Carmarthenshire County Council Annual Report on the Welsh language - 2018/19

 

Introduction

This is the Annual Report of Carmarthenshire County Council's work for 2018/19. The report focuses on the third year of implementing the Welsh Language Standards. This year's report follows the same format as last year with descriptions of activities grouped by class of Standards, as the work of establishing systems to comply with the individual Standards has been achieved, and much of the compliance work remains constant between financial years and does not need to be repeated.

During 2018/19, the Executive Board Member with responsibility for developing the Welsh language has led and ensured further progress in the Council's internal work as well as building on partnerships with other bodies to promote the Welsh language across Carmarthenshire.

The Members' Advisory Panel on the Welsh Language has continued to receive regular updates regarding the Standards, and has continued its key role in offering advice, monitoring progress and calling for evidence of progress from specific departments within the Council.

The County Forum, which continues to be led by the Council and includes representation from the county's language promotion organisations, as well as public bodies with language officers, has also continued with its role of developing a program of promotion. The Welsh language has contributed greatly to joint planning for the implementation of the Carmarthenshire Promotion Strategy Action Plan, in accordance with the Promotion Standard.

 

A great deal of internal communication work was undertaken within the Council again during 2018-19. We continued to convey messages to staff when attending road shows across the county in various buildings in order to meet face to face with staff and discuss any issues arising. We took the opportunity to promote the audio clips, glossaries, videos and new templates as well as promoting the range of courses available to learn or improve Welsh language skills. There have also been consistent messages in the Authority's main newsletters and in some departmental newsletters.

The work of the Learning and Development Advisor (Welsh language) has embedded well and the awareness of the National Centre for Learning Welsh provision has increased significantly. During the year, there have been numerous opportunities to collaborate with the Centre on a range of opportunities, including residential opportunities in order to improve skills.

Feedback from those opportunities has been very positive, with staff noting the change of use of Language in the workplace in elements such as holding meetings with colleagues, taking minutes and conducting assessments.

 

Mentor training has been held across the council in order to support the Council's learners and the procedure of agreeing and setting Learning Agreements for new officers has been established. Learning Agreements are developed in partnership with line managers, Learning and Development and Human Resources for new members of staff who do not meet the linguistic level of a post when appointed. The on-line module ‘Croeso Cymraeg Gwaith’ has been key to us as a council in supporting staff who are at the beginning of their journey to learn Welsh and to date 328 staff have registered to follow the module. We support the staff to complete the ten-hour module online and are keen to see the completion rate increase during the next financial year. Everyone who completes receives a congratulations pack from the Center and the HR training record is being updated.


Development work was undertaken during 2018-19 with the Council's Language Leaders. Around 45 Language Leaders are now working to ensure that our services are conducted in Welsh and that the Language is promoted within the workplace. Arrangements are in place to train and establish more Language Leaders from various departments. There is considerable potential to develop the work of these groups, and to co-ordinate collaboration between them. Consideration will need to be given to how to build on the work by offering suitable support from the Policy team during the next year.

Similarly, regular meetings have continued with Human Resources colleagues in order to ensure progress in accordance with the Standards and in order to receive regular feedback in terms of implementing the Language Skills Strategy. The People Management division monitors the recruitment processes and supports managers in undertaking language assessments for individual posts and are also responsible for the provision of training and employment support for all council staff. We will continue to meet regularly during 2019-20.


The Communities Department continues to lead on the ‘More than Just Words Strategic Framework’ and ensures that progress is made in providing Welsh language services in the care and social care field. During the year, the departmental working group has met regularly to discuss areas such as workforce planning, commissioning services and staff training. A new data collection system is being established and the Welsh language is being thoroughly considered in order to ensure that the correct data is collected at the point of contact that will trigger more Welsh language provision. Similarly, the working group has taken steps to identify gaps in our workforce in terms of skills, looking at how to nurture Welsh language skills within those areas for the future.


A new working group was established to discuss the Welsh language in business and opportunities to influence the use of Welsh by private businesses. The intention was to draw together officers from the various departments of the Council who are involved with the private sector in various situations, as well as the Business Welsh officers from the Welsh Government to work together to influence the use of Welsh by businesses. Through this group, opportunities to share information between the Regeneration, Planning and Policy teams were identified and the Commissioner's Office Promotion Team were also invited to give the perspective of large businesses.


