Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu - Y Bumed Senedd

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee - Fifth Senedd

14/01/2021

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Bethan Sayed MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
David Melding MS
Helen Mary Jones MS
Jack Sargeant MS
John Griffiths MS
Mike Hedges MS

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Bethan Webb Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Dr Jeremy Evas Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Eluned Morgan MS Y Gweinidog Iechyd Meddwl, Llesiant a’r Gymraeg
Minister for Mental Health, Well-being and Welsh Language
Jason Thomas Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Jo Thomas Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Yr Arglwydd / Lord Elis-Thomas MS Y Dirprwy Weinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism

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.

Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:28.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:28. 

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

Croeso i Bwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Eitem 1 ar yr agenda yw cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 34.19, dwi wedi penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd rhag bod yn bresennol yma er mwyn diogelu iechyd y cyhoedd.

Hoffwn i ddiolch i Helen Mary Jones am gymryd llyw'r pwyllgor tra roeddwn i ar gyfnod mamolaeth. Dwi'n gwybod ei fod e oll wedi newid o ran y drefn tra roeddwn i i ffwrdd yn ystod y cyfnod anodd yma. Felly diolch yn fawr iawn i Helen am wneud hynny; dwi'n ei werthfawrogi'n fawr iawn.

Dŷn ni wedi cael ymddiheuriadau gan Carwyn Jones a Mick Antoniw, ond dwi'n falch iawn o groesawu Jack Sargeant, sydd wedi bod ar y pwyllgor o'r blaen, a Mike Hedges AS ar gyfer y cyfarfod yn eu lle nhw. Oes gan unrhyw un rywbeth i'w ddatgan yma heddiw? Na.

Good morning and welcome to this meeting of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. Item 1 is introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I have determined that the public are excluded from attending this meeting in order to protect public health.

I'd like to thank Helen Mary Jones very much for chairing the committee during my maternity leave. I know that everything changed while I was away during this difficult period. So, thank you very much to Helen for doing that; I do very much appreciate it.

We've received apologies from Carwyn Jones and Mick Antoniw, but I'm pleased to welcome Jack Sargeant, who was previously a member of the committee, as well as Mike Hedges MS, who are attending in their place. Are there any declarations of interest this morning? No.

2. Craffu ar Gyllideb Ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2021-22
2. Scrutiny of the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2021-22

Felly, dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 2 ar yr agenda, sef craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru 2021-22. Dŷn ni'n croesawu ein tystion yma heddiw: Dafydd Elis-Thomas, y Dirprwy Weinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth—croeso i chi; Jason Thomas, cyfarwyddwr diwylliant, chwaraeon a thwristiaeth; ac hefyd Jo Thomas, uwch-reolwr cynllunio ariannol a rheoli cyllidebol—dwi'n gobeithio fy mod i wedi cael y teitl yna'n iawn. Croeso i'r Dirprwy Weinidog a'ch swyddogion. Oes modd ichi gyflwyno'ch hunain yn glou ar gyfer y cofnod?

We will, therefore, move on to item 2, scrutiny of the Welsh Government's draft budget for 2021-22. We welcome our witnesses: Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism—a warm welcome to you; Jason Thomas, director of culture, sport and tourism; and Jo Thomas, senior financial planning and budgetary control manager—I'm hoping that I've got that title right. So, a very warm welcome, Deputy Minister and your officials. Could you just introduce yourselves for the record?

Oes. Ydych chi am i mi ddweud rhywbeth sylweddol?

Yes. Would you like me to make a few comments?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas, y Dirprwy Weinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth. 

Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism. 

Bore da, bawb. I'm Jason Thomas, I'm director of culture, sport and tourism.

Bore da, bawb. I'm the senior financial planning and budget manager within the economy, skills and natural resources group, supporting culture and heritage.

09:30

Diolch yn fawr ichi am ddod atom heddiw. Os yw'n iawn gyda chi, byddwn ni'n mynd yn syth at gwestiynau ynglŷn â'r gyllideb, ac i gychwyn dŷn ni'n croesawu Helen Mary Jones.

Thank you very much for joining us. If it's okay with you, we'll move immediately to questions on the budget, and we'll start with Helen Mary Jones.

Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. Ddirprwy Weinidog, yn eich papur, dŷch chi'n dweud eich bod chi'n bwriadu paratoi arian ychwanegol i helpu'r sector ailadeiladu ar ôl COVID, ond eich bod chi ddim wedi penderfynu eto beth yn union fydd y cyllid a sut yn union y bydd yn cael ei ddefnyddio. Ydych chi mewn sefyllfa i ddweud wrthym ni heddiw pryd dŷch chi'n bwriadu gwneud y penderfyniad yna, wrth ystyried bod yr arian presennol yn dod i ben ym mis Mawrth?

Thank you very much, Chair. Deputy Minister, in your paper, you state that you intend to provide additional funding for recovery for the sector, post COVID, but that you haven't yet decided what level of funding will be available and how it will be used. Are you in a position to tell us today when you intend to make that decision, given that the current funding is due to come to an end in March?

Na, dydyn ni ddim mewn sefyllfa i wneud datganiad eto. Y ffordd rydyn ni'n gweithio ydy, rydyn ni'n gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r sector—. Efallai y dylwn i ddisgrifio'r math o berthynas sydd gyda ni. Mae gyda ni gyfarfodydd wythnosol erbyn hyn gyda'r ochr—wel, maen nhw wedi bod gyda'r ochr dwristiaeth ers misoedd, ond bellach mae'r un peth yn digwydd gyda digwyddiadau, ac wrth gwrs mae yna gydweithio â'r cyrff cyhoeddus lled braich oddi wrthym ni, megis Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru. Rydyn ni hefyd, wrth gwrs, yn gyfrifol am Cymru Greadigol yn fy adran i, ac felly mae'r holl drafodaethau yma yn digwydd yn gyson rhyngom ni. Ac wrth gwrs, mae yna drafodaethau yn digwydd ochr yn ochr â'r adran ddiwylliannol yn Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig, yn eu cyfrifoldebau cyffredinol am y Deyrnas Unedig, yn ogystal â'u cyfrifoldebau penodol fel adran ddiwylliant Lloegr. Ac mi garwn i bwysleisio ar ddechrau'r drafodaeth yma fy mod i, oherwydd fy nghefndir gwleidyddol, wedi bod yn aelod o'r bwrdd ffilm Prydeinig, ac wedi cydweithio â'r Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon pan roeddwn i yn San Steffan, ac mae'r berthynas dda yna wedi parhau. Dwi'n meddwl ei bod hi'n allweddol bwysig yn y dyddiau anodd yma bod yna berthynas adeiladol rhwng Gweinidogion Llywodraeth Cymru a Gweinidogion y Deyrnas Unedig, yn ogystal, wrth gwrs, ag Iwerddon a'r Alban.

No, we're not in a position to make a statement as of yet. The way that we work is that we work very closely with the sector—. Perhaps I should describe the kind of relationship we have. We have weekly meetings now with—well, they've happened in tourism for months, but now the same things happen with events, and there is collaboration with the arm's-length public bodies, such as the Arts Council of Wales. We are also responsible for Creative Wales as a department, and therefore all of these discussions are happening regularly between ourselves. And of course, there are discussions happening with the department for culture in the UK Government, given their overarching responsibilities for the UK, as well as their specific responsibilities as the department of culture for England. And I would like to emphasise at the beginning of this discussion that, given my political background, I have been a member of the British film board and I have worked with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport when I was in Westminster, and that positive relationship has been maintained. I think it's crucially important in these difficult days that there is a constructive relationship between Welsh Government Ministers and Ministers at the UK level, as well as those in Ireland and Scotland too, of course.

Diolch yn fawr, Ddirprwy Weinidog. I ba raddau byddai unrhyw arian ychwanegol i'r sector yn dibynnu ar arian ychwanegol gan Lywodraeth y Deyrnas Gyfunol?

Thank you very much, Deputy Minister. To what extent would any additional funding for the sector be dependent on increased funding from the UK Government?

Wel, mae'n bwysig dweud i ddechrau ein bod ni wedi, ar y dechrau'n deg, ailbwrpasu ac ailgyfeirio ein cyllideb ein hunain. Y pethau cyntaf a wnaethom ni oedd gweld sut y gallem ni—ac mae hynna'n wir ar draws pob adran o Lywodraeth Cymru—ailgyfeirio'r cyllid a oedd wedi ei ddosbarthu'n barod i'r adrannau i'w ddefnyddio ar gyfer yr argyfwng. Ac mae'r un peth yn parhau i ddigwydd. Mae yna, wrth gwrs, gyd-ddibyniaeth rhwng yr hyn sydd yn dod i ni oddi wrth y Deyrnas Unedig. Ond mae'n bwysig dweud hefyd bod fformiwla Barnett erbyn hyn yn henffasiwn—mae'r cyfan wedi cael ei oddiweddyd gan y dulliau o sicrhau cyllid ychwanegol y tu allan i'r fformiwla yna ar gyfer materion datganoledig. Dwi'n meddwl bod yr amser wedi dod—ac mae rhai ohonoch chi wedi fy nghlywed i'n traethu am ffederaliaeth gyllidol, fiscal federalism, yn y cyfnod yma—mae yna eisiau ffordd o feddwl am ein perthynas gyllidol a'n perthynas bolisi rhwng y gweinyddiaethau datganoledig a'r Llywodraeth ganol. Dwi'n awyddus iawn i gyfrannu at y drafodaeth yma yn ystod y blynyddoedd nesaf, os byw ac iach, hyd yn oed pan na fyddaf i bellach yn y swydd yma.

Well, it's important to state at the outset that, at the very beginning, we repurposed and vired our own budget. The first thing we did was to decide—and this of course is true across all departments of Welsh Government—how we could redirect funding that had already been distributed so that it could be used in response to the crisis. And the same thing continues to happen. Of course, there is an interdependence between what is provided from the UK Government. But it's also important to say that the Barnett formula is very old-fashioned—it's been overtaken by means of securing additional funding outwith that particular formula for devolved areas. I do think that the time has come—and many of you have heard me talking about fiscal federalism in the past—we need a new way of thinking about our fiscal relationship and our policy relationships between the devolved administrations and UK Government. I'm very eager to contribute to this debate over the next few years, if I'm fit and well, even when I'm not in this particular post.

Diolch yn fawr. Ac yn olaf oddi wrthyf fi, Gadeirydd, mae Prifysgol Caerdydd wedi dweud bod yna dros £8 miliwn o ffynd COVID Llywodraeth Cymru sydd yn dal heb benderfyniadau wedi cael eu gwneud ar sut i'w ddefnyddio fe—ac mae hynny, wrth gwrs, yn gwbl naturiol wrth feddwl fel y mae pethau'n symud yn glou. Ydych chi'n rhagweld y bydd rhan o'r arian yna yn dod at eich adran chi ac at y sector i gefnogi'r sector celfyddydol, fel eu bod nhw'n ailadeiladu?

Thank you very much. And finally from me, Chair, Cardiff University have estimated that over £8 million of the Welsh Government's COVID allocation is uncommitted at this point—and that's natural, of course, given how things do move very quickly. Do you anticipate that some of that funding will be provided to your department and to the culture sector, to support as they rebuild?

Does gen i ddim unrhyw amheuaeth na fydd y drefn sydd wedi bod gyda ni ar draws Llywodraeth Cymru, lle mae yna gydweithrediad ardderchog wedi bod ar draws y Llywodraeth, a gyda'r Gweinidog cyllid yn arbennig, ynglŷn â phwysigrwydd diwylliant a'r celfyddydau yn y sefyllfa yma—does yna ddim problem o gwbl ynglŷn â'r ddealltwriaeth yna. Ac mae'r ffaith bod treftadaeth wedi cael ei gynnal—. Efallai bydd rhywun eisiau holi yn nes ymlaen am sefyllfa Cadw ac yn y blaen. Ond mae hynny wedi cael ei gynnal a'i gefnogi er bod yr incwm o ymwelwyr, yn naturiol, wedi diflannu. Mae'r sector theatr a'r sector cyngherddau yna er bod yna ddim modd cael perfformiadau. Mae yna gyllid wedi cael ei sicrhau ar gyfer cynnal y sefydliadau yna ac, fel dywedais i'n gynt, yn arbennig y cyrff lled braich sydd yn gyfrifol am oruchwylio'r sefyllfa yn y sector.

Felly, rydyn ni'n cael adroddiadau cyson ynglŷn â sefyllfa'r sector, ac rydyn ni, wrth gwrs, yn trafod yn gyson gyda nhw fel eu bod nhw'n gwybod am ein hawydd ni, pan fydd y sefyllfa iechyd cyhoeddus wedi newid yn sicr. A dwi'n pwysleisio hynny, oherwydd mae yna siarad gwirion, os caf ddweud, am bobl yn sôn am, 'O, mi wnawn ni ail-gychwyn cyn y Pasg' oedd hi, onid e? Wel, roedd pawb oedd yn gwybod rhywbeth am iechyd cyhoeddus ac am natur y math o bla difäol sydd wedi ein taro ni fel byd, na allwch chi ddim jest symud o sefyllfa fel hyn i ddechrau yn araf deg i weld a wneith hyn weithio. Oherwydd mae'n rhaid inni gael sicrwydd bod y sefyllfa iechyd cyhoeddus yn gwbl ddiogel, cyn y gallwn ni gael pobl i ganiatáu i gymysgu â'i gilydd yn rhwydd ac yn rhydd.

I have no doubt that the system that we have had in place across Welsh Government, where there is excellent collaboration across Government, and with the Minister for finance particularly, in terms of the importance of culture and the arts in this scenario—there is no problem at all in terms of that understanding. And the fact that heritage has been maintained, and there may be some questions later on the position of Cadw and so on—. But that's been maintained and supported although the visitor income has disappeared. The theatre sector and the live music sector are there, although performances aren't possible. Funding has been secured for supporting those institutions and organisations and, as I said earlier, particularly the arm's length bodies that are responsible for oversight of the situation in the sector.

So, we have regular reports on the position of the sector, and, of course, we have regular discussions with them so that they are aware of our desire, when the public health situation has changed. And I emphasise that, because there is some empty talk, if I may say so, about people saying, 'Well, we can recommence before Easter.' Well, everyone who knew anything about public health and the nature of the kind of destructive plague that we've been hit by knows that you can't just move from this scenario and just reopen slowly. Because we must have assurances that the public health situation is entirely safe before we can allow people to mix together freely again. 

