Welsh-Language Campaigner Faces Court Again Over Parking Fine Dispute

Welsh-Language Campaigner Faces Court Again Over Parking Fine Dispute

A Welsh-language campaigner, Toni Schiavone, is facing another court appearance after refusing to pay a parking fine that was not written in Welsh.

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This case has sparked a debate about the rights of Welsh speakers and the need for Welsh-language services from private companies operating in Wales.

1. The Parking Fine Incident:

In September 2020, Toni Schiavone received a parking notice in Llangrannog, a village in Ceredigion, Wales.

The car park was managed by One Parking Solution, based in Worthing, West Sussex.

However, the penalty notice and all subsequent correspondence were not provided in Welsh, prompting Schiavone to contest the fine.

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2. First Court Appearance:

In May 2022, Toni Schiavone appeared in Aberystwyth’s civil court, requesting the case be conducted in Welsh.

The court ruled in his favor, mandating One Parking Solution to translate all their materials, including the fine, into Welsh.

However, the parking company failed to appear in court, resulting in the case being dismissed.

3. Case Returns to Court:

Despite the previous dismissal, One Parking Solution has brought the case back to court, seeking payment from Schiavone.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith, a Welsh-language pressure group, has expressed their support for Schiavone and highlights that the company has still not provided him with a Welsh-language fine as requested.

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4. Schiavone’s Standpoint:

Toni Schiavone firmly believes in the importance of providing Welsh-language services.

He finds it unacceptable that the company refuses to do so, despite the cost of the court case exceeding the expense of providing a Welsh-language fine.

Schiavone argues that this stance goes against the rights of Welsh speakers and is determined not to pay the fine until he receives communication in Welsh.

5. Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Call for Action:

Cymdeithas yr Iaith plans to launch a campaign to pressure private parking companies, including One Parking Solution, to display informational signs in Welsh and correspond with users in the Welsh language.

They emphasize that Welsh is an official language in Wales, and companies making a profit in Wales should respect the language rights of the Welsh people.

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Conclusion:

The case of Toni Schiavone has brought attention to the rights of Welsh speakers and the need for Welsh-language services from private companies operating in Wales.

As the court appearance date approaches, the issue remains contentious, and Welsh-language advocates continue to call for greater language inclusion.

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