, if there were to be legislation, that could be regressive in terms of culture or the potential for alienating the progress that's been made, or do not have a view on that?

I fear it could be problematic and not helpful to go further. I think, as I was saying earlier, if you've got a regulatory framework, actually, you hope never to have to use that in anger; you hope to keep people away from failing to meet the expectations. We've got a baseline of expectations now; people will have to continue to be monitored as to whether or not we're achieving those. But, actually, it's much more important to focus the energies on maintaining momentum, as I say, and developing the use of the language, embedding it rather than starting again and putting another regulatory framework in place, or just changing the rules. Let's just keep going. And, actually, there are various players in the context of promoting the use of the Welsh language in various contexts, and it's perfectly possible, it seems to me, in a country the scale of Wales, to get all of those bodies to work more closely together without having to regulate or legislate for that. It's just, you know, encourage.

There seems to be agreement with that. I don't know about—.

Yr unig beth fuaswn i’n ei ategu oedd y pwynt yn gynharach am gapasiti. Bob fframwaith fel yna, mae eisiau amser i ateb a llenwi’r ffurflenni a gwneud y gwaith, a dyna ydy’r lle i ddefnyddio'r capasiti prin yn y sector cyhoeddus hefyd.

The only thing I would add is the earlier point made about capacity. With every such framework, you need time to fill in the forms and do the admin work, and that's where to use scare capacity in the public sector.

Ocê. Diolch yn fawr. A wyt ti'n hapus iawn?

Okay. Thank you. Are you content?

Y cwestiwn olaf gan Caroline Jones ynglŷn â chynlllunio ieithyddol—pwynt pwysig. Caroline.

The final question from Caroline Jones on linguistic planning, which is an important point. Caroline.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. What I'd like to say is that, you know, we'd all like to have a bottomless pot of money, wouldn't we? But that's an ideal view of everything. To be practical, we have to prioritise with the resources that we have. So, many aspects of linguistic planning deserve attention, but are there any aspects that you feel deserve, or need, more resources and focus? For example, Sian, you said that you wanted it to be an inclusive language and bring everyone on board. So, in terms of the question that I've just asked, can you relate to that and tell me how you would prioritise giving focus, perhaps, to certain elements? Because I’ve also got concern here that we are mentioning bringing people on board all together, but what about our elderly people who don’t know anything about Google, who maybe don’t have access to computers and new technology? How are we reaching everyone, as you said?

10:25

Well, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for saying that I would believe wholeheartedly that an investment in culture and the arts helps deliver on all of this agenda. We are working in old people’s homes now with people with dementia, we are providing arts practitioners to go into arts and healthcare settings, working in Welsh and in English. We are trying to develop the contemporary music scene in Wales, so that we can encourage people to go to gigs and use the Welsh language. We’re trying with theatre—we’ve invested in Sibrwd, which is technology to allow non-Welsh speakers to go to the theatre and enjoy Welsh-language productions. I think, on that cultural interface, there are so many opportunities to bring communities together and enhance understanding of the importance and the value of the Welsh language, not to just Welsh speakers but to all of us in Wales, for our tourism, for our vibrant communities, for our education, for our health and well-being. So, I hope you will forgive, but I do think—. I don’t want to say arts can deliver on Welsh language—that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying invest in the culture and the arts of Wales, and as a by-product you will have a very healthy input into a vibrant and exciting Welsh language as well.

Chair, can I just say that the point made about the elderly is absolutely important?It’s vital. But it’s a generational thing, isn’t it? We’ve heard from Sian about school leavers having the capacity, and we want them to use it. The remarkable thing about the elderly is that they’ve been denied the opportunity throughout their lives, especially in old people’s homes, hospitals, for example, and they, for the first time, are able to use Welsh. Perhaps they didn’t realise they could, but they now are able to. So, it comes back to the organisations being able to look after the elderly in a proper way, to realise their language of choice.

