|Bethan Sayed AM||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|David Melding AM|
|Delyth Jewell AM|
|John Griffiths AM|
|Mick Antoniw AM|
|Baroness Kay Andrews||Tyst|
|Bethan Webb||Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr y Gymraeg, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Deputy Director, Welsh Language, Welsh Government|
|Dylan Hughes||Prif Gwnsler Deddfwriaethol, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|First Legislative Counsel, Welsh Government|
|Eluned Morgan AM||Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol|
|Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language|
|Shan Morgan||Ysgrifennydd Parhaol, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Permanent Secretary, Welsh Government|
|Lowri Jones||Dirprwy Glerc|
|1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau||1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest|
|2. Sesiwn graffu gyffredinol gyda'r Ysgrifennydd Parhaol a Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol||2. General scrutiny session with the Permanent Secretary and the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language|
|3. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: sesiwn dystiolaeth gyda’r Farwnes Kay Andrews OBE||3. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: evidence session with Baroness Kay Andrews OBE|
|4. Papurau i'w nodi||4. Papers to note|
|5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod||5. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of this meeting|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:34.
The meeting began at 09:34.
Diolch a chroeso i’r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu y bore yma. Eitem 1, cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Dŷn ni ddim wedi cael unrhyw ymddiheuriadau ar hyn o bryd. Oes yna unrhyw beth gan Aelodau i ddatgan? Na.
Hoffwn i jest ddweud ar y cychwyn ein bod ni’n mynd i gael munud o dawelwch am 10.00 y bore yma i gofio’r ddau weithiwr fu farw ar y rheilffordd yn ne-orllewin Cymru. Pan fydden ni’n meddwl am ateb cwestiynau o gwmpas yr adeg honno, byddaf i’n stopio. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Thank you and welcome to this meeting of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee this morning. Item 1, introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. We haven't received any apologies at present. Do Members have any declarations of interest? No.
I'd just like to say at the beginning that we're going to have a minute's silence at 10 o'clock to remember the two workers who died on the railways in south-west Wales. When we think about answering questions at that time I will be stopping the meeting, just to let you know. Thank you very much.
O ran eitem 2, dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen, felly, at sesiwn graffu gyffredinol gyda'r Ysgrifennydd Parhaol a Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol. Dŷn ni'n croesawu Shan Morgan, sef yr Ysgrifennydd Parhaol; Dylan Hughes, prif gwnsler deddfwriaethol, Llywodraeth Cymru; Eluned Morgan, Aelod Cynulliad a Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol; a hefyd Bethan Webb, sef dirprwy gyfarwyddwr y Gymraeg, Llywodraeth Cymru.
Fel dŷch chi'n hollol ymwybodol erbyn hyn, mae'n siŵr, byddwn ni'n mynd i gwestiynau yn syth, a wedyn yn disgwyl y bydd Aelodau yn gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol. Ond diolch ichi eto am ddod i mewn atom heddiw. Does dim rhaid i bawb ateb pob cwestiwn—jest er mwyn cychwyn gyda hynny.
O edrych ar yr hyn sydd yn y newidiadau cyllidebol o ran cyfrifoldebau'r portffolio, a oes modd i chi, fel Gweinidog, esbonio i ni beth yw'ch cyfrifoldebau o ran y dyraniadau gwahanol sydd nawr yn bodoli? Er enghraifft, dŷn ni'n ymwybodol bod yna ganran o arian wedi mynd at y Gymraeg mewn addysg, sef cyfrifoldeb Kirsty Williams, a dŷn ni'n awyddus i ddeall beth wedyn dŷch chi yn benodol yn gyfrifol amdano, ac a oes dylanwad, felly, gennych chi a'ch tîm ar yr hyn sydd yn digwydd o fewn y sector addysg yn hynny o beth. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
In terms of item 2, we move on now to the scrutiny session with the Permanent Secretary and the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language. We welcome Shan Morgan, the Permanent Secretary; Dylan Hughes, first legislative counsel for the Welsh Government; Eluned Morgan, Assembly Member and the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language; and also Bethan Webb, who is the deputy director for the Welsh Language at the Welsh Government.
As you'll be fully aware by now, I'm sure, we will go straight to questions, and then we'll expect Members to ask questions on the basis of different themes. But thank you again for joining us this morning. There's no need for all of you to answer every question.
In looking at the budgetary changes with regard to portfolio responsibilities, could you as Minister explain to us what your responsibilities are in terms of the different allocations that now exist? For example, we're aware that a percentage of funding has gone towards Welsh in education, which is the responsibility of Kirsty Williams, and we're eager to understand what, then, you are specifically responsible for, and whether you and your team have an influence on what is happening within the education system in that regard. Thank you.
Diolch yn fawr, a diolch am y gwahoddiad i ddod i siarad. Byddwch chi'n ymwybodol bod Cabinet newydd wedi dod at ei gilydd ym mis Rhagfyr. Fel canlyniad i hynny, roedd yna rywfaint o ailstrwythuro wedi digwydd, yn arbennig o ran y gyllideb. Beth oedd hynny'n golygu oedd bod cyfrifoldebau o ran addysg y Gymraeg wedi symud tuag at Kirsty Williams. Beth sy'n bwysig, wrth gwrs, yw ein bod ni'n cydweithredu yn y maes yma.
O ran lle mae'r cyllid nawr yn gorwedd, o dan BEL y Gymraeg, mae hyrwyddo'r Gymraeg yn rhan o fy nghyfrifoldebau i. Felly, mae Cymraeg byd busnes, er enghraifft, y cynllun technoleg, help ar gyfer sefydliadau sy'n hybu'r Gymraeg, fel yr Urdd a'r mentrau iaith, cyllid Comisiynydd y Gymraeg—mae'r rhain i gyd yn aros yn fy mhortffolio i. Wedyn, o ran cyfrifoldebau'r Gweinidog Addysg, mae hi nawr yn gyfrifol am y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, ar gyfer cynlluniau strategol y Gymraeg ac ar gyfer adnoddau dysgu Cymraeg. Wrth gwrs, roedd hi'n gyfrifol am addysg Gymraeg o'r blaen, ond mae'r rhannau hynny a oedd gynt yn fy mhortffolio i nawr wedi symud i'w phortffolio hi. Dwi'n meddwl mai beth sy'n bwysig yw bod pobl yn cydnabod ein bod ni yn cydweithredu. Rŷn ni'n cwrdd yn gyson ac yn trafod y ffordd orau o ariannu. Felly, er enghraifft, pan gawsom ni drafodaeth ar y WESPs, y cynlluniau ieithyddol, roedd yna drafodaeth ar y cyd rhyngom ni o ran sicrhau ein bod ni'n rhoi blaenoriaeth a'n bod ni wedi penderfynu hynny ar y cyd. Dyna beth wnaethom ni'r llynedd, wrth gwrs, pan oedd e'n rhan o'm portffolio i, ond dwi'n sicr y bydd hynny yn cario ymlaen i'r dyfodol.
Thank you very much, and thank you for the invitation to come to address you. You will be aware that a new Cabinet was formed in December. As a result of that, there was some restructuring, particularly in terms of the budget, and what that meant was that responsibilities as regards Welsh in education moved to Kirsty Williams. But what's important, of course, is that we collaborate in this field.
As regards where the budget now rests, under the Welsh BEL, promotion of the Welsh language is part of my responsibility. Welsh in business, for example, the technology plan and assisting organisations that promote the Welsh language, such as the Urdd and the mentrau iaith, and the Welsh Language Commissioner's budget, all lie within my portfolio. Then, as regards the responsibility of the education Minister, she now is responsible for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, for the Welsh in education strategic plans and as regards resources related to learning the Welsh language. She was responsible for Welsh education previously, but those aspects that used to rest in my portfolio have now moved to hers. What's important, I believe, is that people acknowledge that we collaborate. We meet on a regular basis and we discuss the best way of funding. For example, when we had a discussion on the WESPs, on the language plans, there was a joint discussion between us in order to ensure that we prioritised, and that was agreed consensually. That's what we did last year, of course, when it was part of my portfolio, but I'm certain that that will continue in the future.
Diolch am hynny. Dŷn ni'n ymwybodol bod £15.3 miliwn o'r arian addysg yn aros gyda chi. Felly, wnes i ddim clywed yn benodol beth yn gwmws dŷch chi'n mynd i fod yn ei wneud gyda'r arian hynny o ran addysg. Oes ateb gyda chi ar hynny?
Thank you for that. We're aware that £15.3 million of the education funding has remained in your portfolio, so I didn't hear specifically what you're going to be doing with that portion of funding in terms of education. Do you have a response to that?
Mae'r rhan fwyaf o addysg yn mynd at Kirsty Williams. Dyna'r pwynt. Mae hwnna wedi symud i Kirsty Williams. Beth sy'n aros gyda fi yw'r help ar gyfer mudiadau i helpu a hyrwyddo'r iaith. Dwi, wrth gwrs, yn gyfrifol am Gymraeg i Oedolion o ran addysg. Mae hwnna'n rhywbeth eithaf sylweddol o ran y gyllideb sydd gen i. Mae tua £12 miliwn ar gyfer dysgu Cymraeg i oedolion, ac wrth gwrs, o ran Cymraeg i Blant, mae hwnna hefyd yn aros yn fy mhortffolio i, ac mae hwnna wrth gwrs yn hollbwysig—cyn bod pobl yn mynd i mewn i addysg, sut rŷn ni'n darbwyllo'r rhieni i anfon eu plant nhw i ysgolion Cymraeg. Mae'n rhaid ichi ddechrau hynny'n gynnar iawn, felly mae hwnna'n pre-addysg, fwy neu lai. Felly, mae hwnna'n rhan o'm portffolio i. Mae Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain hefyd yn aros ym fy mhortffolio i o ran addysg, ac mae'r rhan fwyaf o bethau eraill, wedyn, fel Cymraeg Gwaith, y tu fas i addysg. Ond o ran addysg, yr addysg i oedolion yn Gymraeg, hwnna yw'r prif ran sydd yn perthyn i fy mhortffolio i.
The majority of the education funding has gone to Kirsty Williams. That's the point. That has been moved over to Kirsty Williams. What remains with me is the support for organisations that assist and promote the language. Of course, I am responsible for Welsh for Adults as regards education, and that is quite a significant part of my budget. It's about £12 million for teaching Welsh to adults, and, as regards Cymraeg for Kids, that remains within my portfolio, and that, of course, is crucial—that before people enter into education, how do we persuade parents to send their children to Welsh-medium schools? You have to start that very early. It's almost pre-education, and so that's part of my portfolio. The London Welsh school also remains a part of my portfolio as regards education, and the majority of other things, such as Work Welsh, are outside of education. But as regards education for Welsh adults, that is the main aspect that belongs to my portfolio.
Ocê. Dwi'n credu fy mod i'n deall yn well nawr. Ond, dwi jest eisiau gofyn, er mwyn ein helpu ni fel pwyllgor, a fyddech chi'n gallu ateb cwestiynau ynglŷn â'r hyn sy'n digwydd yn y meysydd dŷch chi wedi eu trosglwyddo? Hynny yw, weithiau rydym ni'n clywed Gweinidogion yn dweud, 'Wel, nid fi sy'n gyfrifol nawr'. A fyddwch chi'n gallu, neu a fyddech chi'n argymell ein bod ni'n dweud, 'Wel, mae'n rhaid inni gael y Gweinidog Addysg i mewn i sgrwtineiddio'r pytiau hynny o arian sydd wedi cael eu trosglwyddo?
Okay. I think I understand better now. But I just wanted to ask, to assist us as a committee, whether you would be able to respond to questions on what is happening in the areas that you have transferred. Sometimes we have Ministers saying, 'Well, actually, I'm not responsible for that now'. Are you going to be able to respond to questions on that, or would you recommend that we look to invite the Minister for Education to committee in order to scrutinise those things that have been transferred?
Wrth gwrs, mae'r prif gyfrifoldeb yn aros gyda'r Gweinidog, ond byddwn i'n gobeithio, o ran rhoi syniad o beth sy'n mynd ymlaen, y byddwn i'n gallu ymateb i rai o'r pwyntiau hynny.
Of course, the main responsibility lies with the Minister, but I would hope that, from the point of view of getting an idea of what goes on, I could respond to some of those points.
Ocê. A jest i symud ymlaen, wedyn, at yr arian, mae £4.3 miliwn wedi cael ei bennu er mwyn cefnogi a hyrwyddo'r iaith a'r gronfa newydd i wyliau cymunedol lleol ledled Cymru. A allwch chi jest esbonio tipyn bach yn fwy am hynny a sut y byddwch chi'n monitro ble mae'r arian hynny'n mynd, sut y byddwch chi'n asesu pa mor llwyddiannus yw'r gwyliau hynny, a rhoi syniad inni sut, wedyn, y byddwn ni'n gallu eich dwyn chi i gyfrif yn hynny o beth ynglŷn â'r arian penodol hynny?