The following pages provide further information about the Council's work by class of Standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Compliance with the Service Delivery Standards

Correspondence (Standards 1 - 7), Telephone (Standards 8 -22), Meetings and events (Standards 24 - 36) Publicity, display material, documents and forms (Standards 37 - 51), Website and social media (Standards 52 - 59), Self-service machines (Standard 60), Signs (Standards 61 - 63), Reception service (Standards 64 - 68), Official notices (Standards 69 - 70), Awarding of grants and contracts (Standards 71 ​​- 80), Public announcement systems (Standard 87), Standards for raising awareness of Welsh language services (Standards 81 - 82), Corporate identity (standard 83), Courses (Standard 84 - 86)

The Council has continued to promote the guidelines that explain to staff what the requirements are in terms of complying with the Standards. The guidance is available on the intranet so that all members of staff access them. The Language Leaders are fully aware of them and refer members of staff within their teams and departments to the resources. The Language Awareness e-module also refers to the Guidelines in order to ensure that staff comply with the Standards, and the guidelines can be accessed from the module. Regular articles were placed in the Council's newsletter and departmental newsletters to remind staff of the Standards and to direct them where assistance and advice could be sought.

There have been corporate changes to an e-mail signature within the Council following the addition of new social media streams. It was ensured that the new signature template circulated contained the necessary information on the Welsh language so that our correspondence continued to comply with the Standards.

An article was created on the Tocyn Cymru service to encourage staff to use this bilingual service which helps to organise meetings and conferences fully bilingually. A number of events were organised during the year using this system and in doing so it was ensured that the administrative process was fully bilingual.

The Council continued to promote its Welsh language services through the campaign ‘Pa bynnag ffordd’. During the year, a video was created to be placed on social media of Authority staff welcoming the public to contact them in Welsh. The intention was that, by showing the faces of Welsh speaking staff in various departments, the public will feel more comfortable to contact the Council in Welsh in general. Self-image boards promoting the message were used to convey these messages in the same image as the bus stops last year.


On ‘Shwmae Day’, in October 2018, a video of Leisure and Culture staff was created promoting some of their Welsh medium and bilingual services. This was a campaign by the Language Leaders, promoting activities in Pembrey Country Park, our libraries and the leisure centers. The video was placed on social media on the day and the self-image boards were also used for the campaign.

Work has started on creating two training videos for the leisure sector, which will show tutors how to deliver a bilingual leisure training session. One video will show how to organise, maintain and administer a swimming lesson in a way that allows a child to receive Welsh medium training within the same training session as a child who is taught through the medium of English. The other video will then look at various sports and a diverse mix of Welsh and non-Welsh speakers in order to set standards in how to provide suitable Welsh medium training in all situations.

There is a good working relationship with the Corporate Procurement team which enables us to work closely with departments as they draw up contracts and when looking at commissioning, whether local or regional. The Compliance Officer within the Procurement team is responsible for the standard procurement documentation and the Welsh Language Standards requirements are clear within that documentation. During the year we have advised on various tendering exercises, including:

• Provision of after school and holiday care for Disabled Children in the county
• Leisure provision at Pembrey Park
• Research contracts and event planning for the Swansea Bay City Deal events
• The Regional Care Partnership website for the identification of residential care placements

Compliance with the Policy Making Standards

(Standards 88 – 97)

There are currently questions in relation to the Welsh language in the Equality Impact Assessment template, which is used when assessing the impact of our policies, projects and the council's budget setting process. The Policy and Partnership team supports the departments with this work.

As a follow up to the original template, an Integrated Impact Assessment has been prepared which brings together the following legislation - Well-being of Future Generations Act, Equality Act, the Welsh Language Measure, the Environment Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The assessment includes specific questions regarding the Welsh language and the effect of any policy on the ability of Welsh speakers to use the language and how we promote the Welsh language.

Guidance on the integrated assessment has been prepared with a specific section on the Welsh language.
During 2019/20, the council will introduce the new assessment and undertake training for Elected Members and officers. We will also undertake a 6 month pilot project to receive feedback on the new templates and guidance.

Compliance with the Implementation Standards  

(Standards 98 – 144)

Facilitating the use of the Language internally

During 2018-19, the Policy Team continued to promote the online resources that help our staff to make more use of the Welsh language in their work. A guide has been produced for managers summarising all the support on one sheet with links to the audio clips, templates and glossaries. The resources were also presented to the new Language Leaders as part of their training.

