MV “Sloeber” has now been joined by fellow Belgian mud-dumper MV “Pagadder”. Both vessels are in Barry Docks with the dredger “Peter the Great” waiting for the weather to improve

Bad weather in the Bristol Channel appears to have done today what the law courts couldn’t do yesterday –  and has stopped mud dredging operations at the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex, and the dumping of that mud off Penarth.

The EDF fleet should have been continuing to dredge up mud from alongside the Hinkley Point nuclear complex today – and dumping it in the sea off Penarth – but because of the weather forecast all the vessels – MV Sloeber, MV Pagadder, Glomar Vantage, and Peter the Great opted to have a day in Barry Docks because of the weather forecast.

The green-painted motor hopper MV Sloeber is now confined to port in Barry alongside her sister vessel MV Pagadder which arrived yesterday after a long voyage from Kiel.

This is what “Pagadder”, “Peter the Great” and “Sloeber” should have been doing today – loading mud at Hinkley to be dumped off Penarth – but it seems the weather has confined them to port in Barry

It’s intended that both vessels will be used in relays on the mud-dumping operations to shift the 320,000 tonnes of material.

Peter the Great is using a hydraulic shovel to dig trenches for cooling water pipelines in the mid immediately offshore from Hinkley Point.

Also in port is the dredging vessel Peter the Great – which is actually digging up the mud off Hinkley Point and loading it into the two hoppers.

A warning of strong winds associated with Storm Helene has been put out by the Meteorological Office who now say the worst of the weather will be tomorrow (Wednesday) .

Gusts of up to 60 mph are forecast from o6:00 BST on Wednesday morning with possible “power loss, delays to road, rail and air travel” and there’s the possibility of “injuries and danger to life from flying debris”.

The bid for an injunction to stop the mud dumping comes up again in court in the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre on Monday September 24th 2018

Meanwhile at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre the application for an injunction to stop the mud dumping completely has been adjourned for a week to give lawyers working for the French energy company EDF and its subsidiary more time to get their defence case prepared and will resume on Monday next week.

The Belgian motor hoppers MV Sloeber and her sister ship MV Pagadder are carrying out the dumping of the allegedly radioactive mud off Penarth. No British or Welsh ships are involved

The case hinges on whether the Environmental Impact Assessment issued for Hinkley Point (in Somerset) applies in respect of the Cardiff Grounds mud dumping site off Penarth . Cardiff Grounds are in Welsh territorial waters and there has been no public consultation in Wales.

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A Taser stun-gun being fired

The number of officers in South Wales Police – the force overseen by South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael – is to double the number of officers trained to shoot tasers at people.

Currently only 10% of officers are authorised to use tasers but this is to be increased to 20% – with a corresponding increase in the number of weapons PCs will carry on the streets.

A total of 281 more officers will be taught how to fire tasers at people in the next  12 months.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael who lives in Penarth

Labour Police Commissioner Alun Michael says:- “The use of a Taser is often misunderstood and misrepresented so it’s important to stress that – properly used – it is a means of preventing injury, not of causing injury. I am very confident that the use of Taser by our officers is proportionate and frequently prevents harm.”

In 2017 South Wales Police officers logged that they had “deployed” [ i.e. drew tasers out of their holsters] on  227 occasions.Usually the act of producing the bright yellow taser is enough to cause the person they are attempting to arrest to back-down .

However in 16 cases last year officers went on to fire the electronic barbs into people – subjecting the targets to an agonising, high-voltage shock which temporarily paralyses them and renders them incapable of resistance.

There is no record of the increase in ther use of tasers having been discussed byu the South Wales Police and Crime Panel – [the panel made up of mostly Labour nominees who are supposed to scrutinise the decisions of the Police Commissioner]  .

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A police van in Penarth town centre

South Wales Police say that a 41 year old man of no fixed above – Paul Hingston – has been charged with seven counts of theft from a shop in Penarth.

Hingston – who had been on the police wanted list – has appeared before Cardiff Magistrates who remanded him in custody

He is  next due to appear in court on Wednesday this week.

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Penarth AM Neil McEvoy (Independent South Wales Central ) and Cian Ciaran of the Campaign Against Hinkley Mud with demonstrators outside the Civil Courts in Cardiff today just before the hearing on the application for a legal injunction

Hundreds of campaigners gathered outside the Civil Justice Courts in Cardiff today to press for a legal injunction to halt the dumping of allegedly radioactive mud in the sea off  Penarth.

