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Assembly launches bilingual law plan

A new bill is being proposed to reinstate bilingual services to the Welsh Assembly.

Welsh translations were discontinued last September, and the Welsh Language Board argues that both English and Welsh should receive equal treatment as official languages of Wales.

The bilingual law plan would mean the Assembly would be required to provide simultaneous translation of debates as well as publishing official documents in both languages.

Rosemary Butler, Presiding Officer of the Assembly Commission, said: “The new commissioners and I are committed to providing exemplar bilingual services for the fourth assembly. I'm confident that our plans will deliver that.

“This would be the first Commission-proposed Bill since the 'yes' vote of March 2011 and I want to encourage as many people as possible to have their say during the consultation period to help shape our proposals.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas, the commissioner with responsibility for the Welsh language, said: “The proposed legislation would put in place robust arrangements for the assembly's bilingual services.

“The draft scheme confirms our commitment to developing these services in an innovative way, to ensure that the work of the National Assembly and its proceedings are as accessible as possible to the people of Wales.”

The bill should be ready to be consider at the end of this year.

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