Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu - Y Bumed Senedd

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee - Fifth Senedd

16/01/2019

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Bethan Sayed Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Caroline Jones
Dai Lloyd
David Melding
Mick Antoniw
Rhianon Passmore
Vikki Howells yn dirprwyo ar ran Jane Hutt
substitute for Jane Hutt

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

David Anderson Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol, Amgueddfa Cymru
Director General, National Museum Wales
Gwyneth Ayers Rheolwr Partneriaeth a Pholisi Corfforaethol, Cyngor Sir Caerfyrddin
Corporate Policy and Partnership Manager, Carmarthenshire County Council
Lyndon Puddy Pennaeth Uned Gefnogi Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus, Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen
Head of Public Services Support Unit, Torfaen County Borough Council
Nia Williams Cyfarwyddwr Addysg ac Ymgysylltu, Amgueddfa Cymru
Director of Learning and Engagement, National Museum Wales
Sioned Wyn Davies Pennaeth Gwasanaethau Corfforaethol a Gwasanaethau Cwsmeriaid, Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam
Head of Corporate and Customer Services, Wrexham County Borough Council

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Adam Vaughan Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Osian Bowyer Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Robin Wilkinson Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Steve George Clerc
Clerk

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

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

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:31.

The meeting began at 09:31.

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

Diolch a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Eitem 1: cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau.

Nawr cyn i ni gychwyn ar waith y Cynulliad, hoffwn estyn fy nheyrnged i i Steffan Lewis, a fu farw yn ddiweddar, yn anffodus, ac i deulu Steffan. Roedd Steffan gyda fi ar ddechrau ei yrfa e. Mi wnaeth e symud o Dŷ Gwynfor i weithio gyda fi yn y Senedd ac roedd e'n bleser cael Steffan yn rhan o'r tîm hynny. Mae gen i atgofion melys o fynd i ymgyrchu ac o weithio gyda Steffan, fel sydd gan bawb yn y Senedd yma, a bydd colled fawr ar ei ôl. Felly, rwyf i jest am bwysleisio'r yr hyn oedd pobl wedi'i ddweud ddoe a chofio Steffan drwy ein gwaith ni. Rydw i'n credu y byddai fe'n hapus ein bod ni'n parhau gyda'n gwaith ac ein bod ni'n parhau gyda'r hyn sydd yn bwysig o ran gwaith y Senedd yma yng Nghymru. Felly, diolch i ti, Steff.

Ymddiheuriadau a dirprwyon. Hoffwn groesawu Vikki Howells, sy'n mynd i fod yn un o'r aelodau newydd o'r pwyllgor yma, heddiw, a diolch Jenny Rathbone a Jane Hutt am eu gwaith ar y pwyllgor. Mae Jayne Bryant—gormod o Jaynes—yn mynd i ymuno â ni ar y pwyllgor yma, ond mae hi yn anfon ei hymddiheuriadau atom y bore yma.

Oes gan unrhyw un rhywbeth i'w ddatgan ar gyfer y sesiwn y bore yma? Na.

Good morning and welcome to the Culture, Welsh language and Communications Committee. Item 1: introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest.

Before we begin our work this morning, I would like to extend my own tribute to Steffan Lewis, who died recently, tragically, and to Steffan's family. Steffan worked with me at the beginning of his career, and he moved from Tŷ Gwynfor to work with me here in the Senedd and it was a pleasure to have Steffan as part of that team. I have some wonderful memories of campaigning and working with Steffan, as is the case for everyone in this Senedd, and he will be deeply missed. So, I just want to emphasise everything that was said yesterday and remember Steffan through our work. I think he would be happy that we would continue with that work and that we continue to do what is important in terms of the work of this Senedd here in Wales. So, thank you, Steff.

Apologies and substitutions. I would like to welcome Vikki Howells who is to be a new member of the committee, and I'd like to thank Jenny Rathbone and Jane Hutt for their work on the committee. Jayne Bryant—there are too many Jaynes this morning—is going to be joining us on this committee, but she has sent her apologies for this morning's meeting.

Does anyone have any declarations of interest for this morning's session? No.

2. Gwaith Craffu Blynyddol ar Amgueddfa Cymru
2. Annual Scrutiny of the National Museum of Wales

Symudwn ymlaen felly at eitem 2, craffu blynyddol ar Amgueddfa Cymru. Croeso mawr i chi, am ddod i mewn atom heddiw—David Anderson, sef y cyfarwyddwr cyffredinol, a hefyd i Nia Williams, sef y cyfarwyddwr addysg ac ymgysylltu.

Fel rydych chi'n deall, mae'n siŵr, erbyn hyn, rydym ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, ac felly awn ni'n syth i'r cwestiynau, ac mi fydd Mick Antoniw yn cychwyn.

We'll move on, therefore, to item 2, which is our annual scrutiny of National Museum Wales. A warm welcome to you and thank you for joining us—David Anderson, director general, and Nia Williams, director of education [cywiriad: learning] and engagement.

As I am sure you well know, we ask questions based on different themes, so we'll move immediately to those questions, and Mick Antoniw will start.

Firstly, thank you for your paper, which I'm sure we've all considered, and particularly for the information in it with regard to performance and attendance figures, and so on. I wonder, perhaps, just as a starting point, if you could highlight what you think the positives are in terms of attendance and what you think  are the negatives in terms of attendance. What has been achieved? What are the good things that have been achieved, but also what are the negatives where you think you've not made achievements? 

On the positives, we very, very nearly achieved the 1.8 million target that the Welsh Government had set for us in the last financial year. I believe the unexpected levels of snow last year, when we had to close some of our sites, were the reason for just those couple of tens of thousands of people we didn't manage to get to get us over the line. We're hoping this year we will actually cross the line and get over 1.8 million.

We're delighted that St Fagans was 23 per cent up on the previous year this December, so the impact of the opening of St Fagans are clearly coming through in terms of visitor attendances as well. We have got a major challenge with the National Roman Legion Museum, because we closed that site for major repairs, to the roof particularly, in September. That, actually, has nevertheless managed to sustain at least a part of its visitation, because the learning team have been continuing to work with Cadw to ensure that there are plenty of schools services there, albeit that the museum itself is closed. So, I suppose I'd have to say I think, really, that we, very largely at the moment, judging by our attendances, are achieving our targets across all our sites, and in some sites we're actually very significantly overachieving, judging by December.

09:35

Dwi am siarad yn Gymraeg. I ychwanegu, efallai, o ran y targedau addysg ffurfiol ac anffurfiol, rŷn ni wedi yn rheolaidd cwrdd â rheini, ac fe gwrddon ni â'r targed addysg anffurfiol erbyn y trydydd chwarter y llynedd. Felly, mae'n braf gweld ein bod ni'n parhau i lwyddo i gwrdd ag anghenion addysg ffurfiol ac anffurfiol, a hynny, mewn ffordd, yn erbyn y trend ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig. Os ŷch chi'n edrych ar y ffigurau yn Lloegr, er enghraifft, rŷn ni'n gweld dip, yn enwedig o ran ysgolion, felly mae'n braf gweld bod Amgueddfa Cymru yn llwyddo i barhau i gwrdd ag anghenion ysgolion Cymru

I want to speak in Welsh. To add, perhaps, in terms of the education targets, formal and informal, we have met those, and we met the informal education target by the third quarter last year. So, it is pleasing to see that we continue to meet the needs of formal and informal education, and that, in a way, against the trend across the UK. If you look at the figures in England, for example, we see a dip, especially in terms of schools, so it's pleasing to see that National Museum Wales continues to meet the needs of the schools of Wales.

I think you may feel we're still not answering your question, by that—

Indeed. Well, I think that, as we look at the data at different sites from month to month, we sometimes have some sites that dip below the target on particular months. Overall, of course, what one sees is that the strongest increases in visitor numbers are where we've been able to make an investment with the support of Heritage Lottery Fund, Welsh Government, et cetera, and St Fagans being a case in point. On some of our sites, we haven't been able to make that investment, for many years in some instances, and it's one reason why we're really keen that the National Slate Museum in Llanberis, for example, should be a next big stage of development to turn that into the base for Amgueddfa Cymru in north Wales altogether, with a much more diverse range of collections, visitor experiences, a stronger tourist attraction, a stronger base for making and craft and traditional practices, and a much stronger interpretation of the much wider landscape of Snowdonia in all its respects: arts, natural sciences, social history, et cetera—still with slate at the centre of it, but a much wider interpretation. So, I think we're aware that those sites that haven't got that investment are the ones where we tend to find that the numbers go up and down, really, seasonally and for other reasons.

A number of things emerge from, certainly, the data that I've seen. Firstly, in Cardiff, the capital museum there—there seem to be issues in terms of how that is performing. I was wondering what your view is on that. Is that performing as well as it should be, bearing in mind its location, the growth of tourism and so on? What are the issues around that? Why isn't that perhaps even more of a—I don't like to use the phrase that appears in some of these—'the honeypot of tourism' or whatever? You referred to Llanberis, but in some ways the museum there is in a similar position, isn't it?

I think that there's a very long history of need for investment in that building, actually, and we're very glad that the Welsh Government gave us just over £6 million to start the process of repair, and we will be doing a lot of work to repair the roof there over the next 12 or 24 months, which will unfortunately involve, also, needing to close some galleries while we do that. So, I think the fundamentals there are around investment. If you look at the cafe, that's not ideal for a national museum to have a cafe out in the open public space as opposed to in a dedicated area, and if you look at some of the learning facilities, for example, they're scattered, small spaces around the building. The access around that particular site is very awkward; visitors find it hard to navigate, because you expect to be able to get from place to place, really, and you find you have to keep on retracing your steps back to the entrance in order to get to another part of the building. There's no other way of doing it. So, I think there are very, very many issues with that building. We would like to transform it in the long term and have got a master plan getting under way now to give us guidance on how we would do that. But if one steps back from the significant and expensive infrastructure issues, I think there is a lot of a story of success there. I mean, we were less than 400,000 visitors, I think, about five or seven years ago. We're now well over the 0.5 million, and the profile of the museum, with exhibitions like Kizuna, has really grown enormously, and, again, the learning programming that's going there is very, very much stronger than it was before, and I think the growth in visitor numbers is, if you like, against the restrictions of the building but still a great credit to the staff for having achieved it. 

09:40

If we just take the numbers, looking at the—. I mean, obviously, Caerleon, of course, you actually have the Cadw site there, which is—. The criticisms that have been raised in the past are of the separation of the two, and I've been a regular visitor to those, and I have to say I've always found it absolutely bizarre—the interconnectivity between the two things that just gel together. What sort of steps have been taken to try and resolve that particular aspect? I'm aware, of course, of the closure and so on, which has an impact, but what is the longer term strategy there, because, clearly, this impacts on numbers and also the ability to promote the site?

Yes. I'll ask Nia to talk about the learning element in just a moment, if I may. We are in discussion with Cadw. We're also in discussion with some of the local interest groups, including having had a meeting some months ago with the local authorities there as well. Some of the challenges there, again, are ones of access, and the capacity of that area to—. If we and Cadw managed to double our visitor numbers, then there'd be significant problems for the people living in that area as well. So, I think that a solution, or the way to achieve the ambition that we all have for that area as the centre for interpretation of the Romans in Wales altogether, will require negotiation with all sorts of other partners to make sure the infrastructure is fit for purpose on it. And we have started those discussions. It was one of the Thurley recommendations that there should be much closer collaboration and integration of the services of Cadw and the museum. We absolutely endorse that. It's one of our ambitions in the longer term that there should be a redevelopment project there, but it's going to take quite a lot of work to get the vital components for that to be successful in place.

Nia, would you like to talk about the learning side? 

Ie, eto, yn Gymraeg. Dim ond i ddweud, mewn ffordd, gyda'r rhaglen addysg a'r rhaglen gyhoeddus yng Nghaerleon, rŷn ni wedi bod yn gweithio—mae gyda ni bartneriaeth agos iawn—gyda Cadw, ac mae'r rhaglen yn cael ei datblygu a'i hwyluso mewn partneriaeth. Felly, er, fel rŷn ni wedi clywed, bod y to wedi bod ar gau ers mis Medi y llynedd, rŷn ni wedi parhau gyda'r rhaglen gyhoeddus a'r rhaglen ysgolion [cywiriad: rhaglen i ysgolion] drwy gydweithio â Cadw. Felly, mae yna bartneriaeth gref yn barod, mae yna gydweithio cryf yn barod, ac, fel dywedodd David, gallwn ni fynd ati wedyn i edrych ar y strategaeth ar gyfer dyfodol yr amgueddfa gyda'n gilydd.

Yes, again, I will speak Welsh. In a way, with the education programme and the public programme in Caerleon, we have been working with Cadw in a very close partnership, and the programme is being developed and facilitated in partnership. So, even though, as we've heard, the roof has been closed since September of last year, we have continued with our public programme and our [correction: delete 'programme and our'] schools programme in collaboration with Cadw. So, there is a strong partnership already in place. There is strong collaboration ongoing, and, as David said, we can then look at the strategy for the future of the museum together. 

As well as the individual numbers, of course, coming in, the figures seem to be very good in terms of educational visits. Are those visits, in terms of numbers, counted in terms of the numbers in the groups and so on, et cetera? That seems to have exceeded—. What has been the main reason why the educational side has been so much more successful than, perhaps, the individual side? 

Buaswn i'n dweud bod gyda ni raglenni addysgol gwych yn Amgueddfa Cymru a safon darpariaeth gwych iawn. Rŷn ni hefyd yn gweithio'n agos iawn gydag athrawon a gyda darparwyr addysg i ddatblygu'r rhaglenni i sicrhau eu bod nhw'n cydweddu â'r cwricwlwm yng Nghymru, ac rŷn ni'n lwcus iawn ein bod ni wedi datblygu hynny dros y blynyddoedd a bod gyda ni enw da fel darparwr mwyaf addysg y tu allan i'r dosbarth yng Nghymru erbyn hyn. Felly, dyna sydd tu ôl i hynny. Rydw i'n credu, fel dywedodd David, o ran, efallai, medru newid arddangosiadau, medru cael mwy o raglen o arddangosfeydd dynamig yng Nghaerleon, mae'r seilwaith sydd gyda ni ar hyn o bryd yn gwneud hynny'n anodd, ac, felly, o ran gyrru mwy o ymwelwyr twristaidd ac yn y blaen, mae hwnna'n rhywbeth i ni edrych arno, ond mae yna bethau o ran seilwaith yr ardal ei hunan y byddai angen eu datblygu'n gyntaf cyn i ni fynd ati i wneud hynny.

I would say that we have excellent educational programmes within the museum and excellent provision. We work closely with teachers and the providers of formal education to provide these programmes to ensure that they do dovetail with the curriculum in Wales, and we are very fortunate to have developed that over a period of years and that we have a reputation as the biggest provider of education [correction: learning] outside the classroom in Wales. So, that's what underpins that. As David said, in terms of changing exhibitions and having dynamic exhibitions in Caerleon, then the infrastructure that we have at the moment makes that difficult. So, in terms of driving more tourist visitor numbers, then that is something that we do need to look at, but there are issues in terms of the infrastructure of the area itself that would need to be developed before we did that.

If I just take one final question on this, because I don't want to go into other areas, St Fagans, clearly, has always been a shining jewel and an even more shining jewel in terms of culture and heritage and the function of museums. How do you evaluate its current performance since the work has been completed and what are your plans in terms of actually maximising the potential from it, particularly in terms of educational visits, but also in terms of it being a major tourism opportunity as well, and the integration of that strategy?

09:45

Nia's leading on the evaluation, so perhaps you could answer that first, Nia.

