Case launched against Welsh language campaigner who refused to pay English-only parking fine thrown out
An appeal launched by a car park operator against a Welsh language campaigner who refused to pay its English-only parking fine, has been thrown out.
Deputy judge Owain Williams decided the company had delayed for too long before launching its appeal and introduced it under incorrect rules.
The original case against Toni Schiavone was kicked out last year when One Parking Solutions, which has its headquarters in Worthing in England, failed to attend.
Mr Schiavone was taken to court after he refused to pay a parking fine he received in a car park in Llangrannog as the fine and all correspondence were only in English, despite him requesting it in Welsh several times.
A counsel from the company attended today’s hearing, but the case was again thrown out.
Mr Schiavone said:” The travel costs of the counsel alone are more than the cost of translating the fine, and the cost of conducting the case are a hundred times or more the cost of providing a Welsh fine.
“The company’s attitude has been completely contemptuous and completely against the rights of Welsh speakers.”
The judge ordered that One Parking Solutions pay Mr Schiavone’s travel expenses of.
He said that this money would be donated to the charity Cancer Research Wales.
Following the case, Siân Howys, of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Welsh Language Rights Group, said: “We are pleased that the judge ruled in favour of the defendant, as in a similar case in Caernarfon, where the judge Mervyn Evans-Jones ruled that the defendant did not need to pay an English-only fine.
“It is becoming increasingly evident that these companies need to change their attitudes towards the Welsh language. To put pressure on them we will today be launching a campaign encouraging people not to pay for parking in car parks with English-only signs, nor to pay the resultant fines.
“The Government should set Standards in this area and for other businesses, such as supermarkets and banks, so that there is a requirement for the private sector to provide their services in Welsh.”
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