Campaigner who refused to pay fine served in English had case thrown out of court
Former teacher and education officer for the Welsh Government, Toni Schiavone, was in court in Aberystwyth today for refusing to pay a parking fine.
However, his case was thrown out as there was no representative from One Parking Solutions present. Toni Schiavone had refused to pay a parking fine as the penalty notice was in English only, despite him requesting it in Welsh several times.
Following the case, Toni 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.
"Because they had been asked to translate a copy of the penalty notice for the court they did, but it took them a court case - and I haven't receive the official notice in Welsh at all."
He proceeded to thank supporters who came to court, saying: "Seeing as they've translated 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. And this is just one of many private companies that run car parks. Clearly, the Welsh Language Measure needs to to be changed to include the private sector.
"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?" "Toni Schiavone was fined parking in Llangrannog in September 2020. The car park is under the management of One Parking Solutions, which has its headquarters in Worthing in England.
Toni Schiavone contacted the company requesting the penalty notice and further correspondence in Welsh several times, and stated that he would then pay the fine.
He said: "In an area as Welsh as Llangrannog why can't we expect a Welsh language service? I have several times for the penalty notice and correspondence in Welsh but One Parking Solutions has refused, arguing that it is an company based in England and that they are not obliged to 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 added: "This clearly shows the need to extend the language measure 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.
"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?"