THIS WEEK’S MOST-WANTED: CRAIG GIBSON

Craig Gibson - who has links with Penarth is wanted in connection with a serious assault

Craig Gibson – who has links with Penarth is wanted in connection with a serious assault

Police are  appealing for information about the current whereabouts of a man who has links with Penarth, Barry and Cardiff.

He’s Craig Gibson (25) who – police say is “wanted in connection with a serious assault”.

Anyone who has seen him –  or knows where he is – is asked to call Cardiff Police on 101.

Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence number: 140038700.

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VALE OVER-RIDES PENARTH COUNCIL AND PENARTH RESIDENTS – YET AGAIN

The controversial new bungalow will be built in a dog-leg plan to fit the site.

The controversial new two-storey bungalow will be built in a dog-leg plan to fit the site.

No 2 Stanwell Road - the house next door to Alun Michael's home

No 2 Stanwell Road – the house next door to Alun Michael’s home. The controversial new bungalow will be built on the parking ground behind it .

A controversial plan to build a “dog-leg” bungalow on an existing parking ground at the rear of Number 2 Stanwell Road, Penarth  has been authorised by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council  despite objections from Penarth Town Council and local residents.

The car park currently provides parking for 2 Stanwell Road (now unoccupied)  and other local properties.

Alun Michael's home at 4 Stanwell Road was adorned with a Labour Party flag after he won the Police Commissioner election in November  2012

Alun Michael’s home at 4 Stanwell Road was adorned with a Labour Party banner after he won the South Wales Police Commissioner election in November 2012

The plot of the new bungalow is also immediately behind No 4 Stanwell Road, which is the home of former MP for Cardiff South and Penarth Alun Michael – now Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales.

Issues of “loss of privacy” to neighbours  have been dismissed

The proposed 2-bedroom bungalow will include a ground floor living room,
kitchen, porch and terrace, with a first floor master bedroom and ensuite bathroom  a double car port and a first floor “hobby room“. The proposed dwelling will be “predominantly traditional in materials and design including pitched roof, gable fronted dormers and red facing brickwork with yellow band courses and a red rosemary tile roof”.

The site of the proposed new bungalow is outlined in red

The site of the proposed new bungalow is outlined in red

Penarth Town Council had recommended that the application be refused saying it was
over-development of the site and would be “obtrusive and un-neighbourly.”

The Vale Council’s own  Highway Development Team also objected saying that the development is  “likely to generate an increase in pedestrian traffic on an un-adopted lane lacking adequate footways with consequent additional danger to all users”. Highways also noted there would be a “loss of vehicle parking facilities” and the  development is “likely to result in a conflict between residential and other users of the lane accessing adjacent sports facilities.”

The bungalow site at the rear of 2 and 4 Stanwell Road

The bungalow site at the rear of 2 and 4 Stanwell Road

Six local residents objected to the scheme  pointing out that the increase in traffic would make access difficult along the lane, there would be “conflict of movements between the proposed dwelling and existing right of access to separate parking spaces”; “right of access” would be adversely affected;  there would be inadequate space for deliveries and emergency vehicles, the Bowls Club would lose parking places; the new bungalow would be “visually intrusive” and there would be an “adverse impact on privacy.

The narrow access lane which leads to Rectory Road

The narrow access lane which leads to Rectory Road

Local residents also claimed it was “disingenuous” for the bungalow development plan to be submitted separately from the plan for the redevelopment of main building itself – 2 Stanwell Road.

Vale Planners however said that the site is within the “residential settlement boundary for Penarth”   and that “increases in density help to conserve land resources, and good design  can overcome adverse effects” and that the residential development of the site “is acceptable particularly as a windfall site such as the current application can contribute to the need for housing land supply identified in the Local Development Plan.”

None of the windows with habitable rooms will face Mr Michael's property

None of the windows with habitable rooms will face Mr Michael’s property

On the loss of privacy to neighbours – including Mr Michael at 4 Stanwell Road  – the Vale planning report says ” there are no first floor, habitable room windows in the elevations facing either the existing dwelling at 4 Stanwell Road or the proposed flats at 2 Stanwell Road. Apart from those windows that will overlook the lane, the majority of habitable room windows are positioned on the south and eastern elevations facing Rectory Court. Whilst these do include a terrace, a first floor Juliet balcony and dormer windows, they are identified as being more than 21m from the existing windows at Rectory Court, (the minimum advised within the council’s amenity standards).

As far as overshadowing is concerned planners admit that as part of the new bungalow will run along the south eastern boundary with 4 Stanwell Road then there will be “some impact” . However, as the proposed building is a relatively low-lying structure, which will be almost 30m from the main body of the neighbouring dwellinghouse, then any overshadowing would be at the far end of their [Mr Michael's] garden and would “not be to such a degree as to justify a refusal”.