Naturally, as the Standards are established within the council, the nature of the inquiries that reach us has changed and in monitoring those inquiries, we are responding and preparing new guidelines. During the year we have worked on two new guidelines, namely Conducting Interviews and Organising and Running an Education Course. We will introduce both guidelines to the approval of the Corporate Management Team early in the new financial year.

A Language Leaders training course was provided internally again this year, over a longer period of time and for shorter sessions to suit the nature of the department's work. Children’s Services officers as well as some additional staff from the Environment Department. There were intensive elements of language awareness as well as thorough training on the Standards and on the support available to facilitate the use of Welsh internally. There was excellent feedback from the new language leaders about the training with 100% stating that they were very confident or fairly confident with each learning objective following the training.

 

Following the training of the latest cohort of Language Leaders, we have been developing personal action plans with them. As it is not practically possible for the Language Leaders in the care sector to meet regularly and jointly plan work to promote the Welsh language, we are piloting the creation of personal action plans which will support them in making improvements in their teams' procedures in terms of the services we offer in Welsh and in terms of bilingual internal action. It is early days in terms of the practicality of the action plans as it requires an investment in time from the Policy team to ensure progress and guidance on this work. However, there is considerable potential for the work in terms of improving internal administration through the medium of Welsh.

We continued to work with the other Language Leaders in the Leisure and Environment Departments. There have been improvements to the membership of the leisure group and a new arrangement has been established to link the Language Leaders group to the Departmental Management Team. All Leaders worked with staff in their departments to raise awareness of the Welsh language, the range of new opportunities available to staff to learn Welsh and the practical support available on the Council's intranet. The Shwmae day and St David's Day were targeted by the departmental Language Leaders to this end to raise internal and public awareness of our provision.

In addition to the work of promoting services mentioned under the Service Delivery Standards, the Environment Department Language Leaders also promoted the Welsh language internally. A St David's Day event was held in 2019 which promoted the use and learning of Welsh, and was also a cross-departmental opportunity to socialise in Welsh and celebrate Welsh culture. There was a limerick writing competition, quizzes, information on the language leaders on display boards and video clips to promote the use of Welsh. It was an opportunity for the Language Leaders to promote their roles amongst their colleagues, encouraging staff to come to them for help with any issues relating to the Welsh language.

To celebrate Shwmae day a ‘pop-up’ message was organised on the intranet asking people to choose from a series of Shwmae Day pledges relating to the use of Welsh internally. From contacting someone in Welsh on Skype to sending an e-mail to a colleague in Welsh, staff were able to choose as many of the pledges as they wanted. The campaign was an attempt to raise awareness and staff desire to use more Welsh when working, as well as raising awareness of Shwmae day internally.

During 2018, the new Welsh language awareness e-learning module was published and rolled out to all new staff. The e-module is more attractive, based on current legislation and includes new messages about the importance of the Welsh language in specific areas such as health, social care and leisure. The e-module was also shared with the Health Board so that they could adapt and use it themselves. The Authority's new induction module was also implemented. This module also underlines the importance of the Welsh language in the presentation and a reference to the language awareness e-module as well.

Following the work on recruiting mentors to support our work-based learners in recent years, a new resource was commissioned this year to assist the Mentors in their work. Language resources are therefore planned, which will include games and activities that will suit, but not necessarily coincide with the community courses they are following. These resources will be launched and shared during the next financial year.

Increasing Staff Linguistic Skills

Following an audit of the language skills of Council staff, all data is held on the Human Resources system and we continue to monitor the data in order to update it and identify learning opportunities. The latest information regarding the language skills audit is available on page 12 of this report. Standard 154 requires the County Council to keep a record of all posts categorised as requiring essential language skills. Following approval of the Council's Language Skills Strategy, all posts require Welsh language skills, but there is a range of level 1 to level 5 in the requirements depending on the individual description of each post.

The People Management section has been reviewing the Recruitment and Selection Policy, strengthening the link with Welsh Language Standards and the Language Skills Strategy. Through the work of the Learning and Development Advisor, we have also strengthened the link between the recruitment processes and the preparation of learning agreements and the ways of referring staff to the range of courses available. The Learning and Development Advisor has worked on explaining the courses in terms of how they match the Council's language levels and has found a number of additional courses that offer more opportunities for staff to learn Welsh.

