Alun Davies AM
 Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language
 Welsh Government
 Tŷ Hywel
 Cardiff Bay 
 CF99 1NA 16 November 2016

Dear Minister

Welsh Government Draft Budget 2017-18

Thank you for attending the Culture, Welsh Language and Communication Committee’s meeting on 2 November to discuss the Welsh Government’s draft budget proposals 2017/18.  There were a number of areas where you agreed to write to the Committee to provide further information.  There are also one or two areas where the Committee would be grateful for some further clarification.

Bilingual Champions

You indicated that an evaluation of the project had been carried out and that you would write to the Committee with more details of the findings.

Agency for the Promotion of Welsh

You indicated that consideration is being given to the establishment of an agency for the promotion of Welsh language and what the structure and role of such an agency might be.  You hoped to be able to take final decisions on these matters before the final budget is considered by the Assembly in December. You promised that you would write to the Committee once you were in a position to take decisions.


 

Strategic Integrated Impact Assessment

You promised to provide additional details of how you intend to deliver on the priorities and commitments on the Welsh language and related outcomes in terms of the integrated strategic impact assessment in the narrative of the Welsh Government's draft budget.

Welsh in Education BEL

In response to questions you indicated that part of the additional £4.85 million the Welsh in Education BEL may be used to set up a new agency for the promotion of the Welsh language or to create a similar function within an existing body.  You indicated that you would write to the Committee before the final budget comes before the Assembly in December.

Welsh Language Commissioner’s Budget

At the meeting you indicated that the Commissioner had not made any request for an increase in her budget.  However, we were subsequently contacted by the Commissioner’s office who told us:

‘The Commissioner’s financial estimate for 2017/18 was sent to the Government on 6 October.  There is a statutory duty to send the estimate to the Government at least five months before the relevant financial year.

The Commissioner’s budget for 2016/17 was £3,051,000.  In the estimate the Commissioner made a case for an additional £150,000 over the next two years. That is, £75,000 more for 2017/18, or a budget of £3,126,000.

I can confirm, therefore that the Commissioner has made a request for more money for 2017/18.


 

There is clearly some confusion between what you told us and what we have since been told by the Commissioner.  I would be grateful if you could clarify the position as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely

Bethan Jenkins AM

Chair