The mud is being dredged from the  shores adjacent to the Hinkley Point Nuclear power complex on the Somerset Coast and is being bropughjt across the channel by hopper to be dumped on the Cardiff Grounds – just a mile off shore from Penarth.

BBC and ITV news camera crews were outside the Civil Justice Courts to witness the ‘nuclear mud’ demonstration

MV Sloeber dumping nuclear mud off  Cardiff North Buoy – as close to Penarth as she is allowed to get

More than 200 demonstrators gathered outside the Cardiff Civil Justice Courts this morning  support an application by the Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping to stop 320,000 tonnes of Hinkley Mud being dumped in the sea off Penarth.

This afternoon Penarth AM Neil McEvoy said that “Defence” (i.e. the Welsh Labour Government) wants to adjourn for a week to get their statement in order. They want to continue for a week with the dumping.”. There was also an issue regarding faulty paperwork submitted by Welsh Labour Government being deficient.

Later Neil McEvoy added “ They file wrongly and they are allowed to continue dumping in the meantime. Interim injunction not granted.

Amongst the campaigners was the distinguished Penarth environmentalist Dr Max Wallis

The judge has adjourned the case for 7 days to allow time for  EDF’s lawyers to come up with evidence to support their claim that the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power station actually covers dumping in Welsh waters.

Dr Max Wallis of Friends of the Earth said  he thinks lawyers for the French energy company EDF are  “on a loser” because  Natural Resources Wales had already accepted that  the Hinkley Point Environmental Impact Assessment does NOT  cover dumping in the Welsh part of the Severn Estuary.

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The existing – but illegal – travellers’ encampment on the old recycling site outside Sully

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is proposing to set up a new permanent gipsy camp at  Hayeswood Road between Barry and Sully.

The council has picked the new site – which will cost £2,300,000 to develop –  because it’s close the existing (illegal ) site outside Sully and is “well placed for access to the amenities of Barry”.

The new site backs onto a row of terraced houses between Sully and Barry

Sully Villagers have campaigned for months about the earlier plans to set up a permanent travellers’ encampment in their village. The new site is well outside the perimeter of the village

The existing illegal encampment is at the former refuse recycling facility at Hayes Road on the outskirts of Sully which has been illegally occupied by travellers for many years. If the new site is approved the present illegal encampment will be closed

The proposal for the new site – to replace the illegal site –  follows a long search for a suitable site which had taken into consideration public land and  known private areas that had been “previously promoted for this use“.

The leader of the Conservative-run Vale of Glamorgan Council – Cllr John Thomas threatened to “review” PACL’s lease

Cllr John Thomas Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan COuncil says “As a Council, we must ensure that we provide suitable accommodation for all those within our community and Gypsy and Traveller groups are certainly no exception to this.Having somewhere to call home is a basic human right that everyone is entitled to. It is fundamental to our wellbeing and provides children with an environment in which they can grow and develop.

After careful consideration and discussions with local Gypsy and Traveller representatives, we believe we have found an excellent site that caters for their specific needs, although the proposal will need to be carefully considered at the planning stage.

Hopefully this location can provide them a permanent home, a base from which they can be valued and productive members of our community.”

The proposed site for the new gipsy caravan encampment  is behind a terrace of existing houses

The chosen site – Hayes Wood –  is will be subject public consultation and if confirmed  will cover an area of approximately 1.9 acres and feature 20 plots, a play area, office/community space and bin compound.

The council says “Only once all opinions have been thoroughly considered will the Council decide the best way forward, while the proposal is also subject to the planning process and a successful capital bid to Welsh Government.”

The new site could be ready for use “some time in 2020”.


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Penarth Scouts in the Alps on an international trip to Kandersteg, Switzerland in August. Girls and boys are now called “Scouts”

The 700 young people who are members of Penarth and District Scouts are about to have a change of leader.

After 8 years as the current District Commissioner for Penarth and District, Julian Jordan, is moving on to take up a new role as Area Commissioner of Cardiff and Vale.

Former District Commissioner Julian Jordan with local cubs. He’s now becoming Area Commissioner.

Mr Jordan says “I’ve enjoyed every minute of being District Commissioner, it has been a great challenge and to see the young people getting so much out of Scouting, is what it’s all for.”

