Scrutiny Councillors praise Welsh Translation Unit for important role played in response to the pandemic

Despite 2020-21 being a challenging year due to the pandemic restrictions, the Council has continued to make improvements in implementing the Welsh Language Standards.

The Service Improvement & Finance Panel met at the end of June to discuss the Welsh Language Standards Annual Report 2020-21. Officers explained that the report aims to highlight updates across the four Standards Groups:

  • Service Delivery
  • Policy Making
  • Operational
  • Promotional and Record-Keeping

Service Delivery standard continues to be a priority, and this is also the main area for which complaints are received. The complaints policy has been reviewed and updated to reflect helpful feedback from both the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Ombudsman.

The Panel was pleased to hear that there has been an increase of half a million words translated by the Translation Service compared with the previous year.

The Panel queried if the service had now reached the point of maximum efficiency. Officers explained that this is a joint Service with Neath Port Talbot Council and, pending review later this year. Officers added that it is unlikely the service will make any further savings.

The Council intends to review whether more jobs can be recruited with mandatory Welsh skills, Panel members queried the possible effect on recruitment. Officers assured the Panel that this will not apply to all posts, based on skills and job markets, although some posts could be made mandatory Welsh in the future. The panel raised concerns over whether this could jeopardise the availability of the right candidates. Officers highlighted that regard would be had to the five year strategy, enhancing training for existing staff.

The Panel praised the Welsh Translation Unit for playing an important part during the pandemic response, translating a huge amount of information within tight deadlines. The Panel acknowledged the hard work and efforts of staff, working at speed to turn around work within ambitious targets.

To read the report presented at this meeting please click here.

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