The Welsh Government has responded to protests by Cymdeithas yr Iaith, which also included a large rally in Merthyr Tydfil at the start of January, by saying it will continue to work to 'ensure' the Welsh language thrives, and pointing to its Welsh language strategy published last March.
The strategy recognised the fragile state of the language - and emphasised the need to promote and facilitate its use across all walks of life, with a particular focus on the use of Welsh within the family setting; providing opportunities for children and young people to use Welsh socially; supporting the use of Welsh in communities; the use of Welsh in the workplace and developing the use of Welsh in information technology, including its use with social media.
The main reason we came as a family to live Carmarthenshire, was the Welsh language and culture. I wanted my children to be brought up in a Welsh-speaking area, where the language is quite natural. The recently published census figures have horrified me as an individual and as a parent. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our language is spoken and heard everywhere! I'm very proud to be a Welsh speaker, and I'm determined to continue to live my life in the language of heaven!
– Julian Lewis-Jones, actor - signed the pledge
The census results have shown a reduction in the number of Welsh speakers across Wales, and the biggest drop was here in Carmarthenshire. I am glad that over 500 turned out to show their support for the rally - it is clear that the people of Carmarthenshire want to live in Welsh. This is only the first step. At a meeting following the rally we discussed the next steps of the campaign here. We will continue to press on the Government and the County Council to enable us to live in Welsh and our hope is that over a thousand people will have signed the pledge before the end of the month.
– Sioned Elin, Chairperson of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Carmarthenshire