09:35

Diolch. Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd.  

Thank you. Thank you, Chair. 

Jest un cwestiwn ychwanegol gen i yn y cyd-destun yma. O ran y gronfa adferiad diwylliannol, dwi'n credu roedd £59 miliwn wedi'i glustnodi i chi. Faint o hynny sydd wedi cael ei wario? A beth yw'r criteria o ran ymgeisio amdano fe? Dwi wedi cael peth cyfathrebu gan bobl sydd wedi cael eu gwrthod ac wedyn yn methu apelio. Maen nhw'n dweud eu bod nhw'n teimlo bach yn ynysig oherwydd hynny. A allwch chi ehangu tamaid bach, neu, o leiaf, roi nodyn i ni ynglŷn â hynny? 

Just one additional question from me in this context. In terms of the cultural recovery fund, I think there were £59 million allocated to you. How much of that has been spent? And what are the criteria in terms of applying for funding? I have received some correspondence from people who have been rejected and haven't been able to appeal. They say that they feel slightly isolated by that situation. Can you expand on that, or, at least, provide a note? 

Wel, mae'r bobl sydd wedi cael eu gwrthod wedi cael eu gwrthod oherwydd bod eu ceisiadau nhw wedi’u hystyried yn y ffordd arferol. Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru oedd â'r cyfrifoldeb penodol yma. Yn achos amgueddfeydd ac yn y blaen, mae'r amgueddfa genedlaethol wedi bod yn ein cynorthwyo ni. Ond, os ydy pobl heb dderbyn cyllid, yna, maen nhw'n gallu gwneud cais pellach ac mi fydd yna gyllid pellach yn cael ei gyhoeddi yn fuan, ond fedra i ddim dweud pryd yn union. Fe ofynnaf i Jason.

Well, those who have been rejected have been rejected because their applications have been considered in the usual way. The Arts Council of Wales had specific responsibility in this area. In the case of museums and so on, National Museum Wales has been assisting us too. But, if people haven't received funding, then, they can make further applications, and there will be more funding announced soon. I can't say exactly when, but I will ask Jason to add something to that. 

Would you like to add something to that, Jason?

Diolch, Weinidog. So, in terms of the actual amounts, we received the £59 million Barnett consequential, and we actually put more—

—Welsh Government money into that, so it came to £64 million. Essentially, all of that money—. There is still a small number of projects that we are still appraising, but it's very small. We've effectively allocated the funding to all those projects, and the money's going out of the door and has been going out of the door for a number of weeks now. So, as the Deputy Minister says, there will always be some applicants who apply and are unsuccessful. But, very largely speaking, we've had really positive feedback on the process and the way in which it's been run. So, what we are doing—

Will you do an analysis of it though, so that we can at least understand its— 

Not yet. I'm not going to spend any time on policy analysis or performance analysis while we're still in the middle of this crisis, quite honestly. 

Yes, but for some of the organisations who may have been rejected, they might want to understand how they can improve any sort of criteria for the future. 

Well, yes, but then all they need to do is approach us. Well, they are approaching us, and we've had these discussions and we still have them. But it's not about—. Let's be quite clear. The amount of time and energy that's being used by my officials, colleagues, in ensuring that this funding gets out as quickly as possible and as fairly as possible, has been amazing, and I think it's appropriate for me to say that publicly. Sorry, Jason.  

Yes, very quickly, just to add. So, we've obviously built in detailed evaluation into the cultural recovery fund. So, as we are approaching—. We are approaching the last appraisal decisions now. We're going out to tender, in the next couple of days, to evaluate that product, and that will inform, then, the discussions around the CRF potential, too, as the Deputy Minister alludes to there. 

Ie, dyna beth oeddwn i eisiau deall. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Dwi'n gwerthfawrogi hynny. Symud ymlaen, felly, at John Griffiths. 

Yes, that's what I was seeking to understand. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Moving on, therefore, to John Griffiths. 

09:40

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Deputy Minister, obviously Wales will have to come through beyond this pandemic and rebuild all aspects, really, of life in Wales to some extent. What role would you see for the culture Secretary in that rebuilding process, beyond the pandemic, and if culture is to play the role it should, would that require significant extra funding?

Culture is already giving people hope in this very difficult situation and I'm not talking at an abstract level there. People are missing, as they are with sporting events as well obviously, that participation in cultural activity and in sporting activity and it gives people hope of a return. But it's got to be a safe return and that's why I continually emphasise that it is our public health advisers in Wales, and indeed at the UK level—and again I want to say how marvellous it has been to see the four chief medical officers of health and the senior officials across all the health departments in the UK working together so effectively, and that is essential as we get through this.

And obviously, the role of culture in a return—but I wouldn't use the word 'return', because we can't get back to where we were, because we will have to live with a possibility of a resurgence of a pandemic for many years, and this is something that people don't like to talk about. But if you look at history—and I do know something about the social history of disease in different societies in the past—this is a plague. If it was in the medieval period, we'd describe it as a plague and its effect on society is the effect of a plague. And, therefore, there can be no simple going back; we have to plan carefully and every decision about moving beyond where we are now in terms of lockdown and restriction has to be undertaken absolutely on the public health advice that we get, and there should be no pretence that it's otherwise.

But in taking a longer term view, Deputy Minister, which we have to do, and Jeremy Miles is looking at building back better, as it's described, isn't he, across the piece for Welsh Government and obviously all departments would have a role in that, including culture. In looking at that future, are you considering the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015? Is that informing your approach in looking ahead?

Of course. The well-being of future generations is a central part of our constitution as a Welsh democracy and obviously, everything that we do has to be informed by consideration of well-being and that is why we are so concerned about the impact of a lack of opportunity. But it's not just about—. Culture is a way in which people interrelate. That's what culture really is about—it's about people relating to one another. And because people are unable to physically relate to one another, because of the public health situation, that is particularly painful and people are aware of that. And so, I think we have to always talk about well-being and what will be possible.

But of course, it is the very restrictions and the very difficult situation we're now in that will lead us to a situation where we can share with each other—join with each other in cultural life again, and in sporting life again, and so, the prize there is huge. But the prize is, basically, sticking by the regulations, and there is no way out of that; there are no shortcuts to that. This is why I despair at seeing people who have not been prepared to abide by the regulations, because they prevent the rest of us from going on to a situation where we can live with a pandemic at a level where, hopefully, it is more contained than it is now. But I'm not optimistic about that happening in the short term, and I don't think we should pretend that that would be the case, and not talk about dates and not talk about times when things will change, because there's nothing more debilitating than having a target. People complain to me, 'Why haven't you got targets?' The reason we haven't got targets is because we do not know. We literally do not know how a virus behaves, and that's been proved already by the research that we've had.

09:45

Sorry, John, David Melding wants to come in with a supplementary. Is that okay?

Thank you, Chair. I think this is a very interesting answer, and I commend the Minister for looking at the future generations' well-being Act and applying it in a very strategic way to the likely demands on the budget in the years to come. I just wonder if you and your department are thinking in terms of what sort of business models, for certainly our larger cultural organisations, will be, given that audience numbers, presumably, will be very limited compared to what they've been in the past, given some of the public health implications that you've been outlining. And I do think you're prescient; I'm not quite sure that our society has fully grasped this point yet, that we will not be returning to normal.

Well, I'm pleased to say that the arm's-length bodies that work with us, and I will mention, obviously, Sport Wales and the arts council in the same breath because they are, for me, equally important in what they do, and they are thinking very creatively. There are people thinking well beyond blue-sky thinking—it is really very encouraging to talk to them, even in this situation, and they will be producing the kind of advice that we need and my successor in this position will need for the future. But that is months and years down the road. But, as you emphasised, it's important to think positively, otherwise people will get depressed.

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Turning to Brexit, Deputy Minister, and the impact of Brexit on the culture sector, have resources been allocated in the draft budget to address that impact?

Yes, certainly. Part of the resources that we have, in terms of our future planning, is to ensure particularly that groups and cultural activity that used to rely heavily on international performance and they're not able to do so—they're not able to do so now because it's a combination of Brexit and the pandemic—that there is a way of ensuring that the activity that they have undertaken, a lot of it benefiting from international inspirations and co-production and co-performance and so on, that all that is still there, and that the practitioners are able to find different ways of practising and continuing their craft and their skills in a way that is within the public health limits, and that's what we've been struggling to do. So, I'm really relating the Brexit situation with the pandemic situation, because they're both, in my book, equally negative towards the development of cultural activity. I don't know whether Jason would like to bring me back to the ground on that.

No, I don't need to do that, Deputy Minister. I think the important thing to consider here, thinking back to the question there, is: has specific money been allocated to Brexit? Our role is to provide funding and guidance to enable organisations that we support to thrive, and that goes across everything that they're responsible for. And, obviously, Brexit, like COVID, is a very significant challenge that's facing organisations, particularly at the moment, into next year and into the future. So, it's not as if there's a specific budget for Brexit necessarily; what we do is we provide funding in the round to support that organisation and the—[Inaudible.] Wales Arts International that's supported by the Arts Council of Wales, clearly, there's a massive impact there, because of the nature of the people who they support. So, they are likely to need a higher level of intervention than other organisations that won't. So, it's just important to put on record that we look at everything in the round, not just specifically for one thing.

09:50

[Inaudible.]—to say that, during the preparations, we've also been guided by the COVID reconstruction priorities outlined. So, just to give you some examples of that and budget provision, the creative industries are obviously very important, in terms of employment and the labour market, for a more prosperous Wales. The creative sector's a very important sector and one of the pillars of the international strategy, with annual turnover of £2.2 billion, so, obviously, that will make a significant impact and is one of the considerations that we had when we were preparing the budget. There are other considerations—town centres, more locally, where we've protected budget, for example—and the transformational capital grant; this recognises that museums, archives and libraries are a focal point for our communities and address some of the impacts of poverty, health and well-being for the long term.

Okay, thanks for that. In terms of the sector working in the European Union now post Brexit and the different layers of bureaucracy that that would involve now, is there a central point of contact that's available to help organisations navigate their way through that?

Well, we obviously have been encouraging people to retain their bilateral and multilateral relations. I'm not clear in my mind what the UK Government is pretending to do or trying to do to replicate a UK fund that replaces the European funding, and I've not been convinced that this is functional. But, of course, the jury is out, as it were; we'll see what they will produce. I know Jason's been involved, as other officials have, in discussions about this, but what we're doing—we are working very closely with our Scottish colleagues, bless them; our Northern Ireland colleagues, of course, are working as if they were a united Ireland, if I can use that expression, already, because of this crisis. But it's important for us always to be working alongside our Scottish colleagues in relation to international and what used to be European Union activity. Jason, do you want to comment on that?

Thanks, Deputy Minister. So, yes, I totally agree with everything the Deputy Minister said there. In terms of the single point of contact, we've got our Business Wales helpline. So, that is a single point of contact for all organisations across Wales. So, they are there to provide one-to-one support for businesses. There's a whole stack of information on the website that helps business and organisations to get ready and equipped for dealing with Brexit. So, 'yes', is the simple answer to the question, and we can provide a link to all of that, but I'm sure you're all aware of that anyway.

Okay. Final question from me, then: in terms of lost EU funding, you were saying, Deputy Minister, that there's some perhaps confusion in terms of what UK Government may be doing. Is there anything extra that Welsh Government might do to help mitigate the loss of European funding to the culture sector, or is it a matter of waiting to see what the UK Government come forward with?

Well, quite frankly, I'm not keen to spend Welsh Government resources on what was previously European Union funding. I believe very firmly that the people who brought us here—and, obviously, I make no apology for always having been a European in my attitude; I'm inspired both by Saunders Lewis and Raymond Williams, and will never stop being inspired by those characters, as well as, obviously, other actual Europeans. I won't mention Jean-Paul Sartre this morning, but we have a heritage, a cultural heritage, in Wales, which is internationalist, and therefore it's very important to keep that alive, and nothing can prevent us from doing that.

And I've been very, very supportive of everything we can do on the Erasmus+ programme, and we are discussing, very seriously at the moment, as Ministers in the Welsh Government, how we can help to ensure that this activity continues. Now, that will depend partly on UK funding; it will have to depend on some funding that we generate or some funding that institutions in Wales are prepared to pay for to subscribe for services that they will want to continue. That would be my priority now: to look at how we can make the Erasmus programme, especially, still available for our young, clever students, because we are all young and clever Europeans, as well as world citizens, as well as Welsh citizens. 

09:55

Diolch. Diolch, John. Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen, felly, at Mike Hedges.

Thank you. Thank you, John. We will move on to Mike Hedges.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. I want to talk about two things, effectively: the National Museum Wales and the National Library of Wales. Starting off with the national museum, has the national museum appointed a commercial director?

No, but what they've done, with my strong encouragement, is that they've reorganised their senior management team, so that the commercial activity is much more mainstreamed. The proposal for appointing a commercial director did come out of the Thurley review, and what they've done, with our strong agreement, as I said, is to implement that more corporately across the organisation, so that its priorities are much more clearly related to its activity in the private sector and the third sector and its outside partnership activity. It is probably easier for the national museum to be seen as an outside partner because of this, because it's got seven institutional bases. And I think, when we come to develop the museum of the north, as the director general and myself like to call it, because it sounds grander than just a slate museum in the north—it's much more than just slate—when we come to develop that, that will be very much a development that will happen in partnership with the private sector, because it can't happen otherwise. 

Just the one comment: why don't you call it the museum of the ancient kingdom of Gwynedd? [Laughter.] 

We don't do ancient; we're doing the future. The north is also the future.

I could go into a long discussion about this, with some other things. But the other point I would make is: are you sure you've got the capability to fulfil the role that would be taken on by a commercial director within the organisation? If you had it, why wasn't it done before?

Well, it's not for me to say what happened before, but, certainly, in my very close relationship and friendship, which I very much appreciate, and cultural advice that I get from the current director general and his colleagues, there are people there whose skills, perhaps, were not—in the senior management now—whose commercial skills and their skills in running a public sector institution for the twenty-first century weren't always appreciated in the past, but they're certainly appreciated by this Minister and this Government. Jason, do you want to say something on that?

