A Ceredigion woman’s car has been confiscated by bailiffs after she refused to pay a court penalty for her part in a campaign to gain broadcasting powers for Wales.
69-year old Eiris Llywelyn, from Ffostrasol in Ceredigion, was found guilty in April this year for refusing to pay for her TV licence as part of the campaign for broadcasting powers for Wales.
She was the third campaigner to go to court as part of the campaign and was ordered to pay a £220 court penalty. She is the first person to refuse to pay court penalties and so risks a prison sentence.
Speaking from her home in Ffostrasol, Eiris Llywelyn said: “I intend to continue to refuse to pay and I’m willing to face the consequences. The bailiffs have called and taken my car, but I’m not going to give in.
“I’m willing to take the protest to the end in order to draw attention to a matter that’s of vital importance to our nation. We’re pushing for the devolution of communication and broadcasting powers for the sake of Wales’ democracy, as well as our language.
“The lack of Welsh content in the media is a threat to self-government in Wales, and it must be tackled.”
Campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith claim that securing broadcasting powers for Wales is essential to maintaining devolution.
According to opinion polling, fewer than half of the Welsh public know that responsibility over health is devolved to the Senedd in Cardiff.
Ninety people are currently refusing to pay for their licence fees in an effort to transfer control over TV, radio and online communication from Westminster to Wales.
Bethan Ruth, Chair of campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith, added: “We’re very grateful to Eiris for her brave stand. It’s a fight for the future of our language, our communities and for our democracy.
“Democracy is impossible without powers over the media moving from Westminster to Cardiff and a media which reflects our values and our culture – so that we see the world through a Welsh window. Devolving the broadcasting system is as important as devolving the political system itself.
“We’re pleased to see more and more support from the Welsh Government and others for the campaign. Decisions about broadcasting in Wales should be made by the people of Wales.
“We’ve had enough of the Government in London cutting the Welsh media, and presiding over a system which gives so little attention to Wales and doesn’t reflect our lives.”
According to a YouGov opinion poll published last year, 65% of people in Wales favour devolving powers over broadcasting to the Senedd in Cardiff.