Okay. And just moving on to the £4.3 million that has been allocated to promoting and supporting the language and the new fund for local community festivals across Wales, could you just explain a little bit more about that and how you will monitor where that funding goes, how you will be assessing how the festivals have been, and give us an idea, then, about how we could hold you to account in that regard, on that particular spend?
Wel, wrth gwrs, mae hwn yn rhan o ddefnydd iaith, a dyna sy'n bwysig i ni—ein bod ni'n newid y pwyslais nawr i ffwrdd oddi wrth jest rheoleiddio i hybu a hyrwyddo. Dwi'n meddwl bod hynny'n bwynt rydych chi wedi ei wneud yn glir yn eich adroddiad chi, sef eich bod chi'n awyddus i weld hynny. Felly, beth sy'n bwysig yw ein bod ni'n ei gwneud hi'n iaith gymdeithasol, a dyna pam rydym ni'n rhoi help i'r mudiadau hyn sy'n rhoi cyfleoedd i bobl i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg mewn settings anffurfiol. Felly, rŷm ni yn helpu pethau fel yr Urdd a'r mentrau iaith. Ac, wrth gwrs, mae tua 79 o fudiadau wedi cael help, gan gynnwys Merched y Wawr a grwpiau fel hynny.
O ran yr arian yma, y £50,000 ychwanegol, dyw e ddim yn swm aruthrol o arian, ond dwi yn meddwl bod helpu gwyliau sy'n hybu'r Gymraeg yn gam pwysig ymlaen. Miwsig yw'r prif beth, achos dwi'n meddwl bod hynny'n helpu i ddenu pobl i mewn, yn arbennig pobl ifanc. Mae lot o wyliau eisoes wedi derbyn arian. Does neb yn derbyn mwy na £5,000, ond dwi'n meddwl bod hyd yn oed hynny yn rhoi help. Mae Gŵyl Bro Dinefwr, er enghraifft, Gŵyl Werin Merthyr, a Gŵyl Newydd yng Nghasnewydd—mae'r rhain i gyd yn wyliau sydd wedi derbyn arian wrthon ni. Wrth gwrs, byddwn ni'n cael asesiad o ba mor llwyddiannus y mae hynny wedi bod. Ond hwn yw'r cam cyntaf, felly dyma'r tro cyntaf inni roi arian tuag at y gwyliau yna.
Well, of course, this is part of language usage and the use of the Welsh language, and that's what's important for us—that we're shifting the emphasis away from regulation to encouragement and promotion. I think that's a point that you've made clear in your report—that you're eager to see this move. And what's important is that we make it a community or social language, and that is why we're supporting those organisations that give people the opportunity to use the Welsh language in informal settings. So, we do support things such as the Urdd, the mentrau iaith and, of course, approximately 79 organisations have received support, including Merched y Wawr and similar groups.
As regards the additional £50,000, it's not a massive sum, but I think that helping festivals that promote the Welsh language is an important step forward. Music is the main aspect, as it helps to attract people to festivals, particularly young people. There are many festivals that have already received funding. Nobody receives more than £5,000, but I think even that amount is of great assistance. Gŵyl Bro Dinefwr, Gŵyl Werin Merthyr and Gŵyl Newydd in Newport—these are all festivals that have received funding from us. Then, of course, we will receive an assessment of how successful that has been. But this is the first phase, so this is the first time we've actually given these festivals £5,000.
Ocê. Fe wnawn ni edrych ymlaen at gael mwy o wybodaeth pan fydd hynny gyda chi i lawr y lein i allu edrych ar sut mae'r gwyliau hynny'n bod yn llwyddiannus. Dŷn ni yn gwneud ymchwiliad gwahanol i mewn i gerddoriaeth fyw, felly efallai y byddwn ni'n cysylltu â chi o ran yr elfennau cerddorol yn benodol.
Okay. We'll look forward to hearing more information on that further along the line to see whether those festivals have been successful or not. We're holding a different inquiry into live music, so perhaps we will be in touch with you about the music element of that.
Mi allwn ni, yn sicr, roi rhestr ichi o'r gwyliau sydd wedi derbyn yr arian eleni.
We can certainly give you a list of the festivals that have received funding this year.
Grêt. Diolch. Symudwn ymlaen yn awr at gwestiynau gan John Griffiths. Diolch, John.
Great. Thank you. We'll move on to questions from John Griffiths. Thank you, John.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Yes, Minister, the target of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 is an ambitious one, I think it's fair to say. So, in that context, is the flat-cash budget sufficient to make the progress required, do you think?
Well, I think we're still in an age of austerity and every department has to understand the difficult constraints that we're working under. And the fact that we've got a cash-flat budget when there are other departments that have seen cuts, I think we should probably celebrate that. But I think that the misunderstanding constantly in relation to the Welsh language is that it's just this little pot of money that sits in my department. Actually, the Welsh language has got to be mainstreamed and is being mainstreamed. And if you look at the additional funding, for example, in relation to Welsh language education, there's been an extra £30 million of capital expenditure that's gone into helping Welsh language education. That doesn't appear in this budget, but that is an additional amount of money.
So, what we're trying to do is to make sure that we build on the strategy that is very clear, I think. There are some very clear steps that we expect to be made in the next few years. We are trying to create the right infrastructure to build towards that 2050 target, but I think one of the key things that we have started on but we need to progress on is how we mainstream the Welsh language across the whole of Government, and that's something that's started. It's clearly started in education. It's the extent to which we can push that further across Government—that's where the big wins are going to be.
Okay. If we move on to Cymraeg for Kids and the £0.7 million funding for that, are you content that that's a sufficient amount of money to ensure that that project delivers what you expect from it?
So, language transfer, for me, is one of the key things that we absolutely need to address, and there are some key stages when people decide what language they speak with their children and when they make those decisions, where they send their children to school. So, this is absolutely key for us. What we've done is to give a grant to the Mudiad Meithrin, and what they've done is to target in particular those areas where we expect to see an increase in terms of new Welsh language education systems, especially meithrin. So, how do you develop the demand? And that's been done through working with, for example, midwives, and we've really got to get in at the very ground level.
What we've been keen to do is make sure that we assess how that's going as it goes along. They've had 16,000 conversations with people who've been involved with that project, to understand what it is that makes the difference—what are those key decision-making points at which you determine where you're going to send your child to education and in what language you speak to your child? So, what we've done is we've taken on board those conversations. We've assessed what was said, and we've tried to build that now into the Cymraeg i Blant strategy.
It's not a huge amount of money—it's not insignificant either—but I do think that getting in at the key point as early as you can is what will determine whether we ultimately hit that sending 40 per cent of children to Welsh-language education by 2050.
Okay. So, it's a little early to say much about how those many conversations have translated into the sort of development that you'd like to see, but you're trying to make sure that it is woven into that. Is that fair to say at the moment?
Yes. We've taken on board what they've said. We've woven it into the programme. You know, rather than wait until everything's finished, we're trying to weave it in as we go along. And the fact that there is still an increased demand for Welsh language education we hope is proving that, actually, something is working here. It's still early days, but I think it's a very constructive approach. But also, you've got to remember the key thing here is that we've got to get in with the parents here. Those are the key people we need to influence, and working with Cymraeg i Blant, for example, to help give Welsh language lessons while they're in a play mode, that has also been something that has been quite constructive and people have responded to.
Sori, John, jest i ofyn yn glou ar hynny, a ydy hynny ar gyfer pob rhan o Gymru—yr arian dŷch chi wedi ei roi i'r Mudiad Meithrin, neu ydy e'n beilot mewn ardal benodol?
Sorry, John, just to ask quickly on that, is that for all parts of Wales—the funding that you've given to Mudiad Meithrin, or is it a pilot in a specific area?
Na, mae hwnna i rannau gwahanol, ond beth rŷm ni'n ei wneud yw rhoi blaenoriaeth i'r ardaloedd hynny lle rŷm ni'n gwybod, er enghraifft, fod ysgolion meithrin yn mynd i agor. So, rŷch chi'n ymwybodol bod ni eisiau agor 40 o ysgolion meithrin newydd. Mae 12 o'r rheini yn mynd i gael eu hagor eleni. Felly, yn amlwg, rŷm ni'n targedu yn yr ardaloedd hynny er mwyn sicrhau ein bod ni'n gallu llenwi'r llefydd yna pan fydd yr ysgolion meithrin yn agor.
No, that's for different areas, but what we're doing is to give priority to those areas where we know, for example, that nursery schools are going to open. So, you're aware that we want to open 40 new nursery schools. Twelve of those will be opened this year. So, clearly, we're targeting those areas to ensure that we can fill those places when those nursery schools open.
Okay. If we move on, Minister, to capital expenditure and the £46 million that's available for 41 projects across 16 authorities, could you tell us a little about progress and the timelines involved?
So, I think what was great was the incredible response we had from the different local authorities across Wales. I think we're now up to 20 local authorities who'll be receiving money from this capital allocation. We put £30 million on the table. We had £100 million-worth of requests and demands. One of the things that we used whilst determining the criteria for prioritising was: 'How quickly can you spend this money? Are you ready to run?', because, actually, when you've got that kind of demand, you can be a bit picky in terms of who's ready to run. So, already we've had five local authorities who have started to draw down that money. We have had two additional areas, which we had on a backup list, where they didn't seem to be ready at the time when we were determining the allocations. So, Blaenau Gwent and Newport have now been given the go-ahead to develop their projects, and we're waiting for a business case for a school in Pembrokeshire to determine whether they will also be able to access this funding. So, that is already being pulled down, and, as I say, five local authorities have already started pulling that money down.
Just on that, can you say a little bit more about the nature of some of the projects that have been approved, how it is they're going to contribute. Some of them I think are around the concept of hubs and so on. So, in terms of the criteria around that, just a little bit more on how that will work and what we're seeking to achieve.
So, every local authority—. These have been absolutely connected to the Welsh in education strategic plans. And so where councils set out 'This is what our plan is', if we could help them along with their progress, then that capital—. What we've tried to link is their ambition with the capital expenditure. So, most of it is—. Most of it's primary education, so—
So, it was ultimately to create more Welsh-language places in schools—
Well I know, but the nature of how that's being achieved—what sort of projects have you got that are being approved.
Oh, so, Monmouthshire, for example, is having the first Welsh language primary school. That's an example. There's a new school, Welsh language school, for Merthyr and Torfaen. We are expanding provision within the Port Talbot area, and there are new projects where, if people come to the area late, so if they move into the area, particularly in those kind of Welsh-speaking heartlands, in Gwynedd and in Carmarthenshire, for example, we have created centres where you can go in and you can be immersed in Welsh language education. So, those are the kinds of projects where that £30 million has been allocated.
Just one more, which I think is quite interesting, is the e-sgol digital programme in Ceredigion. So, that's quite an interesting proposal as well, which is new. We've looked at what they did in Scotland, and I think that's a model that we're looking at that could have implications beyond the Welsh language, because, if you want to do further maths in Ceredigion, you may not have the right teacher who can teach through the medium of Welsh. Some of that now can be done remotely.
E-sgol. Os oes mwy o wybodaeth gyda chi ar hynny, byddai hwnna'n help.
E-sgol. If you have more information on that, that would be helpful.
Yes. It's quite interesting. And, again, it's under Kirsty Williams's area.
Rwy'n siŵr gallwch chi roi'r wybodaeth i ni. Sori, John.
I'm sure you can give us that information on her behalf. Sorry, John.
Ocê. Dim problem o gwbl.
Okay. No problem at all.
If we move on then, Minister, the £150,000 that is available to encourage the take-up of A-level Welsh, could you tell us how that's being distributed and what you would expect its impact to be?
So, one of the reasons why we're keen to do this, is obviously—. One of the things that keeps me awake at night is how on earth are we going to get these Welsh language teachers to meet the demand that we will need in terms of reaching that million. And teachers in secondary schools is one of the areas that we really have had to try and focus on. We've seen a link between the number of people who take A-level Welsh and the number of people who go into teaching through the medium of Welsh. And so we thought, 'Right, let's try and encourage more people to take up A-level Welsh.' Again, this is Kirsty Williams's department, but I can let you know what I know about it. It's about £145,000 that's been allocated over two years.
