Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 18:52 UK

Assembly translation row deepens

AMs in the assembly chamber
AMs would still be able to speak Welsh or English in the assembly chamber

Assembly members have rejected a compromise deal in a row over the translation of the official assembly record from English into Welsh.

The Assembly Commission had wanted to save £250,000 a year by stopping the translation, but faced opposition.

The commission has decided the translation will continue, but instead of being available within 24 hours, it could take up to ten days.

Some AMs are critical and want the matter debated by their colleagues.

The translation row has gathered momentum all summer after the commission, which looks after facilities and services for the assembly, announced the money saving plan.

But the Welsh Language Board, the Welsh Language Society and AMs from all four parties expressed serious concerns about the move.

Tabled a motion

Following a meeting on Monday, the commission offered a compromise, saying it would retain full bilingual translation, but that it would be published within three to ten days of meetings, rather than the existing 24 hours.

The change will come into effect immediately.

It had appeared that this would be enough to satisfy four AMs who had tabled a motion condemning the original decision.

But they have now confirmed they will push ahead, and have the issue debated by the full assembly.

Their motion is critical of the handling of the whole affair, and demands a fundamental review of the issue.

It is unclear whether they will now have enough votes among their colleagues in the light of the commission's decision to continue a full bilingual service.

The Welsh Language Board (WLB) had previously warned that ending the translation could breach the assembly's own Welsh language scheme.

Board chair Meri Huws, responding to the commission's latest announcement, by saying: "We have had the opportunity to read the comprehensive statement released to the press this afternoon.

"We're waiting to receive formal correspondence from the commission, which will include further information.

"We will give detailed consideration to that response, with a view to arranging further discussions."



SEE ALSO
Probe threat to translation move
03 Sep 09 |  Wales politics
Assembly Welsh translation ends
06 Aug 09 |  Wales politics
Welsh Assembly in translation row
09 Aug 00 |  Wales

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