9th January 2007
The 2011 Census Forms for the United Kingdom must include questions on Gaelic. This is the strong message from Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG), in its response to the recent consultation by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the requirements for the 2011 Census.
The ONS have been seeking views from interested bodies on the type of information needed from the 2011 Census. CnaG has responded with a request that the same questions which are to be included for the Welsh language should also appear for Gaelic.
“It is essential that this opportunity is taken by the UK Government to ascertain, with as much accuracy as possible, the number of Gaelic speakers throughout the UK”, says CnaG’s Chief Executive, Donald Martin.
“At the moment, while we have figures from the Scottish Census, there is no way the overall numbers of Gaelic speakers in the UK can be accurately identified. Accurate figures will be available for Welsh speakers in areas other than Wales and there is no reason why we should have to rely on guesswork and estimates for the Gaelic figures. This information is essential to help Government agencies and development bodies with future planning and funding allocations for Gaelic as well as assisting Government Departments in assessing requirements for fulfilling the UK's obligations under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages."