Balmoral should have returned to Penarth today after crusing off the Isle of Man and the North Wales coast. The resumption of her Penarth season has been delayed because of today’s weather

The excursion ship Balmoral – which was due to sail from Penarth Pier this morning – has cancelled scheduled sailings because of high winds and inclement weather.

Balmoral is currently in Swansea where she’s been weatherbound since yesterday.

Today the ship was due to have sailed from Penarth to Ilfracombe – marking her return to her “home-base” of Penarth after several weeks cruising around North Wales and the Isle of Man .


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Cardiff Crown Court where a South Wales Police detective who lives in Penarth is in the dock

The jury in the on-going trial at Cardiff Crown Court of a Penarth Detective Constable  – Mark Glover –  has had sections of a verbal transcript of a recording of a formal police interview read out to them  in which Glover denies being a “sexual predator”.

Detective Glover (46)  – who lives at Carys Close, Penarth – has pleaded not guilty to 3 counts of rape,  2 counts of assault by penetration and 2 counts of sexual assault allegedly involving two female complainants.

In the transcript of his police interview Detective Glover was quoted as saying of one of the complainants  “She has been freely compliant and fully consensual with this. This is completely out of left field” – adding “My sexual life with my wife hasn’t been great and we hadn’t had sex for a while.”

Detective Glover was quoted as having said in the police interview there had been times when the complainant had told him that she didn’t want to have sex . He said: “There had been a couple of occasions where I have tried it on with her and she said no but I certainly never grabbed her or put her hand on me. I never forced her to do anything. Yes we have been touching, but –  if she has said no – I have let it go. ”  He asserted that everything he and the complainant had done was “consensual from day one”.

The police transcript further quoted Detective Glover as saying “There was a time we were kissing and cuddling and I grabbed her bottom and she said ‘Not today, I’m not feeling well’ and I left it at that. I am not in the habit of forcing myself on her or of being physically, emotionally or mentally abusive towards her. For this to come out like this is unbelievable.” He was also quoted as having said  “I care for her dearly and I would never take advantage of her. The times she has said no I have backed off and walked away.” and I couldn’t do it, it’s not me. I am not a sexual predator.”

Detective Glover has also denied having had any sexual relationship with the second complainant.

The identity of the two complainants, and any information revealed in court which could lead to either woman being identified, cannot be reported for legal reasons. The case continues.

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The orphan kitten adopted by Penarth councillor Ben Gray and his wife Claire has been named “Oscar Hedge” after being found in a hedge at the Royal Welsh Showground this week

A orphan kitten – thought to have been abandoned by its mum in a hedge on the Royal Welsh Showground – has been given a home by Penarth Councillor Ben Gray and his wife.

Cllr Ben Gray (Labour Plymouth Ward)

The six week old kitten was discovered alone in a hedge at the showground’s car park where this week Cllr Gray has been  supervising operations at the show’s busy Park and Ride system which  used by hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Luckily RSPCA officers Phil Lewis and Warwick Burgess  managed to extract the little animal from the hedge . He was checked out by  a local Builth Wells veterinary practice,. given a clean bill of health and was then promptly adopted by Cllr Gray and his wife Claire who will be bringing him to their home in Penarth.

The kitten has already been given a forename  “Oscar” – and a surname “Hedge” – in recognition of the surroundings in which the little animal was found .

He’ll be joining the Grays’ other cat “Rolo” at their home in Penarth’s Plymouth Ward.

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The Dinas Powys Transport Study Area includes routes into and out of Penarth

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling cabinet is to consider a report on ‘Dinas Powys Transport’ – including proposals for a Dinas Powys By-Pass – on Monday next week .

The report was funded by the Conservative-controlled Vale Council along with the Welsh Government and has been prepared by Acadis Consulting Ltd.

It presents options for improving transport in the Dinas Powys area  – extending from Biglis Roundabout in Barry to Penarth Road and Cardiff. All the solutions have major ramifications for Penarth.

The £18,000 report puts forward three different options described as :-

  • A:”Do-Minimum Option ” (already dismissed by the council)
  • B: A “Build the By-Pass” Option
  • C :A so-called “Multi-Modal” solution .

An internal council report says the study was “required because of the high traffic flows experienced in the area with frequent traffic congestion causing delays and poor journey time reliability” . It points out that public transport in the area is “at capacity during peak periods of travel” and there are only “limited walking and cycling opportunities“.

At the public consultation held in March this year, Dinas Powys residents poured over maps of the  area -discussing transport options with consultants Arcadis and submitting 95 responses.

The consultants say that the public consultation event held at Dinas Powys was well attended and there were 95 feedback forms returned (with no limits on the number of suggestions respondents could put forward – so the total reply percentages add up to more than 100% ).

  • 44% of respondents wanted a bypass  built
  • 43% wanted “larger trains with more capacity and frequency”
  • 34% wanted to improve footpaths and cycling infrastructure
  • 19% called for more reliable and frequent bus services

Local residents said the main road through Dinas Powys (the A4055 ) cuts the community in two and “adversely affects access to schools and other services”.  They also raised the issues of air quality, noise pollution and unreliable journey-times/

THE “DO MINIMUM” OPTION: The report  acknowledges that a ‘do minimum’ approach wopuld amount to nothing more than the Vale Council continuing to  use the funding it currently has available – and the option will “not solve the underlying congestion problem”. [In effect –  this option has already been junked.]

