Many MPs are complaining they’re finding it difficult to get into the Labour Party Conference this year – including some of the 40 rebels who – with Stephen Doughty –  have demanded the Labour Party should state that if in government it would stay in the Single Market.

The Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Stephen Doughty, has joined 40 other rebel Labour MPs to sign an “open letter”  demanding that the Labour Party should back “full membership” of the Single Market and full membership of the Customs Union.

Madeline Moon (Labour MP for Bridgend)  qualified at Keele as a teacher and has a social work diploma

More than 40 so-called “senior figures”  in the Labour Party have appended their signatures to the letter – including Madeline Moon (Labour Bridgend) , Chris Bryant (Labour Rhondda),  the former Welsh Secretary and now life-peer Lord Hain  and Stephen Doughty .

The ‘Rebel 40’ are demanding that the Labour Party should have  “the courage of its convictions on Brexit” and should state it intends to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union . Most voters in Wales however are in favour of getting out of the EU.

The Anti-Corbyn Rebels claim that  “the economic impact of leaving the Single Market would hit the most vulnerable in our society hardest. Vital employment and environmental protections would be placed at the whim of this or any future Tory government. And being outside the Customs Union would mean masses of new red tape, a desperate scramble for trade agreements and the re-emergence of a border in Ireland.”.

Stephen Doughty in Brighton today . He joined 40 other Labour politicians in signing an open letter demanding Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn change his stance on the Single Market

The 40 Rebels –  including Doughty – are demanding that Labour should “commit to staying in the Single Market and Customs Union”  and should not “rule out any options for doing so” – a phrase which appears to suggest a preparedness to consider no restraint on immigration via the EU.

The Rebels say Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party leadership need to go further than just arguing for a “transitional period” – and claim “it is simply unsustainable to say we are an anti-austerity party but that we would jeopardise ties with our biggest trading partner.”

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s would-be Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist colleague (and now proclaimed future Chancellor)  John McDonnell –  have so far  said only that they want to ensure what they call “tariff-free access to the European market” . Both are wary of the Single Market. Corbyn says – “it has within it restrictions on state aid and state spending” and also a penchant for Labour’s bete-noire “privatisation”.

The Labour Party hierachy has been at pains to avoid having a debate on Brexit at the party’s annual conference in Brighton today. John McDonnell has denied the party is “stifling debate about Brexit”.

However an email from Labour’s ultra-left-wing  “Momentum” group , is said by Sky News to have urged party members NOT to call for a debate on Brexit . McDonnell later denied the message was part of a “cynical ploy”

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The three nuclear power reactors at Hinkley Point on the Somerset Coast – as seen from Penarth

The Welsh Labour Government is coming under fire for allowing polluted, radioactive mud to be dredged from the sea bed in Bridgewater Bay near the Hinkley Point nuclear power station and dumped in the sea off Penarth.

The licence allowing the scheme was apparently agreed in 2013. It permits 300,000 tonnes of polluted mud from near the old Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station in Somerset to be dredged up and transported to an area in Bristol Channel off Penarth called “Cardiff Grounds”.

Families taking a dip in the sea on Penarth Beach may be in future be receiving doses of radioactivity from mud to be dumped offshore at Cardiff Grounds – according to environmentalist Tim Deere-Jones

The French-owned nuclear power company – EDF Energy which us undertaking the project – claims the plan will not be “harmful to humans or to the environment”.

The dredging will take place near the decommissioned old “Hinkley Point A” power station and is part of the a £19,600,000,000 scheme to buld trhe new “Hinkley Point C”  power station. The radioactive mud is to be dredged up from Bridgewater Bay to enable water discharge pipes and cooling  intakes for the new power station to be installed.

The Cardiff Grounds – where dredged mud from the entrance channel to Cardiff Docks is dumped. Now potentially radioactive mud dredged from Bridgewater Bay and Hinkley Point is to be dumped there as well

Cardiff Grounds is currently used as a dumping ground for inert dredged mud from the approach channels to Cardiff and Newport Docks and at one time was used to dump colliery waste .

