Thursday, 10 May 2012

Welsh is still not equal when it comes to car parking.

I don't drive but  I am concerned with the powers over private companies, who have obtained a Quasi- Legal  position in which they are allowed to fine the public.and the the fact that some unscrupulous companies basically used this as as form of extortion.

In Scotland, wheel-clamping on private land is illegal. It was banned by the case of Black v Carmichael 1992 SCCR 709, when wheel-clamping was found to constitute extortion and theft.

In England and Wales, wheel-clampers operating on private land must be individually licensed by the Security Industry Authority. Operating in such circumstances without a valid license, or in breach of its conditions (which include displaying ID at all times), is a criminal offence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. 

However I tend to agree that there should be some way of controlling those who feel that they can park any where irrespective of how it affects their fellow motorists.

The following company makes a reasonable request on those parking at the Glamorgan Retail Park ,Talbot Green , Rhondda Cynon Taf and are clearly working legitimately(Well apart from one point).

The Notices are large and clearly displayed and I see no argument about them being not noticed by motorist parking there.

However there is one problem . The notices are in English only . They contain not one word of Welsh and since they are are acting in a manner that results in legally fining members of the public. Does this not break the spirit of the Welsh Language Act and therefore are they truly legitimate?

The question is further compounded by the fact that thee bottom of the notice clearly states that the company is registered in England.


In December 2011 Dyfed Edwards the leader of the Plaid group on Gwynedd councillor was quoted as  delighted an operator has agreed to make parking fine notifications available in the Welsh language after a 12-month campaign.accepted he left his car in a non-parking area at Bangor railway station in November 2010.

But he refused to pay the fine until the notice was issued in Welsh.

In a letter to the councillor, NCP said future notices would be available in Welsh upon written request. But why should anyone in Wales request to use their language?
So Dyfed victory was only partial.

I do not know whether the sign in Gwynedd was bilingual (though I suspect it may have been) but it is clear that Welsh is not equal within the Law when those who are given the powers to work within this quasi legal framework are allowed to ignore this.
There is a need to strengthen the Welsh Language act in this respect and it shows also the need for the assembly to have the same powers as Scotland to ensure that we have themeans to relegate not only the use of the Welsh language but if we want to relegate those who are acting in this quasi-legal capacity.

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