Some of the way that that money has been distributed—about £50,000 is to create better links between the universities and the schools, to try and increase that connection to make sure that people have an understanding of what the opportunities are and the possibilities are. There's about £20,000 that is being spent to try and target children about 11 to 14 years old—both who are in Welsh-medium education schools and those who are in non-Welsh-medium education schools—to understand the advantages of learning Welsh at A-level and taking Welsh, and providing digital resources but also giving careers advice on how this may be helpful in future. And then there's about £25,000 to communicate why actually taking up the Welsh language as a subject would be a good idea. So, that's more or less how that has been targeted. But what we're hoping is that we'll—I think we have about 230 people taking Welsh A-level at the moment; there's a target to get up to about 320 in the next few years. But that's just the Welsh speakers in Welsh language schools. In terms of the secondaries, even more ambitious—about 216 do Welsh at A-level at the moment, and we're hoping to get that up to about 690. So, that's the really ambitious one.
It is. But, at the moment, every little bit counts. And we are—. We've put a lot of resources already into encouraging people to teach Welsh, to go into teaching Welsh. There's an extra £5,000 on the table to encourage people to undertake Welsh language teacher training. So, we're doing what we can, but we have to go the step before that—that's what we're doing here.
And just on the A-levels, obviously, there will be change to the Welsh language and the English language set-up. So, you're giving money to promote in both schools. Will that change when the qualifications change?
What I'm keen to do is to make sure we don't lose a generation. So, there's time before the new curriculum comes in, and what we can't do is to lose—. So, that's why this funding is really critical, because it addresses the issue now. Obviously, I think we'll have to address what happens when the new curriculum comes in, and there may be different ways of approaching it at that point. But, at this point, we're trying to address the issue of how do we get people into studying Welsh at A-level now and in the next couple of years.
Ocê. Mick Antoniw, jest i ofyn y cwestiwn. Dwi jest yn ymwybodol efallai na wnawn ni symud at yr ateb, achos mae'n rhaid i ni gael y munud o dawelwch. Ond os ydych chi eisiau gofyn y cwestiwn yn glou.
Okay. Mick Antoniw. I'm aware that, if you ask the question, we won't move on to the answer; we need to have that minute's silence. But if you want to ask your question quickly.
No, just ask the question; we might not be able to carry—. It's really awkward, because there are a couple of minutes left, so just ask your question, and then we can stop.
Cynhaliwyd munud o dawelwch i gofio’r ddau unigolyn a gollodd eu bywydau yn y ddamwain rheilffordd drasig ym Margam ar 3 Gorffennaf.
A minute’s silence was held in remembrance of the two individuals who lost their lives in the tragic rail incident in Margam on 3 July.
Iawn, diolch yn fawr. David Melding—fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen.
Thank you very much. David Melding—we'll move on.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd.
Thank you, Chair.
Minister, I wonder if I could start by focusing on an area where your clear executive responsibilities are not shared with other Ministers, other than in the general approach any Cabinet has to policy making. What have you done to re-establish the clarity of the policy position with the key stakeholders, particularly the new commissioner, given that the Government had indicated it did not think the 2011 Measure was fully fit for purpose, let me put it that way, and then quite abruptly—I don't think I'm being pejorative—then withdrew its intention to table a Welsh language Bill? So, where are we and how are you trying to give that sense of leadership and stability in an area that's been quite febrile, I think it's fair to say?
Well, in terms of the principles of where we were at and what we were trying to do with the Bill, one of the things was that we wanted to move away from it all being about standards to being about encouraging use of the Welsh language. So, that principle still applies. The question for us is to what extent you put all your effort into the Bill, and I think we listened to the stakeholders. You've had your discussions in this group, and you heard from them that, actually, there was a mixture in terms of responses—you know, is this the right way? We decided that it was better for us to focus attention on promoting the use of Welsh, and to stretch our ability and our discussions with the Welsh Language Commissioner in terms of how far could we stretch within the current systems.
We're also obviously getting advice from our cyngor partneriaeth, our partnership council—you know, these are genuine experts who have been helping us every step of the way. I think there was—. The one area that I think people had a few concerns about, in terms of what was missing as a result of us not proceeding with the Bill, is language planning, in particular language planning across Government and whether we have the expertise and whether the drive is there. So, that's something that we're taking very seriously and we're considering seriously and we're taking soundings on that at the moment.
Dyfodol i'r Iaith—you'll be aware that actually they were quite keen to see a new Bill. We've had, again, very constructive discussions with them. I spoke at their conference a few weeks ago. I think they understand that what we're keen to do now is to move ahead, again in terms of the principle that use is what they were interested in. Cymdeithas yr Iaith as well, they were never terribly keen on the Bill, as you'll be aware. And then we've got a group that the officials meet, who advise us in terms of how we promote the use of the Welsh language, and the officials—they've been involved in terms of where we go next. So, I think what we've done is to listen, and I'm fairly confident that we're on the right path.
So, the current architecture in terms of the legal position then, and the Measure, that's what you're going to work with, but with an emphasis much more strongly on use. But, the current architecture is going to be the structure.
You know, I must say, I much prefer a Government changing its mind in response to a very full consultation, and, obviously, we did a lot of work as well, so I think that's a perfectly reasonable position and one that I respect. I suppose one of the things that did, in this period, come up was how effective promotional work could be undertaken, because in the previous days of the Welsh Language Board it was very much a prime purpose of it. With the shift to standards and the commissioner, it still had a function, or at least a power, but there obviously was a shift with most day-to-day promotional work and the budget for it being with Welsh Government. So, where are we with that side of it? Do you envisage a rebalancing of that relationship, so it shifts back to the commissioner not just being the regulator, or at least not overwhelmingly being a regulator? Or, will it remain more or less where it is at the moment, in Government and then presumably with your partners as you commission them?
So, what's important for me is that actually the public knows where responsibility lies and whose responsibility it is to do what. I'm trying to make sure that we have absolute clarity on that. So, one of the things we've done is that we're just about to conclude a memorandum of understanding with the commissioner in terms of who is responsible for what, because actually, sometimes, it is a little bit confusing. So, for example, business—small business. We're in charge of promoting small business; it's the commissioner who is in charge of supermarkets and banks and things. So, that's quite confusing. What I want is absolute clarity.
When we have our new phone line, the key thing for me is that, actually, the architecture for the public shouldn't matter. The plumbing is something we should look after. One of the things that I'm keen to do is that when people phone up and say, 'I have a complaint,' that it is sent exactly to the right person and that there's no confusion about who is responsible for what. So, that list will be coming out in the next few weeks. We had a meeting this week just to kind of finalise that document in terms of who is responsible for what, and I think that's really important. I don't think we've had that absolute clarity in the past in the way that perhaps we will be setting it out in an annex to the memorandum of understanding.
We of course continue to be responsible for a lot of the promotional work around the Welsh language, but what we do is we pass it on straight out of Government to things like the mentrau iaith, because I think, actually, the place where the impact is is if you can put it out on the ground. So, the more we can send it out to communities close to the people, the better, and that's what we've done with the mentrau iaith, and you've seen what we've done with the business line, for example, we've set up now. We've got 12 people going and promoting the Welsh language in terms of business in the communities. That's where I want the action to be is in the communities.
As a result of the memo of understanding, where some functions shift to the commissioner, will there be a clear indication of the budgetary consequences of that, and the funds following?
The budget will remain the same, as it is at the moment. What we're doing is providing absolute clarity in terms of—. What we will be able to do, because I think it's important that this is not necessarily something that is fixed in stone for the future, which is why I've asked it to be provided in an annex—we can adapt the annex, possibly, as we go along, if we find that the function would be better placed somewhere else. So, I do think that we perhaps need to make sure that there is a degree of flexibility, but the internal plumbing work is something I think that has to be sorted.
So, these are reasonably minor adjustments, I think it's fair to say.
I'll move to progress with 'Cymraeg 2050' and the work programme, which I think, from our point of view, usefully has quite clear targets, and I just wonder if you could indicate how confident you are that we are progressing towards them for 2021—an increase to 24 per cent of seven-year-olds in Welsh-medium education, 40 more meithrin groups and then targets for the increase in the number of teachers who can teach in Welsh, both at primary and secondary. Could you give us a progress report on that and an indication of your confidence that those targets are likely to be achieved?
I think we are on course for most of them. So, the early years in particular, we've got the meithrin schools. So, we've got a plan to open 40; we've opened 12 so far, so we're on course in terms of that provision. We have moved in terms of the Welsh in education strategic plans from responding to demand to creating demand. That £30 million of additional capital funding has helped with that, so we know now that there'll be an extra 2,900 or so places directly as a result of that, so that helps us towards that target. We've given this additional funding as well to Llangrannog, for example, and Glan-llyn, and I think that's really important in terms of it being—you know, Welsh has got to be fun and it's got to be social and it's got to be something that is used in an informal setting.
And I think we're probably on the right track. Now, we won't know until we have the results of the census, but what we do have is the annual population survey, and that gives us confidence that we're heading in the right direction. If you look at those results, there are about 896,000 people who say they speak Welsh already. We don't use that as our standard, but it gives us a little bit of confidence that we are heading in the right direction. The difficulty for us, then, is how we raise people's confidence to say, 'Actually, yes, I am a Welsh speaker'? That's a fairly fundamental problem for us.
It's encouraging to hear that you think you're on track to meet the target for primary school teachers who can teach through the medium of Welsh. If I look at secondary school teachers, I think, in fairness to the Government, you set quite an ambitious target to increase by 400 to 2,200. But if that's proving challenging, how are schemes like the Welsh language sabbatical scheme operating? Is that fully onstream now or what sort of numbers are availing of that? I know this is more education, but presumably you're closely informed and briefed about all of this. How effective is that appearing as a programme? Because it creates quite a lot of pressure. It's not just the person who goes for the training; you then need someone in to take their place in the classroom.
So, it's not a cheap scheme, the sabbatical, the one that's an annual scheme—. So, there are lots of different sabbatical schemes, so it's not necessarily a whole year for all of them. Some of them need a kind of big confidence boost and you can take them out for a few months and that will do the trick, but what we have done is to respond to the fact that, in the past, people loved that but then they needed to keep it up, so we've tried to respond to that ongoing need. I've actually visited the sabbatical scheme for teachers who have undertaken it for a year—absolutely incredible the progress that people have made. The problem is the numbers are actually quite small and the cost is not insignificant. So, we will be assessing that, and we will have to, I think, take a breath at that point and just see, 'Right. Is this the right thing for the resources?' But this will be a call for the Minister for Education, of course.
I should say, Chair, we saw some interesting evidence when we went to the Basque country about how they operated these schemes, and it did take quite a lot of determination. The results are good, but it's not an easy programme, I think it's resource intensive, obviously, with the need for supply teachers to fill in gaps and that whilst it's operational.
My final question is just—. I'm not being mean in saying that the Welsh Government got into a bit of a mess when it announced the new curriculum and then it suddenly appeared that there was a big shift in how we were going to fund nursery placements in particular, in ensuring or insisting that English is on the curriculum, and then for the Welsh language strategy, that's a huge issue because of the importance of nursery education through the medium of Welsh. And, at the very least, it caused disquiet in the community, so have we set things straight as far as all that is concerned, and have you learnt any lessons about how you have to co-operate with the education Minister? Again, I mean, this area is cross-cutting and it clearly involves other colleagues. I know the pace of life and what happens, it's quite a speed, and all of a sudden you can have a bit of a hiatus, but I mean, it wasn't helpful, I don't think. I would think it's fair to say that.
Well, I hope that the community has been reassured that there will be no need to be teaching English in Welsh language schools or nurseries, because of the immersion approach up until key stage 2. There's an understanding that immersion is a tried and tested technique that is actually something that should be respected. So, yes, I think people have now been reassured that that is something that will not happen.
Diolch. Cyn imi symud ymlaen at Delyth Jewell, roeddwn i jest eisiau gofyn a fedrwch chi roi tamaid bach mwy o wybodaeth i ni ynglŷn â'r cynllun Camau. Roeddwn i mewn nyrseri ym Mhen-y-bont sydd yn uniaith Saesneg dros y penwythnos, ac roedden nhw'n hollol anymwybodol o'r systemau i'w helpu nhw i wneud mwy dros yr iaith Gymraeg yn eu gweithle er mwyn arfogi staff i ddysgu drwy'r Gymraeg. I fi, mae e, ar hyn o bryd, yr un mor bwysig â sefydlu meithrinfeydd Mudiad Meithrin, achos os nad yw'r genhedlaeth honno'n siarad Cymraeg, wedyn mae e'n broblem. Felly, sut ydych chi'n hybu'r cynllun hwnnw, a sut ydy pobl yn mynd i allu gwybod ei fod e'n gallu eu helpu nhw yn ein cymunedau lleol?
Thank you. Before moving on to Delyth Jewell, I just wanted to ask whether you can give us a little bit more information about the Camau scheme. I was in a nursery in Bridgend that is monolingual English over the weekend, and they weren't aware of the systems to help them to do more for the Welsh language in their workplace to empower staff to teach through the medium of Welsh. For me, at the moment, it's just as important as establishing Mudiad Meithin nurseries, because if that generation doesn't speak Welsh, then it's a problem. So, how are you promoting that scheme, and how are people going to be able to find out that it can help them in their local communities?