Marine radioactivity expert Tim Deere-Jones says scientific sampling of the mud from Bridgewater Bay – to check for potentially “harmful contaminants”  has not been adequate and says “low level waste from the nuclear plant had entered the [ Bridgewater Bay ] site for more than 50 years” – and asserts  there is a lack of knowledge about the potential harm of moving the mud.

Self-styled marine pollution consultant Tim Deere-Jones has voiced his concerns in a BBC News interview

Mr Deere-Jones – who describes himself as a self-employed musician, poet, marine pollution consultant and  environmental journalist  – says “Rather than being relatively stable at the Hinkley site it is being churned up and brought over here [i.e to Cardiff Grounds] to be dumped.  Radioactive and non-radioactive pollutants will inevitably enter inshore waters and coastal environments.”

Mr Jones claims that people living near the coast “could be exposed to doses of marine radioactivity.”

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Neil McEvoy says the licence – granted by the Welsh Labour Government should be revoked until a full environmental impact assessment had been carried out. He says “No dose of radiation is acceptable for human health so it beggars belief that the Welsh Government would allow material from a nuclear site to be dumped in Welsh waters,

Welsh Labour Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths appears to know little about the scheme. “It was all a long time ago” she says

The Welsh Labour Government minister for the environment –  Lesley Griffiths –  said she couldn’t comment on the issue but claimed that  “All marine applications are considered in line with legal requirements.

She told the BBC ““I understand a valid marine licence is in place and there are conditions that need to be complied with by the licence holder before any disposal can take place.”

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) says that protecting people and the environment is a “fundamental concern” and is to require further sampling before any radioactive sediment is dumped at Cardiff Grounds.

The French EDF company claims to have already sampled the polluted mud  and asserts that “the activities pose no threat to human health or the environment.”

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The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd and his Consort – Georgia Bennett – pause at the entrance to All Saints’ Church, Penarth where the Reverend Canon Peter Cox invited the Mayor to swear the mayoral oath – witnessed by the Civic Services Lead Officer and the Civic Services Support Officer of Penarth Town Council

A civic service for the 2017/18 Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Ken Lloyd ,attracted a capacity congregation at All Saints Church yesterday afternoon.

Prior to entering the church the Mayor  – accompanied by his consort,  Georgia Bennett –  was required to swear the traditional oath of office administered by the Reverend Canon Peter Cox  in the presence of two senior Penarth Town Council officers.

A solemn moment as the Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd (Conservative Cornerswell) responds to the formal oath of duty read to him by the Reverend Canon Peter Cox. With the Mayor is his Consort  Georgia Bennett. This is a part of the Civic Service which is out of sight and out of earshot of the main congregation at All Saints .

At the church door the Reverend Peter Cox  read out the wording of the oath and invited the mayor to affirm his commitment, properly to undertake the duties of the Town Mayor with “honour and pride”.

As the mayor duly made that solemn undertaking, his affirmation was witnessed by two senior Penarth Council officials –  the Civic Services Lead Officer and the Civic Services Support Officer.

The Mayor and his Consort are guided to their seats by the Civic Services Lead Officer

The mayor and his consort then entered the church to participate in the traditional annual service . The congregation included members and officers of Penarth Town Council along with mayors, civic dignitaries, councillors and  distinguished guests from other towns in the Vale. Penarth Town Council  had also used its website to issue an open invitation to the “townspeople and visitors” to attend the service.

The hymns chosen were “What a Friend we have in Jesus“, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” and “Calon Lan[Pure Heart]   . A musical interlude was performed by soprano Llinos Haf Jones –  which included “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess” – and was followed by an address by the Reverend Peter Cox.

Donations were received in aid of the Mayor’s two chosen charities, Cancer Research UK and the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The service ended with the singing of the Welsh National Anthem and of “God Save the Queen” which most –  but not quite all –  Labour councillors in the congregation felt able to sing.

With the formalities over, the Mayor, guests and congregation were invited to the Paget Rooms to partake in refreshments.

Cllr Ken Lloyd was elected Town Mayor in May this year but the civic service is normally held at this later point in the civic year. The controlling Labour Party considers it a collegiate gesture to invite a member of “the other party” to occupy the ceremonial office of Mayor of Penarth for one year out of its 5-year term of office. Labour will remain in power until 2022  giving the party an unbroken 10 years in control of Penarth.


