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Aberdeenshire on course to bypass introduction of Gaelic road signs

Aberdeenshire on course to bypass introduction of Gaelic road signs

Scotland's Transport Minister has told Aberdeenshire Council he won't force them to introduce Gaelic road signs.

The local authority's policy and resources committee voted last month against spending £305,000 on recruiting a Gaelic language officer and adding Gaelic to road and building signs.

Councils throughout the country have taken measures to devise Gaelic language plans as the Scottish Government looks to secure the status of Gaelic as an official language of Scotland.

The creation of bilingual road signs is just one of the proposals on the table.

The region's former provost, Jill Webster, said: “The government needs to get a grip on what our priorities should be - ones that mean something to the people of Aberdeenshire, like improving services.”

And there were also calls for signs to be translated into Doric, which is spoken by more people than Gaelic in the north-east.

Now, Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, has responded to a letter from Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes.

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Mr Mackay said: “There are currently no plans to implement bilingual road signs on trunk roads in the Aberdeenshire area.

“The Scottish Government supports the development of local Gaelic Language Plans, such as that currently in development by Aberdeenshire Council.

“However, it is for councils to determine their own policies on the use of Gaelic destinations on signs on local roads.”

Aberdeenshire councillor Karen Clark said: "We have to keep things in proportion, and I felt the Gaelic Language Plan we submitted [to Bord-na-Gaidhlig] was reasonable.

"However, they came back with modifications, which will cost the council a lot of money."

The matter will be discussed at a meeting of the full council on November 19.

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