A Sharp End special featuring a programme-length interview with the Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws
This week's special edition of Sharp End is devoted to an interview with the Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws
Education Minister Leighton Andrews rejects proposed standards for services in Welsh drawn up by the Language Commissioner, Meri Huws.
The Welsh Language Commissioner is calling for an urgent meeting with the UK Culture Secretary to discuss concerns about the funding of S4C. Meri Huws has written to Maria Miller ahead of tomorrow's Spending Review and following reports that the channel is set to lose further UK Government funding.
In her letter, Ms Huws says that S4C 'should not be treated as simply another television channel' because it is 'a unique public service broadcaster serving a minority language community,' a service that she says would be 'extremely difficult' for the private sector to provide.
The Commissioner also says that further reductions to S4C's funding could damage 'plurality in the media in Wales' and harm ongoing efforts to encourage the Welsh language to grow. She's asked the Culture Secretary for an urgent meeting or phone conversation as soon as possible.
On her first day in post, Meri Huws says her role is about protecting the rights of Welsh speakers.
She says she will use her enforcement powers if necessary, but says her target won't be small businesses in predominantly English-speaking areas, the proverbial 'Chepstow chip shops.'
Meri Huws says her vision is of a Wales where the Welsh language plays a completely central role in public life.
First task of Commissioner:to identify which orgs & companies will be required to comply & to see if they are complying.
Qualifications are: public sector, utilities, telecom companies & businesses receiving more than £400k public money per year.
The minister responsible for the Welsh language, Leighton Andrews, says Meri Huws starting work as the new Welsh Language Commissioner is a very significant day for the future of the Welsh language.
– Leighton Andrews, Minister for Welsh language
The Welsh Language Commissioner will be critical to delivering the Welsh Government's vision of a thriving and vibrant language. She will be a robust and active champion for the language –and will work with organisations to increase the number of services available in Welsh, providing more opportunities for people to use the language in their day-to-day lives.