The work of promoting the 10-hour Welcome to Welsh Course continues across the council. The aim of the course is to introduce Welsh to staff and help them to reach level 1. The 'Welcome Back' course is now available on the National Centre's website and we are signposting staff to this resource alongside the modules tailored to specific sectors.

7 members of staff attended the residential course for learners in Nant Gwrtheyrn in North Wales. The 7 learners had the opportunity to practice all aspects of the Welsh language (speaking, reading, listening and writing) but particular emphasis was placed on developing confidence to speak the language.

All training provided to Council staff during 2018-19 is summarized on page 11.


 

Compliance with the Promotion Standards

(Standards 145 – 146)

Carmarthenshire County Council Welsh language Promotion Strategy 2017-18

Further to preparing the Promotion Strategy Action Plan, we have taken active steps in its implementation. Themes were selected in accordance with the aims of the strategy and a series of Forum and Panel meetings were arranged on a quarterly basis to discuss progress on each theme and to move the actions forward. In September focus was given to the ‘Housing’ theme under the aim of ‘positively affecting population movements ’. A presentation was given by the County Council's Head of Housing and Safer Communities. In December, a meeting was held to focus upon Leisure, under the aim of building young people's confidence and use in Welsh. A presentation was given by the Council's Head of Leisure and Culture, an Officer from the Sports Council and the Urdd's Sports Department. In March 2019, the Forum discussed the Economy and the Welsh language, under the aim of ‘influencing population movements’. The Economic Development Manager, the Chief Executive of Menter a Busnes and Chief Executive of Antur Teifi each gave a presentation. In each case new actions were agreed, then the action plan was circulated with the updates therein to the Forum and the Panel. In this way, the action plan is operational rather than a static.

We continued to distribute the ‘Being Bilingual’ leaflet electronically and on paper. Through the Council's Family Information Center, the People Management division and Forum members, it has been placed on relevant web pages in order to reach new audiences. This year also saw the integration of the work done on this document with the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP). ‘Parents' Frequently Asked Questions’ in terms of Welsh medium education were placed as a section on the Education Department website along with the evidence behind the arguments for bilingual education. We will work with the Department for Education and Children to support the work of moving the Strategic Plan forward, and distributing the leaflet will be one element of that work. A leaflet was also designed and printed to facilitate the use of Welsh by parents who are not fluent, with their children. This was placed on the Welsh language and education web pages, and was also distributed through the Improving Welsh and Bilingualism Teachers.

The Questionnaire produced last year was administered further to try to ascertain the county's awareness of the Welsh language and the opportunities to use the Language. 350 questionnaires were administered which, although a relatively small number, give us a taste of the attitudes of a group of the county's residents to the Welsh language, and, again, in a similar way, within three years, it will be a means of measuring the impact of the promotion strategy.

During the year the work of creating an information pack for people moving to the county was completed. The pack contains statistical information about the Welsh language, information about support to learn Welsh, accessing Welsh medium education and joining the Welsh community, as well as information about electronic resources and through Welsh media. It includes images of Carmarthenshire and interesting facts about the Welsh language in the county. A distribution scheme was implemented during the year to try and reach people who have moved to the county through a variety of means. It was arranged for a copy to be sent out as residents register to vote for example. A pilot project was also undertaken with Menter Gorllewin Sir Gâr, which worked with a local housing association and an estate agent. The work of distributing the pack will continue and will be developed through the County Forum.


Work has been undertaken to promote the Welsh language in the private sector during the year. As well as establishing a working group of Local Authority and Business Welsh officers to co-ordinate efforts to encourage businesses to use the Language, the terms and conditions within business development grants have been strengthened to ensure that any promotional work undertaken through these grants must be bilingual. A further step was also taken by placing this condition on companies or businesses that lease our buildings.

In addition, a planning application for external signs by a business was refused on linguistic grounds. Following an appeal by the business who wanted to place English only signs in an area with a high percentage of Welsh speakers, the Planning Inspector agreed, on the basis of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, that we were entitled to require bilingual signs. This stage sets us a useful precedent for the future, but work remains to be done in enforcing compliance with the decisions following the planning application process.

 

                                                   


Complaints received in 2018/19  

Below is a list of the complaints received during 2018/19 along with a summary of the action following receipt. 6 complaints were received directly to the Council and they were all dealt with in accordance with the Council's Complaints Procedure.

 

Complaint

Response and action

 

Service delivery Standard  

1.