Wel, fel rŷch chi’n gwybod, mae gwerthuso’n rhywbeth sy’n digwydd drwy gydol y rhaglen waith, felly fe wnaethon ni waith yn edrych ar y baseline o ran y gwerthusiad ar y dechrau. Rŷn ni wedi bod yn gwerthuso drwy gydol y rhaglen ac rŷn ni wrthi nawr yn tynnu at ei gilydd y gwerthusiad terfynol fel rhan o’r gwaith, ac mae hwnna’n waith y byddwn ni’n ei wneud eleni. Rŷn ni’n ymwybodol iawn, fel rhan o’r gwaith hwnnw, fod yna wersi pwysig i ni fel amgueddfa, ond hefyd i’r sector, ar draws y byd, mewn ffordd. Mae yna ddiddordeb yn Sain Ffagan. Fe fuon ni yn Ne America yn rhannu stori Sain Ffagan. Dwi’n credu ein bod ni wedi llwyddo i greu yng Nghymru amgueddfa ryngwladol bwysig y gall Cymru fod yn falch ohoni hi.

Felly, mae’r gwaith gwerthuso’n allweddol bwysig, a’n bod ni’n tynnu’r gwersi allan, ond ein bod ni hefyd yn tynnu allan y modelau rŷn ni wedi’u defnyddio fel eu bod nhw ar gael i’r sector eu defnyddio a bod y dysgu rŷn ni wedi ei wneud trwy’r prosiect yn cael ei rannu’n ehangach. Felly, mae hwnna’n waith y byddwn ni’n ei wneud eleni gyda chefnogaeth Llywodraeth Cymru a chyda cefnogaeth y Loteri Genedlaethol.

Well, as you know, evaluation is something that happens throughout the work programme, so we undertook some work looking at the baseline in terms of the evaluation at the beginning. We've been evaluating throughout the programme and we're now bringing together the final evaluation as part of the work, and that is work that we will be doing this year. We are very aware that, as part of that work, there are important lessons for us as a museum, but also for the sector, across the world, in a way. There is interest in St Fagans. We went to South America, sharing the story of St Fagans. I think we've succeeded to create in Wales an internationally important museum that Wales can be proud of.

So, that evaluation work is vital, and that we draw out the lessons that we learn, but also that we draw out models that we've used so that they're available for the sector to use and that the learning we've done through the project is shared wider. So, that is work that we'll be doing this year with the support of the Welsh Government and the support of the National Lottery.

Diolch, Chair. Just very briefly—I'm not going to go through the educational stuff, but with regard to just a bit of explanation as to what exactly the issue is with the roof. It's a long time in terms of the Caerleon sites. You've mentioned the difficulties in partnership, multi-agency working in that very confined site, but are there other issues that are underlying in terms of the longer term strategy that you're discussing or preparing now?

I think I would like to see them as opportunities rather than issues, really, on this, because I do think there is great potential at Caerleon to make a very, very strong statement about all sorts of contemporary issues, if you like, by taking—not too literally and not too directly—historical parallels. I believe that one of the great challenges Wales faces altogether with its heritage infrastructure is, actually, the money for investment in it. At the moment, as you can see from the progress and the way the museum has gone from site to site, you could see that it could well take two decades, three decades for it to be possible to come back and reinvest in a site, as we've seen in Llanberis, for instance, there. I think if there was a way in which one could have maybe more than one major heritage project running at one time, that would actually be something that would enable us to bring huge benefits to the Welsh economy.

So, to interject, if I may, then—so, are you inferring that the issue of the roof is purely financial?

Well, I think there are always financial issues in every aspect of the public sector; we're not special in that way. But I do think if one stepped back and looked at the economic benefits of investment in major heritage projects—and this is globally and in Europe, not just in Wales—we generate £83 million of gross value added for the Welsh economy.

You don't need to sell it to me or any member of this committee, so—[Laughter.] Go on, then.

Yes, but I suppose my serious point is that those kinds of benefits would come much more quickly and much more substantially for Wales if we were able to find a way of bringing together all the different funding sources—and I'm including the lottery very clearly in this—so that that pace of investment and development could be speeded. I think really emphasising what Nia was saying about St Fagans: we have a model that's been developed that does differ from that of most other, if not all other, national museums in the UK. It's one of very deep participation and inclusion. Wales is special because of its dual-language approach and the strength of that. Many of those features are things that resonate very strongly with many other parts of the world.

Which is lovely, and I accept what you're saying completely, but my question, really, is around: are there any underlying issues with the two sites? And, in terms of the longer term strategy particularly in Caerleon—and I accept your wider point completely, and I'd like to come back to it if we do get time at the end of this session—but with regard to Caerleon in particular, are there any underlying issues in terms of preparing a longer term strategy that are not financially based? 

09:50

My view is that there's great goodwill between ourselves and Cadw, for example, and a shared national responsibility and a shared ambition there. I think that, from my conversations with other potential partners in the area, along with colleagues, there's goodwill from the local authorities and ambition there as well. So, I think it does come back to capacity and resource, really, which are the primary issues for us. Nia, I think, would agree.

Ocê, mae'n rhaid inni symud ymlaen nawr os ydy hwnna'n iawn. Mae'n siŵr y gallwn ni ei drafod e os oes amser ar y diwedd.

I symud ymlaen, rydyn ni wedi cwrdd yn weddol ddiweddar i drafod gwaith celf Banksy ym Mhort Talbot, ond mae'r cwestiwn mwyaf eang i fi ynglŷn â'ch ymwneud â'r oriel gelf gyfoes. Ydych chi wedi cael trafodaethau gyda'r Dirprwy Weinidog ynglŷn â hynny, ac oes yna gysyniad gennych chi ynglŷn â beth fyddai hynny'n edrych fel? Rydyn ni'n clywed o'r Dirprwy Weinidog ei fod e'n meddwl y byddai nifer o leoliadau'n rhywbeth y byddai e yn hoffi eu gweld. Ond ydych chi'n meddwl efallai y byddai un lleoliad mewn ardal fel Port Talbot yn rhywbeth i edrych i mewn iddo, yn enwedig yn wyneb yr hyn sydd wedi digwydd yn ddiweddar gyda gwaith celf Banksy? Hefyd, os ydych chi'n gallu ateb y cwestiwn ynglŷn â'r amgueddfa chwaraeon a'ch ymwneud chi yn hynny o beth—.

Okay, we have to move on now, if that's okay. I'm sure we can discuss it if there's time at the end.

Moving on, we've met quite recently to discuss the Banksy artwork in Port Talbot, but the broader question from me is about your relationship with the national contemporary art gallery. Have you had discussions with the Deputy Minister about that, and do you have any concept of what that would look like? We've heard from the Deputy Minister that a number of locations would be something that he'd like to see. But do you think that perhaps one location, in an area such as Port Talbot, would be something to look at, in particular in light of what's happened recently with the Banksy artwork? Also, if you could answer the question in relation to the sport museum and your involvement in that—.

Yes. First of all, we should say that we really welcomed the report from Event, which was a report to Government, of course, and we participated alongside Arts Council of Wales as part of a steering committee to support that project. I think that we very strongly support the ambition that contemporary art should have a higher profile in Wales and in our culture and heritage. So, we welcomed the report. We welcomed that the report identified the importance of locality and the importance of the national collections, and, actually, artistic activity being distributed around Wales. We again see that as potentially a really strong characteristic of a Welsh model for cultural development too. And therefore, our role is to support localities and local museums and galleries as an integral part of our national responsibilities, as resources allow.

When we developed the Swansea museum, we did so on the basis that there was a competition and an encouragement for different areas of Wales to put forward their proposals and plans. And the Welsh Government then worked with others to adjudicate which was the appropriate location. We would expect that some other similar process would happen in the case of any new development for a national gallery of contemporary art.

We very much welcomed the recommendation in the report that if any new entity is created, it should be part of Amgueddfa Cymru, and we also welcomed the fact that the Welsh Government have confirmed that as being their position as well. But we—

But do you think there should be a sort of bidding process for localities to apply to have this new modern art gallery, because that would be my understanding?

We understand that as being the model that has been followed in the past.

We understand that that is the model that has been followed in the past.

But is that your view? It may have been the model in the past, but is that your view for any new gallery?

I think it would be inappropriate for us to be selecting one area over another. I think that's a responsibility for Welsh Government.

No, no. Not for you to make the decision but for that model to be used.

Yes. I think it would be, in some form or other—. I wasn't here at the time the Swansea development was made, so I don't know the details of it very closely, but I think an opportunity for different areas to be able to put in their proposals is a healthy one and a democratic one, and it enables the decisions to be made, if you like, openly as well.

Can you tell us, just for the record, a bit about the acquisition grant? I understand you've used that recently for the suffragettes gallery, but I'm just wondering whether you feel that that can be utilised more in the future or whether it needs more funding.

As part of the public sector cuts, that's been reduced to about a quarter of what it was in 2010, and now, from memory, I think it's about £250,000. We do use it to leverage money from outside Wales, particularly from the Art Fund, and we've had great support from the Art Fund in purchases. So, we are able to—. The fact that it exists actually brings in a lot more money for purchase.

09:55

We'll hear questions about more money later. I just wanted to understand, really, what isn't happening, because that potential pot isn't able to provide it at the moment—more than the income generation side of things.

I suppose—well, it almost goes without saying that we can buy less and acquire less for the national collections the less resource we have.

And the sport museum, just quickly—is there something on that?

Dim ond i ddweud, yn amlwg rŷn ni'n teimlo does gennym ni ddim amgueddfa genedlaethol yng ngogledd-ddwyrain Cymru, a dyna pam aethon ni ati rai blynyddoedd yn ôl nawr i gael partneriaeth strategol gydag amgueddfa Wrecsam. Ac rŷn ni wedi, dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf yma, creu nifer o arddangosiadau yn yr amgueddfa honno gyda'r casgliad cenedlaethol.

Mae pob amgueddfa genedlaethol yng Nghymru ar hyn o bryd yn rhan o Amgueddfa Cymru, ac fe fydden ni fel sefydliad yn awyddus iawn fod y sefyllfa honno yn parhau. Mae yna awgrym yn y feasibility hwyrach y byddai model lle byddai yna amgueddfa genedlaethol y tu allan i deulu Amgueddfa Cymru yn cael ei datblygu, a bydden ni yn croesawu, efallai, fwy o drafodaeth ar wahanol fathau o fodelau sydd yn bosibl o ran datblygu'r amgueddfa hon.

Mae chwaraeon yn rhan allweddol bwysig o'n diwylliant ni yng Nghymru, ac rŷn ni'n croesawu cyfle, rili, i drafod chwaraeon a threftadaeth a datblygu strategaeth o gwmpas chwaraeon a threftadaeth ar gyfer y dyfodol. Ond rŷn ni fel amgueddfa wedi creu sawl arddangosfa yn y gorffennol lle mae chwaraeon, wrth gwrs, yn integredig, ac yn rhan bwysig iawn o ddiwylliant.

Ond drwy ein partneriaeth â Wrecsam, rŷn ni wedi medru mynd â'r casgliad cenedlaethol i gyd [cywiriad: dileu 'i gyd']—yn wyddoniaeth, yn gelf, yn hanes—i Wrecsam, a dwi'n meddwl bod parhau â hwnna yn bwysig hefyd, achos mae'r casgliad yn eang iawn. Fydden ni ddim, efallai, yn moyn ei weld e'n mynd i un maes yn unig. Ond rŷn ni wedi bod yn rhan o'r drafodaeth, ac rŷn ni'n edrych ymlaen at gael mwy o drafod ar yr amgueddfa bêl-droed.

Just to say that, clearly, we feel we don't have a national museum in the north-east of Wales, and that's why, some years ago, we established a strategic partnership with the Wrexham museum. And over the past few years we have created a number of exhibitions in that museum with the national collection.

Every national museum in Wales at the moment is part of Amgueddfa Cymru—National Museum Wales, and we as an institution would be eager to ensure that that situation remains the case. There is a suggestion in the feasibility study that there may be a model where you would have a national museum outwith the Amgueddfa Cymru—National Museum Wales, family being developed, and we would welcome more discussion on the various models possible in terms of developing this museum.

Sport is a crucial part of our culture here in Wales, and we welcome this opportunity to discuss sports and heritage and to develop a strategy around sports and heritage for the future. But we as a museum have created a number of exhibitions in the past where sport, of course, is integrated, and is a crucial part of culture.

But through our partnership with Wrexham we've been able to take the whole national collection—[correction: the collections from] science, art, history—all of that's gone to Wrexham, and I think continuing with that is also important, because the collection is broad-ranging, and we wouldn't want to see it focusing solely on one area. But we have been involved in the discussions, and we look forward to further discussion on the football museum.

Grêt, diolch yn fawr iawn. Rŷn ni felly yn symud ymlaen at greu incwm, ac mae David Melding yn arwain. Diolch.

Great, thank you. We're therefore moving on to income generation and David Melding is leading on this. Thank you.

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. With your indulgence, I will just ask one question about the strategy for contemporary art, and moving to a distributed—I think is the phrase—national model. I can see arguments to do this more generally, but if that's going to be the national model, would we start, ideally, with contemporary art? It seems a highly challenging area of artistic activity to experiment in this direction.

I think one of the things that I've observed is that contemporary art can be very challenging and can raise a lot of difficult issues for institutions as well, and that's part of the nature of, sometimes, the intention of artists to do that. On the other side, though, particularly in appealing to young people and supporting students in their studies, and just engagement, if you like, with the issues of contemporary society, it can be uniquely powerful in doing that. We've seen that with Artes Mundi and the fact that that has been established in Wales as being one of the great national and international competitions in the world. Now, I would argue without any hesitation that it's more significant than the Turner Prize, for example. It may not get the same coverage, but nevertheless that's intrinsically true, and I think many people working in the contemporary arts field would say the same, and we're very, very proud to host it.

So, I think that it's part of us being a modern nation. It's part of us, if you like, building national identity—to have contemporary artists and citizens, actually, engaging with contemporary art. So, I would argue that it's actually a vital part of the story in the same way as the Roman legion museum and the historical heritage sites are an important part of the story. I think there's potential for us to again add a great deal to the Welsh economy through this, and to make sure that visitors who come to Wales hopefully will actually travel round Wales to experience arts and heritage, and not just come to Cardiff.

I'm sure the committee will have an opportunity in the future to look at these matters in greater detail. They certainly demand that, and I'm one of the few people at the moment who attends these exhibitions in terms of contemporary art whenever I travel around the country and the world, and I do think it's very important, but of course if it really is contemporary, it's challenging, and not necessarily popular. But, as I said, that's perhaps for a future date. 

If I look at income generation, then, obviously the Thurley review is really quite challenging to your position, and you're now in your evidence saying that there's been a 46 per cent increase, I think, in the last financial year of your non-grant-in-aid income. Now, that must have started when Thurley was doing his review, so I just wonder if you could tell us the nature of this better performance and what sparked it. It may have been Thurley—I don't know; you may have anticipated—but can you just give us a bit more detail on that 46 per cent increase, because on the face of it it looks really quite impressive, but is it sustainable and is it something that really does mark sustainable advances? 

10:00

I should just perhaps start by saying that the deputy director general and director of finance, Neil Wicks, was planning to be with us today but, unfortunately, he's indisposed, so he can't contribute as we'd wished, and sends apologies. 

I think the 46 per cent will relate particularly to the performance of the enterprises team. And, in answer to your question about Thurley, it's not an excuse on our part, and it was the reality—when he did his work, it was probably one of the lowest ebbs of our income generation that particular financial year. And so we definitely had progress to make, and we still have progress to make in doing that.

