Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:54 UK

Welsh language bill motion

Plans for the Welsh language to be an official language of the National Assembly have moved a step closer.

The general principles of the National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages Bill) were agreed by all parties on 16 May 2012.

This new bill will expand on the 2006 act by stating that both Welsh and English are official languages of the assembly, and that they must be treated on a basis of equality.

Moving the motion, Plaid Cymru's Rhodri Glyn Thomas welcomed the idea of making the assembly "naturally bi-lingual".

But Mr Thomas was critical of one aspect of the report by the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee on the bill.

The committee report suggested that all committee and sub-committee meetings in the assembly should be officially recorded in both Welsh and English.

Currently the full record of proceedings is only published in both languages for plenary meetings.

Mr Thomas was concerned about the potential costs of increased use of translation services and called on AMs to find "innovative and practical" solutions.

Mr Thomas said the recommendation to expand translations of proceedings to cover committees did not need to be written on the face of the bill.

Education and Skills Minister Leighton Andrews, replying on behalf of the government, told AMs that the Welsh language should be "cherished and nurtured".

Mr Andrews said the Welsh government supported the broad principles of the bill and that it would show that the Welsh language "can be used as part of everyday life".

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