Please. So, obviously, things have moved on from the Thurley review in 2017, and just one thing that I would draw out in response to the question would be the appointment of Roger Lewis as the chair of the museum over that time frame. Roger, as many of you will know, has got a very, very strong commercial background himself, so he's brought, right at the helm of the organisation, commercial acumen, and that's completely changed the landscape in the museum. So, I just wanted to put that on the record too, and our appreciation for the work that Roger has done in his time there.

And turning to the national library, how can the implementation of the tailored review into the national library be implemented without additional funding? And how much of that additional funding do you think will come from being generated from non-Government sources?

It's very difficult for the national library to obtain funding from non-Government sources, but, of course, what the national library can do more of, and what I would encourage them to do, is to become a more active senior partner of the library services in Wales generally. It's always been my ambition that the national library should be seen as the apex of the pyramid, if a pyramid has an apex, of the cultural activity that occurs. I think if we have a much better regional partnership between the national library and the other libraries within local authorities, university libraries, community libraries that we have in Wales—there's a lot of energy there and the way in which libraries generally are now used as very active, proactive community centres hasn't quite yet touched the national library in the way that I might like to see. But they are very keen now on looking outside and, the present management of the national library and ourselves, we've been working together on a strategy, and we are expecting a further document from them when they've developed their plans further. Jason, perhaps you'd like to confirm that.

10:00

Yes, thanks, Deputy Minister. There are a couple of things within this, I guess. So, obviously, the committee is looking at the tailored review separately. We've been in front of the committee talking about that, I think, just before Christmas. One thing that I'd draw out would be—or two things—so, the tailored review itself, obviously, as Mr Hedges refers to there, says that significant additional funding is required for the library to be able to thrive. Clearly, we are in very difficult times, and, as you'll have seen from our evidence to you, the budget allocations that we're making for next year are still challenging. We are really, I guess, pleased to be able to maintain budgets at this year's level, but that does not go as far as the tailored review report says that we should go. But those are the times that we're in, and, unfortunately, this is across the board for our portfolio as we head into next year, when we're coming through a pandemic. All of us—internally and externally, the organisations that we support—have got really difficult decisions to make in terms of where priorities are. So, we will continue to work really closely with the national library to see where efficiencies can be made, where they can try and come in on the budget that we set out for them, but it is extremely challenging.

Just finally, to the Deputy Minister's points about wider integration with the library community, that's obviously something we are going to work closely with them on, and the same goes for the national museum and their role with local museums. We see how it works with Sport Wales and the Arts Council of Wales, where they have a federated model, where they support all those other organisations, so it's just something that we're looking at and are really interested in exploring further in the years to come.

I'd just like to add to that that we do look at our three great national institutions, the national library, the national museum and the national botanic garden, which is very, very dear to my heart, because it's based in the county of my birth in Carmarthenshire—it's important to realise that those national institutions have a proper national remit, and that they can find ways of delivering it. I would say the national botanic garden, which is why I mentioned them, is a very good example of how it's possible for a national institution, based in west Wales, to be able to have a very strong partnership with all sorts of communities and regional institutions and companies throughout Wales, and that's the model for every national institution. National institutions should not be seen as centralised institutions on a national basis; they should be seen as diverse and delegating institutions.

Yes. If I may come in and add to the comments by the Minister and Jason, the capital allocation is also very important for the library. It is a one-year allocation, and, obviously, the library has worked very closely with us to set out their capital priorities for the next five years. This will include their aspirations for transforming the facilities on offer to visitors and families, some of those recommendations in the tailored review in terms of long-term protection of the building, promoting the digital collection strategy; this funding will go some way to addressing some of the efficient solutions for carbon footprint and may have some long-term efficiencies as well.

10:05

Well, the digital collection, obviously, is a key to the treasures of the library being able to be communicated worldwide, and that's a marvellous development. 

And finally from me, any update on your capital programme? I know everybody's capital programme in the last 12 months has been affected by external events. Any update on your capital programme and plans for next year—the next financial year?

Thanks, Deputy Minister. If I talk to Cadw, which is the area I've got accounting officer responsibility for, construction can progress even within the current tier 4 restrictions. It is challenging and obviously there are impacts across the board as a result of the pandemic, but we do envisage that our key projects—and there's a multitude of projects across Cadw, but if I just talk briefly about the key ones—Caernarfon, Tretower and Caerphilly, where there is significant allocation next to them, we do envisage that work will be able to progress. We've made these budget allocations on the basis that work can happen. And clearly we will review everything, as we always do, and if things slip, things will slip. But as things currently stand, the allocations that we've set out in the evidence to you, we do believe we will be able to spend that money and continue the progress on those projects. And I think that does go across the board for the other institutions that have applied to us for capital funding. We're obviously acutely aware of the situation and we will continue to review it, but as things stand, as we speak to you today, we do believe that the capital investment programmes as set out will continue. 

Diolch yn fawr, Mike Hedges. Mae gen i gwpwl o gwestiynau nawr ynghylch nifer o themau gwahanol. Dirprwy Weinidog, a allwch chi roi trosolwg i ni o'r hyn sydd yn digwydd gyda Theatr Clwyd? Beth yw'r amserlen ar gyfer y datblygiadau fanna, ac a allwch chi roi rhyw fath o syniad inni o'r hyn sydd yn digwydd? Diolch.

Thank you very much, Mike Hedges. I have a few questions now on a few different themes. Deputy Minister, can you just give us an overview of what's happening in terms of Theatr Clwyd? What is the timetable for developments there, and can you give us some idea of what's happening?

Wel, Theatr Clwyd yw'r brif theatr yn y gogledd, ac mae hefyd yn allweddol fel rhan o'r strwythur o theatrau cenedlaethol, a dyna pam fod £3 miliwn wedi cael ei rhyddhau, neu yn cael ei rhyddhau, iddyn nhw. Ac rydyn ni'n cydweithio gyda nhw ar y cynllun busnes ar gyfer datblygu hynny. Dwi hefyd yn cymeradwyo'n fawr y gweithgaredd cymunedol y maen nhw'n ei wneud drwy ganol yr argyfwng yma, a dwi'n edmygydd mawr o'r cyfarwyddwr artistig ac o'r rheolaeth yn Theatr Clwyd, a dwi'n gobeithio nawr y byddan nhw'n parhau i weithredu yn y cyfeiriad yma. Maen nhw'n fodel arbennig iawn o bobl sydd wedi gallu delio â sefyllfa lle nad yw pobl yn mynd i adeiladau mawr bellach yn bosib. Maen nhw wedi mynd â theatr a gweithgaredd theatrig ac addysg o bob math i bob rhan o'r gymuned yn eu hardal, ac maen nhw i'w llongyfarch yn fawr am wneud hynny. 

Well, Theatr Clwyd is the main north Wales theatre, but it is also crucial as part of the structure of national theatres in Wales, and that's why £3 million has been, or is being, released to them. And we are working with them on the business plan for developments there. I also warmly welcome the community activity that they are undertaking throughout this pandemic. I am a great admirer of the artistic director and of the management in Theatr Clwyd, and I very much hope that they will continue to operate in this way. They are an excellent model in terms of dealing with a situation where people can't access large buildings. They have taken theatre and theatrical activities and education of all kinds to all parts of the community in their own area, and they're to be congratulated for that.

Felly mae'r £3 miliwn yn mynd atyn nhw fel oedd yn disgwyliedig.

So, that £3 million will be provided to them as expected.

Ocê. Grêt. Jest o ran yr arian cyfalaf ar gyfer Cymru Greadigol, dwi ar ddeall bod £7 miliwn wedi mynd tuag at Gymru Greadigol o ran cyfalaf, a dwi'n darllen o'ch tystiolaeth fod hynny ar gyfer creu brand, achos ei fod yn rhywbeth weddol newydd. Allwch chi esbonio sut y mae'r arian hwnnw wedi cael ei ddyrannu a sut mae hynny wedi cael impact ar sut mae Cymru Greadigol yn cael ei weld nawr?

Okay. Great. Just in terms of capital funding for Creative Wales, I understand that £7 million capital has been allocated to Creative Wales, and I read from your evidence that that is to create a brand, because certainly it's a new organisation. Can you explain how that funding has been allocated and what impact that has had on how Creative Wales is viewed now?

Wel, fyddwn i'n gwneud cam mawr â Chymru Greadigol ac â chyfraniad Llywodraeth Cymru wrth siarad y bore yma heb sôn am y ffaith fod 6 miliwn o bobl wedi gwylio'r gyfres ryfeddol ar sir Benfro yn y tair noswaith yr wythnos yma. Ac roeddwn i'n mewn llesmair o lawenydd mawr o weld y derbyniad a gafodd y cynnyrch yma, oedd yn fuddsoddiad mentrus i ni ei wneud a'i gefnogi. A dyma yw mantais cael corff fel Cymru Greadigol. Ac wrth inni gefnogi a chynhyrchu digwyddiadau fel hyn, mae'n mynd i olygu fod delwedd Cymru yn rhyngwladol fel gwlad greadigol yn mynd i gael ei chryfhau. Ond, i ateb y pwynt yn fwy manwl, mi wnaethom ni benodi Gerwyn Evans a oedd wedi bod yn llwyddiannus iawn ym maes twristiaeth i ni am flynyddoedd i fynd yn brif weithredwr ar Gymru Greadigol. Mae gyda ni fwrdd arbennig o ddawnus o bobl ymarferol a gweithredol, y cadeirydd, Catryn, wrth gwrs, a gweddill aelodau'r bwrdd, ac mae gen i bob ffydd yn eu gallu nhw i weithredu mewn ffordd fasnachol mewn partneriaeth, ac mae'r croeso maen nhw wedi'i gael gan y diwydiant ac ar draws y sectorau cynhyrchu wedi bod yn hynod o briodol ac addas.

Well, I wouldn't be serving Creative Wales or the Welsh Government well if we were to speak this morning without mentioning that 6 million people watched that incredible drama about Pembrokeshire over three nights this week. I was delighted to see the reception for this production. It was an innovative investment for us, and this is the benefit of having a body such as Creative Wales. And as we support and produce content such as this then, it will mean that the image of Wales internationally as a creative nation will be enhanced. But, to respond to your question in more detail, we appointed Gerwyn Evans, who had been highly successful in tourism for many years, as chief executive of Creative Wales. We have an exceptionally talented board, both executive members and operational members, the chair, Catryn, of course, and the other members of the board, and I have every confidence in their ability to operate in a commercial manner in partnership, and the welcome that they've received from the industry and across production sectors has been very appropriate.

Jason, do you want to say something further about Creative Wales?

10:10

Yes, just if you could say perhaps where the £7 million has been spent, that would be helpful.

Thanks, Chair. I think it's just important to say that the £7 million, not to confuse—perhaps it's come across as £7 million to be invested in the brand. It's not that; it's £7 million to be invested in developing the priorities of Creative Wales. That's the thing, then.

Just a couple of things I would draw out, following on from the Deputy Minister's points. We are still to go through the detailed allocations of the £7 million for Creative Wales next year. We've obviously got a new board; they're working with Gerwyn, as the Deputy Minister said, on the detail for the plans for next year, but it is quite likely that a proportion of that money will go towards media investment and go towards productions. To date—we can give you a note on this—but broadly speaking, we've invested in the region of £30 million into creative productions, and we believe that that's generated a spend in Wales in the region of £365 million, so a 12:1 return. It is across all the sectors, and in these bleak times, where we are having to deliver bad news on a regular basis, the creative industries is one area where we do see a lot of optimism. There is still stuff that's going on that is having an impact in a really positive way. So, we do think we want to build on that in the years to come under Gerwyn's leadership and the new board there.

So, effectively, you're saying that the money there will take the place of the media investment budget of previous. Can you just tell us, therefore, how you will learn from some of the issues that emanated from that budget? Obviously, Jason, I think you've said that it wasn't just about what you accrue from that budget, but about the projects that come from it, but obviously you made some losses from that budget. What do you hope to change now, with this new funding that you may not have done with the past one?

Can I just say about the structure? The structure is totally different to what went on before. It was all ad hoc, if I may say so, paying out of Government funds for media activity. When we established Creative Wales, we established an arm's-length body within Government on the same model as Cadw, as it happens. We saw that that worked, and this is all down to Jason when he was at Cadw, who created that new kind of animal, not a quango, not entirely at arm's length from Government, but of course having the authority of its own budget. This is why I'm loathe to say how Creative Wales should spend its budget, because clearly that is a matter for the chair and the board, and that's how I want to see them operating. It's part of the new way of operating, giving people autonomy, cultural autonomy in the way they operate. I'll hand back to Jason. Sorry to interrupt.

I'll keep it brief, Chair, because I can see that you're pressed for time. So, I think it's also important to say that not only are we learning lessons from numerous appearances in front of the committee to do with the media investment fund, numerous audit reports; Public Accounts Committee have gone over the work of the creative industries for a number of years now, and as officials reporting to the Minister, we are duty bound to learn the lessons from those. I think, broadly speaking, everybody says you can make a mistake, but if you make the same mistake twice, then there's a problem there. But I think that the creative industries, these have been growing in Wales for a long time now, and it goes back to—. You can certainly trace it back to the economic renewal plan from 2009-10 in previous Governments, where the creative sector was prioritised. This has not grown overnight; this has grown by dedication, by support, prioritisation, over at least 10 to 12 years now, and many, many people, certainly predecessors of mine, have been involved in all of that. We've built up organisational knowledge on what works and what doesn't work, but I think I should just end by saying that this is an industry that is built on risk, and we're never going to get it entirely right. We will always fund productions that will go wrong, and we will always fund productions that go incredibly right. Over time, we just hope that we get more right than we get wrong. But also, we don't want to create a culture where the officials and the sector take a zero-risk approach, because then nothing will happen, and then we wouldn't see amazing productions like The Pembrokeshire Murders or His Dark Materials or Industry, which was filmed in Wales, which some people might not know. There is so much incredible stuff going on at the moment and it's all been there as a consequence of taking some risk.

10:15

Including a lot of use of the old Pinewood building, which I was always criticised about. If we didn't have that building, it wouldn't have been possible to organise the level of production that we've been able to do, or that companies have been able to do. I just thought I'd get that in. And long live Bad Wolf as well, to mention some other companies.

Hopefully a future successor committee can look at and scrutinise the success of Creative Wales.

