I AM fortunate to be one of the 40,000 Welsh speaking residents in Gwent and am pleased to see a growing respect and appreciation for the language since I first came to live here over 50 years ago.
Previously, as a teacher at one of the comprehensive schools I had been admonished for passing the time of day with a Welsh speaking colleague in the staff room and told in no uncertain terms, “You cannot speak that language here!”
I was to hear the same words again when working in an office in the Education Department in County Hall and many more times in this period. It always had the same crushingly demoralising effect although I was always careful to hide my true feelings and my response was to try to explain politely that in the circumstances the use of Welsh was appropriate, as for instance it was when dealing with the WJEC. I feel saddened and disappointed on reading recent letters and articles in this newspaper relating to this issue and appalled to read the considered opinion of the Argus editorial on the matter. More than 20 years have passed since the Language Act of 1991 made it a legal obligation for councils to work towards equality for the Welsh and English languages. It is evident Newport City Council has made little or no effort in 20 plus years towards achieving this goal.
Yvonne Balakrishnan Uplands Farm Pontypool