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‘Imperial arrogance’ for further English-only parking fine, says Cymdeithas yr Iaith

27 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Toni Schiavone with supporters outside Aberystwyth justice centre during the earlier hearing.

The English owners of a car park in west Wales are displaying the same ‘Imperial arrogance’ in again issuing and pursuing an English-only fine, Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith has said.

Earlier this year Toni Schiavone 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

Llangrannog is famed as the home of Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s residential centre in Ceredigion (Gwersyll yr Urdd Llangrannog).

His case, which was due to be heard before a court in Aberystwyth, was thrown out as there was no representative from One Parking Solutions, which has its headquarters in Worthing in England, was present. 

After that hearing, he said he hoped he had set a new precedent.

The company responsible for that car park is now pursuing Arwyn Groe, through a debt company, for the same reason.

‘No respect’

“It is clear that neither the owner of the car park nor the company running it have any respect for or interest in the Welsh language,” Tamsin Davies, vice-chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said. 

“One campaigner has been to court after refusing to pay an English-only fine, and the company has decided not to listen.

“Private companies are not under an obligation to provide any Welsh language provision so they don’t. Supermarkets and banks have told us many times in the past that they will not provide any services in Welsh until they are obliged to do so by law. 

“So the answer is obvious – the current Language Measure needs to be extended to include private companies. And it is about time to do that. It has now been over ten years since the Welsh Language Measure was created.”

Debt threat

Arwyn Groe’s fine has been passed to a debt claim company and the company is now threatening to call at his family home. 

He has been part of campaigns for Welsh language education in Powys and a long-time member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

“In this particular case, it is clear that the company in question has not learned from Tony Schiavone’s stand, and continues to show a lack of respect for the people of Wales even though they should know better by now,” said Arwyn. 

“They can’t hide behind a veil of ignorance about the situation anymore. As far as I’m concerned, giving in to their demands and threats would show a lack of respect for Tony’s earlier stand, and send a message to the company that we are happy to comply with and accept their imperial arrogance. I’m not ready to do that.”

‘What has changed?’

As Cymdeithas yr Iaith celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, Tamsin Davies has asked what has changed since the organisation was founded.

“We can celebrate the many successes that have come through campaigning over the decades of course, but cases like this reminds us of the struggle of the Beasleys, who refused to pay their English only council tax bill and faced bailiffs, and reminds us that we still have to fight for things that should have been won long ago. So the battle for the Welsh language is far from over.”


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Andrew
Andrew
2 months ago

How the hell does an English company own a car park in Llangranog, allowing all the valuable revenue from parking to be funneled out of the area.

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Supermarkets, pub chains, restaurant chains, car components factories, etc. all funnel their profits out of the area. It’s always been the same. Look at the large coal mine owners of the past, gold mining today, copper mining etc. all funneled money out of Wales. Survival wages only for the Welsh. If Wales had been allowed to be run by the Welsh we would probably be the wealthiest country in the UK. They owe us big time.

Andrew
Andrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

True. Let’s hope the Indie event in Cardiff is truly massive on Saturday, rail strike or bad weather, I will be there.

Steve George
Steve George
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Actually, the car park is owned by a guy who lives in Swansea. He’s outsourced running the car park to OneParking Solutions whose business model is heavily based on being complete c*nts!

notimejeff
notimejeff
2 months ago

Agreed. “the current Language Measure needs to be extended to include private companies. And it is about time to do that.” Will the Senedd do this?

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  notimejeff

That’s a bit of a wishful thought because many of those in the Senedd have difficulty pronouncing the word Senedd! More concerned about pleasing their masters at other end of M4.

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
2 months ago

Be sure to be aware of your rights vis-a-vis ‘debt collectors’ and bailiffs, they’re not the same.

You don’t have to let them in to your home. Keep the doors locked!

Frank
Frank
2 months ago

It’s time Wales took control of more things here instead of outsiders taking what they want from us all the time and give sod all back.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
2 months ago

It’s not a fine, it’s a charge! Private companies CANNOT issue fines anywhere on this island. Please stop stating these charges are fines? You unintentionally encourage some people to pay them. These companies operate in grey areas, they don’t care about laws or anything else. They just care that enough people pay them. They’re money grabbing b**tards!

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
2 months ago

When are these debt-collecting scumbags due?… Can we get a big turnout for them? That’s the only way to deal with parasites and traitors: Working-Class Solidarity. Don’t allow debt collectors to roam your area unchallenged. They can act as hard and heavy as they want but they are subject to laws and regulations like any other person. Get wise, share knowledge with your neighbours, band together against these infernal pigs, they are one of the few recession-proof businesses and in fact, their profits will increase in the coming years. Do your research, these are good places to start: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/action-your-creditor-can-take/harassment-by-creditors/#:~:text=You%20should%20write%20to%20the,your%20creditor%20doesn't%20stop. https://moneynerd.co.uk/how-to-beat-debt-collectors-uk/… Read more »

Rhian Davies
Rhian Davies
2 months ago

Yes and we must remember that the Welsh language is only one facet of our culture. You see a lot of the English try to reduce our Cymreig culture to being ‘just a language’, and then they chant, ‘it’s inevitable, languages die out’. Well our Cymreig culture (which includes our Cymraeg language, of course) is one of the most mysterious and fascinating in the world. I know it will last, because its people know what they have, and that their culture is worth its weight in gold basically, compared to the culture of their neighbours – English – which by… Read more »

Steve George
Steve George
2 months ago

The same company has been pursuing me in respect of the same car park for over 12 months. This despite the fact that I paid for parking in full on the day and have the parking ticket to prove it. It looks like it will now go to court as I absolutely refuse to pay.

Why are they pursuing me when I paid and have a ticket? Because the ticket, that *their* machine issued, only partially printed my car registration! So they want me to pay an additional charge for *their* error.

Shocking unscrupulous sharks! (To be more than polite.)

Richard
Richard
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve George

I hooe you are keeping a list of your own costs for time, travel and admin ? These need to be reasonable and specific – however you can seek awarded costs from the court and if their case is thrown out or indeed a ‘ no show ‘ by then – these can be persuade and unforced by bailiffs

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

The car park must have had planning at some point and here is the private / public interface that can allow official oversite. The planning will of course of included signage ( or should have done)
The planning authority has a duty to
see and inspecf this signage is appropriate, safe and within its own
expectations and rules

As a former Chair of Planning at County, Borough and Town levels plus also the WLB’s Public Sector Committee – take this ‘ aid memoir ‘ as a well used pathway for change 😀

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