Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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Have your say on the Welsh Language, says Paul Murphy

Secretary of State for Wales Paul Murphy is urging everyone to have their say on the proposed Welsh Language Order from the Welsh Assembly Government.

That is why he is asking for opinions on the proposals from a wide range of key public, private and third sector organisations within Wales, including unions, employer organisations and the business community. He is also inviting comments from all members of the Welsh public who would wish to have their say.

Addressing MPs at the annual St David’s Day Welsh Debate, Mr Murphy said he wanted to see the biggest public debate on the Welsh language in recent years, to ensure the draft Legislative Competence Order (LCO) meets the needs of all the people of Wales.

Mr Murphy said: “The principles of this proposed order from the Welsh Assembly Government are very good, but there are some details that it is important to discuss, particularly with business and industry. It is important that we hear what the people of Wales think about these proposals, particularly those directly affected, so, that at the end of the day, the LCO that emerges is one that has been subject to the most thorough public debate and scrutiny.

“The Wales Office has been working together with the Welsh Assembly Government to deliver the proposed Order for pre-legislative scrutiny. I would now urge everybody to take the opportunity to have their say while the scrutiny process is underway at Westminster and Cardiff Bay.

“We all have a legitimate role in this debate - from MPs and AMs to those, in this context, who speak for industry and the business community, and represent the working people of Wales. After all, this is what devolution all is about - participation, accountability and accessibility. That is why I think that this public debate is vital.”

Mr Murphy said the comments and opinions received by the Wales Office over the next two months would inform both his deliberations and the scrutiny of the Order being undertaken in Parliament and the National Assembly. Indeed, this public debate will complement the calls for evidence made by the Welsh Affairs Committee at Westminster and a Legislation Committee of the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

He added: “This period of thorough public debate, running parallel with scrutiny by MPs and AMs, will ensure the full implications of the proposals are understood and agreed widely. I hope as many people as possible across Wales will take this opportunity to have their voice heard.”

For details of how you can join the public debate on the proposed Welsh Language Order go to: www.walesoffice.gov.uk/have-your-say