More support for the welsh language in Powys as council motion encourages tourism sector to use Welsh and adopt Welsh names for new businesses
MORE support for the Welsh language in Powys is now expected following the success of a council motion.
At a Powys County Council meeting on Thursday, July 21, Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan put forward a five-point motion to encourage the tourism sector to use more Welsh.
The motion comes on the back of the former Brecon Beacons National Park Authority deciding in April just to use the Welsh name for the park, Bannau Brycheiniog.
Cllr Vaughan took his fellow councillors on an odyssey of Welsh myths and legend and drew attention to the importance of late medieval manuscripts written in Brecknockshire collecting the myths.
Cllr Vaughan also stressed the links tales from the Welsh folklore manuscript “Mabinogi” have with parts of the old kingdom of Powys and Herefordshire.
He also asked the council to congratulate the national park authority for officially adopting Bannau Brycheiniog as its name.
Plaid Cymru’s Cllr Bryn Davies (Plaid Cymru) seconded the proposal.
Cllr Davies said: “We are lucky in Powys a lot more of our towns have kept their uniqueness such as Montgomery, Knighton, Presteigne – the sadness is these experiences are getting increasingly difficult to find.
“If you stand in a shopping centre in Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Nuneaton, Leicester, Plymouth, Newcastle and you look around you would be none the wiser of where you are.
“It is the same old shops that are national and international.”
“What contributes to our uniqueness is our culture and our language is at the centre of that.”
Liberal Democrat cabinet member for planning, Cllr Jake Berriman said he “applauded the sentiment” behind the motion.
Cllr Berriman said: “But I do take issues that it’s only local Welsh place names that reflect the wealth and history and culture of where we live.
Cllr Berriman mentioned a book on Radnorshire folklore and pointed out that the name “Radnor” means “Red Bank” had been first mentioned in an 8th century charter by the Mercian King Offa.
Cllr Berriman said: “There are lots of rich Radnorshire names that are not based in the Welsh language, long-standing English place names deserve acknowledgement.”
Cllr William Powell (Liberal Democrat) said: “This deserves our support because it captures that special quality that makes this county so attractive to visitors and we need to build on that.”
The motion was supported with 56 votes for and one vote against.
The motion read:
We encourage the tourism sector to use native Welsh names for new commercial enterprises in order to maximise the principle of a Sense of Place, and thereby make the most of what makes the area in question so unique and special. Also that they make use of the free Welsh translation service, ‘Helo Blod’ available through the Welsh Government, in order to provide a bilingual service and image, and that they use Welsh food and drink produce.
We ask the Powys council tourism department and the partners in that sector, such as the Wales Tourism Alliance, Mid Wales Tourism and others to draw the attention of all tourism sector providers to the existence of the Helo Blod service and that they practise this as a matter of good practice.
We ask the planning department to adopt this principle when dealing with planning applications in this service area and to draw the attention of agents and applicants to the Helo Blod service.
We remind all tourism enterprises which receive public grants or a contract from Powys or the public sector, of the expectation that they acknowledge the Welsh language, and that they act in accordance with the council’s language standards.
We encourage citizens to use historical, current, and new Welsh names on houses and buildings and stop the practice of getting rid of Welsh house names.
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