Education Minister Leighton Andrews rejects proposed standards for services in Welsh drawn up by the Language Commissioner, Meri Huws.
Welsh language supporters are to meet First Minister, Carwyn Jones to call for policy changes following the recent census results
The 2011 census shows fewer people speaking Welsh, most saying they are Welsh, fewer described as religious, and more cars on our roads.
– Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Shadow Minister for Local Government
It is extraordinary for the Welsh Government to cherrypick cuts being imposed by their Labour chums in Cardiff Council.
“This sets a dangerous precedent, sending a message to local authorities that if they propose irresponsible cuts to essential services, they will simply be bailed out by the Welsh Government.
A cynic would think Welsh Labour Ministers are putting the narrow interests of their party before the country by bunging their council colleagues £20,000 to help them meet a pre-election vote-grabbing pledge.”
Cardiff's annual 'Tafwyl' Welsh language festival is to receive £20,000 in funding from the Welsh Government.
Festival organiser Menter Caerdydd says the funding will help "secure the future of the festival in its current format".
This is a unique case. This important cultural festival has expanded year on year since it was launched in 2006 and is invaluable in promoting the Welsh language. It has the potential to become a national event in our capital city.
“I recognise that Cardiff’s budget negotiations are still ongoing. However, I have acted now to ensure there is no prolonged period of uncertainty for the Festival organisers, or for those people from outside the capital who are planning to travel to Tafwyl. Over 10% of those who attended last year were from outside Cardiff.
– Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for the Welsh Language
I have come to this decision following a discussion with Cardiff’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Huw Thomas, who I know was working hard to find a sustainable future for the Tafwyl celebration.
Cllr Thomas has committed to Cardiff once again providing support in kind through the supply of the Cardiff Castle grounds and considerable staff time and officer support. Now that the uncertainty for 2013 has been removed, discussions can now focus on how the event develops in future years.
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.
– Welsh Government spokesperson
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.
– Julian Lewis-Jones, actor - signed the pledge
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!
– Sioned Elin, Chairperson of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Carmarthenshire
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.
The school inspectorate for Wales is calling for more to be done to improve children's Welsh reading and writing.
Estyn says that whilst children are making progress in speaking the language, their reading and writing isn't as developed.
So why are schools not doing better on one of their compulsory subjects? Our Education Corespondent Joanna Simpson investigates.
Bev Jenkins, from Estyn, says children are making progress in Welsh language development in the majority of English-medium schools, but more needs to be done to improve Welsh reading and writing skills.
More needs to be done to develop young children's Welsh reading and writing skills, according to schools inspectorate Estyn.
The Welsh Language Development in the Foundation Phase report, published today, found that most children in the majority of English-medium schools are making good progress in speaking and listening to Welsh, but their reading and writing skills are less well developed.
– Ann Keane, Estyn chief inspector
During the last two years, we have seen progress being made in Welsh Language Development in the majority of schools and settings. Children are enjoying learning the language of Wales in innovative and fun ways.
In the best schools, teachers are highly skilled, passionate and plan fun and stimulating activities that engage and excite the children, but in a minority of schools and settings staff are not devoting enough direct teaching time to developing the Welsh language and there are gaps in practitioners' knowledge and skills that are inhibiting the children's learning and development
The inspectorate outlines a number of recommendations, including encouraging children to use Welsh in other areas of learning and the need for local authorities to provide better access to Welsh language support.
Welsh language campaigners say urgent action is needed to turn the fortunes of the Welsh around.
The census published last year found the number of people speaking it in Wales has fallen in the last decade so today a rally was held in Merthyr Tydfil calling on politicians to act, as Rob Osborne reports.