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HIGHLAND PRESSES CASE FOR RELAXATION ON USE OF BI-LINGUAL SIGNS

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The Highland Council convener David Green is confident the Scottish ...
The Highland Council convener David Green is confident the Scottish

executive will relax rules governing the use of bi-lingual road signs

following his meeting with transport and environment minister,

Sarah Boyack. He argued for removal of the restriction limiting the use of bi-lingual signs to areas where more than 10% of the local population speak Gaelic and stressed that the call for bi-lingual signs should be community led.

He advised the ministers of the council's policy on the provision of

bi-lingual signs, reporting that signs had been erected only in Skye and Ardnamurchan. Signs were restricted to place names and were only introduced when existing signs required replacement through age or damage.

Where English and Gaelic versions of a place name were virtually identical, the Gaelic version only would be used to reduce the size of sign.

He stressed the council was keen to respond in a positive manner to local communities making reasonable requests for the Gaelic language to be given more prominence in place names and would ensure full consultation took place with the community, even including the Gaelic spelling!

Cllr Green said: 'We were pleased to have the opportunity to clarify

our policy and to suggest that the 10% rule was inappropriate and should be dropped. We are looking for a commonsense approach, which would give a local community its place. We received a sympathetic hearing and I am confident the executive will adopt a more flexible approach in the future - in keeping with their general support for the Gaelic language and culture.'

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