A £350,000 plan to promote Gaelic across Perth and Kinross has been described as “overkill”.
The project was launched two years ago and involves a range of strategies including lessons and awareness courses for frontline council staff, using Gaelic on signs and vehicle liveries, and introducing bilingual posts at schools where the language is taught.
Wednesday’s meeting of the full council considered an update on the plan, which showed that progress had been made in all areas.
Even so, the scheme came under fire from Perth City North councillor John Flynn, who said: “I feel that this could be the thin end of the wedge for us.
“I think we are being channelled in a way that Gaelic is going to be classed differently from other languages.”
He added: “I believe we are being led down a road which we probably don’t want to go down.
“To change the liveries on vehicles and ID badges is, to me, overkill and I don’t imagine a lot of people will be happy about this. They will want their money spent on other things.”
Councillor Michael Barnacle said: “I’m totally in support of this paper when it comes to traditionally Gaelic-speaking areas but I do get comments from Kinross-shire that it is not appropriate there.”
Council leader Ian Miller added that “good progress” had been achieved.
The council’s design guidelines have been changed to give Gaelic equal status to English on signs and stationery.
Posts on the boundary of Perth now include Filte gu Cathair Pheairt, which translates as Welcome to the City of Perth.
The Scottish Government’s national Gaelic plan for 2014-15 aims to safeguard the future of the declining language by promoting learning, increasing its use and enhancing its status.
Describing the position of Gaelic as “extremely fragile”, it believes there must be concerted effort by the Government, the public and private sectors and community bodies to ensure it has a sustainable future.