Jest o ran newyddiaduriaeth newyddion, roeddwn i eisiau deall os oes diweddariad gyda chi, Dirprwy Weinidog, ynglŷn â chefnogaeth i'r sector yma. Oes yna rywbeth yn y gyllideb ddrafft ar gyfer hynny wrth symud ymlaen?

Just in terms of news journalism, I was wondering whether you had an update, Deputy Minister, on support for this sector. Is there anything in the draft budget for that as we move forward?

Oes. Rydyn ni wedi derbyn yr awgrym bod eisiau strwythur tebyg mewn Saesneg Cymreig yng Nghymru i beth sydd gyda ni yn y gefnogaeth yn y Gymraeg ar gyfer y sector newyddion. Mae'r datblygiadau yna yn parhau i ddigwydd, ond bydd y model yn debyg i beth sydd gyda ni yn y Gymraeg, gyda chydweithrediad efo Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru, sydd wrth gwrs yn rhan bellach o Gymru Greadigol, lle dylen nhw fod.

Yes, we've accepted the recommendation that we need a similar structure for English language journalism in Wales as we have for Welsh language journalism. Those developments are ongoing, but the model will be similar to the Welsh language model, with collaboration with the Welsh Books Council, who are of course now part of Creative Wales, where they should be.

Felly nhw fydd yn llywio y datblygiad yma.

So, they will lead on this development.

Wel, nhw sydd yn gyfrifol am y datblygiad yn Gymraeg, ac maen nhw wedi ymgymryd â'r cyfrifoldeb o gefnogi datblygiad cyfatebol.

Well, they're responsible for developments through the medium of Welsh, and they have undertaken responsibility for supporting corresponding developments.

I am right in that, aren't I, Jason? I think I'm right in that.

That's right, Deputy Minister. I think it's similar to the last line of questioning around how we're going to use funding: nothing has been decided in detail below the headline budgets for next year. But we're obviously aware, across the board, really, of the significant pressures that there are on media journalism at the moment, and what we've seen, as I'm sure you'd all agree, is that in the middle of a pandemic, the more accurate, robust and thorough Welsh journalism that we have to report on Wales, the better. So, we do see that there's a role for us in terms of engaging with all of that, but this is a complicated area and people will have different views on Government intervention in journalism.

Just to emphasise what Jason has said, I'm a strong supporter of the arm's-length principle, and there is no more important area for arm's length than media, and autonomy for media is almost more important than creative autonomy. I never thought I'd say that, but I believe that to be the case now, in the present situation we're in.

Dwi'n cytuno'n llwyr. Ac wedyn, y cwestiwn olaf sydd gen i cyn symud ymlaen yw'r oriel gelf gyfoes genedlaethol. Ydyn ni'n gallu cael diweddariad ar hynny a sut mae'r cynlluniau yn mynd rhagddynt?

I agree entirely. Then, a final question from me before we move on, on the national contemporary art gallery. Can we have an update on that, and how plans are progressing?

Ydyn, mae'r cynlluniau yn parhau, fel dwi wedi esbonio i'r pwyllgor ac mewn nifer o ddatganiadau. Mae yna ddatganiad ysgrifenedig, dwi'n meddwl. Mi oedd datganiad llafar i fod, ond dwi'n meddwl ein bod ni wedi ei droi o'n un ysgrifenedig. Byddaf i'n parhau i adrodd ar y sefyllfa ddiweddaraf. Y cynllun ydy bydd yna fodel datganoledig yn cael ei ddatblygu. Mae'r amgueddfa wedi bod yn cydweithio gyda ni ar hyn, a'r bwriad ydy bod y trafodaethau yn parhau ar hyn o bryd, hyd yn oed gan ystyried gwariant cyfalaf ar bensaernïaeth a'r newidiadau y bydd angen eu gwneud i nifer o adeiladau. Mae yna bedair canolfan, rhwng pedair ac wyth o ganolfannau a fydd yn manteisio yn y dyfodol ar y model yma o gario celf gyhoeddus gyfoes o gwmpas Cymru i fod yn weladwy ac yn weledig i bawb.

Yes, the plans are progressing, as I've explained to the committee and in a number of statements. There is a written statement, I believe. There was to be an oral statement, but that became a written statement, and I will continue to report on the latest situation. The plan is that there will be a devolved model developed. The museum has been working with us on this, and discussions are ongoing as we speak, given the capital expenditure on architecture and the adaptations that will need to be made to a number of buildings. There are four centres, or between four and eight centres, that will benefit from this model in future as we take contemporary public art around Wales so that it can be accessible to all.

I don't know, Jo, if you would like to add some detail on that.

Yes, just briefly, because I know Jack has more questions.

[Inaudible.]—the Deputy Minister's comment, that there is funding available for the developments, currently there's £9 million left in central reserves from the Plaid Cymru agreement.

10:20

Yes. It's very important to implement agreements with Plaid Cymru.

Of course. [Laughter.] I've asked this question continuously for that reason.

I've been waiting to say that to you. Lovely to see you back, by the way. [Laughter.]

Well, I look forward to that development, and it's down as a legacy, hopefully. 

For both of us, yes. Teamwork, Dafydd. I'll move on to Jack Sargeant finally. Diolch.

Diolch, Chair, and it is wonderful to see you back in the chair of this committee and your fine leadership, as always. It's like you haven't been away. I'll say that there. 

It was pleasing to hear comments back to you earlier from Jason with regard to learning from mistakes. I think there's an element in politics in general, and in Governments and the public sector, where we do need to recognise and rectify a little bit more and, with my industry hat on, carry out some root-cause analysis to make sure those mistakes don't happen again. So, that was pleasing to hear this morning. 

Just moving on to historic environment and Cadw, really, Jason, you mentioned earlier in response to Mike Hedges about capital investment, that you envisage key projects can go ahead, but I don't want to press too much more on that now because I appreciate the time. Perhaps you could compile a list of what projects are going ahead, or planned to go ahead, for the committee to have a further look at. Now, I appreciate that is fluid given the current situation we're in, but I think it is useful information. 

Deputy Minister, you, too, mentioned on Cadw that the visitor income has essentially disappeared, and we all recognise that and understand why. But is the 8 per cent increase in cash terms in Cadw's revenue budget sufficient enough to compensate for this clearly massive decrease in commercial revenue?

No, I don't think it could be, but I'll ask Jason to comment on that in greater detail. What we have been seeking to maintain is the membership of Cadw, and I'm pleased to say—I speak as a member of Cadw myself—membership is still active. Etifeddiaeth y Cymry, the heritage magazine, describes exactly what Cadw is still doing in the middle of this crisis. And I would like to pay tribute to Gwilym Hughes's leadership of Cadw, because he's obviously deeply experienced in the heritage sector, and he has the authority to continue to inspire that sector for the future. Jason, would you like to say something more on that? 

Thanks, Deputy Minister. I think I can answer both of them together, actually, because the 8 per cent that Mr Sargeant refers to there is actually—. That's in the budget for non-cash depreciation to do with the capital investment projects. It's not a revenue uplift as such—it's an accounting treatment, basically, which Jo can speak about with far more expertise than me. What we will do—if the Deputy Minister is content, certainly—is we will provide you with a list of the capital investment projects for Cadw over the next year. We've got a list that goes further than that because, obviously, we have to plan further in terms of the historic environment. So, we can do that. But yes, that 8 per cent is there in terms of non-cash depreciation. 

Finishing the building of Caernarfon castle is the most important one for me to show what a stupid man Edward I was, not even being able to finish his own castle. [Laughter.] 

Thank you for that. If you could just comment further, if we have time, on what activity, then, you think will be restricted on these sites, obviously, with the shortage of funding. Just to move on as well, because I have got one final question on a different area and I am conscious of time, clearly, the pandemic has impacted on a lot of industry, and this has impacted again on the publishing industry in Wales. Is the Books Council of Wales sufficiently resourced to manage the impact of the pandemic?

We have regular and separate discussions with the Welsh books council because, obviously, it's been a strong interest of mine because of my interest in literature. I am very confident in the ability of the Welsh books council not only to support the publication activity, but also to be an exemplar of a public service support model for publishing. The publishing industry in Wales is a very striking example of a managed market where the public sector has been key to the ability to produce—especially in literature and historical texts and other texts, of course, in both languages—material that is of a high scholarly standard and a high publication quality. As I say, the Welsh books council is continuing to do that. But I think there is a case, and I'm sure that this is something that can be discussed now within Creative Wales, where the cyngor llyfrau now sits, to see whether there are economies of scale, but also whether the good practice of the books council may be extended to other aspects of publication, because publication is not just about publishing books, and I'm sure that the activity of the books council will benefit the rest of Creative Wales. I don't know, Jason, whether you'd like to say something further. I think I know you would.

10:25

Two quick points. One, I'd draw out the impact of the £750,000 capital investment we've put into the books council this year. That's led them to be able to invest in software and will effectively make them more productive, so that's been very well received there. And just in line with the Deputy Minister's last points there, Helgard, the chief exec of the Welsh books council, is on the Creative Wales board as well, so we've got really good join-up and synergy, and it's really pleasing to see the progress that they are making as an organisation under Helgard's leadership.

Okay, thank you for that. Deputy Minister, I had a discussion yesterday with a constituent about some historical books, so I'll be sure to send them your way for your reading, in time, when you've got time.

Yes, I'll have time to read after the end of this parliamentary session, whenever that will be.

Ie, yn sicr. Diolch i chi, Ddirprwy Weinidog, a'ch tîm, am ddod i mewn atom heddiw. Mae'n sicr y byddwn ni'n dilyn hwn i fyny gyda llythyr i'r Pwyllgor Cyllid, ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod i mewn atom ni. Dwi'n credu bod sesiwn arall cyn i'r tymor orffen, os, fel rydych chi'n dweud, mae'r tymor yn gorffen pan rydyn ni i fod i gael etholiad. Pwy â ŵyr ar hyn o bryd?

Indeed. Thank you very much, Deputy Minister, and your team, for joining us today. We will certainly be following this up with a letter to the Finance Committee, but thank you very much for joining us. I think we do have another session timetabled before the end of term, if the term does end when we're supposed to have that election. Who knows?

Y cyntaf o Orffennaf rydw i'n ei ffansio. Mae'n ddyddiad da iawn.

I fancy 1 July. It's an excellent date.

Ie, wel, bryd bynnag mae'n saff. Dyna'r peth. Diolch yn fawr i chi am ddod i mewn atom heddiw. Rŷn ni'n mynd i gael seibiant o 10 munud i'r Aelodau Cynulliad—Aelodau Seneddol y Cynulliad—. Oh my gosh. Cynulliad, Senedd. Senedd Cymru ydyn ni nawr. Seibiant o 10 munud i chi.

Well, whenever it's safe to do so. That's the important point here. Thank you very much for joining us. We will take a 10-minute break now, so that Members—. I keep saying 'Cynulliad'; it's 'Senedd', of course—Senedd Cymru. We'll take a 10-minute break.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:27 a 10:45.

The meeting adjourned between 10:27 and 10:45.

10:45
3. Craffu ar Gyllideb Ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2021-22
3. Scrutiny of the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2021-22

Diolch a chroeso nôl i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Rŷn ni'n symud ymlaen nawr at eitem 3, felly craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru 2021-22. Ein tystion ni'r bore yma yw Eluned Morgan AS, sef y Gweinidog Iechyd Meddwl, Llesiant a’r Gymraeg; Bethan Webb, dirprwy gyfarwyddwr, is-adran y Gymraeg; ac hefyd Jeremy Evas, sef pennaeth Prosiect 2050. Croeso i chi yma heddiw. Allwch chi gyflwyno'ch hunain ar gyfer y Record yn fras i ni, plis? Diolch, Weinidog.

Good morning and welcome back to this meeting of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. We move on to item 3, scrutiny of the Welsh Government's draft budget for 2021-22. Our witnesses are Eluned Morgan MS, the Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language; Bethan Webb, deputy director, Welsh language division; and Jeremy Evas, head of Prosiect 2050. So, a warm welcome to you. If you could introduce yourselves for the Record, thank you.

Member
Eluned Morgan MS 10:45:38
Minister for Mental Health, Well-being and Welsh Language

Fi yw Eluned Morgan, fi sy'n gyfrifol yn Lywodraeth Cymru am y Gymraeg, a iechyd meddwl a llesiant hefyd, ond yn yr achos yma, y Gymraeg.

I'm Eluned Morgan and I am responsible for the Welsh language within Welsh Government, as well as mental health and well-being, but in this case, we'll be discussing the Welsh language.

Bethan Webb, dirprwy gyfarwyddwr adran y Gymraeg.

I'm Bethan Webb, deputy director, Welsh language division.

Jeremy Evas, rwy'n gweithio gyda Bethan Webb yn is-adran y Gymraeg ac yn bennaeth ar y Prosiect 2050.

Jeremy Evas, working with Bethan Webb and head of Prosiect 2050.

Diolch yn fawr ichi am ymuno â ni heddiw. Byddwn yn cychwyn gyda'r cwestiynau os yw hynny'n iawn gyda chi. Dwi eisiau gofyn yn fras—. Dwi'n cydnabod ei fod wedi bod yn gyfnod anodd iawn yn ystod y pandemig i bob elfen o'r portffolio ac ar draws y Llywodraeth yn gyffredinol, ond yng nghyd-destun y Gymraeg, mae'r gyllideb yn fflat ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf. Ydych chi'n hyderus bod hynny'n ddigonol ar gyfer beth sydd angen ei wneud o ran y Gymraeg, neu ydych chi'n credu bod angen edrych ar hynny eto? Diolch.

Thank you very much for joining us this morning. We will move immediately to questions if that’s okay with you. I want to first of all ask—. I do recognise that it’s been a very difficult time during this pandemic across your portfolio and across Government in general, but in the context of the Welsh language, the budget is flat for next year. Are you confident that that is sufficient for what needs to be done in terms of the Welsh language, or do you think that that needs to be reviewed? Thank you. 

Diolch. Cyn imi ddechrau, gaf i longyfarch y Cadeirydd ar enedigaeth ei babi newydd? Dwi'n dymuno pob lwc iddi gyda jyglo gweithio gartref gyda babi bach, so pob lwc.