THE BY-PASS OPTION : The By-Pass option assumes a single carriageway which would link Barry to a massively re-engineered Merrie Harrier junction – but consultants say “this assumption would need a great deal of further work to determine”. The By-Pass Option would also “need to include” so-called “active travel” connections for walking and cycling .

THE MULTI-MODAL OPTION : This – the report says – involves a package of short, medium and long term improvements and enhancements to bus and rail services and their associated infrastructure such as parking. Also there would be additional cycling and walking schemes and improvements to key junctions with the implementation of appropriate road safety measures.

Cllr John Thomas Conservative Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr John Thomas (Conservative St Athan)  Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, says : “The perennial problem of congestion in Dinas Powys is finally getting the attention it deserves. This is an issue that I know matters greatly to local residents and one that local councillors are very keen to see addressed.”

“The Vale of Glamorgan Council is determined to play its role in achieving this and both proposed options will now receive thorough scrutiny and more detailed plans for both will be compiled so that a final appraisal can take place.”

“What this report makes clear though is that no single organisation can deliver the solution that the area needs. This is why we will now seek to work closely with Welsh Government, local elected members and any other interested parties to identify the funding this project will need.”

Cllr Geoffrey Cox

Cllr Geoffrey Cox, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport says:

The most eye-catching is certainly the proposal for a bypass.”

“This, along with the multi-modal approach, is now under active consideration and I look forward to bringing a further more detailed report on both to Cabinet later this year.”



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The trial is continuing all this week in Cardiff Crown Court

In the second day of the trial of a Penarth detective accused of rape and sexual assault , the jury has heard that the defendant –  Mark Glover (46) –   told a woman “you know you want it” as he forced his hand down her trousers.

At Cardiff Crown Court, Detective Constable Mark Glover (46) of Carys Close,  Penarth, is pleading not guilty to  3 counts of rape, 2 counts of assault by penetration, and 2 counts of sexual assault.

All the offences are alleged to have been committed between the summer of 2015 and the summer of 2016 . For legal reasons neither of the 2 female complainants can be identified .

The jury listened to a recorded police interview in which one of the  2 alleged victims said that Detective Glover had made her feel threatened and anxious about being alone.

For the prosecution, barrister Simon Mills said the second of the two complainants had been interviewed September 2016. She said Detective Glover had backed her against a wall. She had said “no”, but he had put his hand down her trousers – saying “You know you want it.”. She said she managed to push him off. Detective Glover is then alleged to have said  “We’ll have to make time to finish that.”

The court heard that Detective Glover is alleged to have sexually assaulted her again a few weeks later  – on that occasion coming up behind her and putting his arms around her. The jury was told the women had pushed him off but Detective Clover had remarked “‘You like it when I’m naughty”  but the woman had told him “This has to stop”.

In cross-examination, Media Wales reports that the first complainant rejected a submission from Detective Glover’s barrister – Jonathan Rees – that she was a ‘dramatic’ and ‘volatile’ person . He asked her why she had not immediately reported the matter to the police, why she had not told anyone and why had not visited a sexual health clinic.  (The first complainant is alleged to have been raped in July 2015, August 2015 and July 2016).

She responded that she had found it too difficult and had felt overwhelmed.

Questioned by the defence as to why she had not screamed or shouted, she explained that she had not wanted to make Detective Glover angry . Explaining her feelings to the court, she said she felt “disgusting, scared, shocked.

The trial is set to continue for the rest of this week.

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Abseiling experts about to climb over the edge of Penarth Head Cliff to examine the subsidence that’s causing the structural failure of the Labour Vale Council’s Penarth Head Viewing platform.

Arborists and structural experts were abseiling part-way down the cliff-face of Penarth Head yesterday to try to ascertain just how much damage the former Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council has done to Penarth Head Park and the fragile cliff structure at the top of the cliff.

The experts have been specially brought-in to examine the continuing development of structural faults in the 2-year-old 150 tonne Penarth Head Viewing Platform.

Steel safety barriers which had been installed for safety reasons to keep the  public away from the cracking Penarth Head Viewing Platform  were taken away by the Labour Council in February this year – but the cliff edge of the park remains fenced off

The heavily-criticised Penarth Head Viewing Platform was seen as a political “vanity project”  embarked upon by Labour Vale councillors in 2015 with no planning permission, no public consultation and  – it would now appear – no geological advice.

The experts working on the face of the cliff-top told local residents that  they had been instructed to clear back parts of the cliff edge and face in order to find out “what was going on”  – and whether it would be possible to reinforce the subsiding structure.

The abseilers had to back their way through dense undergrowth to reach the cliff edge and lower themselves down the face.

An expansion joint is being torn apart as the 150 tonne structure unzips itself.

The experts – armed with chain saws –  were working suspended by ropes on the face of Penarth Head – up to 15 feet below the cliff top with a 200 foot drop below them.

They said that the expansion gaps and bricks to the front and on the ground had already been re-pointed and that these had definitely moved again since that repair work was carried out.

One of the experts carrying out the examination said he was not sure anything could be done to remedy the situation and thought that at least part of the viewing platform would eventually “end up on the beach”.

The cost of the structure and the subsequent repairs and surveys is said to be approaching £250,000.

The Labour Party was kicked out of office on the Vale Council in the May 2017 local elections when the Conservative Party took control.

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