However, for various reasons, they include the redevelopment of St Fagans and increases in visitors, and therefore increases in spend. They include investment in things like the high ropes at St Fagans, and also other projects that were put in place, for example, to generate more income from our research work done by our curators. Some of that work was already in place, but the benefits of it hadn't been seen at that stage. But, equally, I think Simon Thurley did a very good service by identifying some areas where we needed to invest more, and the appointment of a commercial director—we're very glad that the Welsh Government has approved that role, and we're getting on with recruiting to it now—is another vital part of the development process for us.

So, this 46 per cent, it goes well beyond commercial sources, strictly speaking, which I think was Thurley's main criticism. He used very strong language indeed in the report, I think it's fair to say; when you say something is extremely poor in a report, you're not pulling your punches. So, where are we in improving that side? Because, with respect, last February you said it was a priority to recruit a commercial director, and here we are having not quite done it yet.    

Yes. I think now that approval has been given, literally in the last few days, we'll be getting on and doing that. So, I think that—. We see income generation as the responsibility of all staff across the museum, not just a small dedicated team in the enterprises department. And I think that—. It will include the learning team, who've been doing great work on finding funding streams and sources through events and learning, and Nia could perhaps say a bit more about that. It's our curatorial staff and the research work. It also, actually, comes back to, again, the participative model of museum practice, which is very attractive to many external funders, and the fact that we now have such strong credibility in working in a participative and engagement way with street-level charities, the education sector and all sorts of other bodies in fact makes us much more fundable by those organisations that look to see that it's not a dilettantist engagement—it's actually a serious research-based, evaluation-based model that we're developing on this.  

Therefore, we are the only recipient in Wales of funding from Heritage Lottery Fund for Kick the Dust, working with young people over a five-year period. We've been very successful at getting funding through the Paul Hamlyn Foundation over a number of years now. We're pretty well the only museum that's been getting this level of funding from anywhere in the UK, and it's because of the investment we have made and the efforts the staff have made to do that. So, I think everywhere you look across the organisation, there is a responsibility for income generation as part of the job of staff, and I think it's that whole organisation approach that's really critical for this. 

Your general strategy, in terms of funding from trusts and foundations—and it's interesting what you said about the engagement, this greater participation, and a clear focus to be as open as possible and research and education being key drivers, and that leads you into some sources of funding that wouldn't normally be available. But I think it's fair to say that, if you're looking at large trusts and foundations, it is challenging if you're based in Wales because there are few of them. There are some magnificent exceptions—the Davies family have done so much for the cultural heritage of this country, but there aren't many, are there, that size. So, how challenging is it to go to London, or even Edinburgh, and speak to these large foundations and try to get a reasonable response from them, or is it mission impossible unless you're in partnership with the British Museum on something? How does that work?

10:05

It is challenging, and I think that the last time a survey was done of UK funding from non-Government sources, which was unfortunately back in 2012—it was stopped after that—it showed that about 70 per cent of all corporate individual and trust and foundation funding went to London, and the rest of the UK shared just 30 per cent of what was available. So, for us in Wales, we are part of that picture. Some trusts and foundations are very aware of the issue, and do make big efforts to try to be very equitable in the way they distribute their funding, and I think, again, I'd pick out the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; Esmée Fairbairn is another one as well. Other trusts and foundations—to be honest, it feels sometimes more like whim, whether things are funded or not. And that's particularly true where there isn't an open and transparent process for application too. I have to say that one of the huge things the HLF has done, and other lotteries as well, is, to some degree, to level the playing field, to counterbalance that impact. And I think that that has been greatly to Wales's benefit, and we will really hope that, in the long term, that sort of funding will be able to continue to support us. 

Ond, wedi dweud hynny, rŷn ni wedi bod yn llwyddiannus iawn yn Sain Ffagan—Garfield Weston, Clore, Foyle, ac ati, i ddenu'r trusts a'r foundations yna i gefnogi'r project. Roeddech chi'n cyfeirio at Thurley yng nghynt. Rŷn ni, wrth gwrs, yn derbyn yr hyn ddywedodd Thurley, ac rŷn ni wedi gweithredu polisïau o ran datblygu incwm, ond un o'r pethau roedd y gymhariaeth yna efallai gyda Llundain, sydd, wrth gwrs, yn gymhariaeth, buaswn i'n teimlo, sydd braidd yn annheg, mewn ffordd. 

But, having said that, we have been very successful in St Fagans—Garfield Weston, Clore, Foyle and so on, in attracting those foundations to support the project. And you referred to Thurley earlier. Of course, we accept the comments made by Thurley, and we have implemented policy in terms of income generation, but one of the things was the comparison with London, which, of course, I would feel was quite an unfair comparison. 

Okay. I think these are interesting dynamics, but St Fagans is a European leader, isn't it? It's interesting there. We are clearly, in the UK anyway, absolutely at the cutting edge. But in other more—. I don't want to say bread-and-butter areas, but it's how we get a fair share across the board for things that are—. You can't have an exciting project every year; ongoing work of a high standard is also required. 

I'm running out of time, I'm sure, but, in terms of greater participation, which I think is a strong and clear part of the museum's ethos—and I note, David, that you've led the world—led the way, and published in this area—

[Inaudible.] [Laughter.]

But in your speeches and what you've written on the need for extensive participation in culture from everyone—and I think that non-elitist model is really important—. So, does it extend to new membership schemes, these sorts of devices as well? I'm not aware of them, but that may just be my blissful ignorance. 

Strangely enough, that issue of membership schemes and inclusion was a discussion that happened just yesterday in one of the museum's committees. Yes, we do try to do that. We have got a lot of work to do to go through all the areas of our activity and to bring these principles into play. But there are two reasons why I feel—well, maybe more than that, but there are several reasons why I feel that it's so important that we take this route. I think the first thing is that the what I might call traditional model of museums doesn't work, actually, and, if you look at the massive investment there's been in heritage and culture in institutions in London, going back to the figures I gave before, but also by the Westminster Government as well, you might imagine that participation in the arts and heritage was higher in London than in the rest of the UK. It's not. When last looked at, it's slightly lower. And there's much more evidence that this is the case too. I think there is also very clearly an argument around ethics—we are publicly funded, we are for everybody, and we will readily admit that our audience still doesn't fully represent the public of Wales, and that that's something that is going to take a very long time to address, but we should commit ourselves absolutely to doing it in every way we can.

10:10

Okay. We have to move on, I'm afraid; we're running out of time.

Symud ymlaen at gwestiynau am godi tâl am fynediad i rai digwyddiadau—Caroline Jones.

Moving on to questions on charging for entry to some events—Caroline Jones.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Free entry into the national museum has been a long-term commitment of the Welsh Government. But with the Thurley report recommending that the Government works towards an ends-based policy for access, as opposed to a means-based policy, there are plans to charge for exhibitions and activities. So, have you discussed this area in detail, and have you promoted it and maximised any potential there? And we note that, some of the areas, there has been success in charge for projects—for example, Tim Peake's spacecraft, and also 'Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology', which actually exceeded its income target. So, therefore, in widening access to the public and charging for events obviously a balance has to be struck. So, how do you envisage achieving this balance without, for example, penalising families living in poverty and with a lot of children who would like to benefit from these, but simply can't afford the charges? Thank you.

I think it's a very fair question, and it's something we wrestle with all the time. We hadn't had any charge for exhibitions until 'Treasures', just two or three years ago, so we hadn't really got a baseline of evidence to work from at that point.

Yes, we have, that's right. So, we have been experimenting with different approaches to charging. In general, we provide discounts for children, and free for educational groups, and the things that you would expect there. And, being honest, it is a point of tension, really, because, on the one hand, we're quite rightly criticised for not generating more income—and we need to balance our books, and we need to be financially viable—and, on the other hand, we have the deep purpose of engagement and inclusion, so—. I don't know if Nia wants to add anything to that.

Un ffordd y gwnaethon ni edrych—rŷch chi'n sôn am yr arddangosfa 'Treasures'. Gyda honno, roedd pobl yn talu am fynediad, ond wedyn fe redon ni raglen dargedol, a oedd wedi cael ei noddi gan noddwr allanol. Ac roedd hwnna, wedyn, am ddim i bobl a oedd yn dod o ardaloedd o dlodi uchel yng Nghymru neu â rhwystrau ynglŷn â chyfranogi. Felly, mae hwnna'n un model. Mae yna sawl model gwahanol rŷn ni'n edrych arno ar y funud—sut y gallwn ni gael y pethau yma i eistedd yn gyfforddus â'i gilydd.

One way we—you were talking about the 'Treasures' exhibition. With that, people paid an entry fee, and then we ran a targeted programme, which was sponsored by an external sponsor. And that was then free for people who came from high poverty areas, or had barriers in terms of participation. So, that's one model. There are a number of different models that we're looking at at the moment, to see how these issues can sit comfortably together.

So, what were the percentages in people living in poverty taking up the opportunity to visit the exhibition? Have you got a percentage?

We have—we could send that to you. But it was really very successful as an approach, really.

Rŷn ni yn gweithio drwy Cyfuno, wrth gwrs, rhaglen Llywodraeth Cymru; rŷn ni'n un o'r prif bartneriaid yn Cyfuno. Ac mae honna wedi bod yn rhaglen hynod o llwyddiannus. Ac rŷn ni, fel rhan o Cyfuno, yn gweithio gyda'r gwasanaeth gwybodaeth a dadansoddi yn y Llywodraeth i werthuso effaith Cyfuno ac i edrych ar effaith ein rhaglenni ni.

We work through the Fusion programme, the Welsh Government programme; we're one of the main partners in the Fusion programme. And that has been an extremely successful programme. And, as part of Fusion/Cyfuno, we work with the information service in the Government to evaluate the impact of the Cyfuno/Fusion project and its impact on our programmes.

Diolch, Chair. Just picking up very briefly on that, before I go to a different line of questioning, there has been criticism—in particular around a different area in the Welsh arts council, around Fusion initiatives, in terms of poverty reduction through public funding through the arts—that not enough is being spent, and not enough emphasis is coming from our public-funded bodies in terms of the actual overall inclusion agenda. So, just picking up on that—you've mentioned the Kick the Dust initiative from the Heritage Lottery Fund—do you feel that in terms of the whole mandate and the raison d'être around public access to the arts across the board, and bearing in mind your comments about London, from the museum sector, you are doing enough in terms of that inclusion agenda? You've said it'll take a very long time.

10:15

It does take time. I don't wish to stretch it on for 50 years or anything like that, but, obviously, we're working from the base that we're working at at the moment. I would never say that we're doing enough. I think that we're a very large organisation and we need to, because of capacity of staff, take it on project by project and development by development. I would like to see the methodology that was developed around St Fagans, and in which Nia and colleagues played such a key role, actually being rolled out across every area of our work. We're looking more—

So, are there any impediments to that, bearing in mind we've talked about the apprenticeship of one blacksmith in Llanberis, which is very small, and bearing in mind the whole potentiality of being able to widen this strategically across the sector? Is there enough pace in regard to your strategy in this area?

Given my ambitions for this, no, there isn't enough pace. I think this comes back to us in part, too, and how successful and how capable we are of driving it through. It's also about supporting staff who may not have worked in these participative ways before and might legitimately say, 'I didn't join the cultural sector in order to be working in this sort of way.' I think it's about—. Inevitably, there is a resource element to this as well. We need particular kinds of skills and we're very fortunate that we've got a team in the museum who are really leading edge in this work, but, arguably, we should have more staff capacity in that area as well to lead it. There are all sorts of practical obstacles. 

We're also in the process of actually developing what the model is. Given that, I would argue, the national museum sector, particularly in the UK, does not have very high ambitions in this way, we are having to find out for ourselves how to work and how to develop this, and that does take time and we make mistakes. I won't say any different to that.

Beth fyddwn i yn ei ddweud yw rŷm ni yn cael ein gweld yn arloesi yn yr ardal yma. Felly, efallai ein bod ni ddim yn symud digon cyflym i'r hyn rŷm ni'n moyn ei wneud, ond rŷm ni yn cael ein gweld yn arloesi. Mae Kick the Dust yn enghraifft o hwnna, roedd yna 223 ymgais am nawdd, 12 yn llwyddiannus, a ni oedd yr unig rhai yng Nghymru a oedd yn llwyddiannus. Mae hwnna'n [cywiriad: Mae'r nawdd yn] edrych ar sut gall bobl ifanc gyfranogi trwy ddiwylliant.

Yn ail, beth fyddwn i'n ei ddweud yw: rwy'n cytuno gyda phrentisiaethau. Mae gyda ni wrth gwrs y prentisiaid yn y Big Pit rŷm ni wedi bod yn cynnal nawr dros y tair blynedd diwethaf. Rŷm ni wedi datblygu strategaeth sgiliau ar draws gyda'n hundebau llafur ni, gyda'r llyfrgell genedlaethol, gyda Cadw, a chyda'r comisiwn brenhinol i edrych ar sgiliau. Dwi'n meddwl mai un o argymhellion yr adroddiad hwnnw yw datblygu fframwaith ar gyfer prentisiaid ar draws y pedwar corff cenedlaethol. Ond, yn amlwg hefyd, mae angen peth nawdd arnom ni er mwyn medru datblygu ac er mwyn symud ymlaen, ac er mwyn cyflymu'r prosesau yma mewn ffordd hefyd.

What I would say is that we are seen as being innovative in this area. So, perhaps we're not moving as swiftly as we would like, but we are seen as being innovative. Kick the Dust is an example of that, there were 223 applications for sponsorship, 12 were successful, and we were the only ones in Wales who were successful. That [correction: The funding] looks at how young people can participate through culture.

The second thing I would say is that I agree on apprenticeships. We do have apprentices at Big Pit, of course, and that programme has been in place over the past three years. We have developed a skills strategy with our trade unions, and with the national library, with Cadw, and with the royal commission in order to look at the issue of skills. One of the recommendations of that report is to develop a framework for apprenticeships across all four national organisations. But, clearly, too, we do need some sponsorship in order to make developments and in order to hasten these processes in a way.

In regard to the skills strategy that you are referring to then, have we had access to that yet?

Mae e wedi cael ei gyflwyno i bartneriaeth strategol Cymru Hanesyddol cyn y Nadolig—

It has been submitted to the Historic Wales strategic partnership. That was done before Christmas—

Dyw e ddim yn gyhoeddus eto.

No, it's not a public document as of yet.

Pryd bydd e'n gyhoeddus?

When will it be a public document?

Mae e gyda'r Llywodraeth ar hyn o bryd.

It is with Government at the moment.

Okay, so in regard to my line of questioning, it would be useful for us to have sight of either an overarching strategy in that regard—. Because, as I say, in terms of potentiality, whether it's around education and training or on an inclusion basis, obviously, there's much, much potential, as you're very well aware in terms of that agenda. 

So, with regard to any further updates, we talked very briefly earlier about partnerships with Cadw and how that relationship between the museum sector has now evolved, have you anything to update this committee with in that regard, because I believe that there were tensions and issues and challenges at the very beginning in this regard?

Sorry, tensions with regard to—?

Historic Wales. I think all the partners came through those debates with a very strong determination to work closely together and with the trade unions as part of that too. I think that the skills report that's been done is one really significant fruit of that collaboration. The trade unions were there in the room and a full part of the discussions. Somebody from the trade unions co-chairs every one of the sub-groups that's working for Historic Wales. I would say that, at the moment, it's working very well.

10:20

Cyn symud ymlaen, allaf i jest ofyn yn fras, o ran prentisiaethau, ydych chi'n gallu cael mynediad i arian cyffredinol prentisiaethau Llywodraeth Cymru? Ydych chi'n gallu bidio i mewn i gael mynediad i'r arian hwnnw sydd yn mynd at golegau, sydd yn mynd at gwmnïau ac yn y blaen?