Ynglŷn â'r gyllideb, wrth gwrs, rŷn ni mewn sefyllfa dŷn ni erioed wedi gweld o'r blaen. Rŷn ni dan bwysau cyllidebol, mae'r pandemig ac mae gennym ni Brexit. Felly, wrth gwrs, mae wedi bod yn flwyddyn anodd dros ben. Roedden ni mewn sefyllfa lle roedden ni'n gallu cyfrannu £2 filiwn o gyllideb y Gymraeg yn ôl i'r canol, fel y eu bod nhw'n gallu defnyddio hynny yn y frwydr yn erbyn COVID. Doedd hynny ddim achos nad oeddem ni eisiau'r arian, roedd e achos ein bod ni'n methu defnyddio'r arian oherwydd bod yr amgylchiadau wedi newid. Felly, er enghraifft, roedd yn amhosibl i ni wneud Cymraeg Gwaith, er enghraifft, felly roedd yr arian yna wedi gallu mynd nôl i'r gyllideb. Ond beth sy'n dda yw ein bod wedi cael yr arian yna nôl eleni, fel ein bod ni ar yr un sail ag yr oeddem ar yr adeg hon y llynedd.

Mae cyllideb Comisiynydd y Gymraeg wedi aros yr un peth. Mae ychydig bach o arian ychwanegol ar gael yn ogystal ag arian ar gyfer sicrhau bod y wefan yn gweithredu'n well. Byddwch yn ymwybodol ein bod ni wedi rhoi £385,000 o arian cyfalaf yn ychwanegol i'r comisiynydd yn y flwyddyn ariannol hon fel eu bod nhw'n gallu gwella'u systemau TG, ac rwy'n siŵr y byddwn eisiau trafod ychydig ynglŷn â hynny. 

Ond, dwy'n meddwl ei bod yn rili bwysig ein bod yn cydnabod bod y Gymraeg a chyllideb y Gymraeg—mae'n rhaid inni weld hwn fel rhywbeth sydd yn mainstream; ein bod ni'n ei weld fel rhywbeth sy'n cyffwrdd ar bron pob agwedd o'r Llywodraeth. Felly, os ŷch chi'n edrych, er enghraifft, ar yr arian sydd mewn addysg, mae'r arian ychwanegol o ran cyfalaf sydd wedi mynd i mewn i ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg wedi bod yn uchel, ac mae hynny wedi ein helpu ar y trywydd i gael mwy o ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg. Ac, wrth gwrs, mae yna bethau eraill, fel y ffaith bod Busnes Cymru, er enghraifft, yn gwneud lot drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Dyw hwnna ddim yn cael ei weld yng nghyd-destun y Gymraeg, ond mae'n digwydd, felly dwi yn meddwl ei bod yn bwysig ein bod yn cadw llygad ar hynny.

Wrth gwrs, mae arian hefyd yn y gyllideb ar gyfer y Gymraeg mewn addysg, a'r Gweinidog addysg sy'n gyfrifol am hynny, ac, wrth gwrs, mae'r arian gyfer y cynllun sabothol ac ati, yn dal i fod yno. Felly, mae hefyd arian ychwanegol ar gyfer llywodraeth leol a bydd peth o'r arian yna, gobeithio, yn mynd tuag at ysgolion a bydd rhai o'r ysgolion hynny'n ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg. Felly, mae'n anodd dweud mai dim ond hyn a hyn sydd ar gyfer y Gymraeg; mae'n rhaid ichi ei weld yng nghyd-destun y Llywodraeth yn ei chyfanrwydd.

Thank you. Before I begin, may I congratulate the Chair on the birth of her baby? I wish her well with juggling working from home with caring for her small child, so best of luck on that.

In terms of the budget, we are in an unprecedented situation. We are facing budgetary pressures, we have the pandemic and Brexit, of course. So, of course, it’s been a very difficult year. We were in a position where we could contribute £2 million from the Welsh language budget, so that it could be repurposed centrally for use in the fight against COVID. That wasn’t because we didn’t want to use that funding, it was because we couldn’t use that funding because of changes in circumstances. So, for example, it was impossible for us to undertake Cymraeg Gwaith, so that funding could be returned to the central budget. But what’s positive is that we have recouped that funding for this year, so we’re at the same level as we were this time last year.

The Welsh Language Commissioner’s budget has remained stable. There is some additional funding available as well as funding for ensuring that the website works better. You will be aware that we have provided £385,000 in capital funding to the commissioner in this financial year so that they can make improvements to their IT systems, and I’m sure we’ll want to discuss that later.

I do think it’s very important that we recognise that the Welsh language and the budget for the Welsh language has to be seen as something that is mainstream; that we view it as something that cuts across all areas of Government, or almost all areas of Government. So, if you look, for example, at the funding in education, the additional capital available for Welsh-medium schools has been at a high level and that’s helped us in having more Welsh-medium schools. And there are other things too. For example, Business Wales are doing a great deal through the medium of Welsh and that isn’t seen in the Welsh language budget, but it is happening, so I think it is important that we keep a close eye on that.

And of course, there is a budget for Welsh in education, and it’s the education Minister who is responsible for that, and there is funding for the sabbatical programme, too, which is still available. So, there is also additional funding for local government and some of that will hopefully be provided for schools and some of those schools will be Welsh-medium schools, of course. So, it’s difficult to say that there’s only so much that’s available to the Welsh language; you have to look across Government.

Grêt. Diolch am hynny. Jest o ran y pandemig, yn wahanol i'r elfen cyfryngau a diwylliant, lle mae cronfa benodol wedi cael ei chreu—a dŷn ni wedi clywed y bore yma gan y Gweinidog, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, ynglŷn â sut y mae hwnnw wedi cael ei roi i grwpiau gwahanol—dŷch chi'n dweud yn eich tystiolaeth bod hawl gyda chi i wneud cais am gyllid o'r gronfa hynny, neu o'r gronfa ehangach yn y Llywodraeth. Oes yna fwriad gyda chi i wneud hynny? Dwi'n sicr yn gwybod bod rhai sefydliadau, fel yr Urdd, yr Eisteddfod Ryngwladol, er enghraifft, efallai, yn edrych atoch chi ar gyfer arweiniad yn y maes yma. Beth ydych chi'n ei ddweud iddyn nhw os ydyn nhw eisiau i chi apelio am fwy o arian o'r gronfa hynny?

Great. Thank you very much for that. Just in terms of the pandemic, unlike the media and culture sector, where a specific fund was created—and we've heard this morning from Dafydd Elis-Thomas as to how that's been distributed to various groups—you state in your evidence that you can bid for funding from the broader Government fund. Do you intend to do that? I know that certain organisations such as the Urdd, the International Eisteddfod, perhaps, are looking to you for some guidance in this area. So, what are you telling them? Do they want you to bid for more funding?

10:50

Wel, dwi'n meddwl, os ydych chi'n edrych ar ein record ni, yn ystod y pandemig dŷn ni wedi llwyddo i gamu i fewn. Dŷn ni wedi rhoi help aruthrol i'r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, er enghraifft—roedd yn rhaid i hwnna gael ei ganslo, ond roedden nhw eisoes wedi gwneud ymrwymiadau, felly dŷn ni wedi llwyddo i gael £0.5 miliwn o gyllidebau eraill i'w helpu nhw, er enghraifft. Yn ogystal â hynny, wrth gwrs, mae'r Urdd wedi cael help aruthrol yn ystod y cyfnod yma, drwy gyfalaf. Felly, dŷn ni'n ymwybodol. Mae'r Urdd wedi gwneud popeth dŷn ni wedi gofyn iddyn nhw ynglŷn â threial lleihau eu dibyniaeth nhw ar arian y Llywodraeth. Ac mae'n nhw'n gwneud gwaith anhygoel—mae'n nhw'n cael lot o arian drwy eu gwersylloedd nhw, ond wrth gwrs mae'n rhaid iddyn nhw gau'r rheini, ac felly does dim arian yn dod i fewn fel refeniw. Felly, dŷn ni wedi bod yn eu helpu nhw yn arbennig gydag arian cyfalaf yn ystod y cyfnod yma. Mae'n gyfnod da iddyn nhw adeiladu a pharatoi ar gyfer post COVID. Felly, mae £3.1 miliwn o arian cyfalaf wedi dod o'r adran addysg i helpu i ddatblygu canolfannau Glan-llyn. Mae'r llety hunan-ddarpar, mae hwnna eisoes wedi ei gwblhau yn ystod y pandemig. Mae gwaith cynllunio ar gyfer canolfan hyfforddi Glan-llyn, mae hwnna wedi dechrau. Mae gwersyll Llangrannog hefyd yn cael ei adnewyddu—dŷn ni'n gobeithio y bydd hwnna yn gorffen erbyn Tachwedd eleni. Ac wrth gwrs, mae yna brosiect newydd gyda nhw ym Mhentre Ifan. Felly, roedd yr arian yna yn ychwanegol yn ystod y pandemig. Nawr, dŷn ni'n ymwybodol nad yw'r pandemig drosodd, ac felly mae'n rhaid i ni gadw golwg ar bethau. Dwi mewn cysylltiad agos â'r Urdd ynglŷn â'u sefyllfa nhw, ac wrth gwrs mi fyddwn ni'n edrych ar y gyllideb, ac wrth gwrs, os bydd yn rhaid, mi fyddwn ni'n gwneud cais ar gyfer yr arian yna o'r gyllideb COVID yn ganolog.

Well, if you look at our record during the pandemic, we have succeeded in stepping in. We've provided a huge amount of help for the National Eisteddfod—they had to cancel the Eisteddfod, but they'd already made commitments, so we have been able to access £0.5 million from other budgets to assist them. And in addition to that, of course, the Urdd has received huge support during this period, through capital. So, we are aware that the Urdd have done everything that we've asked of them in terms of reducing their dependence on Government funding. And they do excellent work, and they access a great deal of funding through their residential camps, which they've had to close, so there's been no income coming in this year. So, we have been helping them, particularly with capital funding during this period. It's a good time for them to build and prepare for the post-COVID period. So, £3.1 million of capital funding has been provided from the education department to help them to develop their residential centres in Glan-llyn. The self-catering provision has already been completed within the pandemic. The planning for the Glan-llyn training centre has commenced. The Llangrannog camp is being renovated too, and we hope that will be completed by November of this year. And we do have a new project in Pentre Ifan too. So, that was additional funding, and provided during the pandemic. Now, we are aware that the pandemic is by no means over, so we have to keep a close eye on things. I am in close contact with the Urdd on their situation, and of course we will be looking at the budget, and if necessary we will bid for that funding from the central COVID fund.

Iawn, grêt. Diolch am hynny. Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen felly at gwestiynau gan Mike Hedges.

Okay. Thank you very much for that. We'll move on to some questions from Mike Hedges.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Can I just start by declaring any possible interest, because my daughter has got a degree in Welsh, and may well be entering the world of working in the Welsh language area? So, can I just put that on the record—that questions I ask may have a benefit for my daughter in the future? I just wanted to make that clear.

I've got, really, two questions. The first one is, what are we trying to do within expenditure on the Welsh language—increase its use by those who speak it and increase the numbers speaking it. Now, I'm a great fan—the Minister knows, and some others do—of things like Cymraeg i Blant, so getting children to learn it at a young age, but also things like Twrw Tawe in my constituency, where you have young people in their teens engaging in leisure activities through the medium of Welsh, outside the sort of formal areas. In terms of the Welsh language budget expenditure line, will those continue to be supported at least at the same level as they are now?

Well, first of all, can I just encourage your daughter to help us with our situation, in terms of the need to have more Welsh language teachers in Wales? We'd be very thrilled to welcome her into that fold.

In terms of where we're at, in terms of maintaining the situation relating to things like Cymraeg i Blant, then I can give you an assurance that that will continue to be the case. What's really interesting is the way that lots of these organisations have adapted during the pandemic. So, things like Cymraeg i Blant, they've done a lot of their work online, and some of the figures are quite incredible—500,000 people participating in Cymraeg i Blant activities or, at least, accessing them. These are some quite incredible numbers. And I think the fact that people have managed to switch to online activities has been hugely helpful. The same thing is true for Y Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol. So, that's the situation, and I'm sure we'll want to talk a little bit about the situation there, but they've switched to online learning—that has been really helpful. And, of course, sometimes you can get savings from switching to online learning.

I think we've all learnt during this pandemic that there's a real new way of communicating and maintaining contact. Certainly, as somebody representing Mid and West Wales, this has been a revelation to me. I won't have to do the four-hour's driving to meet six people in future in the way that I have. I can meet a lot more people and lot more regularly through doing things online. So, I think everybody's learnt something.

And the other thing that I think is worth emphasising is that we've all recognised the need to invest in technology, and the importance of technology and why it is essential that the Welsh language understands the importance of keeping up with technology. And that's why I'm really delighted that we've not only started on our Welsh language technology plan, but we have managed to produce a document, before Christmas, demonstrating how we've actually moved things on during this very difficult time. 

10:55

As the Minister knows, the BBC are now putting out a lot of programmes during the day to help people—children and parents mainly, but aimed at children, both primary and secondary level. S4C have not done that. So, speaking as a grandparent of children in a Welsh-medium school, continually, we always start off one or two steps behind. If you want to see these programmes, which are very well-made, you have to watch them in English. Has the Minister had any discussion with S4C—because I have, without any success—regarding them repeating what's happening in English on S4C during the day aimed at children? 

Well, I think, if you look at the BBC, it's only this week they're really rolling out the very comprehensive resources that they have available. So, it's only this week they're starting, and I can assure you that S4C is doing the same thing now. So, that is a step that is happening now, because there is a huge amount of resources that they have at their disposal. But, of course, we already have resources on Hwb and it's been great to see how people have used that.

One of the real concerns I had during the pandemic was to give assurance and reassurance to people who sent their children to Welsh language schools from non-Welsh speaking families and we needed to keep up the confidence of those parents. And we've done a lot of work with Professor Enlli Thomas from Bangor University to try and calm the fears of parents who send their children to Welsh schools from non-Welsh speaking homes. So, we've been doing a lot of work on trying to provide that online support, on Hwb and other platforms, and we're now working with Rhieni Dros Addysg Gymraeg, who are the Parents for Welsh Medium Education, on a new targeted support programme to address the needs of non-Welsh speaking parents who have those children in Welsh education schools. 