Ydy hwn o ran helpu'r athrawon sy'n dysgu yn y—? Ocê. Mae gan y Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol strategaeth sydd wedi'i hanelu'n uniongyrchol at ddatblygu'r gweithle yn y meithrinfeydd ac i sicrhau, er enghraifft, fod y math o eirfa a phethau rŷch chi'n gorfod eu defnyddio yn y cyd-destun yna'n addas. Felly, mae yna gyrsiau ar gyfer y bobl yna. Wrth gwrs, rŷm ni'n ceisio—. Mae hwnna—
Do you mean from the point of view of assisting the teachers at the nurseries?Okay. The National Centre for Learning Welsh have a strategy that is targeted at workforce development in the nurseries and to ensure that the kind of vocabulary that you have to use in that context is appropriate. So, there are courses available for those people. Of course, we are trying—. That—
Sut mae hwnna'n cael ei hybu, achos mae rhai ohonyn nhw ddim yn ymwybodol ei fod yn bodoli o hyd, er enghraifft?
But how is that promoted, because some still aren't aware that it exists, for example?
Wel, dim ond yn ddiweddar iawn mae'r cynllun wedi dechrau. Gwnaethon ni lansio fe yn Eisteddfod yr Urdd, felly mae'n gynnar iawn. Wrth gwrs, bydd hwnna, nawr, yn cael ei rowlio allan, ond dim ond yn ddiweddar mae e wedi cael ei lansio.
Well, it's only very recently that this scheme has been initiated. We launched it at the Urdd Eisteddfod, so it's very early days. Of course, that will now be rolled out, but it's only a very recent innovation.
Allwn ni gael mwy o wybodaeth ynglŷn â sut mae hwn yn cael ei rowlio allan er mwyn inni allu hybu hynny dros Gymru gyfan?
Could we have some more information on how that's being rolled out so that we can promote that across Wales?
Diolch, Gadeirydd. Rwy'n mynd i ofyn am ddiwylliant a pholisïau mewnol y Llywodraeth tuag at y Gymraeg. Yn edrych ar yr adroddiad blynyddol diwethaf, o ran cydymffurfio â safonau'r Gymraeg y tu fewn i'r Llywodraeth mae'r adroddiad yna'n cydnabod y ffaith bod y Llywodraeth mewn sefyllfa reit anarferol, oherwydd dŷch chi'n llunio polisïau, ond hefyd dŷch chi'n gorfod cydymffurfio â'r polisïau yna o ran rheoliadau'r Gymraeg. Mae'r adroddiad yn codi amheuon o ran y ffaith bod y cyhoedd yn gallu cwyno'n uniongyrchol i'r comisiynydd am fethiannau ar ran y Llywodraeth. Ydych chi'n gallu cadarnhau os taw'r Prif Weinidog oedd wedi cymeradwyo'r adroddiad hwnnw ac os ydy'r amheuon hynny'n adlewyrchu barn y Prif Weinidog?
Thank you, Chair. I'm going to ask about the culture and general policies of the Government towards the Welsh language. Looking at the last annual report, with regard to compliance with Welsh language standards within the Government that report refers to the fact that the Government is in quite an unusual situation, because you formulate the policies and then you have to comply with those very same policies as regards Welsh regulations. The report does raise some doubts as regards the fact that the public can complain directly to the commissioner about the Government's failures. Can you confirm whether the First Minister approved that report and whether those doubts actually reflect the view of the First Minister?
Yn gyffredinol, dwi'n meddwl ei bod hi'n bwysig ein bod ni'n cydnabod ein bod ni'n dod o dan y safonau a bod rhaid i ni gydymffurfio gyda'r safonau. Beth fyddwch chi'n ymwybodol ohoni yw, er enghraifft, bod yna adran ar gyfer hybu a hyrwyddo'r Gymraeg, ac mae Bethan yn arwain hynny, ond mae yna grŵp hollol wahanol sydd yn gyfrifol am sicrhau ein bod ni'n gwneud beth sy'n ofynnol i ni ei wneud. Mae'r rheini ar wahân, felly mae ein plismona mewnol ni yn gwbl ar wahân tu fewn i'r sefydliad, a dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n bwysig. Ydych chi eisiau ychwanegu rhywbeth?
Generally, I would say that it's important that we acknowledge that we are subject to the standards and that we must comply with those standards. What you will be aware of, for example, is that there is a department for promoting and marketing the Welsh language, and Bethan leads on that, but there's a totally separate group that is responsible for ensuring that we are compliant. They are totally two separate entities, and so our internal policing is completely independent within the organisation, and I think that's important. Do you wish to add anything to that?
I would simply add that we've put a lot of effort over the past couple of years into embedding the Welsh language standards into the organisation. It's been a big focus of activity. We internally now, within the Welsh Government, comply fully with the requirements, and we have, as the Minister said, different processes for monitoring that, both within the Welsh language unit and colleagues on the legislative side, so that there is a sort of separation in how we examine compliance with the standards internally. Would you like me to say a bit more about what we do inside the Welsh Government?
Actually, my other questions would be for you, and they would cover that, so yes, we will definitely get to that. Could you please tell me how you would characterise the civil service's vision for Welsh within the civil service?
The vision for Welsh within the civil service flows very directly from the Government's 'Cymraeg 2050' strategy. I think when—. Shall I say how it looks to me across the whole organisation?
I arrived here two and a half years ago, fresh to working in Wales, and I was obviously very much aware of the political commitment—the very strong political commitment—to promoting the use of Welsh, and I was really pleased to see, when I arrived, that there is a genuine culture within the organisation of pride in the Welsh language as an asset for Wales and something that helps make us very distinctively different. I think that is a very strong culture that's there. I hear Welsh very commonly in all of our offices that I go to, including Cardiff, and there are—. As I said, the standards are fully embedded. That was a big milestone for us. We all have—. I can see that there are others in the room wearing these. We have our lanyards, which set out very clearly if we're a Welsh learner or speaker. That's one of the things that helps build up confidence. So, the vision for the organisation is to be an examplar, as set out in the 'Cymraeg 2050' strategy. I think we have a very good foundation already, and I'm in the process of drawing up a forward-looking strategy that will make sure that by 2050 we meet the terms of the Government's 'Cymraeg 2050' strategy. But I think there is a very good starting point.
Thank you. In terms of looking at setting up the principles of a bilingual workplace, I understand that a working group was set up by the previous Permanent Secretary in 2016 and that a working plan was prepared with recommendations in March 2017. We're now more than two years after that and those plans haven't been put into practice. Do you regret that delay?
That report was completed about a month after I arrived in the job. So, as I'm sure you can imagine, I felt I needed to take some time to reflect on it and to get to understand the organisation and reach my own views on how best to take forward our commitments under the 'Cymraeg 2050' strategy. So, I have spent time doing that and talking to people about good practice.
Over that period, we did what I would think of as putting the building blocks in place—so, embedding the standards throughout the whole of the organisation, which really did raise awareness, I think, and get people to understand that we are genuinely committed to this. And also I looked very carefully at what we provide by way of training across the organisation, because we obviously need a range of training to suit different levels and different learning styles. So, the task and finish group that was set up by my predecessor didn't really have a very clear goal and, of course, later that year, in the summer, 'Cymraeg 2050' did set out a very clear goal for us and commits us to leading by example, which I take as the vision now for what we're trying to achieve in the Welsh Government.
We've been doing a number of things, as I said, focusing on embedding the standards, and we set that out in the annual report as to the progress we've been making over the course of the year. I appointed a Welsh language champion on the board of the Welsh Government last year. I felt that was important, that somebody should be thinking constantly about the interests of the Welsh language. We've been doing an awful lot on the training side. The Welsh Language Commissioner gave a presentation to the board of the Welsh Government in May this year, and at that same meeting, the board discussed a follow-up paper that took the original task and finish report that you referred to and updated it with a lot more information about best practice and looking at the learning offer. It drew on best practice from a wide variety of organisations, including the Assembly, but some others as well. And I, in fact, met Carl Foulkes, the chief constable for north Wales, myself on a recent visit to talk to him about how they've so successfully approached the use of the Welsh language.
What we're doing next is I have a team looking at a draft strategy and milestones based on that best practice, and taking account of the assurance that I've now been given about the quality and range of the training that we have in the Welsh Government. This will be a strategy with milestones leading us to 2050, with a five-year review process, because I think that's probably about the right time to measure progress. So, when I launch the strategy, it will be accompanied by a five-year work programme setting out exactly what we're going to be doing over the next five years. The immediate next steps: I've got what I call a challenge session next week, which will talk about how to draw up that strategy and the programme, what the issues are, what the practicalities are, how best to take it forward, and to identify the work streams that need to be done in detail.
This is going to be an important and long-lasting strategy, so I really do want to get it right. We are co-producing it with the trade union side of the Welsh Government. That is obviously incredibly important, to make sure that we have buy-in right from the start. The Welsh Government board is going to discuss the strategy on 13 September, and they will advise us on how effective they think it looks and then I would aim, by the middle of October at the latest, to finalise a draft strategy, the milestones towards 2050 and a five-year work programme, so then I can submit that to the First Minister and to this Minister, and then I'll be able to hold formal consultations with the trade union side and, by mid-November at the absolute latest, we can agree formally the strategy and announce it to staff. That is in line with what was set out in the Cymraeg 2050 action plan for 2019-20, which says that
'We will introduce recommendations to senior Welsh Government officials with the aim of agreeing upon an internal use policy to promote and facilitate the use of Welsh within the workforce. We will prepare an action plan for the policy and will begin to implement it in 2019-2020.'
So, we will be meeting that commitment. I'm conscious it has been quite a time since the first report. I really do believe that a great deal of work has been going on over that period to put in place the right building blocks so that, when the strategy's launched, I can be confident that it really will take off and that it will be based on a really effective range of learning and development provision. So, I think I'm confident we're going to meet that commitment. Just one thing I think I need to be very clear about: the new strategy doesn't mean that people will not get a job in the Welsh Government if they don't already speak Welsh, and it also doesn't mean that complete change is going to happen overnight. This will be a thorough and gradual process. I want it to be rigorous, with enough time and opportunities for people to learn Welsh. Overall, my aim is to generate enthusiasm and real opportunities for everybody to learn Welsh rather than to generate anxiety and any sense of exclusion. So, it's a lot of work in progress, building on, I think, a really strong culture of pride in the language across the organisation, and some excellent work over the last few years in getting all the building blocks in place.
Thank you. That was very comprehensive. But if I could just return for a minute to the delay, is it usual for there to be such a long delay on implementing the recommendations of a working group in the civil service?
The recommendations themselves didn't seem to me to take full account of what was happening in other organisations, which is why I asked for follow-up work to be done. I think it was a good starting point—
Sorry to interrupt you, but just comparing it with the timeline that is usual for implementing recommendations, does it stand out as a particularly long delay?
The point I was trying to make was that, although the second report came out later, in between there was a lot of follow-up to the first report, in terms of examining the training provision and embedding the standards. So you could see it as a long delay in formal terms, but in practical terms, I believe very strongly that we were taking action throughout that period to follow up the recommendations in that report.
Okay. Thank you. You mentioned a draft strategy that you're working on at the moment. Could you remind me what the timeline is for when that's going to be published?
Yes. The timeline starts with a formal session next week where I will pull together—
The challenge session. Then 13 September is the Welsh Government board discussion on progress in developing that strategy and the milestones, and that's a follow-up to the meeting that we had in May with the updated report. Then, middle of October I'd expect to be able to finalise a strategy, as I said, in co-production with the trade union side, and present it to the First Minister and the Minister for the Welsh language. I'll have to hold formal consultations, obviously, with the trade union side, and aim that, by mid November at the latest, the executive committee of the Welsh Government can agree that strategy as well as the milestones and a five-year work programme. So it's quite a wide-ranging strategy and work programme together.
I think it will be an internal document during the process of co-production, particularly because I frankly wouldn't want to pre-empt any concerns or issues that the trade union side might have. So, during the process of development, it will, like other similar policy documents, be an internal document. But once we've agreed it, then it will become very public, because I shall give it a great deal of publicity within the Welsh Government at least.
Jest cyn symud ymlaen at gwestiynau gan Mick Antoniw, rwy'n credu ei fod yn orfodol inni ofyn pa fesurau dŷch chi wedi rhoi gerbron i sicrhau nawr bod dogfennau deddfwriaethol yn y dyfodol yn cael eu cyhoeddi yn y Gymraeg ac yn Saesneg ar yr un pryd. Dŷch chi wedi clywed ein consérn ni ynglŷn â'r rheoliadau, ac felly dŷn ni'n clywed y geiriau positif gennych chi, ond doedd hynny ddim yn un ohonyn nhw, pan na chafwyd dogfen ddwyieithog. Felly, allech chi esbonio sut ydych chi'n mynd i fod yn newid eich systemau yn hynny o beth?