Before moving on, may I just ask broadly, in terms of apprenticeships, can you have access to general funding for apprenticeships from the Welsh Government? Can you bid to access that funding that goes to colleges, companies and so forth?

Na, dŷn ni ddim. Dyna un o'r anawsterau, mewn ffordd. Nid fy mod i eisiau ailagor yr holl ffordd mae'r ariannu yna'n digwydd, ond dyna pam roedden ni'n meddwl, os ydyn ni'n edrych arno fe'n fwy strategol ar draws sefydliadau cenedlaethol, mae yna fodd efallai i ailedrych ar y ffordd y mae'r ariannu yna'n gweithio, heb ddatglymu'r holl broses. 

No, and that is one of the difficulties, in a way. Not that I want to reopen the whole issue around funding, but that's why I was saying, if we look at it more strategically across national institutions, there may be a way of re-looking at how that funding works, without unravelling the whole process.

Ydy rhai o'r mudiadau hynny'n gallu—er enghraifft, Cadw—a'ch bod chi ddim? Ydych chi wedi codi hynny gyda Llywodraeth Cymru, yn hytrach na'ch bod chi'n mynd at ymddiriedolaethau neu'r HLF ar gyfer rhywbeth fel hyn—dweud wrth Lywodraeth Cymru, 'Wel, rŷn ni angen cael ein trin yn gyfartal'?

Some of those organisations—are they able to do so, for example, Cadw, while you are not? Have you raised that with the Welsh Government, rather than you going to the HLF or trusts for something like this? Can't you tell the Welsh Government, 'We need to be treated on an equal basis'?

Dyna beth rŷn ni'n ei awgrymu yn yr adroddiad sgiliau, mewn ffordd. Dyna pam roedden ni'n teimlo, os oedden ni'n ei wneud e fel rhywbeth strategol ar draws pedwar corff cenedlaethol, byddai dim rhaid chwaith i'r Llywodraeth ddadwneud yr holl ffordd mae'r ariannu yna'n gweithio. 

That's what we suggested in our skills report, in a way. That's why I felt that if we did it as something that was strategic across four national organisations, then the Government wouldn't have to undo the whole way that funding works.

Felly, rydych chi'n aros am ymateb gan Lywodraeth Cymru.

So, you're waiting for a response— 

Rydyn ni'n aros am ymateb i hynny. Ond, rydyn ni'n teimlo bod yna botensial ffantastig. Mae gyda ni broject ar hyn o bryd, ar y cyd gyda Cadw a gyda phartneriaid eraill fel Creative and Cultural Skills, sydd yn edrych—. Cultural Ambition yw enw'r prosiect hwnnw, ac mae hwnna'n edrych ar sut y gallwn ni ddod â mwy o amrywiaeth i mewn i'n gweithlu ni a chynnal profiadau gwaith ac internships i bobl efallai fyddai ddim wedi meddwl am weithio ym myd diwylliant a threftadaeth. Mae'r rheina yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd ac yn hynod o lwyddiannus. 

We are waiting for a response to that. But, we do feel that there is huge potential here. We have a project at the moment, running jointly with Cadw and other partners such as Creative and Cultural Skills—. The project is called Cultural Ambition, and that looks at how we can bring more diversity into our workforce and provide work experience and internships for people who perhaps wouldn't have considered working in the culture and heritage sector. Those are ongoing at the moment and are extremely successful.

Diolch. Rydym ni'n symud ymlaen at y berthynas â Llywodraeth Cymru—amserol iawn. Dai Lloyd. 

Thank you. We'll move on to the relationship with the Welsh Government, which is quite timely. Dai Lloyd.

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Yn rhannol, mae eich atebion chi mor belled wedi ateb nifer o'r pwyntiau roeddwn i eisiau eu codi. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n berthnasol yn y lle cyntaf i'ch llongyfarch chi ar yr holl waith arloesol sydd yn mynd ymlaen. Oes yna unrhyw heriau yn eich perthynas efo Llywodraeth Cymru y buasech chi'n fodlon datgelu? Dŷn ni wedi clywed lot o newyddion da, man y man i ni fynd ar drywydd y pethau anodd. Oes yna unrhyw heriau y buasech chi'n licio ein gweld ni fel pwyllgor yn eich helpu chi i'w goroesi?

Thank you very much, Chair. In part, your answers so far have answered a number of the points I wanted to raise. I think it's relevant, in the first place, to congratulate you on the innovative work that is going on. Are there any challenges in your relationship with the Welsh Government that you would be willing to reveal? We've heard a lot of good news, we might as well go along the route of difficult issues. Are there any challenges that you would like to see us as a committee help you overcome?

I'm sure that the Assembly Member would read any lack of integrity in my answer on this, if there were to be any. I really genuinely think that the relationship with Welsh Government is a strong one at the moment. We're very glad that it's moved on from where it was two or three years ago and that the dialogue is a very open one. We talk regularly with officials and, of course, with the Minister as well. I think there's a great deal of synergy of ambition at the moment. So, I would really say it's good. 

Un o'r heriau, mewn ffordd, ydy'r ariannu a gweithio ar system ariannu flynyddol pan ŷch chi'n trio cynllunio. Roedd Sain Ffagan yn broject 10 mlynedd. Pan ŷch chi'n trio cynllunio yn yr hirdymor, mae hwnna'n bendant yn un o'r heriau. Dwi'n gwybod ei bod hi'n her mae'r Llywodraeth yn llwyr ymwybodol ohoni hi. A, fel sector, rydyn ni wedi cael ein torri dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, fel amgueddfa genedlaethol ond hefyd amgueddfeydd lleol. Felly, mae'r erydu yna, os ŷch chi'n moyn, o'r gyllideb wedi bod yn heriol iawn hefyd. Gobeithio ein bod ni ddim yn mynd i weld mwy o hynny yn y blynyddoedd sydd i ddod.

One of the challenges, in a way, is the issue of funding and working to an annual funding system when you're trying to plan. St Fagans was a 10-year project. When you're trying to plan in the longer term, that is certainly one of the challenges. I know it's a challenge that the Government is fully aware of. And, as a sector, we have experienced cuts over the last few years, as a national museum but also in terms of local museums. Therefore, that erosion of the budget has also been very challenging. I hope that we won't see any more of that in ensuing years. 

Mae'n werth ailadrodd yr heriau yma i'r Llywodraeth weithiau. Yn olaf gennyf i—rwy'n ymwybodol o amser hefyd, ynglŷn â chynllunio tymor hir—pa ddylanwad mae Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol (Cymru) 2015 yn ei chael ar waith cynllunio'r amgueddfa?

It's worth repeating these challenges to the Government sometimes. Finally—I'm also aware of the time—in terms of long-term planning, what impact has the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 had on the museum's planning?

I will just say very briefly: a very, very major impact. I'll pass to Nia to talk more about it, because she's passionate about it too. 

Roedden ni wedi, y llynedd, ailedrych ar ein hamcanion ni ac rydyn wedi gweu'r rheina at ei gilydd gydag amcanion y Ddeddf llesiant, o ran yr amcanion ond hefyd o ran y dulliau gwaith, sydd yn bwysig hefyd. Rydych chi'n gallu gweld hwnnna drwy'r ffordd rydyn ni'n cyfranogi ac integreiddio ein gwaith ni gyda sefydliadau eraill yng Nghymru. Felly, mae ein 10 amcan ni nawr yn gyfystyr, os ŷch chi'n moyn. Yn hytrach na chael cynllun ar wahân, yr un cynllun yw e. Felly, mae e wedi 'embed-o' yn llwyr yn ein strategaeth ni ac yn ein cyfeiriad ni. 

Last year, we reviewed our objectives and we have dovetailed those with the objectives of the well-being of future generations Act, in terms of the objectives but also the way we work, which is also very important. You can see that in the way that we integrate our work with the work of other organisations across Wales. So, our 10 objectives now do run in parallel. Rather than having a separate scheme, it's the same scheme. So, it is fully embedded in our strategy and in our direction of travel. 

10:25

Diolch. Symudwn ni ymlaen, felly, at ddysgu, addysg a chysylltiad cymdeithasol, Vikki Howells. 

Thank you. Moving on, therefore, to learning, education and social engagement, Vikki Howells. 

Thank you, Chair. The Fusion programme sounds very interesting—your work on that. Could you briefly tell us—I know you're involved in the evaluation—what are the headline things that you've learnt in terms of the best practice for other museums to follow? And any advice you'd give them about things that you've done that maybe haven't worked out so well that they could do differently? 

Wel, mae'r adroddiadau gwerthuso ar-lein ac maen nhw o ddefnydd i bobl. Rŷn ni hefyd yn cynnal sesiynau gyda'r wyth awdurdod lleol sydd yn rhan o Cyfuno er mwyn sicrhau bod y wybodaeth sydd yn dod trwy'r adroddiadau gwerthuso yn cael ei rhoi mewn i'r rhaglenni eu hunain. Mae yna duedd weithiau bod adroddiadau yn cael eu hysgrifennu ac wedyn bod pobl ddim yn eu defnyddio nhw. Felly, mae'r gweithdai hynny yn effeithiol iawn.

Mae'r gwerthuso yn dangos inni ba weithgareddau sydd fwyaf effeithiol. Mae hefyd yn dangos inni— mae yna fodelau da nawr o ran sut mae partneriaethau lleol a chenedlaethol yn gweithio orau yn lleol, ac rŷn ni'n gallu defnyddio'r rheini. Mae hefyd yn dangos inni wedyn pa feysydd sydd orau inni dargedu cyllid ar eu cyfer nhw ar gyfer y rhaglenni, ond hefyd ar gyfer yr hyfforddiant, achos yn aml iawn un o'r pethau rŷn ni wedi eu dysgu trwy Cyfuno ydy weithiau mae'r arweinwyr yn lleol yn teimlo'n ddihyder wrth ddefnyddio diwylliant eu hunain. Felly, mae cefnogi arweinwyr, boed hynny ym maes iechyd, ym maes gweithio gyda phlant ifanc ac yn y blaen, i wybod sut i ddefnyddio diwylliant er gorau yn agor drysau wedyn i'r bobl maen nhw'n gyfrifol amdanyn nhw ac yn arwain. Felly, mae hwnna'n rhan o'r dysgu sydd wedi dod allan. 

Rŷn ni wrthi ar hyn o bryd yn gweithio ar werthusiad 2018-19, ac rŷn ni'n gobeithio bydd hwnna i fyny ar-lein ym mis Mehefin. 

The evaluation reports are online and they are useful for people. We also hold sessions with the eight local authorities that are part of the Fusion programme in order to ensure that the information that's coming from the evaluation reports is fed into the programmes themselves. There is a tendency sometimes for reports to be written and then not to be used. So, those workshops are very effective. 

The evaluation shows us which activities are most effective. It also shows us that there are good models now in terms of how local partnerships and national partnerships work best at a local level, and we can use those aspects. It also shows us then what areas are best for us to target funding for the programmes, but also for the training, because very often one of the issues that we've learnt through the Fusion programme is that sometimes the local leaders feel that they're not confident in using their own culture. So, supporting leaders, whether in the field of health, working with young children and so forth, to know how to use culture for the best opens doors then for the people they're responsible for and leading. That's one of the lessons that have been learnt.

At the moment, we're working on the evaluation for 2018-19, and we hope that that will be online in June. 

Thank you. And your programme for Welsh language learners as well, it's obviously been seen as successful, because it's been made into an annual event. I see that over 600 people participated in the last festival. What work are you doing to try and increase the numbers, moving forward? 

Wel, mae Ar Lafar yn wŷl gwnaethon ni ei dechrau, ac rŷn ni wedi tynnu'r llyfrgell genedlaethol mewn fel partner, yn gweithio, wrth gwrs, gyda'r Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol yng Nghymru. Mae honna'n wŷl flynyddol, ond yn ychwanegol at yr wŷl, rŷn ni hefyd wedi datblygu adnoddau i bobl ddysgu Cymraeg yn Sain Ffagan—Llwybrau Llafar, gafodd ei lansio yn yr Eisteddfod llynedd—a hefyd rŷn ni'n rhedeg nawr gyda Mudiad Meithrin a gyda'r ganolfan gwersi Cymraeg yn ein hamgueddfeydd ni.

Mae yna ymchwil sy'n dangos bod dysgu iaith mewn cyd-destun diwylliannol—mae'n gwneud synnwyr mewn ffordd, onid yw e?—yn eich galluogi chi hefyd i ddysgu am y wlad a bod cyd-destun wedyn i'r iaith a bod y dysgu yn fwy effeithiol. Felly, mae'r bartneriaeth gyda'r Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol yn bartneriaeth bwysig iawn i ni, ac yn ein galluogi ni i weithio ar draws y casgliad cenedlaethol i gefnogi pobl yng Nghymru i ddysgu Cymraeg ac i gefnogi'r Llywodraeth gyda'r targedau sydd gyda ni. Mae hwnna'n rhywbeth rŷn ni yn cymryd o ddifrif. 

Rŷn ni wedi edrych wedyn ar y ffordd rŷn ni'n dehongli. Dŷn ni ddim yn moyn gweld y Gymraeg fel iaith passive; mae'n iaith fyw. Mae'n bwysig iawn ein bod ni yn ein dehongli yn ysgrifennu yn Gymraeg ac yn ysgrifennu yn Saesneg, fel bod y Gymraeg ddim yn dod yn iaith gyfieithu, os ŷch chi'n moyn, ac mae hwnna'n fodel rŷn ni wedi datblygu yn Sain Ffagan. 

Ar Lafar is a festival that we started, and we've drawn in the national library as a partner, working, of course, with the National Centre for Learning Welsh in Wales. That is an annual event, but in addition to that, we have developed resources for people to learn Welsh in St Fagans—Llwybrau Llafar was launched at the Eisteddfod last year—and we also run with Mudiad Meithrin and the centre Welsh lessons in our museums. 

Research has shown that learning a language in a cultural context—it makes sense, doesn't it, in a way?—enables you also to learn about the country and that there is a context then for the language and the learning is more effective. So, the partnership with the National Centre for Learning Welsh is an important partnership for us, and enables us to work across the national collection to support people in Wales to learn Welsh and to support the Government with the targets that we have. That is something we take quite seriously. 

We have looked then at the way that we interpret. We don't want to see the Welsh language as a passive language; it's a living language. It's important that, in our interpretation, we write in Welsh and write in English, so that the Welsh language isn't a translation language, if you like, and it's a model that we've developed in St Fagans. 

Gwneuthum i anghofio ar y cychwyn bod gen i rywbeth i'w ddatgan: mae fy mam yn gwirfoddoli gyda dysgu'r Gymraeg yn Sain Ffagan.

I forgot to say at the beginning, I do have a declaration of interest: my mother does volunteer with teaching Welsh in St Fagans.  

Gwych. 

Excellent. 

Mae hi wedi ymddeol nawr, so mae hi'n mwynhau helpu pobl eraill i ddysgu'r Gymraeg. Mae fe'n helpu o ran ennyn pobl i fod yn gymdeithasol gyda'r iaith hefyd. Felly, rwyf fi'n credu bod hwn yn rhywbeth sydd yn dda ac rwy'n edrych ymlaen at weld datblygu'r cynllun penodol hwnnw. 

She is retired now, so she enjoys helping others to learn Welsh. It helps in terms of encouraging people to use the Welsh language on a social level too. I think that is something that is a positive development and I look forward to seeing further development of that particular programme. 

Diolch yn fawr i ti, a diolch i dy fam. Gobeithio bydd hi'n ysbrydoliaeth i eraill. Maen nhw'n rhaglenni effeithiol iawn. 

Thank you very much and thank you to your mother. I hope she'll inspire others. They are very effective programmes. 

