Toni Schiavone no longer has to pay a penalty he has been fighting for around 20 months. He had asked the correspondence to be in Welsh but One Parking Solutions, based in Worthing, West Sussex, sent all the doocuments in English.
Toni, a former teacher who lives in Llangrannog, north Wales, was hauled before a court today but no one from One Parking Solutions appeared, so the judge dismissed the company’s case.
Speaking after the case in Aberystwyth, west Wales, Toni said: “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 received the official notice in Welsh at all.
“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 be changed to include the private sector.”
Welsh is commonly spoken in small communities like Llangrannog, reports North Wales Live.
Toni, who also used to work for the Welsh Government, employee 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?”
When the man was originally fined in nearby Llangrannog in September 2020, he contacted the company requesting the penalty notice and further correspondence in Welsh several times and stated that he would then pay the fine once this had been received.
However, Toni said the company failed to send over a Welsh copy and all other correspondence was in English.
Prior to the court case, the former teacher said he couldn’t understand why, in an area as Welsh as Llangrannog, Welsh parking notices are not issued.
He said: “I have several times asked 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.”