Speaking as an old person, my cohort are far more advanced in IT than I am, and they’re brilliant. So, what happens is that—what are they called? The silver wolves or the grey wolves. They’re able to use IT, but the more that is available, the more will be used. So, if it’s language planning or IT or communications, there’s a fertile ground to develop and to make opportunities available for people.

In terms of language planning, then it’s important for all organisations to think of it. What I suggested previously about planning the nudge factors—it’s worth investing in that to see whether that generally can help. But I think we should look forward with optimism that this can be made better, as long as everybody works together and understands that this is a positive thing we can achieve.

It’s been mentioned in our evidence that there’s been concentration on compliance as opposed to actually promoting the language, and the suggestion by the arts council that future generations may provide a better means of integrating the work of public bodies in promoting the language. Can you comment on this, really, because I think we need to bring the private sector, the public sector on board, and so on? So, how do you see this role in promoting the language along with the day-to-day activities then, which have been mentioned as well—being put in real-life situations and using the language as a way of promoting as well?

I’ve referred to our faith in the legislation around the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. We’ve seconded somebody in to do that very thing, really. So, we are looking at extending the reaches of things like Clwb Cymraeg at lunchtime—opportunities for people to practise their Welsh; looking at taking culture out—the Eisteddfod, can we do more with that? Partnerships. We’ve got a group of all the cultural sector bodies who've got an interest in developing the Welsh language audience—the national library, the museum and Llenyddiaeth Cymru. We've all come together to think, 'Can we be more than the sum of our parts if we work together?' And that's been inspired by the well-being of future generations Act, because we're all doing that. But we've got a full-time secondment at the moment, and she's looking at good practice examples. She's trying to share where she sees things working. Thare are some brilliant examples funded by HEFCW in the universities—Pontio in Bangor. There are really good examples there that can be shifted around the country, not necessarily picked up and replicated, but you can learn and be inspired by examples from elsewhere. And that's been facilitated through the well-being of future generations Act. And there's more that we could do on that, I'm sure. And the Government could help that through remit letters and stuff like that as well, I'm sure.

10:30

Diolch yn fawr. Rydym ni allan o amser rŵan, felly, diolch yn fawr  awn i chi am gyfraniadau bendigedig y bore yma. Mae wedi bod yn sesiwn werthfawr iawn. Diolch yn fawr iawn I chi, a hefyd am ddarparu'r dystiolaeth ysgrifenedig ymlaen llaw. Mae wedi bod yn sesiwn fendigedig ac mi fydd o gymorth mawr i ni i dynnu pethau at ei gilydd mewn adroddiad cynhwysfawr, rwy'n gobeithio, gyda nifer o argymhellion gwych ar ddiwedd y dydd. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am eich cyfraniad y bore yma, ac mi fyddwch chi yn derbyn trawsgrifiad o'r trafodaethau yma er mwyn i chi allu gwirio eu bod nhw'n ffeithiol gywir. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn i chi.

Thank you very much. We've run out of time now, so, thank you very much for great contributions this morning. It's been a very valuable session.  And thank you very much for providing the written evidence beforehand. It's been a great session and will be of great assistance us to in pulling things together into a comprehensive report, I hope, with a number of great recommendations at the end of the day. So, thank you very much for your contribution, and you will receive a transcript of the proceedings so that you can check them for factual accuracy. So, thank you very much.

3. Papurau i'w nodi
3. Papers to note

I'm cyd-aelodau, rydym ni'n symud ymlaen i eitem 3 rŵan, a phapurau i'w nodi. O dan eitem 3.1, mae yna lythyr gan y cadeirydd at Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru ynglŷn â Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. A ydych chi'n hapus i nodi'r llythyr yna?

To my fellow Members, we move on to item 3, and papers to note. Under item 3.1, there is a letter from the chair to the Arts Council of Wales on National Theatre Wales. Are you content to note that letter?

4. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod
4. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Symud ymlaen i eitem 4, y cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod. Pawb yn gytûn?

Moving on to item 4, a motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Everyone content?

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:31.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 10:31.

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