Tayside council staff could be taught to speak Gaelic in bid to revive language

Council staff could be taught to speak Gaelic as part of a strategy aimed at reviving the language in Tayside.

Perth & Kinross Council has revealed proposals for a £160,000 Gaelic Language Plan (GLP) to be rolled out over the next five years.

Council chiefs hope the blueprint will boost the dwindling number of local people who speak the language.

According to most recent figures, the number of residents speaking Gaelic has fallen from 1,453 to 1,287.

The draft plan proposes “Gaelic early learning and childcare provision” as well as moves to improve the uptake of Gaelic education in schools.

The council is considering adopting a bilingual corporate logo, as well as creating new welcome signs at local authority buildings, including schools.

The GLP also includes guidelines for council staff on how and when to use Gaelic in relevant meetings.

It is further proposed to train and invest in Gaelic teaching staff. The council has about 13 specialist Gaelic teachers, play leaders and support assistants.

There are also plans to bring the Gaelic short film competition, Film G, to Perth.

Plans to revive the language have proved controversial in the past.

Councillor Willie Robertson earlier this year welcomed proposals to concentrate on areas with historical ties with the language, while pointing out it has not been spoken in most of Kinross-shire since the middle ages.

“If the council continues the status quo, giving children the chance to learn more Gaelic in schools, then that’s fine,” he said.

“Its a tricky one to argue, especially when money is so tight in education at the moment.”