BIG BROTHER IN BRIDGEND COULD BE KEEPING AN EYE ON PENARTH

The Vale of Glamorgan CCTV control room watches Penarth

The Vale of Glamorgan CCTV control room watches Penarth

A plan to merge the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s closed circuit TV system with that of Bridgend County Borough Council is now under active consideration in a drive to save money for both authorities.

A Penarth cctv camera

A Penarth cctv camera

The cameras in Penarth are listed as being installed at Windsor Road, Plassey Street, Glebe Street,Station Approach and Plymouth Road

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry ) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council wants a merger with Bridgend - not Cardiff

Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry ) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Vale council leaders are set to discuss the £80,000 merger plan this week but, as it’s reported no jobs will be lost, it’s not immediately apparent how the merger could save money. However Cale Council leader Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry) claims “£45,000 a year” would be saved .

The operators of the CCTV systems are said to “strictly adhere to all aspects of the Code of Practice, which pays particular attention to the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000″ and are  in direct communication with the South Wales Police.

 

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PENARTH PIER PAVILION BEATS ITS PEERS TO WIN NEW AWARD

Penarth Pier Pavilion was said to be

Penarth Pier Pavilion was said to be “the most remarkable project on the shortlist”

Penarth Pier Pavilion has been chosen as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’s “2014 Project of the Year”.

The Pavilion (and the Pier itself) had already been recognised in the  “2014 Pier of the Year” award made by the National Piers Society. Not it has trumped several prestigious projects in other parts of the UK to win this latest title.

Judges had to consider all the nominated projects against a strict set of criteria including design, value for money, economic viability and overall appearance. An assessment was also made of how each project has performed since being opened.

IMG_4085The adjudicators said the project had combined the conservation of the building with community benefit and the 1929 art-deco structure had been “carefully restored retaining the original features of the design.” and was said to be ” the most remarkable entry on the shortlist”

The Pavilion was refurbished by R&M Williams Ltd for its leaseholders Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited and  opened to the public in December 2013.

The award is sponsored by the AON Professional Services Group and was presented at a ceremony in London’s Savoy Hotel . The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors exists to “promote excellence in professional standards around the world”.

 

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PENARTH COASTGUARD FIND “DESPONDENT MALE” IN OVERNIGHT SEARCH

A searchlight beamed from a police helicopter in the early hours of this morning over Penarth

A searchlight beamed from a police helicopter in the early hours of this morning over Penarth


South Wales Police called in Penarth Coastguard overnight to search for what they described as a “despondent male” in the Penarth area.

 Penarth Coastguard combed the cliff top  from  Lavernock Point to Penarth Esplanade as the high tide prevented a shore search

After a short search the coastguard team discovered the man safe and well just before 5.00 am . He was turned over to the police and the coastguard team returned to base

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VALE REJECTS PLEA FOR NEW POLLING STATION IN PENARTH’S PLYMOUTH WARD

One of the two polling station in Penarth's Plymouth Ward is the Lower Penarth Community Centre off Brockhill Rise

One of only  two polling stations in Penarth’s Plymouth Ward is the Lower Penarth Community Centre off Brockhill Rise which is at the southernmost edge of the ward – and the town.

The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council has been accused of rejecting  pleas for more polling stations to be set up in Penarth’s Conservative-voting Plymouth Ward.

Although the Plymouth Ward is – geographically – the largest electoral ward in Penarth it has only two polling stations within its boundaries – one at the Lower Penarth Community centre on the southernmost edge of the town and the other at Cwrt-y-Vil Community Centre at Byrd Crescent – giving voters further to travel than in any other ward in the town.  (There are ten polling stations in other parts Penarth).

Three of the four wards of Penarth are Labour controlled - but Plymouth Ward is the largest

Three of the four wards of Penarth are Labour controlled – but Plymouth Ward is geographically the largest

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Plymouth Ward Penarth town councillor Anthony Ernest had proposed that the Vale of Glamorgan Council should  improve the accessibility to polling stations within the ward- particularly for the elderly and infirm – but says these have been “rejected out of hand by Vale officials”.

A seven-yearly review of the locations of all polling stations throughout the Vale of Glamorgan has been carried out by the Vale Council which concludes that no changes are necessary in the ward.

Cllr Ernest says “The result of these poorly sited Polling Stations is that many elderly and infirm residents –  especially those in the centre of this large ward –  have to travel considerable distances to vote“. He says many senior citizens including many staying  homes for the elderly are unable to make the “long and arduous trip to these existing stations, which are not accessible by public transport” – and this effectively disenfranchises them.

Cllr Ernest is urging that a polling station be established in the centre of Plymouth Ward which would be much easier to reach for ward residents.

A second round of consultation on the issue is due to close on October 24th . Cllr Ernest is now speaking with other Government-led departments to see whether they can bring pressure on the Vale Council to be “a bit more sympathetic to the needs of the elderly in Penarth”

A detailed map of Plymouth Ward is on http://tinyurl.com/m6kz68a.