Complaint regarding an error on roadworks signage in Ammanford

·         It was confirmed that the sign was not correct in Welsh or English

·         The contractors who had been contracted to undertake the road works were asked to prepare a new sign in accordance with the Standards and in accordance with the Welsh Government Road Signing Regulations and Guidance

2.

Complaint about the low number of Welsh language e-books available through the county's libraries

·         It was explained that the Libraries were working with Borrowbox to build a bank of e-audiobooks

·         When the complaint was received, the company was in the process of moving a number of books over to e-book format and e-audiobooks.

3.

Complaint about a self-service parking machine in Ammanford and that the machine was pre-set to English with Welsh as an option

·         It was explained that the self-service parking machines had been in place for a number of years, prior to the introduction of the Welsh Language Standards.

·         Unfortunately, when the machines were installed it was not possible to give the Welsh option as the first option but we are aware that this software is now available.

·         The Environment Department, which is responsible for the machines, have applied for capital funding to change the machinery across the county. The new screens would set the Welsh and English side by side on the first menu. If the application is successful it will take four years to change each one.

4.

Complaint about the telephone greeting used by the Contact Centre - that the Centre greeted with an English greeting first and then Welsh

·         It was explained that the Council follows a policy where the Welsh language is offered first. However, it was explained that a decision had been made some years ago to greet in English first, following complaints from members of the public that they did not hear the Welsh greeting

·         It was explained that we finished with the Welsh greeting in order to encourage people to continue the conversation in Welsh

·         All Contact Centre staff are fluent in Welsh

5.

Complaint about the Llesiant Delta Wellbeing service, where an individual had chosen to receive a Welsh language service on the telephone but had to wait 20 minutes before a reply was received. It was noted that the individual wanted to discuss home adaptations on the phone but no language preference was requested during the call, in order to process information for home assessment.

·         An apology was given for the inconvenience and it was noted that a high number of the service's staff were Welsh speakers

6.

Complaint about errors in the Welsh version of the ‘Rural Housing Needs Questionnaire’ circulated in the county

·         We apologised sincerely for the errors in the Housing survey

·         It was explained that the Housing division had commissioned an external company to undertake the research work and that they were required to prepare bilingual versions of the questionnaire

·         It was agreed that any work commissioned by Council departments, where the preparation of documents is required, would be submitted to the Translation Unit for proof reading, prior to formal acceptance.

 


 

Learning and Development opportunities

 

 Course level:

2018-2019*

2017-2018*

Mynediad

27

15

Sylfaen

19

14

Canolradd

7

1

Uwch

0

1

Outside of the framework  

0

15

Cymraeg Ar-lein

 

 

Cymraeg Gwaith - Croeso

114

 

Cymraeg Gwaith - Croeso 'Nol

1

 

Cymraeg Graenus Ar-lein

3

 

Say Something in Welsh (Intensive)

2

 

Welcome to Welsh for Carers

8

 

Intensive Work Welsh

 

 

Mynediad

16

 

Sylfaen

12

 

Residential Work Welsh

3

 

Spoken Welsh Improvement

3

 

Agored Cymru Work Welsh

8

 

Total

223

 

 

E-learning courses through the medium of Welsh:

Course

Number

Supporting Young Carers

2

Welcome to Language Awareness

12

Safeguarding Adults and at Risk Children

10

Data Protection (GDPR)

47

GDPR & cyber training and e-learning

6

Manual for drivers

2

U4BW (1) Introduction to the system (Web)

7

Induction - Your Council

2

Mental health in the workplace

2

Standards of Behaviour in the Workplace

1

Total

91

 

Language Awareness (English medium)

797

 

 

* Please note that some of the courses run per academic year, not a calendar year and will be reported in the next Annual Report.

 

Since the mentoring framework was established to help staff develop their language skills, 38 learners have been officially paired with 32 mentors. Although, it is important to note that there is still a lot of mentoring going on in a workplace that has not been officially identified.

Overview of the use of Welsh in Training
Although the content is not provided in one language, many courses include the Welsh language and give attendees the opportunity to speak Welsh. The Social Care Workforce Development Partnership ensures that all their resources are bilingual, welcomes everyone bilingually and appoints Welsh language trainers as required.

In terms of training for members, the resources are bilingual. Some courses were provided through the medium of Welsh and others provided bilingually. In addition, across Learning and Development we offered Welsh language discussion groups to our staff during workshop exercises.

