Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee: 22nd May, 2018

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Welsh Standards Annual Monitoring Report

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek Scrutiny Committee endorsement of the Welsh Standards Annual Monitoring Report for 2017/18 and to refer the report to Cabinet by 18th June.

Recommendation

  1. That Scrutiny endorse the contents of the report, subject to any comments, and refer the same to Cabinet in order that Cabinet  approval can be sought to  ensure publication on the Council's website by 30th June.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To ensure that Scrutiny are aware of and endorse the steps which have been taken to action the Welsh Standards Compliance Notice for the Vale of Glamorgan Council issued by the Welsh Commissioner and to seek Cabinet approval.

Background

  1. The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 makes provision for specifying standards of conduct in relation to the Welsh language.  The Measure enables Welsh Ministers to authorise the Welsh Language Commissioner to issue a "Compliance Notice" to those organisations to which the Measure applies.  The Compliance Notice for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was issued in September 2015.
  2. The Welsh Standards Compliance Notice for the Council is a list of standards relating to service delivery, policy making, operational matters, promotion and record keeping.  One of the standards in the Compliance Notice states that:

(a) You must produce a report (an "annual report"), in Welsh, in relation to each financial year, which deals with the way in which you have complied with the standards with which you were under a duty to comply during that year.

(b) You must publish the annual report no later than 30 June following the financial year to which the report relates.

(c) You must publicise the fact that you have published an annual report.

(d) You must ensure that a current copy of your annual report is available - (a) on your website, and (b) in each of your offices that are open to the public.

 

As part of the Compliance Notice the Council was also required to produce a 5 year Promotion Strategy and to review it regularly.

 Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Annual Monitoring Report for 2017/18 is attached as Appendix 1.  Also included is an update on the Council's Welsh Language Promotion Strategy (Appendix 2).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no resource implications arising specifically from this report.  The main resource implications of implementing the Welsh language standards are ongoing translation costs.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. One of the Wellbeing Goals included in the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act is "a Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language".  The standards are intended to contribute to that goal, integral to the achievement of Sustainable Development.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council is bound by the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, according to which the Welsh Language Commissioner can require certain standards to be put in place by organisations affected by the legislation.  Acting in accordance with the Commissioner's compliance notice is a statutory duty for the Council.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no Crime and Disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The intention of the standards is to promote the use of Welsh by the organisations to which they apply.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Council's Corporate Plan for 2016-20, under Objective 6, "Valuing culture and diversity", has an action to "implement the Welsh Language Standards to improve access to services and information".

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Learning and Culture

Background Papers

Compliance Notice from the Welsh Commissioner

Welsh Language Promotion Strategy

Contact Officer

Huw Isaac - Head of Performance and Development - 01446 709760

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director