This morning, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, asked in Holyrood about what kind of support the Scottish Government will put in place to support the establishment of Areas of Linguistic Significance, a key part of its new Languages Bill.
The Committee for Education, Children and Young People has now begun its scrutiny of the Bill following its publication in November last year.
The Cabinet Secretary responded that existing support would be built on and strengthened by the new provisions in the Bill, with guidance to be prepared for local authorities to assist them in the process of considering which areas could benefit.
The Western Isles’ MSP then asked whether the Scottish Government might look to place a duty on local authorities to designate certain areas where Gaelic speaker numbers were over a certain threshold.
The Cabinet Secretary responded that she would give serious consideration to the view that Scottish Ministers or Bòrd na Gàidhlig should have ‘an enhanced role’ in the designation of these areas.
Commenting, Allan said:
“I would like to thank the Cabinet Secretary for her continued proactive engagement on this issue. This Bill represents a significant opportunity to develop and strengthen Gaelic language policy, helping improve the long-term sustainability of the language, as well as of course introducing provisions for the Scots language for the first time.
“I have read, with interest, a number of stakeholder views so far on the Bill as introduced, and what they might like to see strengthened or clarified within it. I would urge as many people as possible to respond to the Education Committee’s call for views on the Bill’s content, which is open until the 8th March.”
The committee consultation can be accessed here: https://yourviews.parliament.scot/ecyp/scottish-languages-bill-detailed-english/
To view the exchange between Alasdair Allan MSP and the Cabinet Secretary, please use this link.