HL Deb 12 October 1993 vol 549 cc178-9

3 Clause 10, page 5, line 1, leave out 'people who speak Welsh' and insert 'members of the public who may be affected by the schemes'.

4 Clause 13, page 5, line 38, after first 'of insert 'both'.

5 Page 5, line 38, after 'Welsh-speaking' insert 'and other'.

6 Page 5, line 38, at end add 'who may be affected by the scheme'.

Earl Ferrers

I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 3 to 6. The consultation provisions which are contained in Part II of the Bill are important elements in ensuring that the Welsh language services which are provided by public bodies in future are in tune with the reasonable expectations of Welsh speakers.

The Bill provides for representatives of Welsh speakers to be consulted both in relation to the board's guidelines and, equally importantly, on the schemes which are proposed by individual public bodies. It became apparent during consideration of the Bill in another place that the form of this consultation should be extended more widely. Even though public bodies would have been able to consult any organisation that they believed would have an interest, the formal duty to consult was restricted to representatives of Welsh speakers alone.

The Government were happy to be able to respond to the proposals which were put forward by the Opposition in another place which recognised that not all consumers of Welsh language services are Welsh speakers themselves. The most obvious example of that is in the world of education where in some areas the parents of many children in Welsh medium schools are not Welsh speakers. The amendments will ensure that, for example, in the case of education local education authorities will be required to consult organisations or representatives of all parents about their proposals to provide children with a Welsh medium education.

The amendments will help to ensure that the duty to consult both on the guidelines and on the schemes extends to representatives of all those who may be affected by Welsh language services

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 3 to 6.—(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.