A WELSH language campaigner who refused to pay a parking fine in Llangrannog as the notice was all in English has had a court action against him thrown out.
Toni Schiavone, a former teacher and education officer for the Welsh Government – who said that he declined to pay the fine as the penalty notice, and all subsequent correspondence, was in English only – was due to have a hearing into the case at Aberystwyth today [Wednesday, 11 May].
Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that the case was thrown out because a representative of One Parking Solutions – the company that runs the car park in Llangrannog - was not present.
Cymdeithas said that as Mr Schiavone – who was Deputy Director and then Director for Wales of the Basic Skills Agency, with responsibility for the Welsh Government’s lifelong Basic Skills Strategy - requested that all court correspondence be in Welsh One Parking Solutions had to translate all the information for the court itself, including a copy of the fine.
Following the case, Mr Schiavone said: "I repeatedly asked for the penalty notice in Welsh, and I would have paid the fine, but instead One Parking Solutions decided to take me to court.
"As they have to translate the copy of the penalty notice there is nothing to stop them from issuing penalty notices in Welsh in the future.
"Companies like this can do things in Welsh, but only if they are legally obliged to do so.
“And this is just one of many private companies that run car parks.”
He called for changes to the law for council and public sector servicers to apply to the private sector.
“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?”
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