Welsh language campaigner faces court for refusing to pay English only Llangrannog car park fine
A Welsh language campaigner will appear before a court in Aberystwyth today after refusing to pay an English only parking fine received while visiting the seaside village of Llangrannog in Ceredigion.
Toni Schiavone, a former teacher and education officer for the Welsh Government, says that he declined to pay the fine as the penalty notice, and all subsequent correspondence, was in English only.
Mr Schiavone was fined after parking in a car park in Llangrannog which is managed by of One Parking Solutions, which has its headquarters in Worthing in England.
Mr Schiavone says that he contacted the company requesting the penalty notice and further correspondence in Welsh several times, stating that he would then pay the fine.
“In an area as Welsh as Llangrannog why can’t we expect a Welsh language service?” Mr Schiavone said.
“I have asked several times for the penalty notice and correspondence in Welsh but One Parking Solutions has refused, arguing that it is a company based in England and that they are not obliged to issue the penalty notice in Welsh.
“It would be nothing for them to issue a penalty notice in Welsh but they have ignored the request and decided to take me to court. They are the ones causing trouble for themselves.”
He said that this clearly showed the need to extend language measures to include the private sector.
“Private companies like this have said many times over the years that they will not provide Welsh language services voluntarily. Clearly, legislation is needed to put expectations on them to provide a Welsh language service,” he added.
“It’s been more than ten years since the Language Measure was passed, and the Welsh language Standards have made a difference in the public sector – more people can and do use Welsh language services provided by their councils, and so on.
“So when will we see the same change in the private sector?”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.