 

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PLASSEY ST. SHOP ROBBER ADMITS THREATENING HIS OWN MOTHER WITH PICK-AXE HANDLE

Patrick's Newsagents' and Off-licence in Plassey St, Penarth

Patrick’s Newsagents’ and off-licence in Plassey St, Penarth after  last March’s robbery. It’s  currently closed

Ross Williams - who robbed a Patrick's newsagents in Penarth has been given a further sentence for threatening his mother whilst he was out on licence.

Ross Williams – who robbed  Patrick’s newsagents in Penarth has been given a further sentence for threatening his mother whilst he was out on licence.

The  man who – in March –  robbed  Patrick’s newsagents in Plassey Street, Penarth whilst armed with an iron bar, has now been jailed for threatening his own mother at home with the handle of a  pick-axe.

Ross Williams (26) has been given 14 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to affray at his home at Dinas Powys. The recorder at Cardiff Crown Court said Williams would have been sentenced to 21 months imprisonment had his mother not written to the court in mitigation.

Williams was already serving a three year jail sentence for the Penarth robbery and a similar robbery in a Dinas Powys newsagents – but he had been allowed out of jail on licence and had gone home to Dinas Powys where his mother lives.

His new 14 months sentence will be concurrent with his existing sentence.

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VALE’S “NO PASS-NO TRAVEL” POLICY LEAVES PENARTH SCHOOLBOY STRANDED

A 78-seater "bendy-bus" ferries pupils between Penarth and Barry

A 78-seater “bendy-bus” ferries pupils every weekday between Penarth and Barry

A Penarth family is complaining to the Vale of Glamorgan Council  that their 12-year-old son was left at the roadside on a wet, dark morning and refused permission to board a dedicated school bus to take him to school in Barry because he had inadvertently left his bus-pass at home.

The S76 Bus . Pupils without passes are banned from boarding

The S76 Bus . Pupils without passes are banned from boarding

The young boy was to have boarded the special S76 school bus for his daily journey from Penarth to Ysgol Bro Morgannwg in Barry – but when it was discovered he’d forgotten his pass he was ejected from the bus and left to make his own way to school. (Children who have forgotten their passes are not allowed to pay their fare in cash).

The family has been told that, at the next stop,  another child –  who had also forgotten his bus pass –  simply refused to leave the bus – and was then allowed to travel all the way to school at Barry.

When the boy’s father complained to the Vale of Glamorgan Council, officials told him they “understood” the family’s frustration but wouldn’t change the policy. The family’s concern is that “a child was abandoned at road side on a dark wet autumn morning” and are wondering if any other local parents have had similar school-bus travel problems.

All school bus operators serving Penarth are required to operate the same Vale policy

All school bus operators serving Penarth are required to operate the same Vale policy on passes

The incident is the latest of several as a result of the strict “No Pass-No Travel” policy which has been in force in the Vale of Glamorgan for nine years. No excuses are tolerated and – in theory – children are not allowed to travel under any circumstances unless they can produce their official pass.

The Vale Council says “parents and pupils should always have a contingency plan in case a pass is lost or forgotten. Making sure pupils have an emergency contact number or money to catch an alternative mode of transport are two suggestions”.  The passes are not electronic – like pensioners’ bus passes  – but if any children lose their passes their parents have to pay £10 each for new ones.

Parents of children using the bus service also have to sign a “contract” with the council to confirm that they and their children will abide by the regulations.

The same policy has also been adopted by other councils in Wales including Cardiff and Bridgend.    The Vale of Glamorgan Council – as a Local Education Authority – has a statutory duty to provide free school transport for pupils of statutory school age who live beyond walking distance from their school.

IMG_7349The S76 bus is a dedicated  “bendy-bus” operated to the Vale’s policy guidelines by Watts Coaches of Bonvilston. The route from Penarth goes via  Redlands Road, Lavernock Road, South Road, Sully Road, Sully Moors Road, Barry Dock Link Road, Port Road, Colcot Road and takes 35 minutes to reach  Ysgol Bro Morgannwg.

The bus, which has a maximum capacity of 78 seats, operates at close to full-capacity with normally 76 children on board. When the service was operated by a double-decker it was said that on some journeys  children sometimes had to stand –  or even sit on the floor. Pupils now say the service is better – but there’s a full load on every trip

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‘VALE COUNCIL IS IGNORING WHAT PENARTH PEOPLE WANT’ – SAYS AM ANDREW R T DAVIES

Local residents  emphasised the positive impact the Boxing Club had in the community when Andrew R T Davies (right) visited St Paul's in Arcot St Penarth.

Local residents had  emphasised the positive impact the Boxing Club had in the community over theyears when the town’s Conservative Assembly Member  Andrew R T Davies (right) visited St Paul’s in Arcot St for talks with Boxing Club representative Neil Munn (centre) .

