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Consultation Commences On The Highland Councils Third Iteration Gaelic Language Plan

14th June 2017

The Highland Council is pleased to introduce the third, iteration draft Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 which is being submitted for a 6 week public consultation.

The Highland Council draft Gaelic Language Plan has been prepared as a statutory document for submission to Bòrd na Gàidhlig in response to the formal notice of requirement to prepare a Gaelic Language Plan and with regard to the requirements set out in Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

The Highland Council's Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 sets out The Highland Council's aims and ambitions for Gaelic and Culture over the next 5 years, and how these will be achieved.

It also sets out a formal structure for The Highland Council's support of the Gaelic language and associated culture, strengthening current developments and introducing new initiatives and clear targets.

The Highland Council has a clear focus on increasing Gaelic usage, also to increase the number of Gaelic speakers, and to significantly enhance the profile and continue to create and generate a positive image of Gaelic.

To achieve these aspirations The Highland Council continues to have a strong focus on the following specific actions in;

Early Years, Young People and Families particularly in Education

The Home, Early Learning and Childcare, and Communities

The Workplace plays a significant role, providing and enhancing opportunities in relation to developing Gaelic awareness, usage, and taking cognisance of the current evolution in new technologies.

Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "The draft third iteration Gaelic Language Plan does not replace our previous Gaelic Language Plan. It builds on and enhances The Highland Council's ongoing commitments, successes and achievements in developing and sustaining Gaelic and cultural development.

She continued: "The Council is proud of its achievements in strengthening the language across all its Services and its key partners, which contributes to the broad educational, social, cultural and economic value and wellbeing of the Highlands."

She added, "I encourage members of the public, the public sector, agencies, parent groups, youth groups, community groups, the Third Sector and businesses to get involved and let us know their thoughts and ideas."

The easiest way to view the plan and make any comments is online at http://www.highland.gov.uk/info/283/community_life_and_leisure/335/gaelic/2

Copies can also be viewed at all public and mobile libraries. Any issues regarding access, or use of the website should be directed to gaelic@highland.gov.uk , who will provide an alternative method for submitting comments.

Public consultation meetings will be taking place in Portree, Fort William, Dingwall and Thurso. Details are as follows -

June 19 7pm, ‘The Venue', Portree High School, Portree

June 20 7pm, Community Room, Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Lochaber, Caol, Fort William

June 26 7pm, Dingwall Academy, Meeting Room

June 27 7pm, Meeting Room, Thurso High School

Comments can be submitted by e-mail to: gaelic@highland.gov.uk or by post to:

The Highland Council, Care and Learning Service, The Gaelic Team, Glen Urquhart Road, Inverness IV1 5NX.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Tuesday 25 July 2017.

The draft Gaelic Language Plan has been prepared in accordance with statutory criteria set out in the 2005 Act, and taking cognisance of the current draft National Gaelic Language Plan 2017 -2022 and the refreshed Guidance on the Development of Gaelic Language Plans.

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was passed by the Scottish Parliament with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect with the English language.

One of the key features of the 2005 Act is the provision enabling Bòrd na Gàidhlig to require public bodies to prepare Gaelic Language Plans. This provision was designed to ensure that the public sector in Scotland plays its part in creating a sustainable future for Gaelic by raising its status and profile and creating practical opportunities for its use.

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