Just before moving on to questions from Mick Antoniw, I think we have to ask what measures you have put in place to ensure now that legislative documents are published in Welsh and English simultaneously. You have heard our concerns about the regulations, and we hear the positive words from you, but that wasn't one of those, when we didn't received that document bilingually. So can you explain to us how you're going to change your systems in that regard?
We've made a commitment to increasing the number of documents that are laid in Welsh in the National Assembly, in order to be able to provide more opportunities for Members to work bilingually. How we're going to take that forward is by gradually increasing the number of explanatory memorandums for statutory instruments that we lay. Obviously, all explanatory memorandums for Bills are laid in Welsh as well. So, we will be increasing the scope for debate and preparation and scrutiny in Welsh. That's very much in line with 'Cymraeg 2050', obviously.
We do, of course, have a limited translation resource, so we will have to prioritise how we do that. We're planning from September to prioritise using three tests: the extent to which the statutory instrument would have a very wide-ranging and direct effect on the population—that would prioritise it—the subject matter—obviously different subjects will be of different interest—and thirdly, and I think very importantly, the expectations of the audience. So, that is how we will approach prioritisation of the number of explanatory memorandums for statutory instruments.
Before you go on, it sounds to me that you start from the point of it being in English and translated. When you're going to be producing the strategy, are you going to be starting at the point at which some of these things will be in Welsh first and then translated to English, so that you won't potentially have the problem then of it not being in Welsh in the first instance?
I agree, and Dylan and his team are already piloting that approach to drawing up legislation. So, we are indeed following that.
If I can just finish off with a recognition that last year our annual accounts were laid in English first at the Assembly, for which I apologise very sincerely. That, I'm afraid, was a complete misunderstanding about how the process would work. I've given the Public Accounts Committee and give you as well, obviously, my absolute assurance that that won't happen again, and that this year the English and Welsh accounts will be laid at the same time.
A oes gennych chi rywbeth i'w ychwanegu, gan bod chi yma, neu—? Dwi ddim eisiau bod chi ddim yn cael unrhyw gyfle i siarad. [Chwerthin.]
Did you have something to add, given that you are here with us today? I don't want you to miss the opportunity to speak. [Laughter.]
Jest i ategu at beth ddywedodd yr Ysgrifennydd Parhaol, mae e'n bwysig i ni newid y diwylliant, achos ar y funud rŷm ni'n or-ddibynnol, fe fyddwn i'n dweud, ar gyfieithu, a dyna un o'r rhesymau pam bod y pethau yma yn gallu bod yn anodd eu cwblhau, achos bod gymaint o ddogfennau yn cael eu cynhyrchu yn Saesneg gyntaf ac wedyn yn cael eu cyfieithu. Mae'r tîm cyfieithu yn gwneud gwaith arbennig o dda, ond mae'n dîm eithaf bach. Mae yna hefyd broblem drwy Gymru o ran y nifer o gyfieithwyr sydd gyda ni. Felly, dyw e ddim yn rhywbeth sy'n gynaliadwy yn y tymor hir. Un o'r pethau rŷm ni'n edrych arno yn fy swyddfa i, er enghraifft—rŷm ni'n dechrau edrych ar ddefnyddio technoleg yn fwy aml, trio symud i ffwrdd o'r diwylliant yma o gyfieithu, a defnyddio sgiliau'r bobl sydd gyda ni'n cyfieithu efallai mewn ffordd tipyn bach yn wahanol i olygu'r ddwy iaith, er enghraifft, yn y dyfodol, pe bai’r dogfennau yn cael eu cynhyrchu drwy'r Llywodraeth yn ei gyfanrwydd.
Felly, mae'r gair yma, 'prif-ffrydio', yn golygu sawl peth. Mae'n golygu prif-ffrydio o ran polisi, ond mae hefyd yn golygu prif-ffrydio o ran y ffordd rŷm ni'n gweithio o fewn y Llywodraeth. Ac, yn y tymor hir, dyna'r ateb i lot o'r problemau sydd gyda ni.
I would endorse the words of the Permanent Secretary. It is important for us to change the culture, because at present we are over-dependent on translation, I would say, and that's one of the reasons why these can be difficult to complete, because so many documents are produced in English first and then translated. The translation team does some excellent work, but it's a relatively small team. There is also a problem throughout Wales as regards translation capacity. So, it's not something that's sustainable in the long term. So, one of the things that we are looking at in my office, for example, is beginning to look at using technology more often, and trying to move away from this culture of translation and using the skills of the people that we have translating for us in a slightly different way to edit both languages, for example, if the documents were produced throughout the Government bilingually.
So, this term 'mainstreaming' means several things. It means mainstreaming in policy, and also in the way in which we work within Government. That, in the long term, will be the solution to many of our problems.
Iawn. Os ydych chi'n gallu ein diweddaru ni gyda'r gwaith hynny ac, yn amlwg, pan fydd y strategaeth yn cael ei gyhoeddi, os medrwch chi rannu hynny gyda ni. Yn sicr, bydd diddordeb gyda ni i sgrwtineiddio, neu edrych arno fe o leiaf. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Symud ymlaen i Mick Antoniw, o'r diwedd.
Okay. If you could keep us informed of that work, and, when the strategy is published, if you could share that with us. Certainly, we will have a great deal of interest in scrutinising that, or looking at it at least. Thank you very much. We'll move on to Mick Antoniw, at last.
Thanks. Well, most of the points I wanted to ask have been very, very comprehensively answered already, so there are only just a few points by way of clarification. In terms of reporting compliance with the standards that the Government carries out, there are obviously over the course of that period of time a number of complaints that come in about non-compliance and so on. And I think the number of these was identified as around about 27 or so directly from members of the public. I'm just wondering what the relationship is between yourselves and the language commissioner over the handling of those—perhaps if you give an example of what the nature of some of those complaints from the public have been and how they've actually been resolved and how you've engaged with the language commissioner to ensure that there's a commonality of dealing with these.
Thank you. As you said, we publish an annual report on our compliance with Welsh language standards, and, in that report, we're required to record the number of complaints received every year in relation to the Welsh language. We differentiate between complaints received directly by members of the public and those that we receive through the commissioner's office, because there's a difference in the process, in the procedure, in how we deal with the different kinds of complaints. So, we treat complaints from members of the public to us about Welsh language standards, or about treating the Welsh language less favourably than English, under our own internal organisational complaints procedure. And I looked at the statistics and, during 2017-18, we dealt with all complaints received from members of the public under the first stage of that process, and that means that we have to examine the nature of the complaint and respond within 10 working days. And, in fact, of the 14 complaints that we received directly in that way, none of them needed to be escalated to the Welsh Language Commissioner's office nor indeed to stage 2, the more detailed stage of our own process.
We would normally maintain these as matters for the Welsh Government, but I've got details of all the complaints that have been received from the public during 2017-18, and we'd be very happy to share those in written correspondence with committee members, if that would be helpful. And, obviously, we liaise very closely with the language commissioner and his office, and will continue to do so.
I think that would be helpful. It's interesting to have an understanding as to how members of the public are responding. And I think the point that's come up in some of the evidence sessions here is that we understand, when you're resolving them internally et cetera, the extent then to which the language commissioner has an understanding of what's happening, so he actually would be aware of them, even though he wouldn't be engaged within that process, because a lot of this is about mutual confidence, mutual understanding of what is actually happening, and how we learn from practice and so on.
I'm very keen, as part of our Welsh language strategy, to strengthen relationships with the language commissioner. The language commissioner has already come to make a presentation to the board of the Welsh Government, which I chair, which is an advisory board. I've invited him to come to talk to our senior leaders group, which is all the top officials of the organisation, at director level and above, to talk precisely about these kinds of issues, the importance of the standards, and the importance of working closely with the commissioner himself.
Jest, i orffen, cwpl o gwestiynau am Gymraeg byd busnes—rŷch chi wedi sôn amdano fe'n barod, ond rwy jest eisiau deall pa asesiad dŷch chi wedi'i wneud o'r Gymraeg ym myd busnes, a hefyd os ydych chi'n gallu ateb ynglŷn â diweddariad am y cynllun Arfor, oedd yn rhan o'r gyllideb ddiweddar a'r cytundeb rhwng Plaid Cymru â'r Blaid Lafur.
Just, to conclude, a few questions on Welsh in business—you have talked about it already, but I just wanted to understand what assessment you have made of Welsh in business, and whether you can respond on an update of the Arfor scheme, which was part of the recent budget and the agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Labour Party.
Wel, dwi'n meddwl ein bod ni'n gwneud lot o ran beth rŷm ni'n ei wneud ym myd busnes. Un o'r pethau rŷm ni wedi bod yn canolbwyntio arno yw helpu hybu'r Gymraeg yn y gweithle. So, mae project gyda ni gyda'r Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol, a beth maen nhw'n ei wneud yw cynnig hyfforddiant i fusnesau i ddysgu'r Gymraeg yn y gweithle. Mae lot o gwmnïau mawr yn arbennig wedi cymryd y cyfle i sicrhau eu bod nhw'n gwneud defnydd o hwn. Mae BT a SWALEC a Santander yn rhai enghreifftiau o fudiadau mawr sydd eisiau rhoi gwasanaeth drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Beth yn aml sydd gyda nhw yw gweithlu sydd â rhai ohonyn nhw wedi bod trwy addysg Gymraeg ond wedi colli lot o hyder. Felly, beth sydd eisiau arnyn nhw yw gloywi iaith, ac felly dyna'r math o help maen nhw'n ei roi.
Hefyd, wrth gwrs, mae gyda ni'r rhwydwaith yma o swyddogion—14 o swyddogion—yn mynd a rhoi cyngor i fusnesau bach o amgylch Cymru.
Well, I think that we do a lot as regards the world of business. One of the things that we've been focusing on is helping to promote the Welsh language in the workplace. And so we have a project with the National Centre for Leaching Welsh, and they offer businesses training to teach Welsh in the workplace. Many major companies have grasped the opportunity to make use of this. BT, SWALEC and Santander are some of the examples of the large organisations that wish to give customer service through the medium of Welsh. What many of them have are a workforce that have been through Welsh-medium education, but have lost their confidence after leaving school. So, what they need is refresher courses, and so that's the kind of help they give.
So, we've also got a network of officials—14 officials—that advise small businesses throughout Wales.
Ydyn nhw'n llawn amser wedyn, y swyddogion yna?
Are they full-time, these officials?
Yn benodol ar yr iaith Gymraeg?
And they are specifically on Welsh language services?
Maen nhw'n benodol ar yr iaith Gymraeg. Mae 14 ohonyn nhw. Maen nhw wedi ymgysylltu â'r mentrau iaith. Maen nhw'n canolbwyntio ar sectorau fel twristiaeth, fel bwyd a diod, fel manwerthu. Ac felly mae hwnna'n rhywbeth—mae wedi bod yn mynd ers tua blwyddyn a hanner. Felly, yn amlwg, beth rŷn ni ei eisiau nawr yw gweld beth yw canlyniad hynny a pha wahaniaeth mae'n ei wneud. Rŷn ni'n gwybod eu bod nhw wedi ymgysylltu â bron i 3,000 o fusnesau eisoes, felly mae hwnna yn rhywbeth. Maen nhw wedi rhoi help lot mwy intensive i bron â bod 400 o'r rheini, jest i helpu. Er enghraifft, maen nhw'n cyfieithu menus a phethau mewn restaurants ac ati, ac mae hwnna'n help—
Yes. There are 14 of them, and they are linked in to the mentrau iaith. They focus on sectors such as tourism, food and drink, retail. And so that's been going for about 18 months now. And so, obviously, what we need to do now is to see what the outcome or the results of all of this are and what difference it makes. We know that they've contacted almost 3,000 businesses already, so that's something. They've given more intensive support to about 400 of those businesses, just to help. For example, they translate menus and that kind of thing, for restaurants and so on, and that helps—
Sut mae pobl yn ffeindio mas am y swyddogion yma yn benodol? Sut fyddai cwmni bach yn Nhredegar, er enghraifft, yn ffeindio mas?
How do people find out about these officials specifically? How would a small company in Tredegar, for example, know about them?
Wel, mae'r bobl yma, nhw sydd yn mynd allan ac yn treial cysylltu â'r cwmnïau eu hunain. Felly, maen nhw wedyn yn gwneud yr ymdrech i gysylltu â nhw. Felly, mae'n proactive o ran ein swyddogion ni yn mynd allan a chysylltu â nhw. Ond, yn amlwg, mae yna rwydweithiau, mae yna websites ac ati, lle mae pobl yn gallu cael yr wybodaeth yma.