Grêt, ocê. Mae yna rai cwestiynau efallai dŷn ni ddim wedi cael amser i'w gofyn. Felly, os yw'n iawn, efallai byddwn ni'n ysgrifennu atoch chi. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod mewn atom heddiw ac am ddisgrifio'r gwaith yr ydych chi'n ei wneud. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Byddwn ni'n cymryd pum munud o seibiant nawr. 

Great, okay. There are a few questions that we perhaps haven't had time to cover. So, if it's okay with you, we'll perhaps write to you with those. But thank you very much for joining us this morning and for telling us about your work. Thank you very much. 

We'll take a five-minute break.  

10:30

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:30 a 10:39. 

The meeting adjourned between 10:30 a 10:39. 

10:35
3. Cefnogi a hybu'r Gymraeg: Ymchwiliad i'r cyd-destun deddfwriaethol a pholisi ac yn ehangach: Sesiwn dystiolaeth 10
3. Supporting and promoting the Welsh language: An inquiry into the legislative, policy and wider context: Evidence session 10

Rŷn ni'n symud ymlaen yn awr at eitem 3, sef cefnogi a hybu'r Gymraeg: ymchwiliad i'r cyd-destun deddfwriaethol a pholisi yma yng Nghymru. Rŷn ni'n croesawu'r tystion, sef Gwyneth Ayers, rheolwr partneriaeth a pholisi corfforaethol Cyngor Sir Gâr; Lyndon Puddy, sef pennaeth uned cefnogi gwasanaethau cyhoeddus Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen; ac wedyn Sioned Wyn Davies, pennaeth gwasanaethau corfforaethol a gwasanaethau cwsmeriaid Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam. Diolch i chi i gyd am ddod mewn atom heddiw. Efallai eich bod chi'n gwybod ein bod ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol ac felly byddwn ni'n mynd yn syth i'r cwestiynau, os yw hynny'n iawn efo chi. Fe fyddaf i'n cychwyn trwy ofyn i chi sut ydych chi'n credu, neu os ydych chi'n credu, fod Mesur 2011 wedi cadarnhau hawliau siaradwyr Cymraeg. Ydy e wedi gwella'r sefyllfa, neu beth sydd wedi newid, yn eich barn chi?

We're moving on now to item 3, which is supporting and promoting the Welsh language: an inquiry into the legislative and policy context here in Wales. We welcome the witnesses, namely Gwyneth Ayres, corporate policy and partnership manager for Carmarthenshire County Council; Lyndon Puddy, head of public services support unit at Torfaen County Borough Council; and then Sioned Wyn Davies, head of corporate and customer services at Wrexham County Borough Council. Thank you to you all for attending today. Perhaps you know that we ask questions based on different themes, so we'll go straight into questions if that's okay with you. I will start by asking you how or if you believe that the 2011 Measure has strengthened the rights of Welsh speakers. Has it improved the situation, or what has changed, in your opinion?

10:40

Ydych chi am i fi ddechrau? Ie, wel, mae wedi bod yn rhywbeth cadarnhaol o'n safbwynt ni yn sir Gâr. Mae wedi codi statws yr iaith ar lefel genedlaethol, rwy'n credu, ac mae hynny wedi cefnogi'r ymdrechion rŷn ni wedi bod yn trial eu gwneud yn sir Gâr. Yn amlwg, roedd canlyniadau'r cyfrifiad diwethaf yn siomedig iawn i ni yn sir Gâr. Rŷn ni wedi dechrau ar y broses hon o edrych yn lleol ar beth oedd yn achosi'r dirywiad, ac mae cyflwyno'r Mesur a'r safonau'n dilyn hynny wedi'n cefnogi ni yn ein hymdrechion ni'n lleol drwy osod fwy o statws a gosod disgwyliadau, efallai, defnyddwyr ein gwasanaeth ni, achos hwnna yw'r brif her i ni yn lleol—diffyg hyder yn yr iaith Gymraeg. Felly, mae cael disgwyliadau cyson ar draws Gymru wedi ein cefnogi ni ar yr ochr hynny.

Rwy'n credu hefyd, o safbwynt mewnol i ni fel cyngor, mae'n gosod y disgwyliadau hynny ar lefel mwy deddfwriaethol, efallai. Roedd y cynlluniau iaith, rwy'n credu, yn rhywbeth oedd yn cael eu derbyn yn fewnol ond efallai ddim yn cael eu gweithredu i'r eithaf, lle, gyda'r safonau, sy'n rhan o'r Mesur wrth gwrs, maen nhw wedi ein galluogi ni i allu cymryd y camau perthnasol pan fo angen. Felly, mae wedi bod yn rhywbeth cadarnhaol o'n safbwynt ni. 

Would you like me to start? Well, it's been positive from our point of view in Carmarthenshire. It's raised the status of the language at a national level and that has supported our efforts in Carmarthenshire. Clearly, the results of the last census were disappointing for us in Carmarthenshire, and we have started this process of looking, at a local level, as to what led to that situation. The introduction of the Measure and the standards following that have supported us in our effort at a local level by providing greater status and by increasing the expectations of our service users, because that's our main challenge locally—the lack of confidence in the Welsh language. So, having consistency of expectation across Wales has supported us in that regard.

I also believe that, internally for us as a council, it sets those expectations at a statutory level. I think the language schemes were something that were accepted internally but perhaps weren't fully implemented, whereas the standards, which are included within the Measure of course, have enabled us to take the relevant steps when needs be. So, it's been positive from our point of view. 

Shall I take the next one? 

Yes, fine. 

Thank you, Chair. Undoubtedly, it's increased the profile of the Welsh language, particularly in relatively low speaking areas, such as in Torfaen. So, putting it on a statutory footing has certainly made us as a local authority and other public bodies start to consider what the requirements are for Welsh language provision. We've had some challenging conversations across the local authority on how we manage and implement the Measure and the standards that follow into being able to support customers and individuals. I agree with Gwyneth—the focus for us has always been what can we provide to the general public and our customers as the heart within the Measure. It's also challenged us as a council as to what other services we provide through the medium of Welsh and how critically we can also liaise with our schools and other partners. We've had discussions around the public services board, around how we can look to ensure that we manage our Welsh language provision also through the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and embedding those elements around that. So, it's certainly raised the profile, I would say, as more of a positive element certainly for us in a relatively low Welsh-speaking area.  

Dŷn ni ddim yn annhebyg i Dorfaen, ond rwy'n cyd-weld â'r sylwadau sydd wedi'u gwneud eisoes. Mae wedi gosod fframwaith sydd o help efo cyflwyno ein gwasanaethau trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg a hefyd wedi creu ymwybyddiaeth fewnol yn y staff a chodi ymwybyddiaeth yn gyffredinol, dwi'n meddwl, o fewn y cyngor efo staff, a bod defnydd o'r Gymraeg mwy ar y blaen nag efallai yr oedd o gynt oherwydd yr orfodaeth bendant. Gan ein bod ni wedi cael ambell ymchwiliad yn ystod yr amser efo'r safonau, mae staff yn raddol yn dod yn fwy ymwybodol ac yn dod yn fwy ystyriol, dwi'n meddwl, o'r angen i barchu'r Gymraeg a gwneud yn siŵr bod pethau ar gael trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Yn bendant, mae yna sialens mewn ardal fel ein un ni lle nad ydy'r Gymraeg yn cael ei defnyddio'n naturiol o fewn y gymdeithas yn eang. Mae gennym ni ardaloedd, pocedi o gymdeithas, sydd yn Seisnigaidd iawn, wedyn mae yna'n bendant sialensau. Mae hynna'r un peth efo'r staff—ein bod ni ar y ffin, so mae'n lleoliad ni yn Wrecsam yn codi sialens arbennig, dwi'n meddwl, hefyd, sydd ddim yn unigryw ond mae o'n sialens i ni o hyd. 

We're not dissimilar to Torfaen, but I agree with the comments that have been made already. It has set a framework that is of assistance with introducing our services through the medium of Welsh and also has created an awareness internally with the staff and has raised awareness in general, I think, within the council, with the staff, and that the use of the Welsh language is at the forefront now more than it was in the past because of the enforcement. As we have had a few inquiries during the time with these standards, staff are gradually becoming more aware and more considerate, I think, of the need to respect the Welsh language and to ensure that things are available through the medium of Welsh. There is certainly a challenge in an area such as ours where the Welsh language isn't used naturally within the community in a broader sense. We have pockets of the community that are very English speaking and certainly there are challenges therefore. It's the same with the staff—that we are close to the border, so our location in Wrexham does provide us with a particular challenge, I think, which isn't unique but it is a challenge for us. 

Dŷch chi'n sôn am sialensau a dŷch chi wedi sôn am bethau cadarnhaol, ond beth yw'r pethau llai cadarnhaol am y Mesur yma? Rŷn ni wedi clywed efallai ei fod e'n fiwrocrataidd neu rŷn ni wedi clywed efallai ei fod e'n anodd i'w 'implement-eiddio'. Beth yw realiti'r sefyllfa? Dyna beth rŷn ni am ei glywed yma heddiw. Sioned, roeddech chi'n edrych fel eich bod chi eisiau ymateb.

You mentioned challenges and you've also mentioned some positives, but what's not as positive about this Measure? We've heard that it's perhaps bureaucratic, that it's difficult to implement—what's the reality of the situation? That's what we want to hear from you this morning. Sioned, you looked as though you wanted to respond.

10:45

Wel, dwi'n meddwl yn bendant fod yna sialensau wedi bod efo hynny, ac ers i'r Mesur ddod i rym, ac i'r safonau ddod i rym, rŷn ni wedi apwyntio rhywun i helpu, i roi cymorth yn gyffredinol efo'u gweithredu nhw. Yn anffodus, mae llawer iawn o'i amser wedi ei dynnu i mewn i wneud yr ymchwiliadau, a rhai ohonyn nhw'n faterion reit fychan sydd, efallai, yn bethau y buasai wedi cael eu datrys cyn i ni hyd yn oed wybod beth ydy fframwaith yr ymchwiliad, heb sôn am y penderfyniad ar ddiwedd hynny. Wedyn, buasai cyfle, efallai, i ddatrys pethau felly yn fewnol cyn eu bod nhw'n mynd ymlaen fel cwyn ffurfiol—dwi'n meddwl y buasem ni'n croesawu hynny a buasai hynny'n rhyddhau rhywfaint o'n hamser ni i ganolbwyntio ar annog cydymffurfio efo'r safonau yn fwy cyffredinol, ond hefyd i hybu a hyrwyddo yn fwy cyffredinol o fewn ardal lle mae yna sialens gennym ni i wneud defnydd o'r Gymraeg a normaleiddio hynny mewn ffordd.

There are certainly challenges with that, and since the Measure came into force, and the standards came into force, we have appointed somebody to assist us and to provide general assistance with implementing them. Unfortunately, much of that person's time is drawn into the inquiries, and many of them are quite small issues that, perhaps, are issues that would have been solved before we even know what the framework of the inquiry would be, let alone the decision at the end. So, maybe an opportunity to solve those issues internally before going on to an official complaint would be welcomed, and that would free up some of our time to concentrate on encouraging compliance with the standards in general, but also to promote in a more general way in an area where we face a challenge as regards use of the Welsh language and to normalise the use of the Welsh language.

Ie, byddwn i'n cefnogi hwnna 100 y cant. Mae'r ffordd mae'r safonau wedi cael eu llunio, efallai, yn orfiwrocrataidd ac yn gyfreithiol iawn. Efallai mai'r natur gyfansoddiadol yw hynny, ond yr her bennaf i ni efallai yn lleol pan oedd y safonau'n cael eu cyflwyno oedd dehongli beth oedd y safonau wir yn golygu. A dwi'n credu roedd swyddfa'r comisiynydd yn mynd drwy'r broses hynny am y tro cyntaf gyda ni fel awdurdodau lleol, ac efallai roedd diffyg cyfathrebu rhyngom ni fel awdurdodau a rhwng y comisiynydd, er gwaethaf awdurdodau efallai'n trio cael y sgwrs a'r ddeialog yna gyda swyddfa'r comisiynydd ar y pryd. Dwi'n credu mai barn y comisiynydd ar y pryd oedd, 'Wel, mae'r safonau yna i chi i'w dehongli. Fe ddywedwn ni wrthych chi os ydych chi wedi'u dehongli nhw'n gywir neu'n anghywir pan ddaw'r cyfan i fodolaeth'. Dwi'n deall bod y drefn yna wedi newid nawr o safbwynt y comisiynydd, ond efallai mai ni oedd y cyntaf i fynd drwy'r broses hynny. A byddwn i'n cytuno'n llwyr amboutu'r broses cwynion—mae angen ailedrych ar hynny'n bendant.

Yes, I'd support that 100 per cent. The way in which the standards have been drawn up is, perhaps, overly bureaucratic and very legalistic. Perhaps that's just the nature of the constitutional situation, but the main challenge for us locally when they were introduced was to interpret exactly what the standards meant. And I think the commissioner's office was going through that process for the first time with us as local authorities, and perhaps there was a lack of communication between ourselves as authorities and the commissioner, despite authorities trying to have that dialogue with the commissioner's office at the time. I think that the commissioner's view at the time was, 'The standards are there for you to interpret. We will tell you if you've interpreted them correctly or otherwise when everything is implemented'. I do understand that that situation has now changed from the commissioner's point of view, but perhaps we were the first to go through the process. And I would agree entirely on the complaints procedure—we do need to review that without a doubt.

Down ni ymlaen at hynny mewn manylder yn hwyrach.

We'll come on to that in some detail later.

Iawn, ocê.

Yr unig bwynt arall roeddwn i'n dymuno'i wneud, efallai, oedd bod ffocws y Mesur hyd yn hyn wedi bod ar gyflwyno'r safonau ac mae'r ffocws wedi bod ar yr ochr rheoleiddiol o wneud hynny, a'r hyn sydd wedi cael ei golli, efallai, yn sgil hynny yw'r gwaith hyrwyddo a'r gwaith cefnogi sydd angen digwydd ar lefel genedlaethol. Mae gap enbyd gyda ni ar hyn o bryd o ran cydlynu gwaith hyrwyddo ar draws Cymru. Ers diddymu Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg, mae'r gwaith hynny wedi dod i ben mewn gwirionedd. Mae'r Llywodraeth yn gwneud poced o waith hyrwyddo, mae swyddfa'r comisiynydd yn gwneud poced, ond wedyn mae lot o'r gwaith yn disgyn arnon ni yn lleol. Mae gyda fi becynnau gwybodaeth, er gwybodaeth, yn dilyn y pwyllgor, i chi gael golwg ar y deunyddiau rŷn ni wedi gofod eu paratoi yn lleol, achos roedd yr angen gyda ni i gyfleu negeseuon yn lleol o ran hyrwyddo gwaith y safonau, gwaith addysg a gwaith cymunedol. Rŷn ni wedi gorfod paratoi deunyddiau ein hunain yn lleol lle dwi'n grediniol gallai'r rheina fod wedi cael eu paratoi ar lefel genedlaethol a wedyn ein bod ni ar lefel leol yn gallu diwallu'r rheini i'n hanghenion ni yn lleol. Felly, mae hwnna'n rhywbeth byddwn i'n teimlo sydd, efallai, wedi cael ei golli o ganlyniad i gyflwyno'r Mesur, er, dwi'n credu bod y gallu o fewn y Mesur i wneud hynny.  

Right, okay.

