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Cardiff Council

Bilingual Cardiff

The remit of ‘Bilingual Cardiff’ is to take a lead role in developing a truly bilingual Cardiff where citizens and staff of the City of Cardiff Council can access services and support in either language equally through improved partnership working.
The Bilingual Cardiff team assist the Council in complying with its statutory duty to provide services in both Welsh and English, and includes a comprehensive translation service. As part of the ‘co-operative council’ approach, Bilingual Cardiff will take on an advisory role for other organisations, whilst continuing to actively promote and further raise awareness of the Welsh language across the city through better collaborative working arrangements which in turn will place a downward pressure on costs.
This innovative new approach is about bringing down the barriers between the Welsh and English languages, promoting bilingualism as something completely natural and being equally proud of both official languages here in Cardiff in order to ensure that our vision of an increasingly bilingual Cardiff is realised.

Bilingual Cardiff: 5-Year Welsh Language Strategy 2017-2022​

Our vision is to develop a truly bilingual Cardiff. A Cardiff where our citizens can live, work and play, as well as access services and support in Welsh or English equally. A capital city where bilingualism is promoted as something completely natural, and where the Welsh language is protected and nurtured for future generations to use and enjoy.

One of the statutory requirements of the new Welsh language standards  is to create and publish a five year strategy which sets out how we will promote and facilitate the use of Welsh. Public consultation on the strategy was carried out in the autumn 2016, and approved by Council in March 2017. The Strategy includes a target to increase the number and percentage of Welsh speakers and learners in Cardiff to ensure that Cardiff plays its part in supporting the Welsh Government’s vision of a million Welsh speakers by 2050. 

This is a strategy for the city as a whole, not for any one organisation and delivering the strategy will therefore rely on partnership working, between the public, private and education sectors and, most importantly of all, with the people of Cardiff. ​

Bilingual Cardiff: 5 Year Strategy (5.4mb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window 

Welsh Language Standards

The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 replaced the Welsh Language Act 1993 and as part of the new legislation, in Wales the Welsh language has equal legal status with English and must not be treated any less favourably. Public bodies no longer need to develop and implement Welsh Language Schemes and must comply with a set of national Welsh Language Standards instead.

The Welsh Language Commissioner issued local authorities with their Compliance Notices on 30th September 2015. This document lists which of the 176 Standards (as listed in full in the Welsh Language Standards Regulations (No.1) 2015) an organisation must comply with, along with any exemptions and their implementation dates. 

The City of Cardiff Council has a statutory duty to comply with standards listed along with the compliance date in the “Compliance notice – Section 44 Welsh language (Wales) Measure 2011”, issued by the Welsh Language Commissioner on the 30th of September 2015.

The Council is expected to comply with most standards by the 30th of March 2016.


Third Parties: Welsh Language Standards 

Organisations commissioned to provide services for Cardiff Council need to comply with the Welsh language Standards (issued to the Council) in so far as they relate to that particular service/contract. The Welsh Language Standards Guide (973kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window​​ summarises the requirements of the standards and aims to assist organisations to comply with the requirements.

Welsh Language Standards Annual Report

The Welsh Language Standards requires the Council to produce an annual report, in relation to each financial year, which deals with the way it has complied with the service delivery standards, policy making standards and operational standards which were issued in ‘The City of Cardiff Council Compliance Notice – Section 44 Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011’.​

This is Cardiff Council’s Welsh Language Standards (Draft) Annual Report 2019 - 2020. 
As a result of the ​exceptional circumstances brought about by the Covid 19 emergency it was not possible to formally present the Report to Cardiff Council’s Cabinet and it was agreed to publish this draft report to meet statutory requirements and the publishing date of 30 June 2020. The final Report is expected to be presented to the Cabinet in September 2020 and published on the Council’s website shortly afterwards.

The Welsh language in Cardiff

The latest census statistics available indicate that:
  • 16.2% of the population of Cardiff have one or more skills in the Welsh language (ability to read, write or/and understand Welsh).
  • 36,735 or 11.1% of the county’s population are fluent Welsh speakers. 
  • For the 5-15 year age group, which corresponds to the statutory school age band, the proportion of Cardiff’s residents able to speak Welsh has increased from 7.5% in 1981 to 12.7% in 1991 and 24.5% in 2001. By 2011 this figure had increased to 26.7%.
The increase since 1991 in people able to speak Welsh (in Wales as a whole) is largely associated with children being taught the language in school.
Such a growth reflects individually and jointly two well documented trends. Firstly, the last quarter century has seen a significant migration to Cardiff from predominantly Welsh speaking areas of Wales as a result of the establishment of Welsh language media services and public administration in the capital city.
Secondly, it reflects the committed practices and policies towards Welsh medium education in primary and secondary schools in Cardiff.
The city has currently three Welsh medium secondary schools, fifteen primary schools and two Welsh medium units. There are approximately 4700 pupils in attendance at primary level and over 2350 at secondary level.
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