Reporting on Standards 128 and 152

Standard 128 requires the council to provide training in Welsh in the following areas, if such training is provided in English: (a) recruitment and interviewing; (b) performance management; (c) grievance and disciplinary procedures; (d) induction; (d) dealing with the public; and (f) health and safety.

The offer to follow any learning in Welsh is part of our Learning and Development application forms. We are in the process of reviewing each of the e-learning modules that support the areas identified in the Standards and all will be updated during 2019-20.

Standard 152 places a responsibility on the council to keep a record, for each financial year, of:

(a) The number of members of staff who attended training courses offered in Welsh (in accordance with standard 128), and

(b) if you have offered a Welsh version of a course in accordance with standard 128, the percentage of the total number of staff who attended that version of the course.

During 2018-19, we registered in accordance with Standard 152 (a), that there were 7,926 attendees to courses where Welsh language provision was offered. Of the 7,926 who attended the courses where the teaching was offered in Welsh, 1,280 followed the provision through the medium of Welsh or 16% (Standard 152 (b)).

Language Skills Audit

The Council adopted a Language Skills Strategy in January 2016 which in turn supported compliance with the Standards on 30 March 2016. One of the actions of the Strategy was to update the audit of the language skills of the workforce which met the responsibility under Standard 127 to 'assess the Welsh language skills of your employees'. As staff receive training and move along the continuum, the record is updated and when appointing new members of staff the record is placed on Human Resources software.


 

 

The data on the system at the end of March 2018 was as follows -

 

Number

Percentage

 

Number

Percentage

No verbal skills

840

 

15%

No written skills

1624

 

29%

Level 1 Verbal

1474

 

27%

Level 1 Writing

1304

 

24%

Level 2 Verbal

929

 

17%

Level 2 Writing

803

 

15%

Level 3 Verbal

682

 

12%

Level 3 Writing

653

 

12%

Level 4 Verbal

579

 

11%

Level 4 Writing

449

 

8%

Level 5 Verbal

1009

 

18%

Level 5 Writing

671

 

12%

 

The data on the system at the end of March 2019 was as follows -

 

Number

Percentage

 

Number

Percentage

No verbal skills

636

11%

No written skills

1504

27%

 

Level 1 Verbal

1712

30%

Level 1 Writing

1442

25%

Level 2 Verbal

938

16%

Level 2 Writing

844

15%

Level 3 Verbal

726

13%

Level 3 Writing

667

12%

Level 4 Verbal

604

11%

Level 4 Writing

477

8%

Level 5 Verbal

1083

19%

Level 5 Writing

739

13%

 

·         The staff survey was carried out in two parts. A meta-compliance survey was carried out on the Council's computers for all office staff and for staff working across the county without office contact, SNAP software and mobile devices and a paper version were used.

·         All data is based on staff self-assessment of their language skills levels. In completing the audit, staff were asked to note any support they would like to have to improve their language skills.

·         To date, 88% of staff have responded and the data has been uploaded to the Payroll / Human Resources System. Accessing staff without regular office contact or computer access is an ongoing challenge for us as an employer. We remain in regular contact with departmental co-ordinators and efforts continue to deliver a full response from all service areas.

 


 

Recruitment

In accordance with Standard 136, the following records have been kept during 2018/19 of the number of posts advertised and the level of Spoken Welsh language skills on those posts.

Level advertised

Number of posts

Framework definition

Level 1

55

·         Able to pronounce place names and personal names correctly.

·         Able to greet customers at reception or on the phone.

·         Able to open and close a conversation.

Level 2

208

·         Able to understand the core conversation.

·         Able to receive and understand simple messages on normal patterns, e.g. time and place of a meeting, request to talk with someone.

·         Able to convey basic information and simple instructions.  

·         Able to open and close conversations and meetings bilingually.

Level 3

277

·         Able to understand and participate in most normal day-to-day conversations in the office.

·         Able to offer advice to the general public on issues relating to the post. Referring to specialised or technical terms in English.

·         Able to contribute to a meeting or a presentation on general issues relating to the post; referring to specialised or technical terms in English.

Level 4

26

·         Able to contribute effectively in internal and external meetings in the context of the work subject.

·         Able to understand differences in tone and dialect.

·         Able to argue for and against a particular case.

·         Able to chair meetings and answer questions confidently.

Level 5

15

·         Able to contribute fluently and confidently with regard to all aspects of daily work, including negotiating and advising on technical, specialised or sensitive areas.

·         Can contribute to meetings and provide presentations fluently and confidently.