The only other point I wanted to make was that the focus of the Measure to date has been on the introduction of standards and on the regulatory side of doing so, and what's been missed, perhaps, as a result of that is the promotion work and the support that needs to be happen at a national level. There is a huge gap at the moment in terms of co-ordinating promotional work across Wales. Since the Welsh Language Board was abolished, that work has come to an end if truth be told. The Government does some of the work, the commissioner is involved with some of it, but much of it falls to us at a local level. I do have some information packs, for your information, that you can have a look at following the committee, and these are materials we've had to provide locally, because we do need to convey messages locally on promoting the work on standards, education work and community work. We've had to prepare our own materials recently where I'm convinced that those could have been provided at a national level and then we at a local level could use them to our own ends at that level. So, that is something that I think is an opportunity missed as a result of the introduction of the Measure, although I do think that there is scope within the Measure to do that.

I concur with some of the comments from either side, Chair. I mean, for us, it's been a very long-drawn-out process from the 1993 Measure to where we are now, and it's felt sometimes chaotic. It hasn't felt as joined-up as what it could be, and I think that's been to the detriment of the process as we've gone forward.

I suppose the actual process of going from the Measure to the standards, the length of time it's taken, the process of working to understand what those standards mean.

We asked, during the consultative process that, as with other pieces of legislation that come through—. You normally have a code or guidance that goes alongside that piece of legislation as it's going through, rather than, as we're expecting now, to have a code of practice that follows, which is going to be very difficult for local authorities and other public bodies that have already published their standards and what they're intending to do within those standards, as what's within the compliance notice may be different to what comes out from the commissioner's office on what those standards mean.

So, they are going to be putting forward a compliance notice after you've put your standards out. Is that what you're saying?

We've already got our compliance notice of what our standards mean to us. A code of guidance that's coming out now—or whatever we want to call it, a code of operation—the way in which the language commissioner understands how those are going to be, that could be conflictual to what we've already agreed as a compliance notice. And it's been—. We did challenge a lot of standards in Torfaen, because we thought they were unreasonable and disproportionate, based on the demography of the area and the demand that we currently had through the previous legislation on what we provide. So, it has been a very long-drawn-out process, and that's really caused us some really difficult conversations locally, because of the resources to be able to match what's being expected of us, and I don't think there was a clear understanding, when setting the standards against the boroughs that are less Welsh speaking than others, of the actual demand on current services and the population requests for challenging material that's not provided bilingually. Originally, we fully signed up to providing those elements—I wanted to just put that point forward—but it has been a really difficult process for us to go through with the standards, based on where we are as quite a low Welsh speaking local authority.

10:50

Jest un cwestiwn clou cyn symud ymlaen at Mick: i edrych ar hynny mewn ffordd wahanol, petasech chi'n cael yr adnoddau yna, efallai byddai'r galw yn dilyn, achos mae rhai pobl yn meddwl, wel, efallai oherwydd dyw Torfaen ddim yn gwneud cymaint dŷn nhw ddim yn gofyn am yr adnodd hwnnw yn y Gymraeg. Felly, fyddech chi'n gallu gweld rhywun efallai yn gweld e o'r persbectif hwnnw a newid seicoleg y drafodaeth, efallai?

Just one quick question before moving on to Mick: to look at that in a different way, if you had those resources perhaps the demand would follow, because some people might think it's because Torfaen isn't doing that much that they're not asking for that resource in Welsh. So, would you be able perhaps to see somebody looking at it from that perspective and change the psychology of the discussion, perhaps?

We looked at that as part of the process we've got. I've ensured our Welsh language team is resourced, so we haven't, through very difficult budgetary rounds, taken any resources from our Welsh language provision, purely on that basis, because we are working in the spirit of trying to ensure that we are playing our part in Welsh Government's promotion, 2050 for a million Welsh language speakers. From the resource, we've maintained our—well, actually increased our—current provision on Welsh language elements, but it's a challenging conversation when there are budgetary pressures that are coming through the local authority-based budget provision.

One of the purposes of this inquiry is to actually evaluate the impact that the standards have had, as well as their effectiveness, and also what concerns there are. I think the language has been very diplomatic in terms of the challenges, which—. There is not necessarily a hegemony across the local authorities. In the helpful paper from the WLGA, we just have this paragraph 13 here:

'The Association believes in retaining the current consensus on the Welsh Language, keeping it out of the realm of party politics and firmly focussing on practical measures to increase its use, rather than creating a legalistic framework that focuses on compliance in the abstract.'

That, to me, sends out a message that there's a concern about the support for the promotion of the language, that there is a concern that there is a danger of politicisation of the language, or a perception of that, and that there is a concern that the standards are essentially legalistic solutions that may not be as effective as they should be and there might be a better focus in another way. I'm just wondering what your views are on perhaps those three areas. What are your areas of concern, and what is your response to, really, those three points that I think emerge out of the evidence of that paper?

So, I think it's fair to say that, when the standards came into being for local government, it was a painful process. We, in Carmarthenshire, had just over 170 different standards that we needed to interpret locally, understand what they meant, because they were written in such a legal manner, and then to understand if we could comply with those standards. It took quite a lengthy process to work through that, because it's not just a corporate matter; we need to have that conversation across the hundreds of different services that we provide as an authority. So, there was probably—. Some of that discussion was very painful, very hard at the time. Going back—when was that—2015, 2016, there was a lot of dialogue nationally about the standards being implemented. I think, since then, once we'd got through that process, the process of embedding within organisations, speaking from a Carmarthenshire perspective, has run far more smoothly, and, as I said earlier, the standards for us have raised the status of the Welsh language, raised expectations from a public perspective, but also internally for us. I think that's the key thing, with the standards, that it gives a status to the Welsh internally within the organisation as well, for our staff—something that the old Welsh language schemes never did. So, that, again, brings its own challenges in terms of the way that we operate as an organisation, but we're working through that, and it continues to be a progressive process for us in terms of taking steps to make sure that we're doing all that we can be doing to fulfill the requirements of the standards. So, that has been a challenge. I think, personally, we're over that difficult period and it's now a process of embedding. I suppose it's the same with any new legislation when it comes in: it's a lot of work to interpret and decipher locally what is actually meant at a national level. So, that, hopefully, is past us, and I really wouldn't want to go through that process again. So, introducing new legislation for me causes a concern.

And then, just in terms of the political dynamics of it, I will be honest, in Carmarthenshire, we haven't really faced that political dynamic. As I mentioned earlier, we'd started on this process as a result of the census results for us in Carmarthenshire. It was a Labour-led council at that time. Labour instigated our working group at that time. Since then, we've had a change in administration and it's now a Plaid-led administration—a Plaid and independent coalition, I should say, sorry. 

10:55

The leader is Plaid, yes. 

We have not had that political dynamic. I think there's a consistent message at a local level for us in terms of our status as a bilingual county that the introduction of the Measure and standards haven't played out in that politics. 

I'm happy to—. I'm not getting an echo in my ears now, this is quite—it's a little bit easier. We're a Labour administration in Torfaen. When the standards came through, our politicians were supportive of the legislation and continue to be supportive of that. We've had a number of conversations around what those standards actually mean within the council and we've provided guidance to both our staff and to members to ensure that we embed that. Whether we would have progressed without some legislative framework around to where we are now, I doubt very much whether we would have, being honest. I think this has enabled us to move forward with promoting the Welsh language and, certainly, the volume of our interpretation in the written word has increased.

We've had no dissension around the political side of it other than how this competes with other resource implications that we have within the local authority. So, we have cabinet and main party sign-up to the Welsh language; we've taken reports through to council, they've always been well received; our annual Welsh language report to council is well received. So, apart from echoing some of the points around the promotion side of it, there hasn't really been a discussion, other than what is the—. We've had 174 standards in Torfaen in our original element. It was, 'How do we reasonably and proportionally implement those on the population that we currently have?' and how we look towards the future. 

I think I would echo, very much, the comments that have been said by my colleagues in other authorities. Politically, we haven't had the difficulty, but I think that's because it's been legislative. So, the standards have been there, they've been a requirement, and so there's not been that debate over, 'Well, why do we have to do this?'. It's never been an issue: we've just always accepted it, and, in fairness, you know, the council, we've had an alliance, a mixed administration, both following the recent election and previously, so for quite some time, and I think our lead member has actually been quite consistent throughout and very supportive as a Welsh learner himself. So, I think we've been fortunate in having that consistency and very much the same message getting through to members. So, I don't think we've had the political issues. I think, very much echoing what colleagues have said already, it's about the process of perhaps getting them in, and I haven't been in post and responsible for this area for particularly long, so I haven't been personally involved in it. But I know that it has been a process of getting that and changing the culture of the organisation to recognise and acknowledge and for it to become more embedded within the reality of the way in which we work. But I think the important thing now is perhaps the shift from always focusing just on the compliance side—that that should be a given and given chance to embed locally, but then be coupled with the promotion side of it, really, and perhaps there's a need for that shift, I think.

11:00

So, that key message that comes out of that particular paragraph is perhaps the pain and difficulty of, across authorities, complying with the standards and establishing the standards. It's now been done and has been bedded in, and the key focus, really, is on usage.

I think so.

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. I was very interested to read, in particular, the evidence from Carmarthenshire council, and you're fairly critical of aspects of the robustness of the Measure, and often, when we hear quite pungent evidence, we don't always get an example. But you provide a very interesting example that relates to signage—I presume in relation to planning permission—and that you really couldn't use the Measure. So, presumably, it wasn't attached to any standard you could identify. And, in the end, you took action under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. I think, in terms of the real bilingual nature of the county, signage is a huge issue; I think people would agree with that. So, I'd like to hear a bit more about how you resolve that, and perhaps the other witnesses might want to develop the point, how the Measure is used with other law, particularly—. I think Mr Puddy has already referred to the well-being of future generations Act. I apologise if my recollection's incorrect, but I think one of you has, anyway. Because I find that interesting, how different pieces of legislation may be used quite effectively together.

Yes. I think our concern is more around the connectivity between different bits of legislation, because, the example I'll give you, it was actually the Planning Inspectorate that used the well-being of future generations Act to reject an appeal by a local business. So, if I just give you a quick synopsis of the scenario that we faced: our local development plan, another bit of legislation, considers communities with a certain percentage of Welsh-speaking population—you have to give linguistic consideration to developments in areas. The development in question was in Cross Hands, an area where there's 60 per cent of the population or more speaking Welsh. So, under our LDP, our planning officers rejected a request by Pets at Home to put English-only signage up. I can name them, by the way, because it's all in the public domain.

Pets at Home took that as an appeal then to the Planning Inspectorate and the Planning Inspectorate, having looked at all of the legislation that was in place, referred to the well-being of future generations Act as the reason why they were rejecting the appeal from Pets at Home. So, in that context, the planning legislation didn't hold ground and the Welsh language Measure didn't hold enough ground for the Planning Inspectorate to be able to reject that. So, it's quite complex for me, and I think, probably, the well-being Act has come in since the introduction of the Measure. Planning legislation I know has been reviewed recently and re-issued, so I'm hoping that in future we won't face a similar scenario. But it goes back to all legislation needing to maybe review itself when new legislation is published. I know that's a bureaucratic nightmare, probably, but those are the issues that we've tried to face locally, really. That was the scenario that we faced.

So, there is a concern from our perspective in terms of different parts of service interpreting legislation in different ways and the connectivity between the different requirements.

11:05

So, do either of you have anything—that's a very interesting response, incidentally—to say on the practicality of the use of the Measure, then, in terms of helping you promote the language locally?

If I could just talk about the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, I am the lead on the public services board in Torfaen and we've used one of the well-being goals, which is linking into the thriving Welsh language to ensure that we've covered that within both our well-being assessment and our well-being plan, which has been obviously signed off by the public services board. So, as Gwyneth said, we're very conscious of the connectivity across the various strands of legislation that this Measure can relate to.

We've also got the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 as well, and we've had discussions with our social care colleagues. A particular example is, sometimes, when older people, particularly around dementia, revert back to their first language. Well, their first language may be Welsh, so we're very conscious of the practical implications of what we're trying to promote through the Welsh language, and some of those connections that run across. We do have to deal with quite a lot of the regional legislation that you produce and also the national legislation that comes from Westminster. But just to give the committee assurances, we are cited on those connections; we don't always get them right, but we are cited on where, and we react to the challenge when we're wrong.

We've incorporated the Welsh language as being one of our key planning principles when we're developing any plans within the organisation alongside all the well-being ones. So, we're trying desperately for it to become embedded as part of the overall process. But I think the planning example is a very good one, which is one that we've actually flagged up previously when we've responded to consultations, indicating that the planning regime is one where there's a small loophole, in that there's no particular requirement in relation to the Welsh language. And in an area like Wrexham where the Welsh language is not universally spoken and not spoken consistently across the county borough, then you've got that weakness, in a sense, with the community element, that Carmarthen were able to rely on in terms of their planning appeal.

Would you let me just add, sorry, that the specific element for the Welsh language Measure—the failure to use it in that context was because it doesn't apply to private sector? So, that was the issue for us, then, in terms of not being able to use the language Measure in that sense.

Byddech chi eisiau iddo fe ehangu i'r sector breifat, y Mesur hynny, yn benodol, neu ydych chi'n credu bod y Ddeddf llesiant yn ddigonol er mwyn ichi ei defnyddio os oes rhywbeth fel hyn yn digwydd yn y dyfodol?

Would you want it to expand to the private sector, that Measure specifically, or do you think that the well-being Act is sufficient for you to use if something like this arises in the future?

Mae'r twls yna i wneud y safonau rwy'n credu yn berthnasol i'r sector breifat. Efallai byddai angen proses wahanol i'r sector breifat i fabwysiadu rhywbeth tebyg, ac fe fyddai ar raddfa wahanol. Rŷn ni wedi bod yn gweithredu cynlluniau iaith ers 1993, felly mae wedi bod yn broses raddol, dros gyfnod hirfaith o amser. I fod yn gwbl onest, o'n profiad ni'n lleol, pan ŷn ni wedi gallu cael deialog gyda busnesau yn gynnar, pan maen nhw yn y broses o ddatblygu, maen nhw wedi bod yn gefnogol iawn, achos maen nhw'n gweld y budd, o safbwynt gofal cwsmer, o greu awyrgylch dwyieithog o fewn eu sefydliadau. Felly, pan mae'r gefnogaeth yna ar gael i'r sector breifat, maen nhw'n fwy na pharod i gydweithio. Rwy'n credu mai'r broblem i'r sector breifat, efallai, yw pan ŷn ni'n gorfodi rhywbeth yn rhy hwyr yn y dydd, efallai, o ran eu cynllunio nhw. Felly, mae'n broses, efallai, o gydweithio â'r sector breifat i'w galluogi nhw i ddatblygu.

The tools are in place to make the standards relevant to the private sector. I think you might need a different process for the private sector if they were to adopt something similar, and it would be on a different scale. We have been implementing language schemes since 1993, and therefore it's been a gradual process over a lengthy period of time. To be entirely honest, from our experience locally, when we've been able to have dialogue with businesses at an early stage, when they're in the process of development, they've been very supportive, because they do see the benefits, in terms of customer service, of creating a bilingual environment within their businesses. So, when that support is available to the private sector, they are more than willing to work with us. I think the problem for the private sector, perhaps, is when we enforce things too late in the day in terms of their planning. So, it's a process of collaboration with the private sector to enable them to develop in this regard.

Just to finish this point—I think it's something that we may want to follow up, because you did anticipate my next question. It seemed to me that, yes, directly, the standards don't yet apply to much of the private sector—I suppose you could argue utilities—but, presumably, there are standards about how you run your planning regime, and via that route, it seems to me that you can reflect language patterns. In fact, standards should be saying that that's a requirement. So, that then means that when you grant planning permission, I would've thought that that's part of the system, so that if an organisation, especially a substantial organisation, that needs signage will not produce it bilingually, that's grounds for you saying, 'Sorry, if you don't do it, you don't get your sign.'