I know education will be discussed by other people later on, I will forward you the correspondence that I had from S4C. Final question from me is: you reduced by £0.2 million or £200,000, which makes it sound like an awful lot more, funding for the National Centre for Learning Welsh. What is the logic behind it? 

I tell you what's happened here is 1) they've done a lot more learning online, which has been incredible. They've got incredible standards—the canolfan dysgu Cymraeg—but they have, as a result of that, managed to make some savings. So, I can give you assurance though that there won't be any reduction in terms of front-line delivery. So, this is about efficiency savings effectively, and what's great is we've managed to use that—we're going to ring-fence that funding that we've saved there to help with the development of a new kind of foundation for the Welsh language in terms of what we call, 'seilwaith' or infrastructure, really, to support the Welsh language. 

I remember, a few years ago, I got a message from one of the universities to say, 'Look, we can't afford to continue paying for a Welsh language dictionary' that they were hosting. And I just thought, 'My God, this is so serious—you can't afford to lose your basic infrastructure'. So, I'm really keen to make sure that we do something to support basic infrastructure so that there is never any risk to undermining the dictionaries and things. So, we're going to be doing a bit more in that space and I'll be making some announcements on that, I think, towards the end of February.

11:00

Mae jest gen i un cwestiwn, os yw e'n iawn i mi ddatgan diddordeb o ran bod yn fam newydd: rwy'n credu mai beth sydd wedi bod yn ddiffyg yn ystod y pandemig yma yw rhyw fath o adnodd i famau trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os ydych chi'n gallu cael trafodaethau gyda Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin neu bartneriaid eraill i geisio, gan ein bod ni dal mewn sefyllfa o gyfnod clo, rhoi rhyw fath o adnodd at ei gilydd. Mae'r NCT—y National Childcare Trust—yn gwneud lot o bethau trwy gyfrwng y Saesneg ac mae bron i ddim byd yn digwydd trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. I bobl fel fi a phobl eraill, mae Facebook grŵp wedi cael ei greu—grŵp mam a'i babi—oherwydd y diffyg hynny, ac mae hwnnw wedi bod yn adnodd grêt i famau newydd. Ond dwi'n credu bod yna le yma i fudiad, neu i Lywodraeth Cymru, i wneud rhywbeth ychwanegol, a byddem yn apelio atoch chi i o leiaf edrych i mewn i'r peth i weld beth sy'n bosib.

I just have one question, and perhaps I should declare an interest here as a new mother: I think what's been a problem during this pandemic is the lack of some sort of Welsh-medium resource for new mothers. I don't know if you can have discussions with Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin or other partners, as we are still under lockdown, to provide some sort of resource. The National Childcare Trust do a lot of things through the medium of English and virtually nothing happens through the medium of Welsh. For people such as me and others, a Facebook group has been created—a mother and baby group—because of that gap, and that's been an excellent resource for new mothers. But I do think that there is scope here for an organisation, or for Welsh Government, to do something and I would appeal to you to at least look at this issue to see what can be done.

Wel, dwi'n gallu cadarnhau bod yna rhaglen newydd o chwe wythnos eisoes wedi dechrau o'r enw, 'Fi a fy mabi'. Dwi ddim yn siŵr os wyt ti'n ymwybodol o hynny—

Well, I can confirm that there is a new six-week programme, which has just started, called 'Fi a fy mabi'. I'm not sure if you're aware of that—

—ac mae hwnna'n rhaglen sydd yn cynnig help a sesiynau i rieni, neu rieni-i-fod, o ran defnyddio'r Gymraeg yn y teulu. Felly, mae hwnna yn bodoli eisoes, felly rwy'n siŵr y byddem ni'n gallu anfon mwy o wybodaeth atoch chi ynglŷn â hynny. Beth mae hwnnw'n ei ddangos yw bod angen inni sicrhau fod pobl yn ymwybodol o'r deunyddiau sydd ar gael. Wrth gwrs, mae'n anodd i ni fel Llywodraeth i ddweud wrth NCT beth i'w wneud, ond mae yna ddarpariaeth rŷn ni wedi'i gynnig. Felly, beth sydd angen i ni ei wneud yw sicrhau fod pobl yn ymwybodol bod y ddarpariaeth yna.

—and that's a programme that provides assistance and support to parents, or prospective parents, in terms of using the Welsh language within the family. So, that's already there. And I'm sure I could send you some more information on that. What that shows is that we do need to ensure that people are aware of what is available. And of course, it is difficult for us as a Government to tell NCT what to do, but there is provision that we have made and what we need to do is ensure that people are aware of it.

Wel, efallai trwy'r ymwelwyr iechyd te, felly. Rwy'n gwybod ei fod yn anodd iddyn nhw fynd mas, ond efallai bod yna ffordd iddyn nhw, pan maen nhw'n siarad efo pobl ar y ffôn neu mewn ymweliadau, allu gwneud mamau neu rieni yn ymwybodol, achos rôn i'n sicr ddim yn ymwybodol, ond rwy'n falch iawn ei fod e yna, yn sicr.

Symud ymlaen nawr at Jack Sargeant.

Well, yes, perhaps through health visitors, then. I know it's difficult for them to go out now, but perhaps when they do speak to people on the phone or during visits, they could make parents aware of this because I wasn't aware, but I'm particularly pleased that it is there.

Moving on now to Jack Sargeant.

Diolch yn fawr, Chair, a bore da, bawb. Rwy'n dysgu Cymraeg—

Thank you, Chair and good morning, everyone. I'm learning Welsh—

—and I'm looking forward to being able to, one day, scrutinise the Minister. Unfortunately, I can't do that quite yet. Minister, if I could turn to Welsh in education, and we've discussed this morning already the shift to online and online resources. I wonder if you could expand on how the allocation for the Welsh in education budget expenditure line, which remains unchanged from the final budget of last year, reflects the need for rapid developments of teaching and learning resources in Welsh, both hard copy resources, but particularly digital. And I just want to note what the Welsh Language Commissioner has said, and I quote,

'There is a lack of digital Welsh language resources for all age groups, from nursery right through to further and higher education.'

Thanks, Jack, a gobeithio y byddi di'n dyfalbarhau gyda dy ymdrech i ddysgu'r Gymraeg ac rydym i gyd yn cefnogi dy ymdrechion di.

Thanks, Jack, and I hope that you will persevere in your efforts to learn Welsh. We support your efforts, of course.

Just in terms of the education resources, one of the things we're of course now very focused on is making sure that the resources are available for the new curriculum and we will make sure that there are resources, not just available for Welsh language, but also for the teaching and learning of Welsh history and culture, and also that we need to make sure that resources are available for post-16 vocational learners and apprenticeships. And I know how much you support the apprenticeship programme.

Just in terms of the gaps, we accept that there are gaps, but there have been huge strides that have been made. With the WJEC and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, and others, we've ensured that there is access, free of charge, to Welsh language books, to television programmes, and particularly to those blended learning resources that you're championing. There is a lot of information available on Hwb—and I know this because I check it out now and again, just to see how easy it is. Up until lockdown, up until last year, I've been teaching a couple of children Welsh on Sunday evenings, and those resources are really quite valuable and very useful. So, I can testify that those resources are there. But of course, there is new information and new resources that are being added, practically on a daily basis. So, that resource is being added to. And of course, there is now this extra £1 million that's been given to the curriculum review for bilingual resources, so that will be additional funding that is available there.

11:05

Sorry, Jack, but Helen Mary Jones wanted to come in briefly, if that's okay with you.

Just very briefly, thinking about resources available for delivering the new curriculum, this committee has heard from the national library that they have a whole range of resources that they could make available if the resources were there for them to be able to digitise some of their content. It's particularly relevant in terms of the teaching of Welsh history, but there are lots of other potential uses. So, I just want to suggest to the Minister, really, if she will have some conversations with Dafydd Elis-Thomas, as the Minister directly responsible, and with Kirsty Williams, as the Minister for Education, to see if there could be some pooled resources across departments. I'm thinking here particularly about resources through the medium of Welsh, obviously, in the context of this discussion, but also more broadly, to support a diverse range of resources for teaching Welsh in ways that are particularly appropriate for different communities across Wales.

Diolch yn fawr, Helen. I can confirm that there has been a significant amount of money put into digitisation of the resources in the national library in recent years. But you're right, maybe we need to consider targeting onto educational resources that would be useful. That is something that I'll take away and maybe discuss with the national library, just in terms of how we prioritise, because there is a wealth of information there that needs to be digitised. But that is an ongoing process, and has been going on for a number of years.

In that context, the other thing that I've been really pushing hard on with S4C is to see if we can use their—you know, they've got so much footage now, that runs over 40 years or so; can we chunk some of their information up and use that for the curriculum? So, that is a conversation that I've been having now for a while with S4C, and they're very keen to do that. I'm just really pleased that they're bringing this information now and they're putting it on mainstream S4C. But I think, probably with the new curriculum, there are opportunities to use S4C's output and maybe see how we can pleat that into use in the curriculum—especially history programmes, and things like that; there's just fantastic information that's available there.

Thanks, Chair. Minister, you mentioned in response earlier the additional £1 million allocated in the curriculum and assessment BEL—so, there's an opportunity here if you want to expand any further on that. But can I just move on to the milestones in 'Cymraeg 2050'? That is to increase the number of primary school and secondary school teachers who can not only teach Welsh, but also through the medium of Welsh. Can you let the committee know what discussions you have had with the Minister for Education about the limited progress on these targets?

I have regular meetings with the Minister for Education, and this is always an area where we are focused. I can assure you it's not through lack of effort; we are throwing everything at trying to get more Welsh language teachers. You'll be aware that there's already that incentive—the £5,000 incentive—to try and increase the pipeline of prospective Welsh teachers. You'll know that there's a programme now to try and convert maybe some teachers who are able to teach through the medium of Welsh in primary to secondary teachers, where there is a particular problem to try and recruit there. We're trying to make sure that more people undertake Welsh language A-level—so, there's a direct link between the number of people who take Welsh language A-level and the number of people who go into teaching Welsh. There's a £150,000 programme that's going on there. There's a huge marketing campaign that has occurred and is renewed fairly regularly.

I know that the Minister for Education has recently had very positive meetings with the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to discuss our plans for increasing the number of Welsh-medium teachers and supporting all teachers to develop their Welsh language ability. You'll be aware of the sabbatical programme, which is again trying to increase the numbers. So, I can assure that this is not through lack of effort; it's not through a lack of ideas. It's one of the appeals that I make very regularly—that if you've got any more ideas for what more we can do in this space, then let us know, because this is a problem for all of us. We're doing all we can, but it's not shifting in the way that we would like it to. So, we're doing our very best. It's less of a problem with primary teachers than it is with secondary teachers.

11:10

Thanks, Minister. I think you're right; this is a problem for all of us and collaboration is clearly needed to get us to where we want to be. You've mentioned the sabbatical scheme a couple of times now, and I apologise if I missed this in your earlier answer, but could you confirm when the evaluation report on the sabbatical scheme will be published and whether there is any contingency funding as a result of any changes made to how that scheme is delivered?

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we've had to delay the evaluation report, but we're hoping that that's going to be published in February. I think that will make some interesting reading. Because it's an expensive programme, if we're honest, so we need to really work out value for money, how many people, if it's working well. I know that many of the people who take part in it absolutely sing its praises. So, I'm really looking forward to seeing how that works. But also, of course, it's been really interesting to see how that scheme has had to switch onto online. So, that blended learning has become an increased feature, and it will be really interesting to see how we can perhaps build that into any future programmes.

Thank you. One final question from me, Minister, and it's about the £1.65 million allocated within the teacher development and support BEL, which is obviously used to deliver the sabbatical scheme. Do you believe that continues to be sufficient for increasing the number of teachers able to teach through the medium of Welsh?

I think it's probably worth just underlining the purpose of the sabbatical scheme. First of all, it's to improve the Welsh language skills of practitioners in English-medium primary schools. I've been to some English-medium primary schools where, frankly, there's almost nobody in the school who has any Welsh language skills whatsoever. There is a gap there that we need to fill, and so this is an opportunity to do that. The second key aim is to improve, in Welsh-medium or bilingual settings, the skills of teachers in those settings to give them more confidence in their Welsh language abilities. There are lots of people who have gone through Welsh-medium schools now, who perhaps haven't spoken it for years and just need to brush up. There's a lot of space there. And also, there are areas of Wales where people just lack the confidence in their Welsh language abilities, despite the fact that actually they're fine and their Welsh language standard—certainly their spoken language—is absolutely fine. So, it's just about brushing them up so that they're more confident to be able to use it in writing and things.

That £1.65 million is there for this scheme, but on top of that, there's an additional £2 million in the raising school standards BEL. That's also for the sabbatical scheme. So, in total, it's not £1.65 million, it's actually £3.65 million. You can put those two together, but they're basically coming from different budgets. And then, of course, there's that additional funding now to raise school standards. There's funding also in the regional consortia. They've got about £2.7 million to raise standards, and that's to raise standards on Welsh-medium professional learning. So, all of those added together—altogether it comes to about £6 million to improve the teaching of Welsh in our schools amongst teachers who are already in the workplace.

11:15

Jest cyn i fi symud ymlaen at John Griffiths, hoffwn i ofyn jest dau gwestiwn ychwanegol i beth mae Jack wedi'i ofyn. Yn sicr, o edrych ar y ffigurau, yn enwedig o ran ysgolion uwchradd, mae e'n weddol wan o ran y cynnydd i recriwtio mwy o athrawon drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Dŷch chi'n apelio am unrhyw syniadau; allech chi ddanfon i ni yr hyn dŷch chi yn ei wneud o ran strategaeth er mwyn i ni allu deall sut dŷn ni'n gallu mewnbynnu i hynny? Dwi'n credu y byddai hynny'n help i ni. 

Yr ail gwestiwn: dŷn ni wedi cael cyfathrebiaeth gan y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol sydd yn dweud eu bod nhw ddim wedi cael unrhyw fath o arian ychwanegol i weithredu addysg ôl-16, ac maen nhw'n amlinellu i ni beth fyddai ei angen yn ychwanegol i allu cyflawni hynny. Felly, ydych chi'n gallu rhoi rhyw fath o esboniad ynglŷn â beth yn ychwanegol fyddech chi'n ei roi i'r coleg i gyflawni'r gwaith hynny? 