 

Total

581

 

 

In accordance with Standard 136, the following records have been kept during 2018/19 of the number of posts advertised and the level of Written Welsh language skills on those posts.

Level advertised

Number of posts

Framework definition

Level 1

330

·         Able to write personal names, place names, job titles and names of council departments.

 

Level 2

157

·         Able to produce a simple short message on paper or email for a colleague within the Council or a familiar colleague outside the Council.

Level 3

67

·         Able to prepare informal messages and reports for internal use.

Level 4

12

·         Able to produce business correspondence, short reports, e-mails and promotional literature with editing assistance.

Level 5

14

·         Able to produce business correspondence, short reports, e-mails and promotional literature to an acceptable level with the aid of standard language tools.

·         Able to draw up detailed notes while taking a full part in the meeting.

Total

581

 

 

On the following pages, there are case studies detailing specific pieces of work during 2018/19.
Case Study: Welcome Pack

Aim: To raise the awareness of people who move to the county about the existence of the Welsh language, to provide information on where residents can go to learn Welsh, to receive Welsh-medium education and to join the Welsh community, as well as information about using the Welsh language electronically and in the media.

Standard 145: Produce a 5 year Strategy which explains how you intend to promote the Welsh language and to facilitate the use of Welsh more widely in your area...

Objective of the Promotion Strategy:
iii. Take purposeful action to positively impact population movements ... make significant efforts to assimilate people who move
into the county ...

Process and Timetable:
- During 2017: Discussion with the Welsh Government about adapting the original template
- Learning from the pilot in Anglesey especially the distribution scheme
- Between January 2018 and June 2018: Meeting with County Forum officers to discuss content and subsequent meetings to prepare drafts
- Design and drafting work over the same period
- May 2018: Draft to be presented to the Advisory Panel meeting
- End June 2018: Final version confirmed
- July 2018: Commencement of distribution discussions
- Launch December 2018
- Between September 2018 to now: Distribution arrangements

Conclusions and decisions from the above process:
- Include interesting statistics about the Welsh language as in the original version
- Include interesting local stories about the Welsh language
- Include local case studies of learners
- Move the information about learning Welsh to the back in order to avoid fear
- Include static, local information about social opportunities in map form
- Include more practical information about where to use Welsh
- Seek feedback on the success of the booklet
- Seek to distribute strategically

Achievements:
The work of creating an information pack for people moving into the county was completed, through thorough collaboration and with the consent of all the organisations in the County Forum and the approval of the Advisory Panel. The Council's Policy Unit led on the work and the Education Department and the Marketing Department contributed. In addition, 11 organisations from outside the Council contributed to the work, namely: the three Mentrau Iaith, Carmarthenshire YFC, Mudiad Meithrin, Aberystwyth University, the Welsh Government, Yr Atom, Y Lle, Cymdeithas yr Iaith and the Dyfodol i’r Iaith. It includes images of Carmarthenshire and interesting facts about the Welsh

 

 

Language in the county.

 

 

A delivery plan was implemented during the year to try and reach people through a variety of means. It was arranged for a copy to be sent out as residents register to vote for example. A pilot project was also undertaken with Menter Gorllewin Sir Gâr, who worked with a local housing association and an estate agent. Our partners across the public sector have been instrumental in ensuring that new members of staff joining the organisations receive a copy through the induction process and Trinity Saint David has ensured that the pack has been included on the welcome app available to all new students. We have liaised with the Town and Community Councils across the county and continue to work with the Welsh for Adults sector on reaching our learners.

The pack was launched at an event in the Atom on the 11th December, with the County Strategic Forum, the Council’s Executive Board Member and a number of people who have moved to the county expressing an opinion on the usefulness of the booklet. A video of the contributions was also made and it was placed on social media. The pack was featured on Radio Cymru and BBC Cymru Fyw.

https://vimeo.com/309491785

 

 

 

 

 


 

Case Study: Training new Language Leaders and facilitating new Welsh language internal events

Purpose: To increase internal capacity to check compliance with the Standards. An in-house trainer (Policy and Partnership Team) was again used to nurture enthusiastic individuals who would understand the purpose and content of the Standards and were confident to offer advice to others within their workplace on their implementation. As a result of the enthusiasm of a small group of new Language Leaders from this training, there were additional events that drew attention to the Standards and to the Welsh language generally within the workplace.