Well, these people, they go out and contact the companies themselves. So, they then make the effort to contact them. They're doing the outreach proactively. So, our officials are going out and contacting the companies. Obviously, there are networks, there are websites and so on, where people can get this information.
Arfor—felly, beth sydd, dwi'n meddwl, yn ddiddorol am hwn yw bod yna gydnabyddiaeth bod yna linc rhwng yr iaith a'r economi. Rŷm ni'n ymwybodol iawn o hynny, ac yn arbennig efallai os cawn ni 'no deal' Brexit, rŷm ni wedi bod yn edrych ar ble fydd y Gymraeg—ble fydd yr effaith fwyaf o ran yr economi. Ac mae'n ddiddorol iawn, wrth gwrs, bydd cefn gwlad, os bydd 'no deal' Brexit, bydd hwnna yn cael ergyd fawr, rhai o'r ardaloedd Cymreig. Felly, mae'r linc yma gyda'r economi yn bwysig dros ben. Un o'r pethau rŷm ni'n mynd i'w gwneud yw rŷm ni'n mynd i gael cyfarfod bwrdd crwn ym mis Hydref, gyda rhai o arweinwyr y cyngor sy'n ymwneud ag Arfor i weld beth yn fwy gallwn ni ei wneud ym maes priodi'r economi gyda'r iaith. Ac felly mae hwnna'n rhywbeth rŷm ni'n mynd i'w—
Arfor—so, what's interesting about this is that there is a recognition that there is a link between the language and the economy. We are very aware of that, and particularly if we get a 'no deal' Brexit, we've been looking at where the impact will be greatest as regards the economy. And it's very interesting, of course, that the rural areas—if there's a 'no deal' Brexit, they will take a big hit, some of the Welsh-speaking areas. And so this link with the economy is extremely important. One of the things that we are going to do is have a round-table discussion in October with some of the council leaders in the Arfor area to see what more we can do in the field of marrying the economy with the language. And so that's something that we're going to—
Felly, mae'r arian, y £2 miliwn, yn cael ei wario ar hyn o bryd, a dŷch chi'n ymwybodol o sut mae'n cael ei wario a sut y byddech chi'n dwyn i gyfrif yr hyn sy'n digwydd.
So, the funding, the £2 million, is being spent at the moment, and you're aware of how it's being spent, and how to hold that spend to account.
Ydy. So, hybu entrepreneuriaeth yw'r prif beth mae'n cael ei wario arno, a thyfu busnesau yng ngorllewin Cymru. Felly dyna'r maes mae'r arian yma yn cael ei wario arno ar hyn o bryd.
Yes. So, the promotion of entrepreneurship is the main focus of the expenditure, and growing businesses in west Wales. And so that is the field that the money is being spent on at the moment.
A sut ydych chi'n tracio'r datblygiadau?
And how do you track the developments?
Dim ond yn ddiweddar mae'r arian yna wedi dechrau cael ei wario, felly, yn amlwg, mae'n ddyddiau cynnar.
That funding has only started to be spent recently, so it's obviously early days.
Reit. Delyth Jewell, ac wedyn David.
Right. Delyth Jewell, and then David.
Diolch. Roedd gen i jest cwestiwn arall ynglŷn â'r capasiti yn y gwasanaeth sifil, os yw hynny'n iawn.
Thank you. I just had a question about the capacity in the civil service, if that's okay.
In the evidence that you've provided, you've said that there are two officers who work in the legislation department. Could you confirm if their only work is to prepare standards, please? Sorry, I'm not sure who would—.
Ie, dyna'u swydd. Eu swydd nhw yw i sicrhau cydymffurfiaeth. Felly, dwi'n arolygu'r broses yna, ond mae yna dri. Mae un yn gweithio ar yr ochr gyfathrebu, ac mae yna ddau yn gweithio ar yr ochr mwy technegol o oruchwylio'r broses.
Yes, that is their job. They ensure compliance. I supervise that process, but there are three officials. One is on the communications side, and two work on the more technical side of the process.
So, dim ond paratoi'r safonau y mae'r ddau yna yn ei wneud, felly.
So, those two are only involved in preparing the standards.
Jest i fod yn glir—nid ni sy'n paratoi'r safonau. Felly, yr adran bolisi sy'n paratoi'r safonau, so dŷn ni'n sicrhau bod y Llywodraeth yn—
Just to be clear—we don't prepare the standards. It's the policy department that prepare those standards, and we just ensure compliance.
Sori, maddeuwch i mi—dwi'n golygu dim ond edrych ar gydymffurfio â safonau maen nhw'n gweithio arno fe, felly.
Sorry, forgive me—just looking at compliance with standards, that's what they focus on.
Diolch. Ac ydych chi'n teimlo'n hyderus bod digon o gapasiti yn y gwasanaeth sifil i wneud yn siŵr byddech chi'n gallu gweithio ar hynny os yw'r safonau yn cael eu rhedeg mas ar gymaint o—yn yr awdurdodau newydd hefyd? Os oes yna fwy o safonau, a fydd digon o gapasiti yn y gwasanaeth sifil ar gyfer hynny, neu a fydd adnoddau ychwanegol ar gael?
Thank you very much. And are you confident that there is sufficient capacity in the civil service to ensure that you can work on this if these standards are rolled out in the new authorities and organisations as well? If there are more standards, will you have sufficient capacity in the civil service to do that work, or will additional resources be available?
Beth fyddwn i'n ei ddweud yw, ar y funud, rŷm ni'n gallu sicrhau ein bod ni'n gallu cydymffurfio â'r safonau. Mae yna eithriadau, ac rŷm ni wedi bod yn trafod rheini gyda'r comisiynydd—pethau fel y dogfennau rŷm ni wedi bod yn eu trafod yn gynharach. Os oedd y safonau yn ehangu yn eu sgôp, byddai angen i ni ailystyried y ffordd dŷn ni'n gweithio. Ond dyna beth yw pwrpas y strategaeth, fel mae'r Ysgrifennydd Parhaol wedi cyfeirio. Ac yn y tymor hir, fe fydd pethau'n wahanol a bydd angen codi'r capasiti. Achos ar y funud, byddwn i'n dweud, i ddilyn uchelgais y Llywodraeth, dyw'r capasiti ddim yna ar y funud. Felly, dyna pam mae hwn yn rhywbeth tymor hir.
What I would say is that, currently, we are able to ensure that we are able to comply with the standards. There are exceptions, and we've been discussing those with the commissioner—things such as the documents we discussed earlier. If the standards were to expand in scope, then we would need to reconsider our methods of working. But that is the purpose of the strategy, as the Permanent Secretary referred to. And in the longer term, things will be different and we will need to increase the capacity. Because at the moment, I would say, in order to pursue the Government's ambition, the capacity isn't there. That's why it's a long-term thing.
It's a plea, really, but as you're here, I may as well get my enthusiasms out and direct them towards you. In terms of the business sector, there's an awful lot of potential for some innovative promotional work, it seems to me, especially from the SMEs right down to the sole trader level—encouraging meet-and-greet schemes so that shopkeepers can use some Welsh signage. In my experience, it tends to be there very often in the heartland areas—it's in Cardiff's arcades and around Cowbridge and Penarth. I'm now referring to key areas in my region, but there are many other examples. In my experience, visitors love it, they want to go and hear the language that King Arthur spoke. They want to see it up there. Translation of menus, I think, is a great example. It can seem trivial when you first hear it, but it isn't; it's core to our cultural offer and what makes us the most distinctive place in Britain. I do think that we could do a lot more there. It advances towards those greater goals that we want in just thoroughly normalising us as a bilingual society. Anyway, comment, please. [Laughter.]
I'm with you all the way, David. That's exactly what these 14 officers do, and they're not just in west Wales; they're all over Wales. So, we do have officers in Cardiff and Merthyr and other places, so this is not something absolutely right. Obviously, you'd expect us to do that in some of our tourism areas, but this is not just about people coming from the outside; this is about normalising it for all of us. I think the other thing that we're really anxious to underline is actually this is good for their bottom line. Customers love it. The research that we've had back is that actually customers love it. So, if that's the response, the more we can evidence that, the more likely they are to take up the opportunities.
It ought to be part of our general marketing strategy to the world, from business attracting investors to high-level tourists that really enjoy cultural tourism.
Iawn, diolch yn fawr. Sori—ro'n i'n cymryd cyngor gan yr ymchwilwyr. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod atom heddiw. Does dim mwy o gwestiynau gyda ni am nawr, ond dŷn ni wedi gofyn am gwpl o ddogfennau gwahanol, felly os medrwch chi gadw mewn cysylltiad gyda hynny. Diolch yn fawr eto am ddod mewn atom. Byddwn ni'n cymryd seibiant nawr tan 11:15, os yw Aelodau'n gallu dod nôl erbyn hynny. Diolch.
Thank you very much. Sorry about that—I was taking advice from the researcher. Thank you very much to you all for joining us today. We don't have any further questions at the moment, but we have asked for a few additional documents to be sent in, so if you could keep us updated on those. Thank you very much for joining us. We will take a break now until 11:15, if Members could come back by that time. Thank you.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:53 a 11:13.
The meeting adjourned between 10:53 and 11:13.
Diolch, a chroeso yn ôl i'r pwyllgor. Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen yn awr at eitem 3 ar yr agenda: 'Minnau hefyd!', ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol. Dŷn ni'n cael sesiwn y bore yma gyda'r Farwnes Kay Andrews OBE. Croeso i chi atom heddiw. Bore da.
Cyn i ni symud at gwestiynau, dwi'n ymwybodol eich bod chi eisiau gwneud cyflwyniad o'r—
Thank you very much, and welcome back to the committee meeting. We're moving on now to item 3 on the agenda: 'Count me in!', the inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion. We have an evidence session this morning with Baroness Kay Andrews OBE. A very warm welcome to you today. Good morning to you.
Before we move to questions, I'm aware that you want to make a short presentation—
I need a bit more volume in this actually—.
It's much better, thank you very much.
Croeso eto. Cyn i ni symud ymlaen at gwestiynau, dwi'n ymwybodol eich bod chi eisiau gwneud cyflwyniad byr, os yn bosib, am eich barn chi ynglŷn â sut mae'r gwaith yma wedi gweithredu ar lawr gwlad. Felly, croeso i chi roi cyflwyniad byr.
Welcome to you. Before we move on to questions from Members, I'm aware that you want to make a short presentation about your opinion of the work and how it has moved forward on the ground. So, you're very welcome to give that presentation now.
Diolch yn fawr iawn, Bethan.
Thank you very much, Bethan.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to do that. I will speak, in English, sadly, if I may. I'm still dysgu Cymraeg, but very much dysgu Cymraeg.
I think you've had the short paper that I prepared, which I had to do in something of a rush, actually, so I wouldn't say that it's comprehensive. It's a very personal appreciation of what I actually saw. The background to the report, as one of your colleagues will know very well, actually, started in 2013 with the then Minister, Huw Lewis, and it was a much more radical proposition than any of the other three UK countries had put forward. So, I was very glad to do it. What was significant about it, of course, was that it saw poverty and culture as being interrelated—access to one meaning a part of working towards a solution for the other. That hadn't been done before in that way. So, it was a privilege to do it.
I think the report speaks for itself, but what I was impressed with—and John Griffiths was Minister at that time—was the way that the report was taken up entirely and implemented from top to bottom. That was rare. There are many reports that I have been involved with over the years, some of which have seen some light of some days, as it were—but not to be treated as a strategic part of Government thinking and Government policy, and to involve every type of agency in Wales, from the voluntary sector, to local authorities to the national Government. So, I was deeply impressed by that.
What I think has happened, actually, has been enormously to the credit of everyone that was involved. What I said in the report, which I think has been proved, is that I spoke to the best ambitions of what people wanted to do. It's quite clear from the different sorts of evaluations and data-gathering exercises that have come forward, that people were absolutely ready for this and have tried to make the most of it under the constraints in which they operate.
So, the sorts of evidence that we've had from the second evaluation report on the Fusion partnerships, for example, were very clear that they were able—. They were given licence and a framework and a reporting structure to actually work with people who were doing much of the same things, with the same audiences, but had never had previous connections with them. So, what has come out, for example, in those evaluations for me most strongly is the effective partnerships that have been created—the more effective partnerships; the better ways of working; the deeper and wider reach into the communities, with the harder-to-reach families and children, particularly.
One line from one witness, particularly, struck home: local authorities have also realised that there are better ways, more innovative ways, of working. It's a very steep learning curve, of course, but that has been, for me, the most visible and positive outcome in the 10 projects. They have all done slightly different things, as they would, because it's very much a local community project.
My general thought about what might be done next, if I can go on to say that, if you would want me to do that—or, would you like me to wait for questions for that?
Yes, we'll go into questions now. I just wanted to have an overview of your perception and then we will probe further, if that's okay.
