A 68-year-old woman from Ceredigion faces prison in an effort to devolve powers over broadcasting to Wales after saying she will not pay a court penalty of £220 today (Wednesday, April 3).

Eiris Llywelyn, from Ffostrasol, is the third person to face court over her refusal to pay for her TV licence as part of the campaign for broadcasting powers for Wales.

She is the first person to say she will refuse to pay court penalties and so risk a prison sentence.

Campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith says securing broadcasting powers for Wales is essential to sustain the country’s devolution settlement. According to opinion polling, fewer than half of the Welsh public know that responsibility over health is devolved to the Senedd in Cardiff.

More than 80 people are currently refusing to pay for their licence fees in an effort to transfer control over TV, radio and online communication from Westminster to Wales.

Speaking from outside the magistrates’ court at Aberystwyth, Eiris Llywelyn said: “This campaign is as important as the fight to establish S4C back in the seventies and eighties.

“It’s a fight for the future of our language, our communities and for our democracy. Democracy is impossible without powers over the media - and a media which reflects our values and our culture - so that we see the world through a Welsh window.

“Devolving the broadcasting system is as important as the political system itself.

“The current system is run from Westminster. Every day, we’re treated as part of England by all the British broadcasters, and it is British propaganda which is broadcast to us in Wales.

“Westminster holds the reins. That’s what’s responsible for our current broadcasting backwater in Wales. It’s why we only have one television channel - and even its financial and editorial independence hangs in the balance - one radio station and a few hours on a second one.

“The commercial companies have free rein to do whatever they wish with local radio and get rid of the few Welsh language hours which used to be broadcast.

“The lack of other platforms is terrible and Wales is far behind in the digital revolution. The language won’t live unless it’s used on every type of media and is the natural language of the digital media in Wales.

“The lack of Welsh language content on the web is a matter of concern; if the language is not visible and does not adapt to the digital age it has no future.”

Aled Powell from campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith added: "Eiris has taken a very brave stand for our young democracy in Wales; we're very grateful to her.

“Decisions about broadcasting in Wales should be made by the people of Wales. We've had enough of MPs in London cutting the Welsh media, and presiding over a system which gives so little attention to Wales and doesn't reflect our lives.

“We're pushing for the devolution of communication and broadcasting powers for the sake of Wales' democracy, as well as our language. The lack of Welsh content in the media is a threat to devolution, and it must be tackled."