PENARTH COUNCIL AGREES TO PRINT XMAS FESTIVAL PROGRAMME IN WELSH

Last year's free "Penarth at Christmas" programme

Last year’s free “Penarth at Christmas” programme

This year’s Penarth Christmas Festival programme is to be printed – for the first time – in Welsh as well as in English.

The council’s Leisure and Amenities Committee last night agreed to pay an extra £410 to print just 50 copies of a Welsh language version of the programme in addition to 10,500  print-run of the English language version of the same publication. There will also be a Welsh-language on-line version of the programme.

The English language version of the programme is, as usual,  to is to be made available through local shops distributed free . The Welsh-language printed version will only be available on request from the council’s headquarters at West House West.

Penarth's Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings

Penarth’s Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings

In last night’s meeting the Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings told councillors that correspondence had  been repeatedly received from two individuals demanding that the council’s publicity material – including  the forthcoming Christmas Festival programme –  should be published in Welsh as well as in English.

A council report noted that the Welsh Language Act of 1993 established Welsh and English languages should be treated equally by public bodies, including town and community councils and that the councils should prepare a “Welsh Language Scheme” .  The report said Penarth Council was still awaiting the publication of formal standards for such councils by the Welsh Language Commissioner. In the meantime there was nothing in the existing scheme that said the council must publish bi-lingual versions of its publicity material.

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town council is a professional planner

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town council is a professional planner

The Leader of the Council Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) said the council would be complying with the Welsh Language policies insofar as they applied to the council at the moment . “We are waiting for further advice on that” – he said.  “Any action taken should be exploratory and part of the process of review to establish demand for this service” . 

The Mayor of  Penarth Cllr Martin Turner

The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Martin Turner

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  asked the Deputy Town Clerk “If we make available a Welsh-language version of the programme available on our web site – the cost involving pure translation – would that satisfy the people who ask?” . Mr Hutchings replied there would be no difference in cost. Cllr Turner said he didn’t understand why the two prices should be the same.

Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Janet Birch (Labour Stanwell) suggested the council should “investigate this tremendous feeling of volunteering which people appear to have” and asked if there might be anyone in Penarth who would be willing to translate the brochure for the council. However it was pointed out that the actual translation costs were only £160.

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)  said  in effect, when graphics were included, the two publications would have to be the same.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams said “The two people that are continually  contacting Keri [the Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings]  should have the ball thrown back in their court and be asked if they would like to translate for us“.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas ( Labour Cornerswell) said the council needed to ascertain the level of demand [for the Welsh-language version].  The number of times a digital version was accessed would provide figures. “Putting out a large number of these things [the Welsh Language version] in printed form would go against our green credentials as a council which we are anxious to maintain. If they aren’t taken up we would be wasting an awful lot of trees“. Cllr Thomas said the council needed to “bite the bullet and  go for this one this time” but review the position earlier next year.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said there was another option – not to have a brochure at all. Details could simply be put on the website. This would avoid all the printing costs.  Although he found the brochure very helpful  “in times of economy perhaps we could afford to do away with it”.

Cllr Martin Turner proposed that as the cost of 50 copies was £410 and could be accommodated within the existing budget that as a trial the council would “go ahead on that route and see what take-up there is of it.”  The Welsh language version, he suggested, should be available to people requesting copies and not distributed.  The committee agreed to his proposal .

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) added that if the Welsh language versions “all went” the council could produce more  . He also suggested the council obtain advice from “One Voice Wales” – the collective organisation serving  town and community councils top establish what other councils did with regard to bi-lingual publications.

Cllr Janice Birch (Labour Stanwell) thought the council should recognise and be honest about what was really behind this. She said “This is an effort to get a law recognised”.

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PENARTH TEENAGER TO GIVE BIRTH IN CUSTODY

Cardiff Crown Court

Cardiff Crown Court

Lauren Simpson, a nineteen year old pregnant robber from Cornerswell Road, Penarth is to give birth in custody after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm to  – and stealing from  – an 18 year old actress and model Derryn Gaiger.

Simpson, was described by Cardiff Crown Court judge Neil Bidder as “a very violent young woman” . The court heard that at Barry Island she had threatened to gouge out the eyes of her victim , had punched her and had stolen her mobile phone.

Miss Gaiger  needed hospital treatment for facial injuries after the attack and was left suffering from insomnia depression and flashbacks.

Simpson who is eight months pregnant and who already has convictions for shoplifting, battery, causing actual bodily harm and wounding with intent was been sentenced to a year in a young offenders’ institution reports the Glamorgan Gem.

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PLASSEY ST RESIDENTS PLAN TO SET UP THEIR OWN “COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH”

Penarth Community Speedwatch volunteers would be trained to operate a police radar gun and be clad in police-like high-viz clothing.