Right. Sure. My perception is, actually, that people are doing their best with the resources available but that there are lots of other things that they might be able to do with longer timescales, for example, and more sustainable and clearer funding, and more extensive partnerships. I think that there are disconnects between what the culture board is doing, the information that's coming from the projects into Welsh Government, and the evaluations themselves, which I have spelled out in this paper and that are actually inhibiting both our understanding of what can be achieved and are frustrating some of the programmes themselves. So, I do think, actually, that there is something to be addressed there.
Sure. Absolutely. But, overall, I think that I am very well pleased that this is something that set a national standard for the UK, especially the focus on place, which has been replicated, for example, by the DCMS in the Great Place Scheme and that we picked up in the Heritage Lottery Fund. It's shown and articulated that culture is a shared objective, and should be a shared objective, as well as a shared tool for social justice and economic prosperity. So I think there's lots more that now can be done, but I think, on balance, I've been well pleased.
Okay. Thank you very much. Just one initial question from me: obviously, we've had some concern from I think it was Allan Herbert from the South Riverside Community Development Centre, that he felt that the Welsh Government had focused too much on employment and had actually done a disservice to your report—his words, not mine. How do you feel about that? Do you think there's been too much focus on employment criteria, or is that something laudable?
Well, as I said in my paper to you, I could see exactly why those objectives were chosen at the time, because they were the frameworks that were in operation in Communities First areas. Given Wales's priorities, I would never diminish the importance of trying always to get people skilled up and into jobs.
I think the time has come, and talking to some of the officials involved now and some of the people involved in evaluation, there is a genuine move to want to revisit those objectives, and it is timely, because of the end of the Communities First programmes, which I'm sad about, in a way, because I thought they were very, very useful and effective frameworks in some ways. It is time to revisit, so that we don't just collect a picture at the end of the year. We need to know, actually, what is the impact on people's lives, what's changed because they have been involved in Fusion, and that is very difficult to do, but it is really the thing that is worth doing. And my impression, talking to people, is that they are aware of that, that there needs to be more flexibility and a more dynamic approach than this notion of doing research with theory of change presumptions in it and methodologies.
Okay. Kay, I wonder if you might say a little bit more about that process of change, then, that might take place to move on to the more rounded picture, as we move forward and, hopefully, take forward all the recommendations made in the original report. Would you see that through a process of co-production that, perhaps, moves beyond the collaborative approach?
Well, I think there are two issues there, John. I think the issue of co-production, and I would add in co-funding, is very much something I would like to see in the next phase, because while you've had some shared programmes, for example on family learning or Sure Start, as we call it, and the pupil deprivation grant has been used in very interesting ways and certainly very appropriate ways to co-fund and shape some of the activities that have happened, I think we haven't actually followed through the logic of that. Ultimately—and I didn't probably say it clearly enough—I thought the unique feature of this programme would be for departments to share their funding. So, some of the social policy and social action funding, to be able to actually directly fund some of the programmes in strategic ways.
Now, coming on to how you measure change, how you reflect it both in the information you gather, say, as a co-ordinator, and how you interpret it if you're an evaluator, the first thing is you have to acknowledge the timescales are different for different sorts of outcomes and different sorts of projects, and be very sophisticated about that, actually. So, we can't expect to see direct causal relationships in education, for example, around motivation, which would manifest itself, possibly, as better attendance in the classroom and, eventually, possibly a wider choice of GCSEs and possibly better grades at GCSE. So we have to know exactly what it is, within the parameters, we could expect at best. So that has to be built into the evaluation programme from the beginning. That hasn't been done yet, for fairly obvious reasons.
Health outcomes sometimes, with older people, are easier to spot, because you can see, for example, fewer attendances at accident and emergency departments or the GP surgery, for whatever reason—it may be for mental health reasons, or whatever. One of the parallels I could recommend, actually, is when we did the New Deal for Communities work in England, and I was Minister for communities then, we did massive evaluations on these sorts of outcomes, but they had been built in from the start and we were looking over a wide range of social indicators, including crime and justice, education, health and so on. And we were very aware of the variable timescales there. So, timescale and sophistication are important.
Now, when I read the arts council evidence, I can see that they are trying hard to actually find a methodology for mapping change, and some of it is bound to be anecdote. It's what people tell you they feel and what they feel now they can do that they couldn't do; where they can go, where they couldn't go. Some of it can be quantified, actually, but I think there are new methodologies coming out. And museum attendance, which can also be used, and I think the arts council referenced that as well. And then the Warwick commission also had something to say about it. So, yes, we can do it, but we will have to sit down around a table—all the people who are likely to be involved in doing it—and share knowledge of what we know is working already. But it certainly can.
Yes. And just to follow up briefly, you think that the National Museum Wales, in its development of St Fagans, provides some good examples of—
Very much so, and that takes me back to the co-production argument. It hasn't just been St Fagans, of course, although that's been rewarded in such an exemplary fashion. It's so wonderful for Wales to have that accolade for the ways in which the whole museum has embraced that methodology of—not methodology, it's a principle, it's a vision of involving people.
But, yes, that sort of influence that comes from people who might not otherwise ever be asked about why they don't go to museums, what they would like to see, what it is that excites them, what they can bring. We saw a bit of it when we co-produced, with the Wallich charity, a collection of paintings that people involved chose. That was incredibly powerful because we saw then, for the first time, people who actually wrote a description of what the painting meant to them, giving the power to choose that painting and to describe it and have it hang in their name was a very, very powerful thing, and I think that's an exemplary project. Every museum can do that sort of thing; they don't, but they could.
It's fantastic to have you here giving this evidence. Thank you. You've referenced this point that I'm about to raise in the evidence that you've given us about the difficulty in measuring intangible outcomes in Fusion. I think I know what your answer to this is going to be, but do you think that Fusion, as it is, is driven too much by measuring tangible outcomes?
Well, I think it's inevitable, actually, in the state of the art, as we have it. I had a look at some of the co-ordinators' reports to the cultural inclusion board, and they do their best to give a real flavour of what the projects are actually doing. And the case studies that they've produced, which aren't published, actually, are also really very interesting because they do write the story of the experience of maybe one person or maybe a group of people. And in that, of course, there is a whole narrative of emotional change, confidence, trusting, people respecting you for doing whatever you've chosen to do. One of my arguments, Delyth—may I?
One of my arguments is to say that I think we should be less inhibited about releasing that sort of story, that sort of—anonymised, yes. But I think the stuff that goes to the Welsh Government, the operational team, is really, really interesting, and having access to more of that, whether it's some of the data itself or whether it's some of the stories—and I think it's the stories that go to the CIB, in fact—would be really, really good. I'm not sure, quite, why there would be a problem with that.
Because you said in your evidence that—you're talking now about narrative, and it's the same point that you'd made about that it's measuring the journey rather than a snapshot, and I think that's the—
Absolutely. You can't tell anything from an infographic. I mean, it's a useful map—
Context is everything because some of these people—. For example, Newport Fusion project has done a fantastic piece of work putting Moby Dick on the transporter bridge, which is in itself, actually, quite a challenge if you know the transporter bridge as I do. The people coming out of that very mixed community that is served by Fusion—and it's a very diverse community down there, actually—for the first time, actually, would have had the experience not just of hearing their voice and performing, but doing some of the electrics, the stage craft or whatever it is. Now, if you had asked them before they did it could they do it, they wouldn't have known, but they were willing to give it a go. But knowing that they can do it and that everybody sees that for what it is—it's like the people who were hanging their paintings in the Wallace collection. We use the term 'transformational' far too often, but it does change people's perceptions of their self-worth, their dignity and their relationships with the rest of the community. It is really hard to actually capture that other than through the personal story. Let's not devalue the effect and the power of the story.
I agree with you entirely on that. Do you think, then, that there would be any specific steps that should be taken to communicate those stories, particularly with Fusion? You've spoken about the need to maybe look at whether those stories can be published, is there anything else that you think needs to be done more holistically?
Yes, maybe, Chair, this is a time when I should say something about what I think might be useful, actually, for the next stage, as it were, because it directly bears on what Delyth is saying here. It's five years since I did that report, actually, and I haven't been surveying, with any intensity, what's been going on; I've had other things to do since then. But, I'm really well aware that, after five years, most things need—you need to look at things. And I would like to see—and I don't know whether you'd agree with me, John—five years on, we need a review, actually, of the whole project, and to be asking, 'What is really working?'
We have a mass of information. The stuff that goes into the CIB from the national institutions, for example, against the objectives, or from the co-ordinators against the objectives, is pretty dense, and there are 33 recommendations, of which, yes, many have been implemented, but were they implemented in such a way that they have carried the effect that I intended? I don't know, because I can't tell, from reading, the way they've been reported. I would like somebody, for example, to take a five-year long look at that and ask the exam question: has it done what those recommendations were really asking for? I think it's done it on a local level, I think that's where the stories are generating and that's where the information is being generated that we can rely on. I think strategically at national level, it's less so. And I can develop that, if you want, in due course.
Thank you, that's very useful, as a kick-start to that type of discussion, and we'll go on to talk about collaboration and Fusion—David Melding, Assembly Member.
Yes. Baroness Andrews, one area that seems to have worked very well is the operation of the Fusion co-ordinators, and I think you referred to Communities First and the fact that it's been wound down. It seems to have been quite an apposite time because it has allowed quite a lot of work, perhaps, that would've been done through Communities First, to be done. But I think we've all visited a Fusion co-ordinator—
I didn't realise that.
Some former Members of the committee. We have changed since, but every Member at the time did, yes.
So, is that your view, in terms of the recommendations of your report, that a key driver has been the work of the Fusion co-ordinators?
Absolutely. Totally. I've found, in all the work I've done across my rather bizarre career, when I have worked with communities and certainly when I worked in education and the voluntary sector, the crucial thing is leadership on the ground and the co-ordinators who are specifically charged with making things happen. With the best will in the world, you can have four or five fantastic people in different agencies, but they're all having to look after their own patch. The whole point of the co-ordinator is to facilitate, is to be the ambassador, is to go and make the argument, is to knock some heads together occasionally, is to introduce people to each other. And there was no way that it was going to happen without a strong leader, co-ordinator, in each of those projects.
It was perfectly obvious, when I was having those conversations—. And what was unique about the conversations in the course of the report—and there were lots of them—was that people, like, for example, the archaeology societies, the local authorities, the arts groups, the community residents associations and the housing associations, were all doing the same sort of thing with the same communities, but none of them had ever had a conversation together. So, we found around the table—. We had the most wonderful seminars, with people saying, 'Yes, but when we tried that, he didn't want to co-operate'. So, having the co-ordinator is absolutely fundamental. Sustaining the co-ordinator, giving the co-ordinator clear sets of responsibilities and a clear understanding about their relationships—it's absolutely crucial. I don't know that I've ever seen a job description for a co-ordinator, but I know what I think it ought to contain.
We do seem to have a proof of concept, though, in terms of the activities they've been doing. Would that draw you to—if we were to have a formal review of your report—the need to formalise a network of co-ordinators? Because at the minute there's no guarantee, their funding is very precarious—this was repeatedly made to us, this point. I was struck by how little they cost us for what we seem to be getting from the programme—
It's the cheapest programme you could possibly have.
But would you prioritise that—a modest guaranteed funding stream to facilitate a network?
Yes, I would. I think I would do it with a few caveats and a few aspirations as well. I think the caveat is that one has to be careful, when one formalises anything that works informally, not to drive out some of the spirit, because people like autonomy and they like to be creative, and sometimes, actually, when you formalise, you start adding in incentive points for career structures or whatever. You've got to be very careful. I wouldn't say that muddling through—. It always works—[Inaudible.]—working on Brexit. But I think, basically, actually, it needs some sort of formal structure and sustainable funding. Sustainable funding is the key. Predictable three-to-five-year funding, actually, would make all the difference. It would give people a real stake and a terrier-like ability to keep on chasing people who were being recalcitrant or whatever.
My aspirations would be—. I always saw the Fusion projects as a big learning team together, and I don't know whether that learning has been facilitative. They're all so busy, they're all doing the firefighting on a day-to-day basis. I would love to see a fellowship of Fusion projects and co-ordinators, where they really had a clear remit to share best practice. I don't know whether—. All their reports go into the CIB, and I may be wrong about this, because I'm ignorant about it, but I'm not sure, actually, that they are able to cross-fertilise. But that seems to me to be crucial.
That's very helpful. I think, when most people have looked at Fusion, or have heard about it, they've tended to hear about organisations like the national museum or big regional bodies and how they have stepped up their work, then, in terms of connecting with communities. And, of course, co-ordinators have been key in this. That seems to have been successful, but another aspect of your report is that community organisations need to be embedded in that work. I have to say, when we've had evidence from organisations who are deeply rooted in their communities, they're very passionate, and they remind us that we all do culture—to be human is to be cultural—and that we sometimes do not place the emphasis that we should on community culture and what they're doing. I think one of your examples there of the exhibition and the things that get drawn out, because people naturally want this expression—. So, do you think Fusion has connected enough to community organisations, or is that an area that we should be looking at to improve?
