Meri Huws, Welsh Language Commissioner
 Market Chambers
 5–7 St Mary Street 
 Cardiff CF10 1AT


18 September 2015


Dear Meri

Historic Environment (Wales) Bill – bilingual requirements for Historic Environment Records

Thank you for your written submission to inform the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee’s consideration of the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill.

During a recent discussion of the evidence, the Committee agreed that I should write to you to seek your views on the application of the requirements under the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 in respect of the Bill’s provisions on Historic Environment Records (HERs).

In your written submission on the Bill, you suggested that the statutory guidance on HERs should “state specifically that the records should be bilingual and of the same standard in Welsh and English in accordance with the requirements that will be made of local authorities under the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.”

In his evidence to the Committee, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism told us that it is “generally accepted that the historic archival records [which make up the majority of HERs]  are exempt from the current Welsh language scheme”, but that he was currently considering the implications of standards under the 2011 Measure.

In order to help us form a view on provision of bilingual HERs, it would be helpful if you could provide a view on the extent to which the standards under the 2011 Measure will apply for the purpose of HERs that are created and maintained by local authorities, and where local authorities delegate their HER functions to the Welsh Archaeological Trusts.

The Committee is due to finalise its report within the next two weeks, so it would be helpful if you could provide a response as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Christine Chapman AC / AM

Cadeirydd / Chair