Penarth Community Speedwatch volunteers would be trained to operate a police radar gun like this and be clad in police-like high-viz clothing. Drivers’ details would be sent to the police for “advice” to be given. (Police photo)

Residents of Plassey St in Penarth who are  concerned about what they say is the increasing speed and volume of traffic on the street are to consider setting up a formal Community Speedwatch organisation equipped with official police radar guns.

Twenty four local people – most of whom live in on near Plassey St attended the regular public  PACT (Partnership and Communities Together) police-liaison meeting at the Windsor Arms pub last night.

Penarth PCSO Gareth Parry

Penarth PCSO Gareth Parry

Opening the meeting Police Community Support Officer Gareth Parry said there had been two accidents involving pedestrians in Plassey St over the last three years:-

  1. In 2013 one pedestrian – who he said had been “severely intoxicated” –  had been knocked down by a vehicle in 2012.
  2. In 2012 one pedestrian had “walked out into the path of a moving vehicle”.

Speed, he said, had not  been a factor in either incident.

One Plassey St resident had amassed data indicating that speeding and the volume of traffic had been getting “worse and worse over the years” and whilst he appreciated that no one had been seriously injured or killed in the last three years, residents and their children were  “risking their lives crossing that street on a daily basis”.

In April he had asked the Vale of Glamorgan Council speed camera set up at his request showed that in the middle of the day 30 people at two different locations were speeding.

Cars on Plassey St were counted  electronically at three different points by wires laid across the road

Cars on Plassey St were counted electronically at three different points by wires laid across the road

Automatic traffic counters (which also monitor speed) had then been temporarily installed at three different points on Plassey St – at the fish bar, outside the Welsh chapel and further down the road. He said these showed there was “significant speeding”:-

  • At the “top end ” of Plassey St  30% of vehicles were exceeding the speed limit
  • Half way down Plassey St 20% were exceeding the speed limit
  • At lower end of Plassey St 50% of cars were exceeding the speed limit
  • On 30/9/2014  a total of 6,188 cars had been recorded travelling on Plassey St in both directions. Of these 2,893 had been speeding. Speeds were greater – he said on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays.
Plassey Street  wide,smooth, straight ...and fast

Plassey Street wide,smooth, straight …and fast

One resident said that there was nothing on Plassey St to curb speed, no signs,  no road markings, no crossings, no “warnings to children”. The only thing there had been on Plassey Street were the traffic islands in the centre of the road,  which were a “lifeline” for children – and those had been removed. Lorries and cars were parking at the extended pavements (build outs) which had been installed to help people to cross the road.

He said three pedestrian crossings were needed on Plassey St – one near the Albert Road junction, one near the Glebe St Junction (Fish Bar) which had “already been agreed”,  and one at the High St Junction. [PDN Note  It transpires that the newly-agreed zebra crossing at the chip shop may  be funded from Section 106 Penarth Heights funding from Crest Nicholson but is yet to be confirmed]

Lorries regularly park on the ramped kerb near the fish bar

Lorries regularly park on the ramped kerb near the fish bar – just where it’s planned a new zebra crossing will be installed

Audience member Ben Goddard said  traffic calming measures like speed bumps were ineffective: they just wrecked car suspensions and were a “nightmare“. The Vale of Glamorgan’s track-record was not good , he said and cited the example of Arcot St [ a one-way street in which bikes are allowed to travel in the opposite direction]. He himself had witnessed  a cyclist colliding with a car pulling carefully out of a diagonal parking slot there. He thought a well-enforced blanket 20 mph limit was the answer.

Another Plassey St resident said “it is truly scary living where we do” . She said “the reason we haven’t had a fatality yet is that you literally cannot cross the road” and endorsed calls for a 20 mph limit and zebra crossings. The new road surface, she said had made Plassey St “a motorway”.

Green Party Wal;es deputy leader candidate Anthony Slaughter

Green Party Wal;es deputy leader candidate Anthony Slaughter

Green Party Wales Deputy leader and GPG chairman Anthony Slaughter  [who had initiated last year's campaign to introduce a 20 mph speed limit in Penarth - only to have it comprehensively rejected in a Vale public consultation]  said that just because accidents hadn’t happened didn’t necessarily mean a road was safe. It meant that people were “too scared to walk or cycle on those roads”.

Mr Slaughter, a St Augustines resident, pointed out that Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, York and Brighton already had 20 mph limits.

He said it was “unfortunate”  that the 20/20 “public awareness campaign” hadn’t started at the time of Vale of Glamorgan’s public consultation  had been carried out.  He said 558 people had taken part in  an “anonymous on-line consultation” and 71% of respondees had been against a 20 mph limit.