11:10

My understanding of the Measure is that it wouldn't allow us to do that.

I think that's interesting, and we will need to look at that.

But interestingly, though, the particular issue for us in Carmarthenshire was in Cross Hands. That is a community of over 60 per cent. So, our LDP sets the threshold at 60 per cent, so if it were in any other community, probably outside of Cross Hands, we might not have had the same outcome, and that was something that we, when we were developing our original LDP—we had set our threshold at 40 per cent, so any communities with over 40 per cent, but at that time the Planning Inspectorate asked us to raise that threshold to 60 per cent.

I think that's interesting evidence as well, because if you're using it in a promotional way, you could argue even 40 per cent, which is roughly twice the average at the moment, roughly—the 20 per cent Welsh speakers—itself would demand greater promotion. I suppose you could go even further, and say where's there's a lower level, that requires promotion as well. Anyway, I don't want to draw these matters out too much, but I think they're things we really need to consider when evaluating the robustness of the Measure. Thank you.

Diolch am hynny. Caroline Jones ar y safonau a manylion y safonau.

Thank you for that. Caroline Jones on the standards and the details.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. My first question of three is: as a committee, we've obviously heard mixed evidence regarding the introduction of the Welsh language standards, and you've said today you've all agreed that they've been complex, and Mr Puddy has said that it's been lengthy in duration. Therefore, my first question is: for Welsh speakers accessing local authority services, to what extent do the standards provide greater clarity and assurance?

We publish the standards on our website that enables members of the public to engage with us. We've changed our telephony to ensure that we're meeting the standards that way. Our website is now wholly bilingual, whereas it wasn't previously. And all of our translations are done within the requirements of the standards that we have. So, we've progressed quite significantly in Torfaen, I think, to opening up avenues for people to engage with us. We don't get requests for simultaneous translation to the extent that we thought we may do, but we have those provisions in place as well should they be required. So, other than trying to actively promote it across, we actively promote our staff to do Welsh language courses, and we provide time off for them to do that as part of our contribution towards ensuring that we can enable that to happen, and we act very positively around those requests that are given to us in a different medium—particularly Welsh, in this case—to ensure that we are trying to meet the aspirations of our local community.

So, would you say that provision is work in progress?

It's always going to be work in progress, to be bluntly honest. I don't think we can ever take our eye off the ball with this, but we have to balance what is reasonable and proportionate in the way in which we deliver our Welsh language provision in conjunction with our other services that we also have a statutory duty to provide.

Yes. I'll respond in Welsh.

Rwy'n cytuno'n llwyr fod y safonau wedi rhoi eglurder a sicrwydd, rwy'n credu, i ddefnyddwyr gwasanaeth. Yn y gorffennol, efallai byddai pobl wedi tueddu i feddwl, 'Efallai nad oes gwasanaethau Cymraeg gyda nhw', lle nawr rŷch chi'n gwybod bod angen darparu gwasanaeth. Felly, mae'n rhoi mwy o hyder i bobl i fynd at sefydliadau i ddefnyddio'r gwasanaeth trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

Rwy'n credu'r mai'r cwestiwn sydd gyda fi, efallai, yw: yn amlwg, mae set o safonau wedi cael eu gosod ar awdurdodau, ond mae safonau gwahanol o fewn yr opsiynau. Felly, mae gwahanol lefelau o ddisgwyliad o ran lle mae'r awdurdodau yn cyflenwi. Mae ein set o safonau ni yn digwydd bod yn sir Gâr yn eithaf uchel o ran disgwyliadau. Fy nghwestiwn i, felly, fyddai: beth yw'r broses wedyn o symud pawb lan i'r un lefel ar draws Cymru? Felly, mae disgwyliadau gwahanol. Byddwn i, fel rhywun sy'n byw yn sir Gâr ar hyn o bryd, yn derbyn gwasanaeth; pe byddwn i'n symud i awdurdod sydd gyda lefel wahanol o safonau, byddai'r disgwyliad yn wahanol yn y sir hynny. Felly, rwy'n credu mai'r bwriad hirdymor yw bod pawb yn cyrraedd yr un lefel. Rwy'n derbyn bod pawb yn dechrau o fan gwahanol ar hwn, ond efallai bod diffyg eglurder ar hyn o bryd o ran beth yw'r broses o ran symud ymlaen, i ddilyn. 

Yes, I agree entirely that the standards have provided clarity for service users. In the past, people would have perhaps thought, 'Well, perhaps Welsh services won't be available', where now they will know that that service has to be provided. So, it gives people more confidence to approach institutions and use services through the medium of Welsh.

I think the question I would have is: clearly, there is a set of standards that has been imposed on authorities, but there are different standards within those broader options, so there's a different level of expectation in terms of what authorities provide. Our standards in Carmarthenshire are quite high in terms of expectations. My question would be: what's the process of shifting everyone up to the same level across Wales? There are different expectations in different areas. So, as someone living in Carmarthenshire, I would receive a service; if I were to move to an authority with a lower level in terms of standards, the expectations would be different within that county. So, I think the long-term intention is that everyone attains the same level. I accept that everyone is starting from a different starting point on this issue, but perhaps there is a lack of clarity in terms of the process in making progress, following on from this point. 

11:15

And to that extent, it's very much work in progress, I think, because we're all trying to embed at our own levels, but there may well be an ultimate standard that we'd all wish to aspire to. But, obviously, we have practical issues within certain communities in recruiting sufficient numbers of Welsh speakers. That's another issue that we certainly experience, even in key roles. 

I'll combine my next two questions, which are: how do Welsh language standards compare with Welsh language schemes, and what are the benefits and weaknesses of Welsh language standards? Most have been answered there already. But the Welsh Local Government Association notes that local authorities were initially of the view that Welsh language schemes were a more effective and proportionate mechanism for delivering the intended aims, but Carmarthenshire council categorically states that it did not want to go back to the voluntary nature of the Welsh language schemes, stating that encouragement rather than enforcement is a backward step. So, the final part of the question is for yourself, with Carmarthenshire, but if everyone else could come in on the first part of the question. 

Do you want me to respond to that matter specifically? 

Rwy'n credu ei bod yn deg i ddweud ein bod ni wedi mynd trwy'r boen o gyflwyno'r safonau—rŷn ni wedi mynd trwy'r broses yna erbyn hyn—a byddai'n gam yn ôl, yn ein golwg ni, i fynd nôl i'r cynlluniau iaith fel maen nhw ar hyn o bryd. Mae'r holl waith datblygu sydd wedi digwydd ar draws y pedair, pum mlynedd diwethaf—. I daflu hwnna nôl i statws y cynlluniau a statws gwirfoddol o ran rheoleiddio—mi fyddai hynny yn gam yn ôl sylweddol, ac yn cyfleu'r neges anghywir, rwy'n credu, i'r bobl sy'n byw yn sir Gâr ac ar draws Cymru o ran eu disgwyliadau nhw o ran beth y gallen nhw ddisgwyl o ran gwasanaeth Cymraeg. Felly, hynny fyddai'n gofid ni. 

Y budd pennaf y byddwn ni'n ei weld o safbwynt y safonau—. Mae lot o'r safonau sydd gyda ni yn sir Gâr—roedden nhw gyda ni yn y cynllun iaith, o safbwynt ein hochr allanol ni, y gwasanaethau i'r cyhoedd. Y budd mae'r safonau wedi dod i ni yn sir Gâr yw bod y safonau nawr yn berthnasol i ni yn fewnol fel corff hefyd. Felly, mae hawliau gyda ni fel staff sy'n siarad Cymraeg. Mae disgwyliadau o ran sgiliau staff yn newid hefyd. Mae cefnogaeth i staff i ddysgu'r Gymraeg ac i wella eu sgiliau hefyd yn rhywbeth sydd wedi datblygu bron yn sgil cyflwyno'r safonau. Felly, mae hwnna wedi bod yn rhywbeth buddiol a'n rhywbeth rŷm ni wedi gallu symud ymlaen arno.

A'r budd arall yw'r gwaith o ran cyflwyno strategaeth hybu yn lleol. Mae hwnna yn un o'r gofynion o fewn y safonau. Rŷn ni wedi cymryd y farn yn sir Gâr mai er mai ni fel cyngor sy'n gyfrifol am baratoi'r strategaeth hybu, rŷn ni wedi paratoi hwn mewn partneriaeth â'r holl asiantaethau eraill sydd yn gweithredu ac yn hyrwyddo'r Gymraeg yn y sir. Felly, rŷn ni wedi gweithio mewn partneriaeth â'r mentrau iaith yn lleol, y ffermwyr ifanc, yr Urdd a nifer o bartneriaid eraill; mae Dyfodol yr Iaith a Chymdeithas yr Iaith wedi gweithio gyda ni i baratoi ein strategaeth ni yn lleol. Ac mae hwnna wedi dod â chryfder o ran negeseuon clir i ni yn lleol o ran fel rydyn ni eisiau hyrwyddo. Byddai hynny efallai wedi digwydd, ond ddim i'r graddau mae e wedi o achos y gofyniad o fewn y safonau.    

I think it's fair to say that we have gone through the pain of introducing the standards—we've gone through that process now—and it would be a step backwards, in our view, to go back to the language schemes as they are at present. All the development work that's happened over the last four or five years—to throw that back to the status of the language schemes, and the voluntary status in terms of regulation, would be a backward step, and would convey the wrong message, I think, to the people who live in Carmarthenshire and across Wales in terms of their expectations in terms of what they can expect in terms of Welsh language services. So, I think that would be our concern.

The main benefit I would say in terms of the standards—. Many of the standards that we have in Carmarthenshire—we had them in the language scheme, in terms of our external aspect, the services for the public. The benefit that the standards have brought to us in Carmarthenshire is that the standards now are relevant to us internally as a body as well. So, we have rights as Welsh-speaking staff. The expectations in terms of staff skills are changing too. There is support for staff to learn Welsh and to improve their skills, and this is something that's developed nearly as a result of introducing the standards. So, that has been something that's beneficial and something that we've been able to move forward on. 

And the other benefit is the work in terms of introducing a promotional strategy at a local level. That's one of the requirements within the standards. We've taken the view in Carmarthenshire that even though we as a council are responsible for the promotion strategy, we've prepared this in partnership with all the other agencies operating and promoting the Welsh language in the county. So, we've worked in partnership with the mentrau iaith, the young farmers, the Urdd and a number of other partners; Dyfodol yr Iaith and the Welsh Language Society have worked with us to work on the strategy locally. And that's brought strength in terms of clear messages for us at a local level on how we want to promote. That perhaps would have happened, but not to the extent that it has because of the requirement in the standards.   

Dwi'n meddwl, o safbwynt Wrecsam a'r ffordd rydym ni yn gweithredu rŵan, mae wedi ehangu dipyn go lew ar y cyfle i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg a chael adnoddau Cymraeg. Roeddem ni yn gweithredu rywfaint, ond mae o'n bendant wedi ehangu ac wedi gwella, a dwi'n meddwl buasai mynd yn ôl i gynllun Cymraeg gwirfoddol yn gam yn ôl. Dwi'n tueddu i gytuno efo hynny—y buasai o'n gam yn ôl yn gyffredinol i'r iaith, ac yn bendant buasai o'n ei gwneud hi'n anoddach o fewn y cyngor i dal i godi'r ymwybyddiaeth, a dal i gael yr uchelgais o gyrraedd y safonau, mewn ffordd.  

I think, from the Wrexham perspective and how we're operating now, they have expanded the opportunities to use the Welsh language and made more materials available. We were doing something in this regard previously, but the situation has certainly improved, and I think returning to a Welsh language scheme on a voluntary basis would be a retrograde step. I would tend to agree with that comment—that it would be a retrograde step generally for the language, and it would certainly make it more difficult within the council to continue to raise that awareness and to have that ambition of delivering the standards, in a way. 

When we looked at our standards and we went through the standards themselves, we found them very duplicative as it went forward, and that caused us some difficulties when we were moving from the Welsh language—when we're looking at what we did under the Welsh language Measure, to what we have to under the standards. Personally, from a practical standpoint, I think those standards could have been simplified significantly. I think there's a whole host of standards, and it actually turns people off when you have all that coming at you as part—

11:20

There are a number of different standards that have small tweaks within them, small wordings, that I think could have been combined. So, what it would do is embody the meaning of the standards, but instead of having 174 standards, we might have had 30 that would have embodied what those standards meant. Now, that would have been a more practical approach, from a local authority perspective, in managing those messages and complying with the legislation. I mentioned earlier that it would have been a lot easier for us had we had a code of guidance that came out at the same time, because I think that would have taken away a lot of the confusion on local interpretation. I don't think we'd want to go—personally, I think the Measure and the standards have given the Welsh language a footing in Torfaen, a footing from which we need to move forward on. But I think it's been overcomplicated from the inception of the process, where we could have had a more practical and proportionate approach, I think, to delivering the standards within what Welsh Government want from the meaning of those standards. And I think that's been an ongoing, confusing issue for us, because our staff will look through the standards, and they'll say, 'Well, what's the difference between that one and that one?', and it's one word. And that's really caused us some fundamental difficulties. But we've grasped the nettle, we are where we are; I don't think we'd want to go back to a voluntary scheme. I'm with my other colleagues on the fact that we are embedding these—it's taken a huge amount of effort to get us to this stage, to embed where we are now. Further significant changes to that, we'd be starting back from, I would say, stage 1 again.

Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Rwy'n credu bod nifer o'r pwyntiau ar safonau roeddwn i eisiau eu gwneud wedi—

Thank you very much, Chair. I think a number of the points I wanted to make on the standards— 

Y broses gwyno, efallai.

The complaints process, perhaps.

—cael eu gwneud eisoes. Ie, yn hollol.

Y pwynt sylfaenol ynglŷn â safonau ydy rhywun sy'n siaradwr Cymraeg naturiol sydd eisiau derbyn gwasanaeth yn y Gymraeg—rwy'n byw yn Abertawe, ond mae yna 31,000 o siaradwyr Cymraeg hyd yn oed yn ninas Abertawe. A fedrwch chi ddim jest dweud, 'Wel, does gyda'r 31,000 yna ddim hawliau o gwbl', jest achos bod 200,000 ddim yn siarad Cymraeg, neu ddim eisiau derbyn gwasanaeth trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. So, sut ydych chi'n ei gwneud hi'n hawdd, o fewn eich safonau chi, i rywun dderbyn gwasanaeth Cymraeg yn naturiol, heb wneud ffws amdano fe? Achos mae hynna'n dod â fi ymlaen i'r broses gwyno. Mae'n dibynnu sut ydych chi'n diffinio cwyn wedi hynny, yn tydi? Os oes yn rhaid i siaradwr Cymraeg wastad—os nad ydy pa bynnag daflen, ffurflen yna yn naturiol, y broses nesaf ydy bod yn rhaid ichi gwyno am absenoldeb hynna. Wel, yn naturiol, dŷn ni ddim yn licio cwyno. Yn y bôn, buaswn i jest yn licio bod y gwasanaeth yna, heb wneud ffws. Dydw i ddim yn gwybod sut y byddech chi'n taro hynna.

—have been made already. Yes, exactly.

The fundamental point regarding the standards is someone who is a natural Welsh speaker, who wants to receive a service through the medium of Welsh—I live in Swansea, but there are 31,000 Welsh speakers even in the city of Swansea. And you can't just say that those 31,000 don't have any rights because 200,000 don't speak Welsh, or don't want to receive a service through the medium of Welsh. So, how do you make it easy, through the Welsh language standards, to receive a service naturally through the medium of Welsh? Because that brings me on to the complaints process. It depends how you define a complaint, doesn't it? If a Welsh speaker always—if whatever form or leaflet isn't there, you then have to complain about its absence. But we don't like to complain. Essentially, I'd just like for the service to be there, without making a fuss. I don't know how you cover that.

