A WELSH language campaigner originally from Newcastle Emlyn is due to appear in court for refusing to pay a parking charge issued only in English.

Toni Schiavone, the son of an Italian prisoner of war from Henllan, says he contacted the private firm which operates the car park at Llangrannog to request the penalty charge notice and further correspondence be issued in Welsh.

He says he would then have been willing to pay the penalty charge for parking in the controversial privately-owned car park in September 2020.

But Mr Schiavone maintains that despite contacting operators One Parking Solution several times over the charge, the Sussex-based firm have refused his request.

The matter was due to be heard before the County Court at Aberystwyth Justice Centre today after One Parking Solution initiated proceedings to force Mr Schiavone to pay up.

“In an area as Welsh as Llangrannog why can't we expect a Welsh language service?” said Mr Schiavone, who now lives near Llanwrst.

“I have asked several times 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."

The driver, who is being supported by the Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said the case demonstrates why private firms should be subject to the Welsh Language Measures which place a duty on public bodies to meet Welsh language standards.

“This clearly shows the need to extend the language measure to include the private sector,” he added.

“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."

Worthing-based One Parking Solution had no comment to make.

The car park has previously been at the centre of controversy due to £100 fines and claims payment equipment often does not work and internet-based solution are not always available due to poor connections in the rural location.