The City of Edinburgh Council has begun a public consultation on its draft Gaelic Language Plan that closes on 23rd December, 2009.
The draft plan is available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/gaeliclanguageplan, and the Council will hold a consultation meeting, which is part of the Gaelic Community Forum on 5th December.
The Council is seeking as many responses as possible in order to produce a final plan that reflects community aspirations.
As arguably the most important element of the nation's plan to ensure the future of Gaelic language and culture, a number of public bodies have received notice since 2006 that they must produce their own Gaelic Plans. B˛rd na GÓidhlig was empowered and indeed required to issue such notices by the Gaelic Act which became law in 2005.
The first group of public bodies required to produce plans were the Councils of na h-Eileanan Siar, Highland, and Argyll and Bute, together with the Parliament, the Scottish Government, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The City of Edinburgh Council was one of the second wave of seven public bodies to receive notice in 2008 to produce a plan by summer 2009, although an extension was later granted till November 2009.
The fact that Edinburgh has been required to produce a plan is a reflection of today's importance of the Capital city to the national aim to secure the future of Gaelic. Edinburgh has one of the largest concentrations of Gaelic speakers within a relatively small area, and an increasingly visible and active Gaelic community. In common with other urban locations in the central belt Edinburgh's Gaelic education sector is experiencing sustained and significant growth.
The second and final public consultation on the Council's draft plan commenced in November 2009. The implementation of the plan will run over a five year period 2010/11 to 2014/15.
The Council commisioned a feasibility study into the future of Gaelic education in Edinburgh, and received its findings earlier in the year. A report will be published in due course, and in the meantime, the results will inform the recommendations of the Gaelic Plan.
The main drivers for this study (apart from the requirement to include education in the Gaelic language plan) were the rapidly increasing demand for places at the Gaelic-medium unit within Tollcross primary school and nursery, a developing national strategy on Gaelic education, and firmly expressed views of parents and the Gaelic community
Further information about Gaelic language plans can be found on B˛rd na GÓidhlig's web-site.