THIS week the Welsh Government announced ambitious plans to almost double the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050.

According to the most recent census carried out in 2011 562,000 people in Wales can speak the language, 19 per cent of the total population. If the Welsh Government is successful in its plans, this will rocket by almost half a million in just 33 years.

Calling the plan ambitious almost seems understating it, but with enough effort and resources it’s not inconceivable that it could become a reality.

But herein lies the problem.

The Welsh Government’s plan doesn’t include a single penny of extra funding, instead saying existing budgets have to be shifted around to accommodate the target.

There is something to be said for this approach – if it’s going to succeed it has to be truly integrated into the way schools and other organisations work, and forcing these bodies to work around what they’ve already got could be a way to do that.

But there’s no getting away from the fact that setting such an ambitious plan without any extra funding at all is at best going to make it more difficult, at worst damning it to failure before it’s even begun.

Yes, we’re in financially tight times. If money was no object we’d all have been enjoying bypassing the Brynglas Tunnels on the M4 relief road for years while events at the completed Circuit of Wales would be a fixture in the pages of the Argus every other day.

The Welsh Government rightly focuses on schools and teaching in the strategy, setting out plans to integrate the language right from nursery levels upwards. This is certainly the right way forward, as getting youngsters speaking Welsh as early as possible will make it far more likely they’ll pick it up.

Trying to learn a language later in life is far more challenging, as anyone who’s tried to do so will tell you.

But without extra cash there’s a risk other areas could lose out.

It could mean youngsters are forced to used old computers which might otherwise have been upgraded, schools might have to cut back on the number of teaching assistants or teachers may find themselves having to go without pay rises.

Hardly ideal circumstances for youngsters to learn a language in.

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high of course, and as someone who grew up in England and would love to be able to speak a second language it’s certainly not my place to criticise the idea.

With enough effort and sufficient resources it could make a real impact.

But I fear without at least a bit of cash the plan as it currently stands could be doomed to failure.

l The fallout from the Grenfell Tower disaster continues to be felt in Wales, with cladding on three tower blocks owned by Newport City Homes failing safety tests last week.

Yes, this is worrying, especially for the people living in the blocks, but cool heads are needed to determine what the risk actually is.

While it seems likely the cladding on the west London tower played at least some part in helping the flames spread, the full cause and risk to others remains unclear, and will do for some time to come.

Newport East AM John Griffiths is leading a one-day inquiry into the impact and implications of the disaster in Wales tomorrow, Thursday, which hopefully will at least give us some idea of the potential risks and what can be done to minimise them.

But it’s clear this is a very complicated situation without a single easy answer.

While it’s natural to want answers following a disaster of this magnitude as quickly as possible, there’s a risk of getting preoccupation with the cladding at the expense of other potential risks.

Likewise, the fact that the cladding on the Newport City Council blocks failed the safety test doesn’t mean the buildings could burst into flames at any minute.

Yes, for the sake of the people living there I hope the housing authority is able to do something to makes the blocks safer and minimise any risk of a repeat of the horrible scenes in Grenfell here, but in reality the likelihood of it happening anyway is slim at best.

Of course, if I lived in one of these tower blocks I may feel differently.

l All this week we’re running open letters to readers of the Argus from the newly-re-elected MPs in Gwent.

Newport’s Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden had their say on Monday and Tuesday, and the letters can be found online if you’re so inclined, while a letter from Torfaen’s Nick Thomas-Symonds is elsewhere in this very publication.

Islwyn’s Chris Evans and Monmouth’s David Davies will be featured later in the week.