Assuming all was above board,  he said 396 people had therefore opposed a 20 mph limit.  However he had handed in a petition signed by “just under 550  people” (who had given their names and addresses) saying they wanted a 20 mph limit in Penarth. The proposed 20 mph speed limit , he said, had not been unanimously rejected.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Rebutting Mr Slaughter’s implication regarding the reliability of  the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s survey,  Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said he always looked at survey results with “a cynical eye” but had not detected  “any wrong-doing” in this one.

“Councillors“, he said  “have to take account of what people’s opinions are”. There had been a formal survey .  A 20 mph  limit, he said , “is something we [i.e. councillors] can’t raise because we have been told people don’t want it”.  However, Cllr Roberts said, the position might be reviewed  “if we now have new traffic data”.

A Plassey St  resident who has a disabled wife said he had sometimes to park across the road. His wife could move only slowly –  but cars whizzed past  . It was a “death-trap” he said. He had applied to the council for a disabled parking bay but had been told his wife did not qualify.  He thought the speeds were “disgusting”.

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)  said as she and her colleague Cllr Roberts were “complete supporters of 20 mph zones”.

She said Llandough had decided to introduce a “pilot” 20 mph limit. “Hopefully the experience of that will reassure people from Penarth so that at some point it can be revisited”.

She said “I will not foist something on people that they don’t want” but noted that the issue might arise in consideration of the Penarth Town Plan. She said the existing speed limits should be enforced  and she would be having discussions with “highways people” the following day on making Penarth “a town that works” but, for the Vale Council, cash was “very very difficult to find for schemes like this” .

Cllr Gwyn Roberts  said that all data collected by the Vale of Glamorgan Council “did not support a zebra crossing” on Plassey St . The [Section 106] funding for the [chip shop] zebra crossing was “not quite there yet” .

Another resident said “surely we can take a vote in Penarth which says something should be done about the traffic and the councillors be entrusted to make the right decisions with regard to that” . He supported a 20 mph limit and suggested Plassey St and Windsor Road were made one way it would double the number of parking places in the town.

Bringing the lengthy meeting to a conclusion PCSO Gareth Parry said that if local residents were interested in initiating a “Community Speed Watch” – which involves members of the public being trained to operate police radar speed guns – he invited them to fill in the necessary  police paperwork and it appeared  as though Plassey St residents were ready to do just that.

[PDN Note: Community Speedwatch data can't be used in prosecutions .Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred by the community to the police with the aim of "educating" their drivers to reduce their speeds. A "letter of advice" is sent to the offending driver's address.  ]

 

 

 

 

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PENARTH PUBLIC MEETING HEARS LATEST CRIME FIGURES FOR ST AUGUSTINE’S WARD

Police activity in Penarth Marina

Police activity in Penarth Marina

Twenty four residents of St Augustine’s Ward, Penarth, attended last night’s police-liaison PACT meeting at the Windsor Arms pub at which Police Community Support Officer Gareth Parry presented the latest crime statistics for the area.

Penarth PCSO Gareth Parry

Penarth PCSO Gareth Parry

PCSO Parry listed last month’s crime statistics for the ward  saying that there had been: -

  • 1 X theft from a motor vehicle – in the Penarth Marina area
  • 4 X incidents of damage to motor vehicles (including one on Tuesday evening this week)
  • 15 X shoplifting cases had been reported
  • 3 X thefts from garages, sheds or gardens including 2 such incidents in Penarth Marina.
  • 1 X case of  a vehicle being driven away from Tesco’s filling station at the Marina without paying for fuel
  • 3 X assaults had occurred relating to local pubs
  • 7 X anti-social behaviour incidents  – one of which had occurred in the Penarth Marina area
  • 7 X cases of  harassment arising from domestic incidents

Amongst those hearing the details were St Augustine’s Ward Labour Vale Councillors Lis Burnett and Gwyn Roberts.

The meeting went on to consider road safety issues in Plassey St – which will be the subject of a separate PDN report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PENARTH’S ‘PIZZA PRONTO’ PROMOTES POPPY APPEAL

Pizza Pronto

Pizza Pronto

The former commando and military consultant who owns and runs the controversial  (but very popular)  ‘Pizza Pronto’ kiosk on Stanwell Road has now covered the front of the little  building with poppies.

On Saturday October 18th Penarth Town Council’s “Penarth Remembers” WW1 commemoration event is being held just yards away at West House and the town’s annual  Remembrance Sunday ceremony will be held next month on November 9th.

Ex soldier Kevin Halborg has covered the frontage of Pizza Pronto with poppies

Ex soldier Kevin Halborg has covered the frontage of Pizza Pronto with poppies

The proprietor of the kiosk – former commando and military consultant Kevin Halborg was busy yesterday stapling poppies to the entire frontage of Pizza Pronto.

