Councillors oppose Gaelic Language Plan

Woodhill House: Where the full council will meet to discuss the Bord's plans
Woodhill House: Where the full council will meet to discuss the Bord's plans

Two Deeside councillors have voiced their opposition to the recommended modifications to Aberdeenshire’s Gaelic Language Plan.

The council has three options after its initial Gaelic Language Plan was rejected, and modifications were suggested by Bord-na-Gaidhlig. They can either accept all of Bord’s modifications and identify an additional £305,488 in the budget over three to five years, acknowledge the feedback and accept the recommendations which align with community feedback, or adopt their original plan, which may lead to the matter being referred to Scottish ministers.

Councillor Karen Clark, who referred the matter to full council, said: “We have to keep things in proportion, and the Gaelic Language Plan we submitted to the Bord I felt was reasonable and they came back with modifications which will cost the council a lot of money.

“In terms of the current economic climate we have to be careful, and even the second option would cost between £15,000 and £20,000.”

Councillor Jill Webster said: “The government needs to get a grip on what our priorities should be - ones that mean something to the people of Aberdeenshire, like improving services.”

Jon Moore, Intermim Chief Executive of Bord-na-Gaidhlig, wrote a letter addressing some of the concerns which surfaced regarding option one. Of the £200,000 cost of corporate rebranding, he wrote: “Bord understands that a full corporate rebranding exercise is unlikely to take place in the near future but our position is that we would like the Gaelic Plan to contain a commitment that when this happens Gaelic is considered and included.”

Moore also said: “The Bord has been working with Aberdeenshire council to consider practical ways of growing Gaelic as part of existing renewal processes.

“This approach is based on a clear understanding of the need to be proportionate and to work within tight financial constraints.”

The matter will now be discussed at a meeting of the full council on November 19.

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 aims to secure the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland.