The Vale of Glamorgan Council HQ in Barry

The new Conservative administration in the Vale of Glamrogan Council appears to be  reverting to a 7-member cabinet in place of the 5-member cabinet which ran the old Labour Vale Council in its latter days.

Although no official announcement has yet been made, a leaked version of the list of new members of the cabinet is already doing the rounds.

The seven-strong cabinet – according to the “leaked” list  – are all Conservative members except for Bob Penrose (Independent Sully) who is said to be taking on the Education portfolio :-

  • John Thomas (Rhoose) (Leader)
  • Hunter Jarvie (Cowbridge) (Deputy Leader)
  • Gordon Kemp (Rhoose) (Social Services)
  • Bob Penrose (Independent Sully) (Education)
  • Geoffrey Cox  (Cowbridge) (TBA)
  • Andrew Parker (Cowbridge) (TBA)
  • John Bird ( Wenvoe) (TBA)

An official announcement – with the definitive list – is to be issued later this week. The original speculative leaked list – published this morning – contained errors and wrongly included the  Vale Mayor and Deputy Mayor – who are not cabinet members.

Subject to approval at Wednesday’s Annual Meeting of the council it’s  proposed to pay il pay a total of 15 so-called “Senior Salaries” . There  are also 2 “Civic Salaries” which would be received by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, as set out below:-


  •  Cabinet Members – 7
  • Group Leaders (in respect of Groups comprising 10% or more of the total membership of the Council) – 1
  • Scrutiny Committee Chairmen – 5
  • Chairman of Planning Committee -1
  • Chairman of Licensing Committee – 1


  • Vale Mayor – 1
  • Vale Deputy Mayor Deputy Mayor -1.

It is yet to be established whether the council’s Annial Meeting on Wednesday June 24th is being streamed live on the internet.

It is also not yet known whether Vale Council cabinet meetings of the new Conservative Vale cabinet are to be streamed live on the internet – something which the outgoing camera-shy Labour administration consistently refused to do – despite the £350,000 investment made in tv facilities in the council chamber.


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A veritable cavalry commands Penarth Esplanade (Photo Sally Orchid- Orchid Films)

More than 30 horses and riders rode around Penarth and sauntered along the Esplanade in the summer sun at the weekend as part of a drive by the horse-riding community to bring their “Pass Wide and Slow ” campaign to public attention.

For a Victorian town like Penarth it was almost a throw-back to 19th century when everyone travelled either on horse-back or by shanks’s pony.

The horses were looking forward to taking a breather on the grassland of Cliff Walk (Photo Sally Orchid – Orchid Films ) Twitter

The campaign aims to improve the way in which car-drivers and horse-riders co-exist on the highway  and  is calling on the Welsh Government to run an annual road safety awareness campaign.

Similar town-rides were taking place in Swansea, Neyland, Flintshire, Machynlleth and Portmadoc over the weekend.

Horseriders say the areas where they can ride their steeds is “very limited” – and , in any case, usually have to reached by road – so almost every horse-ride does involve a road journey.

The weekend ride began at Cosmeston Farm Livery on Lavernock Road Penarth and traversed Westbourne Road, Victoria Road, Stanwell Rd, Rectory Rd, Beach Rd, The Esplanade, Cliff Hill, Raisedale Road, Westbourne Road, Lavernock Road ending back at Cosmeston Farm … and no doubt provided local gardners with some useful fertiliser en-route.

Orchid Films are on

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No one seems to know why Penarth’s annual Remembrance Sunday wreath-laying isn’t held at the town’s main war memorial in Alexandra Gardens where the names of 513 of the fallen are inscribed along with the names of 8 civilians who were war casualties .

A group of local business people with armed-services backgrounds are understood to be in discussion with the members of the British Legion regarding proposals to revise and “re-launch” Penarth’s traditional  Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

The veterans – including prominent local ex-commando Kevin Halborg – are concerned about what they see is a gradual decline in the ceremony and are now drawing-up fresh proposals, in association with members of the Royal British Legion, which will present a new “vision” and format for the important event .

Station Approach is the traditional assembly point for the British Legion’s annual Remembrance Day procession

The current Remembrance Sunday parade normally begins with the assembly of the  procession at Station Approach.