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In the fading evening light Penarth lifeboat tows in the casualty vessel “Lancer” with a crew of three aboard

Penarth’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Maureen Lilian  was launched last night to go the aid of the 21 foot fishing boat “Lancer” which was adrift in the Severn Estuary.

There was a crew of three men on board Lancer – a Mitchell 21 Sea Angler –  all of whom appeared to be  safe and well .

The casualty vessel “Lancer” had a crew of three aboard plus a member of the lifeboat crew (wearing yellow survival suit) who had been transferred onto the boat to arrange the rescue

The disabled boat was towed in to a lock at Cardiff Barrage by the lifeboat.

Penarth Coastguards were on hand to receive the casualty vessel and de-brief her crew at t the water berth taxi inside Cardiff Bay and on to her berth at Cardiff Marina .





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The 2016/17 Penarth Youth Action ‘councillors’ outside Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House . PYA is now leaving the premises to set up in Barry. (Penarth Town Council requires that PYA members attending council meetings should not be identified).

Penarth Youth Action – the “youth council” which claims to represent  all the youth organisations in the town – is leaving Penarth at the end of this month.

The organisation has given notice to Penarth Town Council that it will be vacating the two rooms it occupies at the council headquarters at West House in Stanwell Road, and is said to be moving to the so-called “Space Project” – a  ‘hot-desking’  undertaking based at the Vale of Glamorgan Civic Offices in Barry.

The “Penarth Bench” was designed by local architect Chris Loyn (foreground) with input from PYA members. Also in the picture are Martin Gossage of the Penarth Town Council “Momentum” group (standing) and the Leader of the Labour-controlled council – who was Mayor in 2016/17 Cllr Mike Cuddy

Penarth Youth Action (PYA) says it “works with decision-makers to make sure young people’s views and ideas are taken seriously.” PYA had – for example – a major input into the development of the so-called “Penarth Bench” – installed outside Barclays Bank.

PYA’  “youth councillors” – aged between 11 and 18  – are said to be “primarily elected by young people from schools and youth organisations within the town”.

In October 2013 a PYA representative informed Penarth Town Councillors in an open council meeting that young people were using the bus stop at Elfed Avenue as a venue for drug-taking and alcohol consumption   – and that the drugs being taken were  “not just cannabis – but heavier drugs as well”.

Penarth Town Council immediately attempted to censor the PDN report and demanded the PYA representative who had given the report should not be named.  The council also declared that the minutes of  PYA meetings –  which are supposed to be regularly presented to Penarth Town Council and form part of the official minutes of council meetings –  would henceforth be “bowdlerised” to prevent the full public reporting of PYA deliberations.

The “West House Annexe” is the ugly grey building on the right of West House itself

The two vacated rooms at West House are to be taken over by Indycube Ltd a “cooperative social enterprise”  which provides “co-working workspaces where people from varied backgrounds, disciplines and job roles can work together and share resources “. Since 2016 Indycube has been occupying –  on a “trial basis” –  part of the West House Annexe – the grey office extension at the right of West House.

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Lord Elis Thomas . The remark attributed to him was allegedly made when he was in a sedentary position in the debating chamber of the Welsh Assembly

Penarth Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies – the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – has dissociated himself from an internal row going on within Plaid Cymru –  involving that party’s former leader Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas

From a sedentary position, Lord Elis Thomas – who last year resigned from Plaid Cymru and now attends the Assembly as an Independent – is alleged to have called other Plaid Cymru members in the Assembly Chamber  “that bunch of right-wing shits”.

The alleged comment couldn’t be picked up microphones in the chamber of the so-called “Senedd” but it has apparently caused considerable offence to Plaid Cymru AMs – who, it would seem,  object to being described as “right-wing”.  Some  may also have been disappointed that Lord Elis Thomas made the alleged comment in English rather than in Welsh.

Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price says Lord Elis Thomas made his comment during a debate on prisons

Adam Price of Plaid Cymru has now written to the so-called “Llywydd” [ i.e. presiding officer]  Elin Jones – asking her to intervene and determine whether the comment is “in keeping with parliamentary language”.