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MISSING TEEN SISTERS COULD BE IN PENARTH

Elisha (left) and Olivia

Elisha (left) and Olivia

Police searching for two teenage sisters missing from their foster home in Goring-by-Sea believe they may have travelled to Penarth.

The two sisters, Elesha Joseph (16) and Olivia Joseph (15), were last seen at about 18:00 on Wednesday this week at their foster home. They had been  living in the Caribbean but returned to Britain and entered foster care about three weeks ago.

Police believe neither girl has any money or a mobile phone with them. Det Insp Rob Walker of Worthing CID believes they may be trying to make contact with  relatives

Police describe the girls as “black with  cornrow plaited hair”. When last seen Elesha, was  wearing a grey coat and blue jeans – and usually wears glasses.Olivia  is thought to be wearing a burgundy red coat, an ankle-length skirt and black shoes.

Anybody with information is asked to contact South Wales Police or Sussex Police by dialling 101.

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PENARTH COMMEMORATES THE CENTENARY OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Scores  of people visited the exhibition in the council chamber of Penarth Town Council

Scores of people visited the exhibition in the council chamber of Penarth Town Council

Scores of Penarthians have been attending a special exhibition at West House, (the headquarters of Penarth Town Council)  today to mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

The event – entitled “Lest we Forget” had been a year in the planning. It  drew together contributions and exhibits from a wide variety of local organisations and historical records.

Members of the Western Front Association helped local residents trace the war records of their ancestors

Members of the Western Front Association helped local residents trace the war records of their ancestors

Many local families attending today were interested in tracing the military careers of their forebears with the help of members of the Western Front Association who were able to carry out live, on-line, internet searches to track down the war records of their ancestors.

Faithful modern reproductions of 1914 toys were available for children at the event

Faithful modern reproductions of 1914 toys were available for children at the event

At the entrance to West House  were a selection of 1914-vintage toys for children to try out.

Also at the event were members of the Glamorgan Heritage Society bringing the event to life by dressing in real WW1 uniforms. Typical weapons and firearms of the era were on show along with authentic uniforms of the period and a wide range of wartime memorabilia.

A genuine taste of 1914 food was specially cooked by ...... including Breakfast Cakes and "Eggless Sponge"

A genuine taste of 1914 food was specially cooked for the event  including Breakfast Cakes and “Eggless Sponge”

Insert Ivanhoe

Insert Ivanhoe Avon (aged 18) of Penarth whose box of WW1 keepsakes was found by his daughter in law Marion Avon (right). She met the Mayor of Penarth Cllr Martin Turner at today’s special event

Amongst the displays was one dedicated to Penarth war-hero  Ivanhoe Avon whose family once lived at “Avon’s Corner” (where Westbourne School now is). His daughter-in-law  Marion Avon – who herself narrowly missed being interned by the Nazis when France fell in WW2 – discovered his war records, books and keep-sakes in his original black signal box – still in pristine condition. They included a Union Jack which he took with him everywhere, a watch, a signals handbook, binoculars, a camera and his military medals.

IMG_7156-001Amongst other poignant exhibits was one from local Quakers (who meet in The Kymin every Sunday). They displayed the white feathers which 100 years ago were sent by women to any men they adjudged to be shirking war service – many of whom were, in fact, conscientious objectors, pacifists or Quakers.

Penarth's Head Librarian Marcus Payne explains the reseaech carried out to compile a complete list of Penarthians killed in WW1

Penarth’s Head Librarian Marcus Payne explains the research carried out to list all Penarthians killed in WW1

One of the most impressive achievements on show was the work carried out by Marcus Payne the Head Librarian at Penarth Library who has painstakingly researched all the names recorded on local war memorials -including the cenotaph in Alexandra Park and has now compiled what is regarded as the most complete list of the fallen of Penarth.

Penarth Head Librarian Marcus Payne's remarkable compilation of WW1 casualties.

Penarth Head Librarian Marcus Payne’s remarkable compilation of WW1 casualties.

The names are recorded in special bound volumes which were on show at West House today and are also available to be researched  at Penarth Public Library.

Mr Payne says that about 360 local men – and women – died in action in  WW1 –  300 of them from Penarth itself .

The list of the casualties in the newly compiled records include the three Penarth holders of the Victoria Cross (two from WW1 – Sgt Samuel George Pearse & Captain Richard Wain - and from WW2, Dambusters leader Wing Cdr Guy Gibson)  .

ONE OF PENARTH’S PATRIOTIC FAMILIES

The newspaper  clipping that tells the story of Penarth's Gillies family

The newspaper clipping that tells the story of Penarth’s Gillies family

One of the news clippings discovered by Mr Payne is headed “One of Penarth’s Patriotic Families”  and is the remarkable account of just one Penarth family – the Gillies family of 7 Plassey Square, Penarth – who  had no less than four of its siblings  – three brothers and a sister – with the forces in France.