This involves a detachments of Army, HMS Cambria, RAFA, ex-military veterans,  British Legion members, local councillors, police, RNLI, Coastguard, Scouts and local schools  and  representatives of various local organisations –  with colours – at Station Approach.

As recently as 2014 there was a silver band leading the procession – but now there is just a single drum

There used to be a British Legion silver band to lead the parade, but in recent years it has not been possible to arrange this .

Now  in the absence of a military band –  the parade marches  to beat of a single drum –  via Stanwell Road to the Garden of Remembrance at Rectory Road where the “Last Post” is sounded, the two-minutes’ silence is observed followed by an official wreath-laying ceremony by the leaders of local organisations and civic dignitaries.

The little “Garden of Remembrance” at Rectory Road can accommodate only about 30 people

Penarth’s main War Memorial –  designed by Sir William Goscombe John and inaugurated in 1924 – is still the focus for the Battle of Britain Day ceremony – but is ignored on Remembrance Sunday

It’s never been satisfactorily explained why the ceremony is now carried out in the cramped Garden of Remembrance rather than at Penarth’s impressive main War Memorial in Alexandra Gardens .

The Alexandra Gardens memorial was designed by the noted architect Sir William Goscombe John, and unveiled on November 11th 1924.

It was subsequently updated to include the fallen of WW2 and Korean War casualties and is the most complete record in existence of Penarth’s fallen.

The names of all three of Penarth’s recipients of the Victoria Cross are listed on the monument .

In contrast, the  Garden of Remembrance was originally established in 1934 to provide a place where the families of those who have given their lives for their country could leave individual tributes to their loved ones –  and was never designed to be the venue for the main wreath-laying ceremony.

The Penarth Garden of Remembrance as it was originally laid out in 1934. The 2010 “make-over” was the initiative of Penarth Civic Society.

The Garden of Remembrance was re-developed in 2010 with a revised lay-out following an initiative by Penarth Civic Society. The single small memorial stone bears no names – only the words  of Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen”.

Older British Legion members to whom PDN has spoken say they cannot remember why it is that the wreath laying no longer takes place – as it used to do – at the main War Memorial in Alexandra Gardens  – and there seems to be no record of why the venue was switched to the Garden of Remembrance.

Members of the public standing on Rectory Road cannot see the wreath-laying ceremony s being held in the “Garden of Remembrance”

Scores of members of the public, and many who participate in the procession, now have to resort to standing on Rectory Road and most cannot see the actual wreath-laying ceremony taking place.

Tony Phillips of the Penarth Branch of the Royal British Legion has said  the Legion has been using the “Garden of Remembrance” for the formal Remembrance Sunday wreath-laying for as long as he has been a member. He believes  it would have been a decision of the branch committee to move the commemoration ceremony from the  Alexandra Park memorial to Rectory Road, many years ago.

Ex commando and Penarth businessman Kevin Halborg.

Mr Phillips has told PDN  “I was amazed myself. As far as I am concerned, the War Memorial is down in Alexandra Park “ . He speculates that the decision might have had something to do with the “old-timers and the distance of the walking ” .

The current pattern of the Penarth Remembrance Sunday commemoration has the main parade then marching to All Saints Church for a formal service. This service used to take place at St Augustine’s Church but the venue was changed because  parade marchers found it easier to march on “level ground”.

It’s understood that proposals for the new changes and developments in the Penarth Remembrance Sunday commemoration will be announced by Mr Halborg and his colleagues shortly .

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The traditional navigator’s mark of St Augustine’s Church steeple, Penarth is on the bow as the lifeboat brings the yacht safely back to port (RNLI photo)

A vintage – wooden built – 37 foot yacht was  towed to Penarth yesterday after her crew experienced engine problems in the late afternoon.

Penarth lifeboat’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was deployed to bring the boat to Cardiff Bay. The yacht’s crew were reported to be safe and well and were later debriefed by Penarth Coastguard officers.