Well, I think it's laid the foundations, definitely, but there will be community organisations that are still a bit shy, or maybe not well-informed enough about what they might get out of it, and some of them are very fragile, of course. I think we've got an enormous gift in Wales in our housing associations, because they are much more creative. And I was thrilled—. I spent some time up in Rhondda Cynon Taf with their housing association, and the Merthyr housing associations as well, and I'm really, really impressed by the dimension of the work and their close relationship with the people they serve. I think they're one of the things that would be important to review, I think—what other sort of organisations in the community could benefit from this better menu, or these wider horizons?
For example, the National Trust is a large and powerful and rich organisation in Wales. It could do more at a local level, I think, to be identifying the local historic environment and why it’s important, for example. It could actually play a bigger role, I think, in our communities. I think, to an extent, actually, Cadw could, although Cadw is very strapped for cash and so on and so forth. These are small organisations—our civic organisations in Wales aren’t large—but there are civic societies in Wales as well that maybe actually—. And it’s ironic, isn’t it? We’re all complaining that the voluntary sector is getting older and that young people are not coming forward, but these are the potential successors, actually, in their communities. I think there are lots of educational organisations that do things like reading with children. It’s a question about mapping. We are incredibly rich in Wales with voluntary organisations. That’s another thing: I don’t think anyone has had the scope to stand back and say, 'Well, what are we missing out on?'
Diolch yn fawr iawn, David Melding. Symud ymlaen at Mick Antoniw.
Thank you very much, David Melding. Moving on to Mick Antoniw.
You've answered some of the points that I really wanted to ask about, but I'll just come back to the core one in terms of where Fusion goes in terms of the resource issue. Because it's all very well us talking about the excellent work that's been done and some of the really interesting examples et cetera, but it is, really, just scratching the surface, isn't it? And your thoughts that the capacity to expand the Fusion programme until it becomes a proper national programme—. And I understand the point you make about the problems and the dangers of formalisation, taking out the flexibility and spirit, but from what has been shown as to what can be done, how would you see it possibly expanding to be a more all-Wales-type programme, when obviously, funding is—? Funding is the elephant in the room that hits us on the head at every occasion. What can we do—[Inaudible.]—co-ordinators et cetera? How would you envisage potentially expanding that role? Is it purely money or—?
No, it's not purely money. I think I was quite careful in the repot to make it clear that, although money was going to be critical—money had to be found—it could be found from where it already was being used, by and large. I mean, the Fusion programme is incredibly cheap for the impact it has—it’s £250,000, roughly, a year; honestly. So, my answer to that—and it may be a bit of a long answer, actually—
And it comes back to what I was saying about—. The real challenge is to make Fusion strategic, and you do that, I think, in different ways. I always thought of it as an all-Wales programme, and indeed, I have friends in other parts of Wales who have modelled their activities in part—like in Penparcau in Aberystwyth, who've got a very Fusion-type model in what they’re doing, for example, in the local community.
So, it is spreading like osmosis—not osmosis, but like measles; slowly, like measles. But, to scale up, actually, you would have to have it driven not through the culture budget, because it really has to be an explicit part of every Government objective—to go back to where the Government was in 2013 about tackling poverty, and saying, basically, ‘This is our great, relatively modest, but powerful tool, which we haven’t yet used to the full. Let us fund some of this through economic regeneration; let’s fund some of it through the health budget; let’s fund some of it through the housing budget and the development budget; let’s look at the regional budget and how we can use some of that, and let’s look at it through the education budget—through the out-of-school work we fund, or whatever it is we’ve got happening in and around the school day.’ It needs someone to lead on that, to bring partners together. But, that is the sustainable way, that's the strategic way, and that is the radical way, frankly. That's the next step. That's implicit in this report, but I knew you couldn't actually take that step in one go.
But also, because the focus is on place—. If there's a genius in what these people have achieved, it's to actually show how, in places, things can change because everybody works together, because they know the place and they know the people. And if you have a place-based policy, you can bring all manner of things and partnerships in, as appropriate. So, it's about national strategy, but it's also about looking at these places themselves for what it is they want, they can achieve. I think we've got lots of new ways of judging place actually now. It's quite a fashionable concept, suddenly.
But one of the things that I noticed has come out of your evidence is about the expansion of partnerships. I think that is absolutely right, because one of the things I really regretted was that, at that point, I didn't put enough weight on health and mental well-being. Since then, I've done a lot more work on the arts and health, not least actually some of the work that Eluned has done in Wales, and we've had our own all-party group on arts and health in the Lords. That has been really instructive about the efficacy of investment, not just as a form of diagnosis or treatment, but as prevention. So, it's looking at the partnerships and their funding streams. I think HLF in Wales—and that's with my other hat on; the National Lottery Heritage Fund now—has been able to do some of its best work by working with Fusion, and we work increasingly strategically. We look to what's needed where, how can we help to lever more support, engagement, inclusion, around whatever sort of heritage it is we're celebrating. So, there are new strategic patterns and policies emerging.
If I may finally say on that point, the bits of the report that I think have just not been energised enough, not scaled up enough—and I know that they're ambitious, and they come back to where the Chair started, actually—are around skills and volunteering. We really need to be aggressive about this. If we're actually going to transform our working culture and give people a sense of where the careers of the future are, we've got to give them experience of where they might be now. I think getting careers advice in schools to recognise the culture and creative jobs and skills attached, getting the jobcentres—. This is something that hasn't happened—getting the jobcentres lined up behind the apprenticeships schemes, behind the volunteers, having that conversation at a political level so that people know that there is a progression that goes from the child in school who shows an aptitude for lighting, technology, whatever it is—electrics or whatever it is—going through the system, and then the jobcentre saying at the end, 'Yes, and there are jobs for people like you.' We need those sorts of strategies, really energised and wound up, I think.
Yes, Chair. Just in terms of funding, then, I think what you set out in terms of what needs to happen in rightly ambitious, but before we get to that stage, where perhaps Welsh Government departments across the piece will see the value of the programme and want to play a greater part, there may be an interim period where more funding is made available than the very modest amount that you've rightly identified at the moment. If so, would you want that to be used to fund activities and projects? Might some of it go to those that take part and their incidental costs?
Yes, John. I think you've done quite a lot of work on transport, for example, haven't you, in the committee? Yes, absolutely. I think if you're asking the question, 'What stops people doing things?', then you come up with a variety of answers. Sometimes it is transport, definitely—most commonly, actually, especially if you're trying to get them to a cinema or a theatre or something. Sometimes, it's actually more than that. It's paying for access. That's why I was quite keen originally, as you remember, for every child in Wales to have a library card and a museum card, and a culture passport that would give them access to anything that required paying for. I think there are all sorts of perceptions of where the cost occurs for families, actually.
In terms of where could we spend the money most effectively—that's what you're asking me isn't it, actually—I think Mr Melding has identified co-ordinators, because I think if you invest in the co-ordinators, then they know what works. Then, if you invest in some of the national institutions—I heard Jason Thomas's evidence about how they were maxed out, and I can tell you as someone who sat on the museum board for four years, I can tell you that he's right—but what we do exceptionally well is almost against the odds in our outreach work and our learning programmes. I think we are absolutely fooling ourselves if we think we can get that sort of thing without investing in it. We really have to, because the outcomes are so important.
Working with schools, John, actually, I think is really, really important—giving schools the wherewithal to do more things out of school and in the holidays with their children. Actually, that always has an impact beyond the scale of the investment. So, I would look at that sort of thing as well.
I certainly want to take the advice of the co-ordinators about what it is they are desperate to do and they can't, what it is that they can only do in their patch or could they do with two or three clusters together sharing a budget. Are there talents they can share, or whatever? I think you need to look at it as a Venn diagram in a way, actually—where can the money separately go, but what is it that you get the overlap and the greatest impact with? And I think better people than I can give you that sort of advice, actually—people who really know what strands you have in the diagram. But, certainly, I think I would invest a bit more in doing a different sort of evaluation of the whole.
Okay, and, obviously, you'd like to see funding coming from across Welsh Government departments.
I really would. I think it would be such an investment, absolutely.
I'm very, very loath to raise any expectations about what local authorities can fund these days. I think if they can hang on to what they've got, keep their libraries open, keep their local museum open, keep their park open, keep them maintained, keep on offering things, they're doing very well. As much as I would like to see every library in the country doing the sorts of things that Denbigh library did when I saw it a few years ago—it would be wonderful—. And libraries are doing—. I mean, they do things that are not expensive. They have story times, they have reading times, they have homework clubs. They do the things that they can do for cheap, but if you wanted them to actually be secure and really, really do the things that they might well want to do and can't do at the moment, yes, you would invest in libraries, absolutely. Invest in reading—always invest in reading.
Just one final question from me. We heard from some of the national bodies that some were doing more than others—I don't want to name them; the national sponsored bodies—and sometimes it was just because they hadn't put the invest into this aspect of it, and the arts council said they would potentially be changing their remit letters to make this more of a mandate in that regard. What's your feeling on that? Because whether we like it or not, they are the bodies that are getting most of the money at the moment in a small field of money to the arts. And so, there's that expectation that they will be able to reach out better. What would you say to them that they would do in the first instance if they hadn't been embracing the poverty agenda before now?
I would say, 'Go and talk to the people who are doing it well, and find out why they're managing to do it on probably the same size budget, what it is they're getting out of it, and where their partners are'. Because once you're starting these things, the funders come on board. Good funders want to see people getting the most out of the cultural institutions. That's been, for example, a principle of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for many, many years. And once you've shown that you can do it, then you will find that there will be funding partnerships accessible to you. You may not get the money, but they're there for the asking, as it were.
Some people do it better because they've got more experienced people at the top who have done this before, shall we say. I think, in Wales we do really, really well, actually. I think Amgueddfa Cymru is a global leader in this, but I also think, actually, that some of the things the library has been doing in recent years has been remarkable. And when, of course, the library has their digital programme that the Heritage Lottery Fund has just funded, and we have the regional hubs with all those wonderful clips of life and times in Wales, that will be the place where a lot of other things can happen as well, I think.
We have to recognise that—. For example, in some of the—. If you take the archaeological societies, they haven't got much money, but some of the community archaeology work they've been doing, in places like Dyfed, is terrific. What we want to do in the Heritage Lottery Fund is make more of the conversations and the partnerships we have, so that while we can bring some funding in perhaps, they can bring more expertise and capacity. There is a real issue of capacity in Wales in these organisations. There is no doubt about it. And I think if you could arrive at a general statement about how most effectively you could raise capacity, that would be a marvellous gift, actually, for not just the institutions, but for articulating their social mission and getting them to do it.
Okay. We don't have any more questions, but if there's anything additional that you feel that you would want to—
Well, that's very generous of you; I think I've probably talked non-stop actually. [Laughter.]
Well, you can write to us again. We know that you felt you wanted to come in to give this evidence, to speak through your thoughts, so that's been really useful to us. But don't hesitate to contact us on e-mail again if you need to.
Well, thank you very much indeed. I was very reluctant to volunteer myself, as you may know, because I thought it's up to other people, not to me, to tell you what's happened.
We wanted to square the circle, I think, because we've taken evidence from everybody else, and we wanted to see where your thoughts came into play. So, we do appreciate you coming in to give evidence to us today.
Well, it's been a great pleasure and a privilege, and it's been interesting for me to know the homework that I've done on finding out exactly—not exactly, but finding out a little bit. And I've had the assistance of Martha, of course, who's been very helpful.
Thank you. Diolch yn fawr.
Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 4 felly—papurau i'w nodi. Mae yna ohebiaeth gan Equity ynghylch yr angen i gynnal clyweliadau lleol ar gyfer cynyrchiadau a ariennir gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Wedyn llythyr at y Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol ynglŷn â rheoliadau'r gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol, a wedyn mae yna lythyr at y Gweinidog Addysg ynghylch natur drosglwyddadwy sgiliau addysgu. Oes gan unrhyw un sylwad ar hynny?
We move on to item 4 therefore—papers to note. We have correspondence from Equity regarding the need to hold local auditions for Welsh Government-funded productions. And then, there's a letter to the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the national health services regulations, and there's a letter to the Minister for Education regarding the transferability of teaching skills. Does anybody have any comments to make on those papers?
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
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.
Os na, dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 5—cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog i wahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod. Ydy pawb yn hapus? Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
If not, we'll move on to item 5, which is a motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the rest of the meeting. Everyone content? Thank you very much.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:57.
The public part of the meeting ended at 11:57.