Mae hi yn her, achos mae honna'n neges gyson y mae'n rhaid i ni gadw rhoi allan i ddefnyddwyr ein gwasanaeth ni—bod y gwasanaeth yno i'w ddefnyddio. Ac efallai bod dyletswydd arnom ni fel awdurdodau i fod yn fwy rhagweithiol o ran y cynnig rhagweithiol. O fewn y maes gofal cymdeithasol, mae'r cynnig rhagweithiol hwn yn dechrau dod mewn i'r elfen o wasanaeth. Dylai hwnna fod yn rhywbeth rŷn ni'n ei fabwysiadu ar draws ein holl wasanaethau ni, mewn gwirionedd—os oes rhywun yn cysylltu â ni fel cyngor, ein bod ni'n ei gwneud hi'n amlwg eu bod nhw'n gallu defnyddio'r gwasanaeth drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Rŷn ni'n gwneud hynny—mae'n canolfan galwadau ni yn y cyngor yn gweithredu yn gwbl ddwyieithog, felly does dim rhaid ichi ofyn am wasanaeth Cymraeg; gallwch chi ddechrau'r sgwrs, ac mae'n cael ei wneud yn hysbys yn y cyfarchiad pan ŷch chi'n aros i gael eich ateb bod gwasanaeth Cymraeg ar gael. Mae'n holl ddeunyddiau ni sy'n mynd allan o safbwynt y cyngor, llythyrau sy'n mynd allan, yn ddwyieithog, er mwyn sefydlu iaith yr unigolyn hwnnw. Unwaith mae'r iaith wedi ei sefydlu, rŷn ni'n mynd mewn i'r iaith honno wedyn. Ac mae'r holl ddeunyddiau gyda ni yn nodi bod croeso ichi gysylltu â'r cyngor drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Mae hwnna'n arfer sy'n mynd i gymryd amser i'w sefydlu gyda'r bobl sy'n defnyddio gwasanaethau'r cyngor—rŷn ni'n deall hynny—ond mae rôl hyrwyddo gyda ni i'w gwneud yn hynny.

Jest o ran y broses gwyno—rwy'n cymryd ein bod ni wedi dod ymlaen i'r broses gwynion nawr—nid yw'r broses fel y mae hi'n gweithredu ar hyn o bryd yn addas, bydden i'n ei ddweud. Ar hyn o bryd, mae cwynion sy'n ymwneud â'r Gymraeg yn cael eu trin yn gwbl wahanol i unrhyw gwynion eraill y mae'r cyngor yn eu derbyn a byddwn i'n dadlau bod eisiau i gwynion sy'n ymwneud â'r Gymraeg fynd trwy broses mewnol y cyngor yn gyntaf ac os nad yw'r achwynydd yn hapus gyda'r ymateb maen nhw wedi'i dderbyn, wedyn bydden nhw'n gallu mynd at y comisiynydd. Yr un fath fyddech chi'n ei wneud gydag unrhyw gŵyn arall yn mynd ymlaen at yr ombwdsman. Dyna'r gwendid o'n safbwynt ni ar hyn o bryd. Rŷn ni'n derbyn cwynion ar hyn o bryd trwy'r comisiynydd. Mae'r broses yn hirfaith: rŷch chi'n gorfod sefydlu cylch gorchwyl yn ymwneud â'r gŵyn ac yn aml, mae'r gŵyn wedi cael ei datrys cyn bod y cylch gorchwyl o ran yr ymchwiliad wedi cael ei osod. Felly, mae'n wastraff adnoddau inni, mewn gwirionedd, achos rŷm ni wedi delio gyda'r gŵyn cyn i'r ymchwiliad gychwyn.

It is a challenge, because that's a consistent message that we have to put out to our service users—that that service is available to them. And perhaps we as authorities are duty-bound to be more proactive in terms of the proactive offer. In terms of social care, that active offer is now starting to come into service. And that's something we should be adopting across all our services—if someone contacts us as a council, that we make it clear to them that we are able to deal with that individual through the medium of Welsh. Our own call centre within the council works entirely bilingually, so you don't have to request a Welsh language service; you can start the conversation in Welsh, and it's made known to people via the greeting that a Welsh language service is available. All our materials issued, in terms of letters and so on, are bilingual, so that we can establish the language of choice of that individual, and, once we've established that, we will use that language. And all our materials do note that you're welcome to contact the council through the medium of Welsh if you so choose. And that is practice that will take time to establish itself with people using the council services—we understand that—but that promotion role is there for us to carry out in that.

Just in terms of the complaints process—I assume that we're moving on to the complaints process now—the process as it currently stands is not fit for purpose, I would say. At the moment, complaints relating to the Welsh language are treated entirely differently to any other complaints received by the council, and I would argue that complaints related to the Welsh language should go through an internal council process, first of all, and if the complainant isn't content with the response that they receive, then they should be able to go to the commissioner, just as you would do with any other complaint going to the ombudsman. That's the weakness from our perspective at the moment. We receive complaints at the moment through the commissioner. It's a long-drawn-out process: you have to establish a remit related to a complaint and very often the complaint has been resolved before the remit of the inquiry has even been agreed. So, it's a waste of resources for us, if truth be told, because we've dealt with the complaint before the inquiry has even commenced. 

11:25

Ond byddai Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg yn dadlau yn ôl gan ddweud bod angen i'r comisiynydd gael cyd-destun cwynion er mwyn gwybod beth sy'n cael ei gwyno amdano ym mhob lle. Os yw e wedi mynd at y cyngor yn gyntaf, byddan nhw ddim yn gallu cael darlun o'r hyn sydd yn digwydd ar draws Cymru.

But the Welsh Language Society would argue back that there's a need for the commissioner to have that context of complaints to know what is being complained about in every area. If it goes to the council first, they won't be able to get a picture of what's happening across Wales.

Rŷm ni'n gorfod adrodd wrth y comisiynydd ar unrhyw gwynion sy'n dod mewn atom ni fel cyngor ar yr iaith Gymraeg ta beth, felly byddai'r cyd-destun hwnnw gyda'r comisiynydd os maen nhw angen edrych ar batrymau. Yr hyn y byddwn i'n ei ddweud yw bod rhai cwynion yn ymwneud â materion llai pwysig—dim llai pwysig, ond llai sylfaenol, efallai, o ran fel y mae'r gwasanaeth yn cael ei gynnig.

Rŷm ni'n gorff o dros 8,000 o staff ac mae camgymeriadau yn mynd i ddigwydd. Byddwn i'n ffôl iawn i ddweud wrthych chi fod y safonau'n cael eu gweithredu 100 y cant o'r amser. Y rhan fwyaf o'r amser, pan mae'r mater yna'n cael ei dynnu at ein sylw ni, rŷm yn gallu delio â'r mater yn lleol a gwneud y mater yna'n gywir yn gymharol gyflym.

Gyda'r broses, fel mae hi ar hyn o bryd, mae'r gŵyn yn dod mewn o swyddfa'r comisiynydd, maen nhw'n gofyn inni sefydlu a ydy'r gŵyn yn berthnasol inni fel corff, rŷm ni'n gorfod ymateb nôl i hynny, wedyn mae cylch gorchwyl o ran yr ymchwiliad mewn i'r gŵyn yn cael ei osod ac wedyn efallai wnawn ni ddim clywed yn ôl am gwpwl o wythnosau, neu fisoedd ambell waith, beth sy'n digwydd gyda'r gŵyn yna achos mae'r comisiynydd yn cario hynny ymlaen. Mae modd symleiddio'r broses gwynion yn bendant, achos rwy'n credu byddai'r comisiynydd efallai hyd yn oed yn dweud efallai fod ffordd well o ddefnyddio ei hadnoddau hi a'r swyddfa yn hytrach na'r drefn fel y mae hi ar hyn o bryd.

We have to report to the commissioner on any complaints that we receive as a council on the Welsh language in any case. So, the commissioner would have that information if they wanted to look at patterns. What I would say is that some complaints relate to less important issues—not perhaps less important, but less fundamental issues in terms of service provision. 

We are an organisation of over 8,000 staff and mistakes will happen. We would be foolish to tell you that the standards were being implemented 100 per cent of the time. Most of the time, when that issue is drawn to our attention, we can deal with the issue at a local level and resolve the issue relatively swiftly.

With the process as it currently stands, the complaint is received from the commissioner's office. They ask us to establish whether this is a complaint that's relevant to us as an organisation, we respond to that, then there's a remit in terms of an inquiry into the complaint and then perhaps we won't hear back for a couple of weeks or even months what happens with that complaint because the commissioner will be taking that forward. That process could be simplified without doubt, because I do think that even the commissioner would say that there may be a better way of using her resources and her office's resources too rather than using the system as it currently stands. 

Unrhyw un arall? Yn fras, achos rydym yn rhedeg allan o amser yn glou.

Anyone else? Briefly, because we are running out of time.

I totally concur with what Gwyneth has said. It's different to every other approach that we take on complaints. It would be fundamentally beneficial to us if the complaints process was brought into alignment with the other processes that we work with in relation to complaints to the ombudsman. So, an internal opportunity to rectify the issue first—informing the customer that that's been done—I think would definitely improve the process.

I did mention to Assembly Member Jones just now the services that we already provide, so I won't do that again Assembly Member Lloyd, if that's okay, but I totally concur with Gwyneth.

Ocê. Oes gennych chi unrhyw beth gwahanol?

Okay. Do you have something different?

Yr unig beth roeddwn am ei ddweud oedd rydym ni yn cyhoeddi pob dim yn ddwyieithog, fel medrwn ni, ond un o'r problemau a fyddwn ni yn eu hwynebu weithiau ydy efo'r platforms digidol—nad ydyn nhw ddim i gyd yn gallu cydweithredu cystal yn y Gymraeg ag y maen nhw yn y Saesneg a dydyn nhw ddim yn trosglwyddo’n hawdd, a buasai unrhyw gymorth buasai'r Llywodraeth yn medru ei roi ar hynny yn dderbyniol iawn.

The only thing I wanted to say was that we do publish everything bilingually, but one of the problems that we face sometimes is with the digital platforms—that not all of them can co-operate as well in Welsh as they do in English and they don't transfer easily. Any assistance that the Government could provide us with on that would be very acceptable.

Ocê, symud ymlaen—. Sori, Dai, mae'n rhaid inni symud ymlaen at hyrwyddo'r iaith ac os ydym ni'n gallu cael cwestiynau bras ac atebion bras, byddai hynny'n grêt. Diolch.

So, moving on—. Sorry, Dai, we have to move on to promoting the language. And if we could have brief questions and brief responses, that would be great. Thank you.

Diolch, Chair. We've had very different polarisation of comment from different bodies and different local authorities in terms of whether the standards are too stringent, are they overly bureaucratic or they're not stringent enough or they're not legislative enough. Obviously, in terms of embedding where we are for local authorities, I think there is a synergy in terms of what people are saying— there needs to be time to embed the baby now that it's been born. So, in regard to regulation versus promotion, my question, I suppose, really centres on—. There is a role for Welsh Government and there is a role for the commissioner around promotion, but in regard to it in itself, as you've stated, Lyndon, for your authority, it has made promotion of the Welsh language a reality—it's part of the standards; it is a standard. You let your workforce off to learn and you encourage that. Is it not, in itself, a self-feeding animal around promotion and has it not been created for that purpose? So, my question is: what else needs to happen in terms of promotion now?

I think that one really key thing that needs to be done—. Because one of the things that's happened within Wrexham is that there's a greater demand for Welsh language education, so the number of Welsh language schools, at primary level—. There's an increase in the numbers attending the secondary school. But when they leave school, there isn't the demand for bilingualism in the roles that are available within the community, so you're losing those fluent speakers very quickly from the language who are, perhaps, new—they've come from English-speaking homes. So, it's having that synergy within the community, and I don't think local government can do that on its own, and I don't think the standards can do that on their own. There needs to be a wider cultural change, I think, to promote and support that. 

11:30

Could you outline that potential vision as to what would need to happen to make a societal cultural change, because, politically, we have created the policy, but, organically, in terms of creating the society wider to that, obviously, it has to come from Government, but what steps would you like to see with regard to promotion? And my question really is, if local authorities are doing their part, what next needs to happen in terms of the promotion, if we are to have a living, vibrant, dynamic bilingual nation?

I think that the answer to that would probably be different depending on the community that you come from, I suppose. 

I completely understand that, because that's why we get a very disparate conversation, because of the demographics of Wales. But that has to be tackled if we are really going to achieve that vision in the future. But if you can't answer that—. We need to have a view.

In Carmarthenshire, what we'd like to see is the normalisation of the use of the Welsh language. According to the last census, we had 78,000 Welsh speakers in Carmarthenshire, which is about 43 per cent of our population. But we have another group of around 20,000 people who said that they understood Welsh but didn't speak it. That is all about confidence. So, if you can understand a language, it's a small step then to take to actually speak it.

So, from our perspective, what we would like to see, working with our community partners, is to normalise the use of the Welsh language within a community setting as well as at a strategic level within organisations. The point I was making earlier about the Welsh standards now being applicable within the workplace changes that direction a bit. Because, in terms of our employment practices, we are looking for staff with Welsh language skills, probably, strategically, for the first time across Wales, That is going to change the nature of the discussion in time. That is going to take some time to embed across all the public sector, but there will be certain roles within public sector bodies that you are going to need Welsh speakers for. So, that is one sign for our young people going through Welsh-medium education, in terms of the value of being a bilingual citizen living in Wales.

So, finally, then, in regard to the promotion angle, because it is argued strongly that this is part of different roles, part of the standards, and therefore it should be sufficient, do you feel that the current format is sufficiently robust in terms of promotion, because that's what's on the table?

Speaking personally from Torfaen, if we are talking of—. I think there has to be a split between regulation and promotion, and which body that sits within. My present understanding is that regulation and promotion both sit within the commissioner's regime. I think, personally, that would benefit from coming out of that. It either does promotion, or does regulation, because that gives us a clear angle then of who we are working with.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. I think the commissioner could do both. I don't think there's an issue in terms of regulation and promotion within the same organisation, but the resources need to be with the commissioner's office if that is where it's going to sit to be able to do that promotion. At the minute, it sits in different pockets of places, so the Welsh Government have a promotion team, and the commissioner. I think it needs a far more co-ordinated response to it, with the resources to follow.

Improved profile, definitely, for promotion, and perhaps added resource as well, but I don't have an issue about it sitting under the same body, as long as there's clear separation between the two functions, I think, really, because they feed off each other.

Diolch, Rhianon. Sori am eich gwthio chi ar hynny. Symudwn ymlaen i orffen ar gynigion Llywodraeth Cymru. Rydych chi wedi cyffwrdd ar rai o'r trafodaethau nawr, ond Vikki Howells. 

Thank you, Rhianon. I'm sorry for pushing you on that. Moving on to the Welsh Government proposals. You've touched on some of the discussions now, but Vikki Howells.

Diolch. I'd like to know your views on whether the Welsh Government should be introducing new legislation now. What would you see as the pros and the cons of doing that?

Perhaps, very quickly, I'll address this now. I think that if we could make minor adjustments to the existing requirements that we have, it would be far more beneficial than trying to do wholesale change. It's taken a phenomenal amount of effort, as I mentioned earlier—without repeating myself—to get us to this stage. Having a completely new legislative regime or significant changes to that I think would perhaps send the wrong message out. We do have some concerns that we have raised with you this morning. Complaints would be a particular issue; I would be grateful if the committee could consider as part of its considerations. But I'm not an advocate of wholesale change on this.

11:35
Sioned Wyn Davies 11:35:41