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Rebecca Adlington OBE samples a cup of coffee “The Training Ground” at Station Approach, Penarth

The “Training Ground” may sound like just the place for Olympic champion – but this particular “training ground” – being opened today by record-breaking swimming star Rebecca Adlington –  is actually Penarth’s latest coffee bar. 

Rebecca Adlington – who retired from competitive swimming aged 23 – is a frequent visitor to Penarth

Rebecca is a close friend of fellow-Olympic swimmer and Penarth resident Tom Haffield and also of Simon Baston  – the boss of local development company Loftco –  who has  bought and renovated the British Legion building in Station Approach, Penarth as a state-of-the-art office complex.

Creatively squeezed into what was once a mere ground-floor cupboard between the entrance to the new offices and   “The Bottle Shop” is   – the “Training Ground coffee bar .

Just a few yards from Penarth Station the new coffee bar is ideally located to serve the hundreds of rail passengers who pass by every day.

The Training Ground at Station Approach  serves coffee to go from 07:00 to 13:00 six days a week

The Training Ground coffee bar opened for business on Monday and has been an instant success with rail commuters and local shoppers . It’s open Mondays to Saturdays inclusive from 07:00 until about 13:00 .



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Penarth’s 2017/2022 town councillors on the front lawn at West House last night

The new Labour-controlled administration of Penarth Town Council officially came into being last night when 12 newly-elected councillors joined 4 re-elected members from the previous Labour administration to begin what will be a 5-year term of office running until 2022.

The newly-installed Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd (Conservative Cornerswell)

As forecast by PDN on Thursday, Cllr Ken Lloyd (Conservative Cornerswell) was elected as the new Town Mayor for a 1 year term.

He succeeds Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) – who will remain as Leader of the Council .

[ The full list of elected councillors following the May 4th election is on]

Elected as Deputy Mayor (which means he will be Mayor in 2018/19) was newly-elected councillor Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) .

Before the inaugural Annual General Meeting of the council began, members posed outside for official photographs to be taken on the front lawn of the council’s HQ at West House. Apologies were received from the newly-elected Kathryn McCaffer (Conservative Plymouth Ward) who was unable to be present. She is the daughter of Conservative leader Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) .

Outgoing Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy was wearing his chain of office for the last time before handing over the regalia to his successor

Opening the meeting the outgoing Mayor – Cllr Cuddy – welcomed the presence of Mayors and deputies from “all the principal towns in the Vale of Glamorgan” and guests.

The Town Clerk Emma Boyden confirmed that, following the results of the local elections on May 4th,  all elected Penarth councillors had signed “letters of acceptance”.

She also announced that the Leader of the Labour Group on the Council (11 members) would be Cllr Mike Cuddy [resuming the role he had in the 2012/2017 council] and that his deputy will be Cllr Ian Buckley (Labour Cornerswell)  .

Cllr Martin Turner, (Conservative Plymouth Ward) Leader of the Conservative Group

The Leader of the 5-strong Conservative Group will be  Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) and his deputy is to be Cllr Ben Gray  (Conservative Plymouth Ward). It was Cllr  Turner who  invited to propose a candidate for the election of the Town Mayor.

Cllr Turner nominated Cllr Ken Lloyd (Conservative Cornerswell) to serve as Penarth’s new Mayor .  Cllr Lloyd – Cllr Turner said – was “born and raised in Maesteg, had worked in coal mines, NHS hospitals and – for many years – at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant “. 

He said Cllr Lloyd had also given “valuable service to Penarth” by working in the local Cancer UK charity shop and had previously been a Councillor and a Deputy Mayor of Penarth [ 2011/2012] .

Cllr Turner’s nomination of Cllr Lloyd as the new Mayor was seconded by outgoing mayor Cllr Cuddy, who then bestowed Cllr Lloyd with the ceremonial Mayoral chain, symbolising the official transfer of office. 

The council table has now been changed to a long -“10 Downing St-style cabinet table”. Here the outgoing Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy is congratulating the new Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Ken Lloyd (Photo Penarth Town Council)

Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) is the new Deputy Mayor of Penarth

Cllr Cuddy then proposed that the new Deputy Mayor of Penarth should be newly-elected Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) –  a motion which was seconded by Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)  and passed by acclamation.

