Aberdeenshire’s Gaelic language plan agreed

Councillors have agreed modifications to the Aberdeenshire Council Gaelic Language Plan, following a meeting of full council last Thursday November 19.

Councillors voted in favour of supporting the decision taken by Policy & Resources Committee in September, agreeing to make changes to the plan including staff training, online and paper forms, Gaelic awareness training and an audit of Gaelic language skills, with the costs mainly coming from translation services.

It was also agreed that the costs would be carefully monitored and reported back to committee if they are likely to exceed £15,000.

The plan was originally agreed by Policy & Resources Committee in September 2014 and submitted for consideration to Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The Bòrd subsequently asked for changes to the plan, to include consideration of Gaelic translations on road signs and a bi-lingual council logo.

Councillors had previously considered three options in response to feedback from Bòrd na Gàidhlig: to accept all the recommendations and meet all the associated costs; to acknowledge the feedback and accept the recommendations that align with feedback from the community and cost no more than £15,000; or adopt the plan as approved, without any moderation.

The development of a Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 aims to secure the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland, commanding equal respect with the English language.

Under the Act, public bodies are asked to prepare Gaelic Language Plans to ensure the public sector plays its part in creating a sustainable future for Gaelic by raising its status and profile. The revised plan will be resubmitted to Bòrd na Gàidhlig and a decision is expected in early 2016.