A FLAVOUR OF AUTUMN AS BELLE VUE PARK HOSTS AT GPG’S ANNUAL PENARTH “APPLE DAY”

Some classic and ancient varieties of apples available for sampling at Belle Vue Park today

Some classic and ancient varieties of apples available for sampling at Belle Vue Park today

We’ve had the mists – and the rain – now comes the “mellow fruitfulness” : Penarth’s annual Apple Day organised by Gwyrddio Penarth Greening is being held again today at Belle Vue Park.

The event is held to encourage everyone lucky enough to have a crop of  apples – or  even windfalls – to make the best use of them – just as our ancestors did as winter approaches.

GPG Chair Anthony Slaughter and a young helper work the cider press

GPG Chair Anthony Slaughter and a young helper work the cider press

On the stalls today was GPG chair and Deputy Leader of the Green Party in Wales Anthony Slaughter who is a horticulturalist and gardening consultant by profession. He’d set up a small cider press to produce fresh ready-to-drink apple juice which could also be used for cider production .

The apply juice turns muddy-brown in the open air but can be clarified with citrus juice

The apple juice turns muddy-brown in the open air but still can be clarified with citrus juice

A young volunteer helps pummel raw windfall apples into a pulp.

A young volunteer helps pummel raw windfall apples into a pulp.

This being a “green” initiative there was no electrical or mechanical help – the mash was squeezed by voluntary manual effort turning a screw press until the apple  juice – the product of scores of windfall apples – poured out below.

A group of young volunteers was at hand to help pummel the raw apples into a mash before being loaded into the press.

The juice was ready to drink straight away (it goes brown quickly as it oxidises)  or could be frozen for later consumption. It could also be allowed to ferment as the basis of home-made Penarth cider.

As far as the fresh fruit was concerned                                   were concerned there were plenty of interesting and less-well-known local varieties of apple to sample and even locally made toffee-applies. There were even samples of “meddlars” – a small relative of the apple which is something of an acquired taste . Experts at Apple Day said – tongue-in-cheek  – the meddlar is “not an unjustly neglected fruit”.

Proving that more can be done with applies than just apple-pie Mark  - who runs catering in Stanwell School produced Onion and apple bhajis and sticky toffee

Proving that more can be done with applies than just apple-pie Mark – who runs catering in Stanwell School produced Onion and apple bhajis and sticky toffee

Stanwell School was represented at one of the stalls at the event – hosted in association with Victoria Tea Room in Stanwell Road – where its head of catering Mark displayed a range of sweet and savoury apple-based dishes he’d concocted including some very tasty apple and onion bhajis.

Apple Day once again attracted scores of customers – and once again maintained its unblemished dry-weather record.

 

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EXTRA HOUR IN BED FOR PENARTH’S RNLI CREW AFTER OVERNIGHT-SHOUT

A late night shout for Penarth Lifeboat was made up for by an extra hour in bed this morning.

A late night shout for Penarth Lifeboat was compensated for by an extra hour in bed this morning.

Penarth Lifeboat was called out last night to go to the aid of a fishing boat in trouble off Newport last night.

The large Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched and located the crippled vessel – a 24 foot boat which was  without power four miles from Newport

The lifeboat towed the boat to a safe mooring at the Uskmouth Sailing Club. All  aboard were safe and well.

Penarth Lifeboat comments on its website that – as the clocks went back last night – the lifeboat’s crew and its shorehelpers  were be able to catch up on their sleep this morning.

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PENARTH MARINA RESIDENTS OPPOSE VALE COUNCIL’S PAGET TERRACE SKATEBOARD SCHEME

The Children's Play Area at  Paget Terrace

The Children’s Play Area at Paget Terrace. The trees alongside are to be “pollarded” .

Members of Penarth Marina Residents Association have comprehensively voted to oppose the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s plans to install a £174,000 skateboard park in the Paget Terrace Children’s Play Area .

The area is currently used by young children and toddlers who play there – usually under the supervision of their parents . It’s equipped with a see-saw, a roundabout and swings.

The Children's Play Area at Paget Road is to be shared with "all ages"

The Children’s Play Area at Paget Terrace is now to be shared with “all ages”

The Vale Council, however, wants to “widen the age range” using the facility so that adults can also use the children’s play area for outdoor gym sessions  and older teenagers can skateboard there on a new –  specially-constructed – skateboard rink.

The play area - with its traditional swings, see-saws and rubber matting has always been considered a safe place for young children to play.

The play area – with its traditional swings, see-saws and rubber matting has always been considered a safe place for young children to play.

Critics of the Labour-run Barry-based council say nobody has requested the “upgrade”, or a skateboard rink,  or asked for adult-facilities to be installed at what as always been – until now –  a exclusively a Children’s Play Area.

Penarth Marina Residents point out that  neither Penarth Town Council nor  local residents have been consulted about the scheme.

In their most recent meeting they posed the question  “Why do we need another skateboard park – particularly as  other areas for skateboarding are already in use.”

The Vale Council has told Marina Residents that “planning permission and consultation are not obligatory in this instance”. 

USA skateboard campaigner Tony "Birdman" Hawk is quoted on the Bale council's website

USA skateboard campaigner Tony “Birdman” Hawk (left)  is quoted on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website

The Vale of Glamorgan Council appears to be an enthusiastic proponent of skateboarding. There are now ten such facilities across the county – including one in Cogan . On  the skateboarding page of its website the Vale Council prominently carries a quotation from three-times-married American pro-skateboarding campaigner Tony “Birdman” Hawk  which says  “skateboarding is an art form, a lifestyle and a sport“.

Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Barry)

Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Barry)

The Vale Council’s ‘cabinet’ member for visible services – NHS electrician Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Barry) – is also a proponent of skateboarding . In 2007 Cllr Curtis opened the  refurbished skateboarding facility at The Knap in Barry named in memory of the well-known  international skateboarder Richard Taylor who died in 2004 after hitting a concrete lamp-post whilst skateboarding in Barry.

Cllr Curtis said “The new skate facility will be a fitting and long standing reminder of what Richard achieved in this popular sport.”  

The zig zag cycle path is popular venue for  skateboarders

The zig zag cycle path is popular venue for skateboarders

The proposal for yet another skateboard installation – this time at the modest little children’s play area in Paget Terrace –  overlooks the fact that skateboarders are already regular users of the Vale Council’s £250,000 down-hill Zig Zag  cycle-track from Penarth Heights to Terra Nova Way – (a route which most cyclists avoid).

Both the Zig Zag track and the proposed new skateboard rink at the Paget Terrace Children’s Play Area (including the proposed adult gym facilities) are funded from “Section 106″ monies from Crest Nicholson’s Penarth Heights development.

The Penarth Marina Residents Association has also pointed out the Vale Council’s intention to pollard trees in the area around the Paget Terrace Children’s PlayArea which – the association says – “will mean the noise is less shielded”.  It has asked the Council to carry out a “decibel test” . The Marina Residents have also expressed concerns that teenagers may use the area as a late-night venue at which to meet .

The vote taken by members of the Marina Residents Association on the inclusion of a skateboard park in the current Paget Terrace Children’s Play Area was :-

For 2; Against 18; Abstainers 4.  – an overwhelming 75% vote against the project.

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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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