Before I move on to John Griffiths, I would just like to ask two supplementary questions to Jack's questions. Certainly, looking at the figures, particularly in terms of secondary schools, it's relatively weak in terms of progress in recruiting more Welsh-medium teachers. Now, you're appealing for ideas, but could you send us a summary of what you are doing in terms of strategy, so that we can understand how we can have an input there? I think that would assist us.

And the second question: we've received correspondence from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol that states that they've not received any additional funding to operate in post-16, and they've outlined to us what they would need in order to deliver that. So, can you give us some explanation as to what you will be providing to the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to deliver that?

Yn gyntaf i gyd, o ran beth rŷn ni'n ei wneud i drial hyrwyddo mwy o athrawon i ddysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, mae tua 10 o bethau rŷn ni'n ei wneud eisoes a dwi'n fwy na hapus i anfon y rhestr hynny atoch chi fel eich bod chi'n gwybod beth rŷn ni'n ei wneud eisoes. Mae'n rhywbeth dwi'n ei gadw yn fy nrôr i yn y Senedd, achos mae hwn yn dod lan mor aml a dwi jest yn meddwl, 'Gosh, rŷn ni'n gwneud cymaint, ond beth allwn ni ei wneud yn fwy?' So, dwi'n apelio am fwy o syniadau oddi wrth bobl.

O ran addysg ôl-16, wrth gwrs, mae hwn yn rhan o'r gyllideb addysg, ond beth rŷn ni'n trial ei wneud yw canolbwyntio ar y meysydd yna lle mae angen i ni weld mwy o bobl yn defnyddio Cymraeg a ble mae e'n mynd i fod yn help i'r rheini sy'n gweithredu yn y meysydd yna. Dŷn ni'n canolbwyntio ar y rheini. So, pethau fel gofal plant—mae yna lot o adnoddau ar gyfer dysgu plant bach, er enghraifft—a hefyd gofal i'r henoed. Mae'r rheini'n feysydd lle rŷn ni'n sicrhau bod pobl ar y front line, sy'n mynd i mewn i'r front line—bod gyda nhw'r gallu i weithredu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Nawr, wrth gwrs, beth rŷn ni'n gobeithio ei wneud yn y tymor hir yw estyn faint o'r rheini rŷn ni'n gallu eu hehangu. Ar hyn o bryd, dyw'r arian ddim yna i wneud hynny, ond, wrth gwrs, dyna ble fyddem ni'n hoffi mynd yn y dyfodol—i edrych ar beth sydd ar y rheng flaen a ble mae'n gwneud synnwyr inni ganolbwyntio yn y lle cyntaf.

First of all, in terms of what we're doing to encourage more teachers to teach through the medium of Welsh, there are some 10 things we're already doing and I'm more than happy to send you a note on that so that you know what we are doing. It's something that I keep in my drawer in the Senedd, because it comes up so often, and I just think, 'Well, we're doing so much, but what more can be done?' So, I would appeal for some fresh ideas in this area.

In terms of post-16 education, of course, this is part of the education budget, but what we're doing is seeking to focus on those areas where we need to see more people using Welsh and where it will be of assistance to those operating in those areas. We're focused on those things. So, things such as childcare, for example—there are a number of resources available for teaching very young children—and also elder care. So, those are areas where we are ensuring that people on the front line, who are going onto the front line, do have the ability to work through the medium of Welsh. Of course, what we hope to do in the longer term is to expand the number of those areas. At the moment, the funding isn't available to do that, but, of course, that's where we would like to go in future so that we can look at those front-line services where it makes sense for us to focus our attention.

Ai chi, fel Gweinidog yr iaith Gymraeg, sydd yn mynd i arwain ar y trafodaethau hynny? Achos maen nhw wedi cysylltu â ni yn uniongyrchol i ofyn inni beth sy'n digwydd, i fod yn onest, gydag unrhyw ddatblygiadau ariannol ar gyfer ehangu'r gwaith hynny. Dwi'n credu eu bod nhw'n hyderus eu bod nhw'n gallu, ond yn sicr mae angen yr arian i wneud hynny. 

Would it be you, as Minister for the Welsh language, who would lead on those discussions and negotiations? Because they have contacted us directly to ask what's happening with any financial developments for the expansion of that work. I think they are confident that they can deliver, but they would need the funding to do that.

Mae'r Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol yn dod o dan gyllideb y Gweinidog Addysg, felly mae hynny'n rhywbeth i'w ofyn—

The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is included within the Education Minister's budget, so it's something to ask—

Iddi hi. Ocê. Diolch. John Griffiths.

Ask her. Okay. Thank you. John Griffiths. 

Bore da, Weinidog. Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd.

Good morning, Minister. Thank you very much, Chair.

You touched in your opening remarks, Minister, on the Welsh Language Commissioner and the situation with some of the IT matters. In terms of the Welsh Language Commissioner budget expenditure line and some of that capital investment to help with IT, we know that currently there are problems with the systems. So, do you anticipate the need for additional funding and support from Welsh Government to overcome those difficulties?

Well, we've had a situation where, obviously, there was that cyber attack before Christmas on the Welsh Language Commissioner's IT system. It's caused a lot of issues and, obviously, there's a criminal investigation and all kinds of things ongoing at the moment. But just to make it clear, I've been in touch with him and we have given a lot of support from the Welsh Government to try and help him through this really difficult time. So, we've provided, for example, lots of laptops and made sure that our experts in the Welsh Government have been able to talk them through the difficulties that they're going through at the moment. The real tragedy of this, of course, is that we had provided that additional capital for them to upgrade their system last year; we'd provided £385,000. They'd gone out to tender, but the process hadn't kicked in before they had the cyber attack. So, the real tragedy here is that things were in train to try and make sure that this wouldn't happen, and then they just didn't get there in time. So, I am very aware that we need to keep an eye on this situation. We still are not absolutely clear about the extent of the damage that's been caused. And so, until we know that, it's very difficult for us to say whether there will be need for additional help or support. But I'm very open-minded. If that should be the case, then, of course, we'll have to consider that, because this is obviously a very unique situation.

11:20

Okay. In terms of the evidence that we heard from the commissioner, when we were scrutinising him on his annual report, Minister, he made it clear that they were in quite a difficult situation in terms of demands increasing but their resources, particularly in terms of staffing, decreasing, and that these budget proposals would ask for a return to the full complement of staffing that they had enjoyed. So, given that a flat budget would be a real-terms decrease for the commissioner's work, how confident are you that we won't see a further impact in terms of the efficiency of the service provided? Because that's a real anxiety for the commissioner in terms of the evidence that we heard.

I think what's more likely to be a problem in terms of efficiency, I'm afraid, is the potential impact of the cyber attack. So, that's the thing we've got to keep an eye on. Lots of us have had flat budgets and we've had to kind of cut our cloth as a result of the difficult situation we find ourselves in. But the other thing is that the pandemic has forced us all to work very differently. So, the Welsh Language Commissioner, for example, has offices scattered around Wales. Well, a lot of that travelling between places now, a lot of that will be able to be cut down because we've learnt how to use new technology. So, there also opportunities that have arisen here, and we'll obviously continue to have those regular discussions with the commissioner to make sure that he can fulfil his functions under the Welsh language Measure. But I guess the issue, then, is to make sure that he's focused on the absolute key things that he needs to focus on.

I think Prosiect 2050 perhaps creates some space for us to step into some of those areas where he has been doing some work, but, actually, we've got an approach within Government now that maybe allows us to fill some of those spaces. Obviously, nothing to do with regulation—that's his space; he's got to be independent. But I guess— . There's an opportunity, I suppose, to let go of some areas where he was working where he may not need to do that work because we now have Prosiect 2050 to fill that gap.

Okay. I know we're coming on to Prosiect 2050, Minister. Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, John. Helen Mary Jones.

Thank you very much, John. Helen Mary Jones.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Yes, I wanted to bring us on to Prosiect 2050, and you said in your evidence paper that the aim is to mainstream Cymraeg 2050 across all Welsh Government portfolio areas. Can you tell us how that's going? Obviously, I think we'd all accept that, given the impact of the pandemic, getting people to do that longer term thinking across departments may be harder, but how is that progressing? Is it easier in some departments than others? And can you tell us more about the way that Prosiect 2050 will impact in this, in that strategy to embed Cymraeg 2050 across departments?

Yes. The big difference here is that there's a very clear language planning strategy. So, we're going to make sure that we look at empirical evidence to drive the changes that we want to see. There are examples of where things have started to change and where we've seen a significant difference. So, if you look at, for example, the developments in terms of digital, there's a lot of work being done on digital renewal within the Welsh Government—making sure that there are opportunities, for example, for the public to interact much more readily through digital channels. And we're going to be making sure that local authorities have those. It's kind of just modernising Government, really, but we are absolutely now a foundational part of that change that is happening. It's actually easier when you're starting something new, and that digital approach is an example where we are there right from the beginning. So, you're building it in so it doesn't have to be an add-on, and that's our vision for where we'd like to go with anything new, obviously.

There are other examples of where—. What we need is to get people across Government, particularly in leadership positions, to understand that they have a responsibility to lead in a bilingual country. And so one of the things we're doing, for example, with Academi Wales, is we've developed a course for leaders within the Welsh Government, and also leaders across the public sector, to understand their responsibilities in relation to the Welsh language. There are a lot of leaders who don't speak Welsh, and we need to make sure that they have a much better understanding of what it is, why it's so important, and why it needs to be absolutely mainstream. So, that's something that is also happening already.

But there are other things where we're able to perhaps go down a few levels. So, if you think—. Newport council is a great example where, actually, for a time, there was a slight degree of resistance in terms of the Welsh language—John Griffiths will be able to testify to this—but, actually, they've been really transformed in the past year or so; they've really turned over a new approach to the Welsh language. And one of the things that we've been doing with them—. They're going to open a school—John will, I'm sure, testify to this—in an area where there's a lot of ethnic communities, and we've been working with them to talk about how you encourage people to engage in this, what's the language that you use to try and encourage people. So, we've done a lot of research in this space, and it might be interesting, actually, to invite Jeremy Evas to talk a little bit about this. There's a danger that people see it—the Welsh language—as something that divides us, and we need to talk about it belonging to all of us, that we do this together. There are some key words that we need to use, and it's that kind of empirical approach to what works, testing it out with the public, and then using it to drive change that is critical to this Prosiect 2050. I don't know, Chair, if you'd like to invite Jeremy, who's, obviously, in charge of Prosiect 2050, just to say a few words in this space.

11:25

Diolch yn fawr, Weinidog. Fel mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i ddweud, dŷn ni wedi bod yn gwneud lot o waith tu fewn i Lywodraeth Cymru, ac mewn llywodraeth yng Nghymru yn y Gymru ehangach, ar bwynt penodol yr iaith rŷn ni'n ei defnyddio. Sôn ydyn ni am frand y Gymraeg, ac mae brand y Gymraeg yn fwy na logos, mae e sut—. Wel, dywedodd rhywun rhyw dro mai ystyr brand yw beth mae pobl yn ei ddweud amdanoch chi pan dych chi ddim yn yr ystafell, a beth mae pobl wir yn ei feddwl am y Gymraeg. Ac, ar ben beth maen nhw'n ei feddwl, beth rŷn ni'n gallu ei wneud i ddod â nhw gyda ni ar daith tuag at uchelgeisiau Cymraeg 2050—felly, sut rŷn ni'n ysgrifennu, sut rŷn ni'n ei ddweud, ac nid beth rŷn ni'n ei ddweud, ond sut yn union i'w ddweud e? Ac mae hynny'n grynodeb arbennig o fyr o brosiect arbennig o hir.

Thank you very much, Minister. As the Minister said, we've been doing a great deal of work within Welsh Government and in Wales more broadly on the language that we use. We're talking here about the Welsh language brand, and it's more than a logo. Somebody once said that a brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room, and what people really think about the Welsh language. And, in addition to that, what can we do to take them with us on a journey towards the ambitions of Cymraeg 2050—so what we write, what we say, and not just what we say, but how we say it? And that's a brief summary of a very extensive project.

That's helpful. Obviously, that's got resource—. So, the training, for example, has got resource implications, and there'll be lots of other things that Welsh Government departments will need to do differently or do adapt, as well as the brand—what people say about the Welsh language when people who care about the Welsh language are not in the room. Can you tell us a bit more, Minister, about how that work's going to be resourced? Is there a discrete budget for Prosiect 2050, or is it something that needs to come out of everybody's budgets? How's that going to be managed and, again, putting that context in the question of knowing that this is a very challenging time for budgets anyway, and more challenging still because of the COVID crisis.

11:30

Mae yna ambell i le lle bydd prif ffrydio yn digwydd, so, os ŷch chi'n edrych ar bethau fel yr Academi, lle rŷn ni'n dysgu pobl mewn sefyllfaoedd arweinyddol, bydd hwnna'n dod mas o gyllid yr Academi. Ond, o ran Prosiect 2050, beth rŷn ni wedi ei wneud yw crynhoi'r arian tu fewn i'r cyllid Cymraeg. Mae tua £7 miliwn yn mynd i gael ei ddefnyddio yn uniongyrchol ar gyfer gwthio ymlaen Prosiect 2050. Byddwch chi'n ymwybodol, er enghraifft, o'r effaith mae COVID wedi ei gael ar rai o'r cymunedau Cymraeg—rydych chi wedi ysgrifennu adroddiad ar hyn—a bydd yn rhaid inni nawr edrych ar sut rŷn ni'n ymateb i hynny ac efallai edrych ar rai o'r mudiadau sy'n gweithredu ar lawr gwlad a rhoi mwy o syniad iddyn nhw am beth yw ein disgwyliadau ohonyn nhw o ran beth sydd angen newid. Felly, mae e'n gynllunio ieithyddol mwy tymor hir, ond bydd £7 miliwn o adnoddau, fwy neu lai, byddwn ni'n gallu eu defnyddio i symud tir.

There are a few areas where there will be mainstreaming, so, if you look at things such as the Academi, where we are providing training to people in leadership roles, that will come from the Academi budget. But, in terms of Prosiect 2050, what we have done is to bring together funding within the Welsh language budget. Some £7 million will be used directly to push forward the Prosiect 2050 programme. You will be aware, for example, of the impact that COVID has had on some Welsh-speaking communities—you've written a report on this— and we will now need to look at how we respond to that and to look at some of the organisations operating at grass-roots level and to give them more guidance as to what we expect of them in terms of what needs to change. So, it's language planning in the longer term, but £7 million-worth of resources, more or less, will be available so that we can make progress.

