The court case against a Welsh language campaigner who refused to pay a parking fine unless it was translated into Welsh has been thrown out.

Toni Schiavone, a former teacher and education officer for the Welsh Government, had been taken to court by private firm One Parking Solution for non-payment of a penalty charge incurred in Llangrannog, Ceredigion.

Mr Schiavone would not pay the £70 fee unless it was translated into Welsh - a request refused by the carpark operator.

The case against him, heard at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Wednesday, has been thrown out because no representative from One Parking Solution attended.

Western Telegraph: Toni SchiavoneToni Schiavone

"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," Mr Schiavone commented following the hearing.

"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 believes that the case sets a precedent, strengthening the case for Welsh language guidelines to apply to private, as well as public, organisations.

"Seeing as they've [now] translated the copy of the penalty notice,  there is nothing to stop them from issuing penalty notices in Welsh in the future," he added, thanking his supporters.

"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?"

One Parking Solutions has previously been at the centre of controversy in Llangrannog, with a local Welfare Committee claiming it had been "inundated" with complaints over allegedly unfair fines issued at a busy beachside car park operated by the firm.

Committee secretary Dr Kathryn Dawes told reporters in March: "We began having serious problems with the car park operators in mid-2019, and since then have personally answered over three hundred emails from those who have been unfairly fined.

“We have also had a lot of people swearing that they will never visit the village again, and will not recommend it to anyone else, which is sad for the community as we have no control over the situation."