MID and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is delighted to publish its Welsh Language Standards Annual Report for April 2020 to March 2021.
The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 sets out a legal framework which imposes a duty on Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, among other public bodies in Wales, to comply with a set of Standards relating to the Welsh language.
Councillor Elwyn Williams, Chair of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority said
“Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority recognises and values the rich diversity of our communities and the significance of our cultural heritage. As such, we are committed to ensuring that in conducting public business in Wales, the Welsh and English languages are treated on the basis of equality.
As an Authority, we have responded positively to the Welsh Language Standards, utilising the Standards to further progress our commitment and aspiration to provide services equitably to all areas of mid and west Wales.
We also acknowledge our duty towards our own staff, most of whom are residents of mid and west Wales and who themselves reflect the linguistic and cultural make-up of their own communities.
Over the last twelve months, in the face of the challenges and restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus Pandemic, it is extremely pleasing to note that we have continued to ensure that our staff and communities have access to our services in their language of need and choice.
Over the next twelve months we will continue to look for opportunities to further collaborate with our partners and other fire and rescue services across Wales to promote, encourage and support the wider use of the Welsh language in our workplaces to meet individual language need and to provide a real language choice for our communities.”
Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies QFSM, said
“At Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, we believe that in the conduct of public business in Wales, the Welsh and English languages should be treated on the basis of equality. We take great pride in providing the highest level of commitment to the Welsh language, ensuring bilingual services and language choice for both our staff and our communities.
This Annual Report outlines the steps we have taken over the last twelve months to meet and maintain our compliance with our Welsh Language Standards. It provides details on the progress made in key service areas and notable achievements which will improve our capacity to deliver our services bilingually. However, it also recognises that while good progress has been made, there is more work to be done to ensure we recognise language need and provide real language choice to both our communities and our staff. We have therefore already identified key actions within this report which we will prioritise as key focus areas for improvement over the next twelve months.
These key areas will continue to focus on the work we have commenced this year to enhance the bilingual capacity of our Service. We want to ensure we have the optimum numbers of bilingual staff in key areas that reflect the language profile of our communities. We therefore remain committed to promoting bilingual workplaces and creating a positive environment for our staff and our communities to engage with us both formally and informally through the medium of Welsh.”