Standards:
The Language Leaders project will have an impact on the implementation of all of the service delivery Standards within the relevant departments. They will also increase the use of Welsh in the workplace in accordance with the operational Standards and promote the Welsh language as in-house contribution to the promotion Standards and Strategy.

Process and Timetable:
- Language Leaders training was held for 14 members of staff during November / December 2018. 10 individuals from Children's Services and 4 from the Environment Department attended to add to the group of Environment staff trained two years ago.
- 4 half day sessions were held and the 4 sessions were held twice, once in Carmarthen and once in Llanelli and it was possible to select attendance by convenience. Some of the sessions were held in Welsh and some were bilingual according to the make-up of the individual groups.
- Following this training, the Environment Department Leaders came together to organise Meeting and Greet events in order to raise awareness of the presence of the Language Leaders within the Department and to promote the Welsh language. Drop-in sessions were held at 3 different locations, in buildings where Departmental staff are based, namely Spilman Street on February 11 and Cillefwr Depot on February 22
- The last of the three events was a St David's Day celebration at Parc Myrddin, Carmarthen again as a venue where a number of Environment Department staff are based.
- The ‘Cornel Cymraeg’ (Welsh language corner) was created in the Environment Department newsletter and attention was given to the new Language Leaders. The content was produced by one of the new Language Leaders.

Achievements:
Training: 100% of staff who attended the training stated that they were very confident or fairly confident with each learning objective following the training.

The activity that emerged from the training: The Meet and Greet sessions fulfilled a number of the aims of the Language Leaders and the Council at the same time. In raising awareness of the Language Leaders, it was also an opportunity to promote Welsh lessons, the Standards and the use of Welsh on the intranet. However, it was essentially an opportunity to increase the informal use of Welsh in the workplace, raising the status of the Welsh language in general in the Department, and an opportunity to celebrate St David's Day internally.

 

 

 

The intranet:

 

This video was shown on the intranet.

https://vimeo.com/323699677

 

One of the Language Leaders prepared a Feedback Report which summarised the comments and suggestions of attendees at the events. Feedback was extremely positive and offered a number of new ideas for similar events in the future:

 

 

Focus on the new Language Leaders in the Environment Department newsletter  


 

Case Study: Music Streaming Service

Aim:
To create a natural bilingual atmosphere in our public buildings and ensure that our young people see contemporary Welsh music alongside English music and see the Welsh language as relevant to their extra-curricular life as well as educational life.

Following the efforts of 2017-18 to play some hours of Welsh music on a daily basis using the Apton stream, it was decided to extend and confirm the project by using a new stream, specifically for Carmarthenshire County Council. Commissioning a local company to provide a bilingual music stream ensures consistent and quality Welsh music, and plenty of musical variety to last the long days of the venues.

Promotion Strategy Standards and Aim:
This project overlaps with the operational Standards and service delivery standards as it affects the use of Welsh within the workplace as well as providing a service to the public that treats the Welsh language as favorably as the English language. However, it goes a step further than what the Standards call for and also contributes to the promotion Strategy, through;
ii. Increase the confidence of Welsh speakers and therefore the use of Welsh in all aspects of life ...

Process and Timetable:
 - The project budget was agreed during August 2018. A company was commissioned to provide the work.
- During September, we dealt with the technical and digital challenges at Carmarthen Leisure Centre, (the Council's ICT department and Stiwdiobox). The Barix Streaming boxes were installed at each location and compatibility with the existing technical equipment was secured.
- Between October and December, the boxes were placed at the following locations: Carmarthen and Llanelli Market, Llanelli, Ammanford and Carmarthen leisure centres, Theatr y Ffwrnes (with a new network connection installed in the theater to enable the process).
- Following further technical issues such as the volume strength of the Welsh tracks compared to English, by February 2019, the new bilingual music stream was to be heard in all venues.

Achievements:
Numerous technical complications were overcome by regular collaboration between Stiwdiobox and the Council's Information Technology division. Any concerns and objections were dealt with as the change in provision obviously led to some feedback. For example, the streaming service can provide a daily list of songs which can be shown to anyone who wanted to see how often material was replayed. Finally, it was possible to communicate directly with staff and customers where questions arose and so alleviate any doubts that arose. We are very happy with the new provision and anticipate that it can be developed for the future. For example, we would like to encourage the use of the streaming service by local businesses as background music to take advantage of the provision.

Launch:
The new streaming service was launched on Welsh Music Day, 8 February 2019.