Alec Gillies, the eldest of them, had emigrated to Canada but returned for the war to serve with the 1st Canadians and was wounded twice and gassed three times.

His brother Jack Gillies had also emigrated to Canada but, like his brother, returned to serve with the 2nd Canadians . Jack was reported to have been killed on June 6th 1916.

The third brother Charlie Gillies had been one of the first to join up. He was badly wounded in the battle for Dardanelles, invalided home, recovered and volunteered to return to active service – which he did in 1916. In March 1917 he was wounded and gassed, sustained wounds in both legs and had to have his left arm amputated. He was  brought home again to the Red Cross Hospital at Knighton, Radnorshire where the newspaper reported he was in a “critical condition”.

The fourth member of the Gillies family on active service was a sister of the three brothers, Agnes Gillies – who served in France with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

Cross Key's Silver Band provided the accompaniment to the event at West House

Cross Keys Silver Band provided the accompaniment to the event at West House

Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings

Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings

The accompaniment for the event was provided by the Cross Keys Silver Band under their new musical director Benjamin Atkinson.

The event was organised by a WW1 event steering committee under the auspicies of Penarth Town Council which was initially chaired by last year’s Town Mayor Cllr Neil Thomas and chaired this year by current  Town Mayor Cllr Martin Turner.

The event was  co-ordinated by Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings .

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ST CYRES SCHOOL HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

DSC08366The pupils have gone, the staff have completed the final  tasks  – and a tired, dated, down-at-heel comprehensive school which, over the years, has played a crucial role in the lives of thousands of Penarthians has now been left to face the bulldozers.

The pupils are taking a three-week mid-term break before, next month, moving into the new £48,000,000 Penarth Learning Community campus – built on what had been the St Cyres sports field.

As school buildings go, St Cyres was relatively new. It was opened in 1958 by the then local education authority – Glamorgan County Council – under the provisions of the 1944 Butler Education Act and had initially been the Secondary Modern counterpart to Penarth Grammar School – (now Stanwell School) .

Under the Labour Government’s 1968 Education Reform Act those local authorities which had not already done so, were forced  to introduce non-selective comprehensive education In 1970 both St Cyres and Stanwell became comprehensive schools.

Now empty - St Cyres School Penarth awaits demolition

Now empty – St Cyres School Penarth awaits demolition

The boxy design of the St Cyres School building was very much of its time and was adapted and enlarged and generally knocked-about as  the years went by with temporary “Terrapin” buildings clustered around it and a new block added  .

On November 6th St Cyres pupils and staff will begin the second half of this term in the new  Penarth Learning Community – the £48,000,000 education campus which also accommodates Ysgol y Deri , Ashgrove School and Ysgol Maes Dyfan.

The finishing touches were still  being made to the Penarth Learning Community today

The finishing touches were still being made to the Penarth Learning Community today

The Penarth Learning Community programme had originally been launched in March 2010 under the  “21st Century Schools Programme”. Three tranches funding were made available to local authorities on a bidding basis and the then-Conservative Vale Council secured funding for feasibility and design works for Penarth Learning Community in the second tranche. A further tranche was bid for and won in March 2011 and a further  conditional grant offer  made in July 2011

Pupils will enter the the Penarth Learning Community on November 6th

Pupils will enter the the Penarth Learning Community on November 6th

£33,000,000 of the the funding came from the Welsh Government – which in turn is wholly funded by the UK Government – and £15,000,000 from the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which again receives the bulk of its income from the UK Government via the Welsh Government .

Every St Cyres pupil in the Penarth Learning Community will have a computer

Every St Cyres pupil in the Penarth Learning Community will have a computer

The “Learning Community” is fully equipped with the latest in education technology  but educationists admit the real test will be to see whether the new environment will pay dividends in enhanced performance of St Cyres pupils after a critical inspection report last year.

Vale Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland) Cabinet Member for Chidren's Services is to be a Labour candidate in the next General Election

Vale Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland) Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

In March this year at a Vale of Glamorgan Council public ‘cabinet’ meeting held at the Paget Rooms in Penarth Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland ) – who is in charge of Vale Children’s Services  – reported that  St Cyres was in what he called  “formal warning procedures” and that  a “warning letter” had been sent to the school by the council’s  Chief Learning and Skills Officer.

The school was  told – in no uncertain terms – to pull its socks up  – and specifically to improve pupils’ languishing standards of literacy, numeracy and attendance.

However, excellent results in this year’s GCSE and A Level examinations seemed to indicate that St Cyres may now have turned the corner. All concerned are hoping next month’s move to the new Learning Community will provide an impetus for further improvement.

A poignant "Goodbye" scrawled in lipstick on a roadsign near the exit to St Cyres Complex

A poignant “Goodbye” scrawled in lipstick on a road-sign near the exit to St Cyres Complex

Meanwhile the old and unlamented school building, which holds so many vivid memories for so many Penarthians, will be torn-down to make way for new sporting facilities on the  site , including two gyms and an all-weather artificial turf pitch .

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