Price also said that when Lord Elis Thomas allegedly made the off-colour remark,  Andrew R T Davies (Conservative AM for South Wales Central which includes Penarth) was sitting in front of him. Price went on to claim that Mr Davies had confirmed to him that he had heard the phrase which is alleged to have been uttered.

Andrew R T Davies Conservative AM for South Wales Central which includes Penarth

However, now Andrew R T Davies has issued a statement dissociating himself from Adam Price’s remarks and  saying ” I am incredibly disappointed that Adam Price has chosen to associate my name with what is essentially an internal spat between the Plaid Cymru Group and its former leader. Adam Price’s unwarranted use of my name in respect of this event is the height of bad protocol, and something from which I wish to disassociate myself entirely.”

Mr Davies says “With an internal war still raging within the Plaid Cymru Group, I would appreciate it if I could be left out of any future spats they choose to embroil themselves in.”

Meanwhile the Commission of the Welsh Assembly has confirmed that it has received a formal complaint about what was allegedly said by Lord Elis Thomas and that Lord Elis Thomas has been asked to comment.

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The Victorian coach-house / warehouse in Sully Terrace Lane –  the unlikely home of  Mr Tom Levitt Oliver ( reputed to be “the richest man in Penarth“)    for which a planning application has been made for conversion and extension into a 2 bedroom, 2 storey, house

Penarth Council’s planning committee  is opposing a scheme to convert and extend a Victorian “coach-house”  – located  behind Sully Terrace –  into a two-storey 2 bedroom detached house.

The planning application is in respect at the  rear of Numbers 16 to 20 Sully Terrace . It is not associated with any of the Sully Terrace properties but is in respect of an existing brick-built coach house in Sully Terrace Lane which it’s proposed to convert and extend into a “new 2-bedroomed dwelling with associated external amenity space”.

Details of the planning application were reported by PDN earlier this week (See )

The site under consideration includes the 2-storey “coach house”/warehouse and an adjoining – partly covered yard

Local residents say the building  is in fact a Victorian warehouse and storage yard which has been associated with a number of controversial planning infringements in the past.

The building was said to have been owned by Mr Tom Levitt Oliver (85) –  who neighbours say lived on the premises in a wooden ground-floor structure.

On his premises the late Mr Levitt-Oliver is said to have lived in a converted ship’s wheelhouse and slept in the now-removed nose-cone of a scrapped Canberra bomber.

An eccentric recluse, Mr Levitt Oliver (reputed to be easily “the wealthiest person in Penarth”)  had been taken to court on a number of occasions for allegedly infringing planning laws and at one time was facing large fines for failing to comply with a notice to clear building rubbish from his property . Police found Mr Levitt Oliver dead on the premises 2 years ago.

Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines)

Planning chairman Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines)  – who is a professional architect – said the Vale Council had a policy of resisting such “back-lane developments” . He pointed out that there had been “refusals recently – one for Chris Loyn [ the noted local architect in respect of a “back lane development at the rear of 21 Victoria Road] . Cllr Humphrey said Mr Loyn’s application for planning permission had been refused but had then been “won on appeal”. [ PDN Note- In fact Mr Loyn’s appeal was rejected].

Cllr Humphrey said the Vale Council would “not be consistent” if it gave planning application for the coach-house development at Sully Terrace Lane . He said there were plenty of other uses to which the premises could be put rather than residential development.

Cllr Kathryn McCaffer (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Kathryn McCaffer (Conservative Plymouth Road) said she agreed with Cllr Humphrey . The back lane development would raise the “issue of the access for people whose houses are on Plymouth Road and their garages” – and setting a precedent with regard to the development of back gardens.

Cllr Humphrey said the Vale of Glamorgan Highways Department was also likely to object and “usually put the kybosh” on such schemes.  It was agreed that the Penarth Council planning committee would recommend refusal of the scheme. The final decision will be made by the Vale of Glamorgan COuncil

At the outset of the meeting it appeared that the planning committee was only just quorate – with only 4 councillors present. (Cllr Humphrey, Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) , Cllr McCaffer and Cllr Angela Thomas (Labour Plymouth Ward) .

So few councillors turned-up for last night’s planning committee that the chairman, Cllr Humphrey, postponed a scheduled discussion on the proposed (and now approved)   Northcliff Lodge 30-apartment development .

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