As Area Commissioner, Julian Jordan ‘s new role will be to support over 4,500 members across the 2 counties of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. He now has the task of  setting the  direction for Scouting locally, looking 3 to 5 years in advance and planning for the new housing developments being built in the area to ensure scouting is available to all new families coming to the area .

New Penarth and District Scout Leader Carl Rogers

The new District Commissioner for  in Penarth and District is to be Carl Rogers, who is currently the District Cub Leader [ cubs are in the 8 to 10 age group]  and  will be stepping up to his new role as from September 23rd.

Carl Rogers says  ”I’m very proud to be taking on this role. To lead, support and inspire
so we keep growing this amazing District, ensuring even more young people
experience our adventures and gain skills for life.”

As ever, the big headache for  the movement is finding enough capable adults to
support the demand for Scouting.

Scouting caters for both boys and girls aged from 6 to 25  and currently there is a waiting list to join because of the difficulties in  recruiting enough suitable adult volunteers. Scouting volunteer roles are open to anyone from the age of 14 to “80 plus” and anyone interested can  get in touch at the web-site or call 0345 300 1818.

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MV Sloeber splitting her hull open to dump another 2,000 tonnes of mud from Hinkley Point onto the Cardiff Spoil Grounds a mile off off Penarth’s sea front this morning

Some local boat owners operating out of Penarth Marina and Cardiff Bay are now saying there’s a significant build-up of mud in the undredged waters of the Bristol Channel.

There’s always been a large area of mud off the shore of Cardiff and Penarth which is exposed at low tide, but it’s being said an increasing number of boats are unexpectedly going aground  – apparently because of an increase  in mud levels .

In March this year the Penarth Atlantic 85 lifeboat Maureen Lilian attended a motor sailer aground on what is now very shallow water barely covering the Cardiff Grounds mud dumping site

The official dumping ground for “spoil” (dredged mud) – including allegedly ‘nuclear’ mud dredged from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex is  the Cardiff Grounds Spoil Disposal Site – a mile offshore from Penarth.

Now however a well known local skipper has warned that the existing plateau of mud at the Cardiff  Grounds is becoming higher . He says the addition of thousands of tons of mud from the Hinkley Point site may mean there may no longer be sufficient depth of water at all states of the tide to cover the Cardiff Grounds . In that case the mud  could become exposed to the air at low water.

The yellow line marks the territorial water boundary between Wales and England. Now “English” mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex is being dumped in Welsh waters

The increase in the level of mud on the sea bed is unlikely to have been affected yet by the mud  from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex.

So far only a small fraction of the  320,000 tonnes due to be deposited there from Hinkley Point has yet been dumped at the site .

At almost high tide this morning MV Sloeber was working just East of the Cardiff North Buoy – as close to Penarth as she is legally allowed to get. At low tide it’s said that there’s barely enough water in some areas of the Cardiff Spoil Grounds to cover the increasing accumulation of mud.

However the Cardiff Grounds dumping site is also used by Associated British Ports to dump mud dredged from the approach channel to Cardiff Docks.

It’s thought at least some of this mud  is being re-distributed by tidal action and is increasing the height of local tidal mud banks as well as the Cardiff Grounds disposal site itself .

Marine Chart of the waters off Penarth sea front. The triangular area of “Spoil Grounds” is East of the North Cardiff Buoy

A local boat-owner David Watts of Cardiff Bay Yacht Club has filed a comment on the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance website saying that  he recalls getting stuck on the Cardiff Grounds mud dumping site some 4 years ago at about 30 minutes before Low Water Springs [ when the tidal range is at its greatest].

He says that  the area “dried out at low water and was exposed to atmosphere.”   That was in 2014 .  Now the depth of water is even less..

The Cardiff Grounds spoil-disposal site is supposed to be  constantly covered with sea water at all states of the tide – but Mr Watts says that’s not the case .

Mr Watts says “Traditionally the spoil ground was intended to provide a disposal area for mud and sea bed constituents dredged from the Wrach Channel and entrance to Cardiff Docks system together with Cardiff Bay. This practice continues on an annual basis and it is likely the Spoil Ground has received even more spoil than I observed in 2014.”

He says “In any event, the dumping of a further 300,000 tons at that location would deny similar capacity to be available for the true intended purpose ie to receive spoil arising future dredging at Cardiff. “


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