Making his first official speech as Town Mayor,  Cllr Lloyd said he felt very proud to be elected as Mayor of Penarth Town – returning to the council chamber after an absence of 5 years during which  he had closely followed the council’s activities.  “I will do my very best to represent Penarth Town – and give it all I’ve got”  he said .

The new Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd

Mayor Lloyd said “We’re only a little town but we’ve done great things through the councils “ – and paid tribute to the previous [Labour] administration which he said had “done some good things and worked hard”.

He said “I hope I can continue in a good vein , to look after the people of Penarth and serve the people well. I hope you will be well satisfied”  – a comment which was followed by applause.

He paid tribute to the achievements of the previous council including the new lift for the use of disabled people at West House – telling Cllr Cuddy “That’s one pleasing thing that you have done in your reign”. Cllr Lloyd also praised the new finger-post  direction signage in Penarth and the town’s inclusion on the Sunday Times  list of best places to live in Britain.

Mayor Lloyd announced that his nominated charities would be Cancer UK and the Royal Institute for the Blind.

Outgoing Mayor, Cllr Mike Cuddy, thanked councillors and council staff for the support he had received in the previous council . He said the most significant change was the change in colleagues . He said “I’m sorry that we have seen a number of highly experienced councillors move-on or fail to be re-elected” but this was compensated for by the opportunities presented by a new council and the “fresh perspective they offer –  and the questions they ask ” .

One new councillor – he said – had asked him “why are there Mayors?”.  Cllr Cuddy said it was only when someone had been a mayor that they actually knew the answer –  and wished Cllr Lloyd good luck in the role. There followed a ceremonial change of gifts, a book for Cllr Cuddy,  flowers for female consorts, ties and lapel-pins for men.

 The chairs and deputy chairs of  the new council committees were announced:-

  • Policy Development and Innovation : Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) , Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)
  • Planning and Infrastructure : Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines) , Cllr Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)
  • Venues Facilities and Events: Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) , Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines)
  • Democracy and Civic Services : Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines), Cllr Mark  Wilson (Labour Stanwell)
  • Finance and HR:  Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) , Cllr Ian Buckley (Labour Cornerswell )

The council representatives on local school governing bodies will be:-

  • Albert Primary: Cllr Liz Fahy (Labour St Augustines)
  • Victoria Primary:  Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)
  • Evenlode Primary:  A Dinas Powys councillor is to sit on this body
  • Cogan Primary: Cllr Laura Rochefort (Labour Cornerswell)
  • Fairfield Primary: TBA
  • Ysgol Pen-y-Garth: TBA
  • St Joseph’s:  Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s)
  • Bute Cottage Nursery :  Cllr Ellie Evans (Labour Stanwell)
  • Cogan Nursery: Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s)

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s) will remain the council’s representative on the board of the beleaguered “charity” Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – which holds the lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion

The Penarth Town Council nominee trustee on the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd[ the not-for-profit company/charity which holds the lease of Penarth Pier Pavilion] is to be the current council representative Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustine’s) who will continue in the role.

The new Vale of Glamorgan Council will appoint its representative to the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts next week.





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The sail training vessel “Stavros S Niarchos” passes the sand dredger Welsh Piper off Penarth 

The square rigged sail training ship  “Stavros S Niarchos” – bound for Cardiff –  and the sand dredger Welsh Piper saluted each other as they passed on passage off Penarth late yesterday.

The brig-rigged tall ship Stavros S Niarchos was o making one of her twice-yearly regular calls at Cardiff  .

The sailing ship Starvos S Niarchos is open to the public free of charge at Britannia Quay (off Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay)  – on Sunday from 11:00 am

The two-masted ship is  operated by a the Tall Ships Youth Trust and caters for all ages – including mature people who want to experience a voyage under sail and   provides young people with the opportunity to undertake “character-building”  voyages under sail.

She also provides holidays afloat for a more mature clientele.  The ship is 195 feet long and has a crew of complement of 67 on board 48 of whom are trainees or guests.

The ship will be open to the public at Britannia Quay in Cardiff Docks ( you can get there from Cardiff Bay Mermaid Quay)  on  Sunday May 21st from 11:00-16:00 . Entry is free.

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