Diolch, mae hynny'n ddefnyddiol iawn i wybod. Jest cwpwl o gwestiynau bach penodol—os nad ydy'r wybodaeth gyda chi, efallai y gallwch chi ddanfon nodyn draw atom ni. Un peth yw'r cynllun Iaith Athrawon Yfory. Mae yna danwariant wedi bod yn y cyllid yna. Allwch chi ddweud wrthym ni beth sydd wedi digwydd gyda'r arian sydd heb fod wedi cael ei wario, gan adeiladu ar y cwestiynau roedd Jack yn eu gofyn yn gynt, i ddweud y gwir, ynglŷn â'r project?

Thank you, that's very useful. Just a few specific questions now, and, if you don't have the information, then perhaps you can send us a note. One is the Iaith Athrawon Yfory programme. There's been an underspend on that programme, so can you tell us what's happened to the unspent funding? It's building on Jack's questions, if truth be told.

So, mae hon yn ffordd i ddenu mwy o athrawon, wrth gwrs, ac mae yna £5,000 i geisio cael mwy o bobl i ymgymryd ag addysgu trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Y pwynt yw dŷn nhw ddim yn gallu cael yr arian i gyd tan eu bod nhw wedi gorffen y cwrs, felly, er eu bod nhw'n dechrau mewn un flwyddyn, mae'r flwyddyn ariannol yn digwydd y flwyddyn wedyn. Felly, gan fod hwn yn rhywbeth sy'n ymateb i alwad, mae'n rhaid inni sicrhau bod yr arian ar gael, a dyna sy'n egluro'r underspend, oherwydd bod yn rhaid inni aros tan eu bod nhw wedi gorffen y cwrs cyn eu bod nhw'n gallu tynnu'r arian i lawr, ond, wrth gwrs, mae'n rhaid inni sicrhau bod yr arian yna. So, dyna pam mae tanwariant.

Well, this is a means of attracting more teachers, of course, and there is £5,000 available as an incentive for people to teach through the medium of Welsh. The point is they can't access all of the funding until they've completed the course, so, although they start in one year, then the financial year crosses over, as it were. So, as this is something that is demand led, then we do have to ensure that the funds are available, and that's how I'd explain the underspend, because we have to wait until they've completed the course before they can draw the funding down, but we also have to ensure that the funding is there in the first place. That explains the underspend.

So, dwi'n cymryd o hynny byddai'r arian yn aros yn y llinell yna nes bod myfyrwyr yn ei dynnu fe i gyd i lawr.

So, I assume from that that the funding will remain in that budget line until the students draw it down.

Dyna'r syniad. Wrth gwrs, mae'n rhaid inni weithredu o un flwyddyn i'r llall, ond, unwaith rŷn ni wedi gwneud addewid, mae'n rhaid inni sicrhau ein bod ni'n gallu eu talu nhw.

Yes, that's the concept. Of course, we have to work from one year to the next, but, once we've made a pledge, we do have to ensure that we can pay for that, of course.

Diolch, mae hwnna'n ddefnyddiol. A jest un peth arall penodol, os allwch chi ddweud wrthym ni—mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi bod yn buddsoddi ers blynyddoedd nawr yn y project iaith Gymraeg ym Mahatagonia, a dwi jest eisiau deall ym mha llinell mae'r arian ar gyfer y project yna ac ai'r bwriad yw bod y gwaith yn parhau.

Thank you, that's very useful. And one other specific issue. I wonder if you could tell us—the Welsh Government has been investing for a number of years now in the Welsh language project in Patagonia, and I just wanted to understand from which budget line funding for that project would come, and is it the intention that that work should continue.

Mae hwnna'n dod mas o'r gyllideb addysg, ac mae'n rhan o'r international education programme. So, mae hwnna'n rhan o'r adran addysg. Gwnes i ddarllen rhywbeth diddorol ynglŷn â rhywun oedd wedi bod mas yna eleni yn gwneud y cwrs yma. Wrth gwrs, beth ddigwyddodd oedd bod pethau wedi cloi lawr ym Mhatagonia hefyd, yn ogystal â fan hyn, ac roedd e'n ddiddorol i weld eu profiadau nhw, ond rŷn ni yn gobeithio sicrhau bydd hwn yn cario ymlaen. Wrth gwrs, mae'r project yn cael ei drefnu gan y Cyngor Prydeinig, ac maen nhw'n gweithio nawr gyda'r Canolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, so mae yna arbenigedd yna maen nhw'n gallu galw arno. Mae'r Urdd hefyd yn helpu recriwtio ac ati, ac wrth gwrs mae Cymdeithas yr Ariannin yn helpu. Felly, mae yna lot o bobl sydd yn keen iawn i weld bod hwn yn parhau. Wrth gwrs, mae'n anodd yn ystod cyfnod COVID i unrhyw un deithio, ond, unwaith eto, mae'n ddiddorol i weld bod lot o'r gwaith roedden nhw'n ei wneud wedi symud ar lein, yn lle eu bod nhw'n gwneud dysgu wyneb yn wyneb. Felly, mae yna bosibilrwydd bod mwy o bobl, hyd yn oed, nawr yn gallu manteisio ar ddysgu Cymraeg yn yr Ariannin nag oedd ynghynt.

That comes from the education budget, and it's part of the international education programme. So, that's the responsibility of the education department. I read something very interesting about someone who had been out there this year working on this project. What happened was that things had locked down in Patagonia too, and it was very interesting to hear of their experiences, but we do hope to ensure that this does continue. Of course, the project is arranged and organised by the British Council, and they are now working with the National Centre for Learning Welsh, so there is expertise that they can draw upon. The Urdd also helps with recruitment and so on, and, of course, Cymdeithas yr Ariannin also help out in this. So, there are many people who are very keen to see that this does continue. Of course, it's difficult during the COVID period for anyone to travel, but, once again, it's interesting to see that much of the work that they were doing has moved online, so, rather than undertaking face-to-face learning, there is a possibility that there are even more people that can take advantage of learning Welsh in Argentina than was previously the case.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae jest gen i un cwestiwn clou i orffen, os yn bosib. Dŷn ni wedi siarad lot am symud i ddigidol, ac mae hwnna'n grêt o ran addysg ac yn y blaen, ond beth ynglŷn â'r cysyniad o gyrraedd at bobl i ddysgu Cymraeg o'r newydd? Yn sicr, mae yna ganolfannau iaith Gymraeg yn fy ardal i, fel Tŷ'r Gwrhyd. Fydd pobl ddim yn gallu mynd yno'n gorfforol, ond maen nhw'n gallu addasu eu gwaith i'r gymuned. Sut ydych chi'n bwriadu ceisio parhau â hyn tra'n bod ni yn y cyfnod pandemig i sicrhau bod chi'n cyrraedd targedau o gael mwy o bobl i siarad Cymraeg? Ond yn amlwg, yn gorfod addasu yr hyn dŷch chi'n gwneud er mwyn cyrraedd y nod hynny.

Thank you very much. I have one brief question, if I may. We've talked a lot about the shift to digital, and that's great in terms of education and so on, but what about this concept of outreach to people to learn Welsh? Certainly there are Welsh language centres in my area, such as Tŷ'r Gwrhyd, and of course, people can't go there physically now, but they could adapt their work so that it serves the community, so how do you intend to continue with this, whilst we are still in the pandemic period, in order to ensure that you are reaching your targets in terms of Welsh speakers? Clearly, you would have to adapt your approach in order to reach those targets.

11:35

Wel, wrth gwrs, tra ein bod ni yn y cyfnod clo, mae'n anodd i wneud unrhyw beth wyneb yn wyneb, a dwi'n meddwl bydd hwnna'n parhau am gyfnod, ond beth sydd wedi bod yn ddiddorol yw bod cymaint yn fwy o bobl wedi bod eisiau dysgu Cymraeg yn ystod y cyfnod yma, felly os dŷch chi'n edrych ar beth sydd wedi digwydd nid yn unig trwy'r ganolfan ddysgu genedlaethol, lle mae yna niferoedd wedi cynyddu'n aruthrol yn ystod y flwyddyn diwethaf, mae hefyd pethau fel Duolingo; dŷch chi wedi gweld bod mwy o bobl yn dysgu Cymraeg nag unrhyw iaith arall ym Mhrydain nawr. Mae hwnna ar eu platfform nhw, ond ar ben hynny, mae pethau fel Say Something in Welsh; maen nhw hefyd wedi bod yn gweithredu, ac un o'r pethau rŷn ni'n gwneud yw mae'r Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol wedi ymuno nawr gyda Say Something in Welsh, felly mae hwnna yn ffordd wahanol o ddysgu, ac felly dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n bartneriaeth dwi'n gobeithio fydd yn mynd o nerth i nerth.

Well, of course, whilst we are in lockdown, it's difficult to undertake face-to-face activities, and I think that will continue for a period, but what has been interesting is that many more people have been eager to learn Welsh during this period, so if you look at what's happened not only through the National Centre for Learning Welsh, where the numbers have increased hugely over the past 12 months, there are also things like Duolingo, and you will have seen that many more people are learning Welsh; certainly more than any other language in the UK, so that's on their platform, but they also have platforms such as Say Something in Welsh who have also been very active and one of the things that we're doing is that the National Centre for Learning Welsh have teamed up with Say Something in Welsh, so it's a different approach to learning, and I think that is a partnership that I hope will go from strength to strength.

Mike Hedges, did you have something you quickly wanted to ask? I think I saw your hand.

Very quickly, we talk about the number of people speaking Welsh, but isn't the key having large numbers in a community? I speak Welsh very poorly, as the Minister is well aware, but if I go to Caernarfon, I speak Welsh, because 80 per cent of the people speak it there; it's the language of the community. I speak it in chapel, because it's a Welsh-medium chapel, and everybody speaks Welsh. I don't speak it on the street, and I think that either small groups in the community or the total community are the key. I'll give you a prediction now: in the 2021 census, there'll be more Welsh speakers in Monmouthshire than there were 100 years ago. I'll also give you a prediction in some of the areas like Ynys Môn; there'll be fewer Welsh speakers there than there were 10 years ago. That really is where the danger—and Ceredigion the same—the danger is that we end up with 25 per cent of the people across Wales speaking Welsh and nobody talking it.

A dyna pam os dŷch chi'n edrych ar beth yw ein hamcanion ni yn 'Cymraeg 2050', nid yn unig ydyn ni eisiau gweld mwy o bobl yn siarad Cymraeg, ond eu bod nhw'n defnyddio'r Gymraeg, ac mae hwnna'n nod penodol yn 'Cymraeg 2050', achos dim ond tua 50 y cant o'r bobl sy'n gallu siarad Cymraeg sydd actually yn defnyddio'r Gymraeg, felly mae'n bwysig ein bod ni'n cynyddu hynny. Dwi'n meddwl bod ni'n hyderus ein bod ni'n mynd i weld cynnydd yn y maes yna, ond dŷn ni'n ymwybodol iawn bod COVID efallai wedi gwneud lot o niwed mewn rhai cymdeithasau, achos bod pobl wedi methu mynd mas. Felly, os dŷch chi'n mynd i'r capel—wel, does dim lot o bobl yn mynd i'r capel ar hyn o bryd, ac felly mae'r cyfleoedd yna i ddysgu yn lleihau, a dyna pam dŷn ni'n mynd i gadw golwg agos iawn ar Gymraeg yn ein cymunedau. Dyna pam y gwnaethom ni'r arolwg yna; dyna pam dŷch chi wedi gwneud eich gwaith chi yn y pwyllgor yn y maes yma, ac felly mi fyddwn ni'n ymateb mewn ffordd ffurfiol i'ch gwaith chi yn y pwyllgor cyn bo hir, a hefyd yn ymateb i'r ymgynghoriad wnaethon ni gydag arbenigwyr sy'n ein helpu yn y maes o ran Cymraeg yn y gymuned.

And that's why if you look at our objectives in 'Cymraeg 2050', not only do we want to see more people speaking Welsh, but we want to see more people using Welsh, and that is a specific target within 'Cymraeg 2050', because only around 50 per cent of those who are able to speak Welsh actually use the language, and it's important that we increase that. I think we are confident that we will see an increase in that area, but we are highly aware that COVID perhaps may have done great damage in certain communities, because people haven't been able to socialise. Well, if you go to chapel—well, there aren't many people who can go to chapel at the moment, so those opportunities to learn and to use Welsh are reduced, and that's why we're going to be keeping a very close eye on Welsh language within communities. That's why we undertook that survey; that's why you as a committee have done work in that area, and we will be responding formally to your work as a committee in due time, and we will also be responding to the consultation that we undertook with specialists helping us in this area in terms of Welsh in the community.

Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Os nad oes yna gwestiwn arall, mi wnaf i ddod â'r sesiwn yma i ben. Diolch i chi oll am ddod atom heddiw i roi tystiolaeth. Diolch i chi, Gweinidog a'ch swyddogion, ac os oes unrhyw beth ychwanegol i ni ofyn, mae'n siŵr fyddwn ni'n ysgrifennu atoch chi, ond diolch yn fawr iawn.

Thank you very much. If there are no further questions, I will draw this session to a close. Thank you all very much for joining us and providing evidence. Thank you, Minister and officials, and if there's anything that we may want to ask, we may write to you, but thank you very much for your evidence.

4. Papurau i’w nodi
4. Papers to note

Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen yn awr at eitem 4, papurau i'w nodi, ac mae yna lu o lythyrau gennym ni i'w cymeradwyo. Ydy Aelodau yn hapus i wneud hynny? Dwi'n clywed chi yn glir, a dŷn ni yn hapus i nodi y llythyrau yna.

We'll move on now to item 4, papers to note. We have a number of pieces of correspondence. Are Members happy to note the papers to note? I see that you are happy to note those papers.

5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod.
5. 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.

Dwi'n symud ymlaen, felly, at eitem 5, a chynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod. Ydy pawb yn hapus i dderbyn y cynnig hynny? Grêt, diolch.

I'll move on, therefore, to item 5, motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Is everyone content? Excellent, thank you.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:39.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 11:39.