(270)  DRAFT GAELIC LANGUAGE BILL PUBLISHED

A draft Gaelic Language Bill was published on 10 October 2003 in a Consultation Paper, and will be open for consultation until 9 January 2004.  Speaking at the 100th Royal National Mod in Oban, First Minister Jack McConnell and Minister for Education and Young People Peter Peacock confirmed that the Bill was to be introduced to Parliament next summer.  The key provisions of the Bill are:

Recognising in legislation Gaelic as a language of ScotlandEstablishing the Gaelic development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, on a statutory basis to promote the use and understanding of Gaelic Requiring Bòrd na Gàidhlig to prepare a National Gaelic Language Plan for approval by Scottish MinistersRequiring public bodies in Scotland to consider the need for a Gaelic language plan in relation to the services they offerThe Consultation Paper is available at

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/culture/glbc-00.asp.

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