Councillors have clashed over the use of the Welsh language in a debate over its prevalence in Powys.

Powys County Council had been criticised by Welsh language commissioner Aled Roberts in the Welsh Annual Standards report, which came before the full council meeting on Thursday – although it also said work is being done to improve the council's use of the language.

But it was an article written by Conservative councillor Amanda Jenner for the Conservative Home website which led to a clash between participants in the online meeting.

Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Elwyn Vaughan said: “Powys has moved forward tremendously in this field in the last couple of years.

“I welcome the comments that it’s relevant to all the communities of Powys, because contrary to what one leading Powys councillor said this week, the Wesh language is embedded in all our communities and is therefore relevant to us all.”

Cllr Jenner's article had been discussing “devolution revolution”, and bringing decision-making to a more local level.

Part of her article read:  “I don’t want to see the Welsh language forced upon every nook and cranny of Wales, including upon those communities whose traditions and cultures may not have the Welsh Language embedded in them.”

Cllr Jenner (Trewern), who is learning Welsh, responded to the Plaid councillor by saying: “Cllr Elwyn is incorrectly implying that I was solely referring to Powys in my article.

“I was commenting on the whole of Wales where as we all know there are some parts that do not have the Welsh language embedded, I wanted to clarify that.”

Earlier, the portfolio holder for the Welsh language, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, said: “I do acknowledge the failings and where we must do more.

“The Welsh language is a treasure to be shared with all of the communities in Powys and we’d like to help all of our residents and staff  to appreciate and enjoy the Welsh language.

“I hope we will continue to regard the Welsh language within PCC not as an add on or tick box we have to complete, but an aspiration to strengthen and develop it.”

The report was approved by 63 votes with no votes against or abstentions.

Like all other government and public bodies in Wales, PCC is required to comply with the Welsh Language Standards, introduced under the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.

This gave the language an equal legal status with English and is supposed to make it easier for people to use Welsh in their day to day lives.