His is encouraging all his customers to make a donation to the annual Poppy Appeal and fix  their own personal poppy to the front of the pizza outlet.

“Pizza Pronto” , Penarth’s smallest retail unit, originally started life as a Victorian railway-ticket office of so-called “neo-classical” design. Over the  years it’s been host to a wide variety of businesses – most recently as various fast food outlets – the current offering being by far the most successful.

Planning permission had been granted to demolish the kiosk and replace it with modernist design  featuring back-lit horizontal banding . However, in the event the original structure remained standing and was clad with grey-painted horizontal timbers which only “loosely” resembled the approved concept.

Kevin Halborg putting the finishing touches to his poppy display

Kevin Halborg (wearing the khaki T shirt) putting the finishing touches to his Poppy Appeal display yesterday

There has been an extended spat between the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan council and Mr Halborg. In  January this year  the council issued an Enforcement Notice on the ex-soldier.

In June this year Mr Halborg submitted a  further planning application  to the council which would remove the horizontal cladding and restore the kiosk to something akin to its original Victorian  appearance .

Customer demand is now so high at Pizza Pronto that up to four staff can be working in the tiny kiosk at the same time serving a constant stream of orders but nevertheless it’s attained a commendable food-hygiene rating of 4, out-performing many other catering establishments in Penarth.

Meanwhile the Vale of Glamorgan Council has yet to respond to Mr Halborg’s latest planning application.

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MYSTERY “DISTRESS ROCKETS” TURN OUT TO BE LIFEBOAT PRACTICE

A pair of several parachute flares fired in the Bristol Channel last night descend slowly to the water

A pair of several parachute flares fired in the Bristol Channel last night descends slowly to the water. The flares were sighted by dozens of Penarthians

Penarth residents who phoned coastguards after spotting what  appeared to be distress rockets out at sea off Penarth last night have been told they were in fact practice rockets being fired by lifeboat crews.

Penarth's D Class lifeboat being recovered at night (file photo)

Penarth’s D Class lifeboat being recovered at night (file photo)

Four pairs of parachute flares were fired simultaneously from two different locations out in the Bristol Channel last night. The coastguards said the flares were actually white (real distress flares are red)  – but they looked an orange/red colour because of the pervading drizzle.

Both Penarth lifeboats were taking part in a co-ordinated rescue exercise and there was no vessel in any difficulty.

 

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VALE YOUTH MAYOR TO BE “ELECTED” THIS WEEK … SO WHAT ABOUT GROWN-UP MAYORS?

Tom Chandler - of Stanwell School contending to be the Vale of Glamorgan's first Youth Mayor

Tom Chandler – of Stanwell School also contending to be the Vale of Glamorgan’s first Youth Mayor

Emily Peters (15) who contending the Vale Youth Mayor election

Emily Peters (15) of St Richard Gwyn School who is aiming to be the first ever  Vale Youth Mayor

Two teenage candidates are standing for election this week – both vying to become the first ever “Youth Mayor” of the Vale of Glamorgan.

The two contenders are Tom Chandler (17) of Stanwell  School and Emily Peters (15) who studies at the St Richard Gwyn School  – both of whom are already members of the “elected” Vale of Glamorgan Youth Cabinet.

The “election” is timed to coincide with this week’s so-called “Local Democracy Week”  which ends on October 17th. The two mayoral candidates have both prepared video presentations which will be shown to ” young people aged 11 to 25”  during the week.

The election itself – organised by the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Service – will take place in schools, youth clubs, and youth organisations across the Vale but will not be extended to all young people between 11 and 25 living in the Vale. Specifically there seems to be no mechanism for young people under 25 who have left school to take part –  unless they belong to a participating youth organisation.

Cllr Chris Elmore (Labourt Castleland Ward Barry) is aiming to become an MP

Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland Ward Barry) is aiming to become an MP

Cllr Chris Elmore, the Vale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, who is himself  hoping to elected  Labour MP for Vale of Glamorgan in May next year,  says “This is the climax to over two years hard work by young people, the Youth Service and the Vale Youth Forum in developing a plan to ensure young people have a real voice and say on matters which not only affect them but on services across the Vale of Glamorgan.”

One seasoned observer said Elmore’s statement appears to beg the question – if it’s okay for the Vale’s Youth Mayor to be “elected” (even if not wholly democratically) – then why isn’t the Vale’s adult mayor also voted-in at the ballot box – rather than just being selected by cabal of councillors?

The name of the first ever Youth Mayor is to be announced at the Vale Youth Forum meeting on Monday 20 October at the Civic Offices, Barry.

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