Penarth's Conservative  AM Andrew R T Davies

Penarth’s Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies

Penarth’s Conservative Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies – who is leader of the Conservative Party in the Welsh Assembly – has now accused the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council of “ignoring” the people of Penarth on the future of the former St Paul’s Church in Arcot St.

On October 6th 2014 PDN exclusively revealed that estate agent’s Savills had been engaged to “market” the lease on the St Paul’s Church – and showed them entering the derelict building for the first time (see http://tinyurl.com/o65f6ke) . This story was eventually confirmed days later by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and followed up subsequently by other media.

The Savills inspection team  had to skirt brambles to get into the unmaintained building.

The Savills inspection team had to skirt brambles to get into the unmaintained building.

In the same item PDN had also catalogued the entire controversy, including the original promises made by to the Penarth Boxing Club and Penarth Gym Club and the Vale of Glamorgan’s Council’s public consultation which supported the two clubs being given back the use of the building after restoration – a result of which went directly against the plans of the two local Labour Vale Councillors Gwyn Roberts and Lis Burnett .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council then promptly decided to ignore the outcome of its own public consultation. One prominent Vale of Glamorgan Cabinet Member even publicly declared he wanted to see St Paul’s Church demolished

Well-known local boxing instructor  Neil Munn with Andrew R T Davies and club secretary Mark Roberts at the now-derelict St Paul's Church which was once the home of Penarth Boxing Club

Well-known local boxing instructor Neil Munn with Andrew R T Davies and club secretary Mark Roberts at the now-derelict St Paul’s Church which was once the home of Penarth Boxing Club

Now Andrew R T Davies – who has closely followed the controversy and who earlier this year personally visited the St Pauls for talks with Boxing Club representatives – has  issued a public statement to the people of Penarth saying : -

 “Whilst residents will be pleased to see that St Paul’s Church has escaped demolition, this once again demonstrates the lack of consideration for local wishes.  The boxing club and gymnasium brought benefits to the local community which far outweigh simple financial considerations, and the boxing club has been embedded within the community for generations.”

“Residents voted overwhelmingly to see the boxing and gymnastics clubs remain at St Paul’s and it is high time the council accepted that and brought forward a fair and transparent proposal to give the people what they want.”

There has been no further comment from the Vale of Glamorgan Council .

 

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‘FORGOTTEN’ RESCUE ORGANISATION COMPLAINS -“WHAT ABOUT US?”

The CAVRA team on exercise in Cardiff bay with their rescue rib and their jetski

The CAVRA team on exercise in Cardiff Bay with their rescue RIB and their jetski

CAVRA  (the Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association) – the organisation which specialises in ” inland water rescue” –   in the Cardiff and Vale area is complaining that’s its frequently being overlooked by the authorities.

The organisation is probably best known in Penarth for marshalling the Christmas Festival parade and the annual military parade through the town on Armed Services Day.Usually its Land Rover takes the lead position to ensure the street ahead is clear for the respective processions.

However CAVRA’s speciality is water rescue and it does have a 5.5 metre Ribcraft rigid hull inflatable which looks, at first-glance, rather like an RNLI-style “lifeboat”, which is  deployed it on its own regular training exercises in Cardiff Bay.

Now though CAVRA has  lodged a formal complaint with Cardiff Harbour Authority following an operation  in Cardiff Bay in which – once again- it wasn’t asked to take part. CAVRA boat is manned entirely by volunteers trained to ‘international standards’ many of whom are fully-certified as “Swiftwater First Responders”.

Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA) Chairman and Director of Operations, CAVRA has expressed his disappointment that CAVRA’s rescue craft was not called out a night-time incident in Cardiff Bay (which turned out to be a malicious false alarm).

Assistant Harbourmaster Tim Gifford says there had been four recent false alarms in the Bay to which the Harbour Authority had responded “in accordance with the well-tested provisions of its Emergency Procedures” – but that these did “not include reference to CAVRA”.  However the Vale of Glamorgan’s “Emergency Plan” – does involve CAVRA.

CAVRA representatives are now to be invited to make a presentation to the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee to tell the members just what they can do.

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MAIN ROAD INTO PENARTH DOWN TO SINGLE-LANE FOR DRAINS PROBE

The main road into Penarth from the Tesco roundabout is down to one lane only until 3.00pm

The main road into Penarth from the Tesco roundabout is down to one lane only until 3.00pm

The main road into Penarth from the Tesco rounabout to the Brains Railway bridge will be down to a single lane until about 15:00 today .

Because of local flooding in the Cogan area a Vale of Glamorgan highways team is checking the drainage system along this part of Windsor Road.

Work began last night and continued today with long queues building up in both directions stretching back to the town centre and to the Tesco roundabout. Restrictions will be lifted at mid afternoon

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