FISHING BOAT FEARED TO HAVE “DISAPPEARED” TURNS UP AT PENARTH

Penarth Lifeboat heading out towards Lavernock and the Rannie Spit this afternoon.

There were concerns this afternoon about a small white 16 foot long “speedboat” called “Lazy Days” which had apparently “disappeared” between the island of Flatholm and Sully.

A PDN source said the skipper of a local fishing boat –  fishing off the Ranny Spit – said he had first seen the little boat coming from the Barry/ Sully Bay direction,  heading towards Cardiff. He was concerned that the small boat appeared to be on a course which would take him through the rough waters off Lavernock Point and the Ranny Buoy. When he next looked out, the vessel was nowhere to be seen .

Milford Haven coastguard authorised the launch of Penarth lifeboat which set out to search for the ” missing”  boat .

When they reached the safety of the harbour the two people on board the small runabout were interviewed by Penarth Coastguard officers .

However about 30 minutes after the lifeboat launch,  the “missing” boat was spotted from the shore by Penarth Coastguard south of Flatholm island – an unwise distance to venture in such a small craft in wintyr. The soeedboat was  escorted towards Penarth by the lifeboat .

The crew were said to be “foreign” with only limited command of English and radio procedure –  and also had their navigation lights incorrectly installed, (see photo) with the red light on the starboard side and the green light on the port side.

 

 

 

 

 

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PENARTH LIFEBOAT CREWS TO GET “FREE TRAIN TRAVEL TO WORK” OVER XMAS

Penarth Lifeboat personnel have been offered free rail travel to work over Christmas – provided they carry ID and “wear their uniforms” (Photo Huw Evans Picture Agency)

In the eventuality that Penarth lifeboat crews need to travel to Penarth by train to repond to an emergency over Christmas, they will be able to do so without paying their fare – provided they are dressed in their lifeboat kit/uniform and are carrying RNLI ID.

The Christmas-period concession is being offered to them by the Welsh Labour Government’s Transport for Wales train operation.

Given its  rocky reliability record, unpredictable schedules and frequent delays, it’s thought unlikely that lifeboat crews, responding to a time-critical emergencies, would trust Transport for Wales to get them to Penarth – or anywhere else – in a hurry.

Police travelling to work are, it seems, already entitled to free train travel – but, over Christmas, Transport for Wales is extending the free-travel-to-work concession to other emergency personnel including lifeboat crews , fire-fighters, ambulance crews  and coastguards provided they too have their offical ID and are wearing uniform.

Transport for Wales’s “Customer Experience Director”  –  Colin Lea –  says  “We all know what a difficult job our emergency service personnel do in keeping us safe. Nationally, the police are already able to travel on trains for free whilst on duty, and we felt that we’d like to extend this to all branches of the emergency services. So for Christmas and New Year we’re delighted to offer them all free travel on our services to make it that bit easier to get about in recognition of their fantastic work.”

However the gesture has already been criticised as nothing more than a public relations stunt and a piece of pointless “virtue signalling” by the Labour-run train undertaking which is still trying to fix all the faulty rolling stock it failed to check out properly on the handover from Arriva Trains Wales.

There’ll be no trains running to or from Penarth Railway Station on Christmas Day

There is also one other small snag for emergency personnel considering taking up the Transport for Wales Christmas travel concession  – there are will be no trains to Penarth running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

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CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR BLACK-BAG “AMNESTY” FOR PENARTH RESIDENTS

A Vale of Glamrogan Council refuse lorry carrying out the bi-weekly black-bag collection

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s “Two-black-bag” limit on refuse collection is to be temporarily lifted over the Christmas and New Year period.

The announcement was made by Cllr Geoff Cox – the cabinet member for neighbourhood services in answer to questions from Vale Plaid Cymru leader Cllr Dr Ian Johnson.

Cllr Geoff Cox (Conservative ) the cabinet member for neighbourhood services – who is in charge of refuse collection in Penarth and throughout the Vale of Glamorgan

Cllr Cox said “We will not be restricting residents over the Christmas period and the New Year”

Cllr Cox said that since the imposition of restrictions on the number of black bags which could be left out for fortnightly collection the weight of black bag material had been reduced by 31%.  [ PDN Note: Black bag material has to be disposed of by the expensive option of incineration]

 Cllr Johnson also asked whether there had been an increase in fly-tipping since the new black bag restrictions came into force. Cllr Cox said that:- 

  • In the three months BEFORE black bag restrictions were introduced   there had been 61 incidences of fly tipping – which included the fly-tipping of black bags .
  • AFTER the introduction of the two-bag limit in September 2018 there had been 99 incidents of fly tipping – again including fly-tipped black bags – but this figure was lower than that for the equivalent period the year before .

Cllr Cox said that “excess black bags” left outside homes for collection were not normally recorded as “fly-tipping”. In the 3 months since the introduction of the new black bag rule council officers had only recorded 117 incidents of residents breaching the new regulation on “more than one occasion”. Action is now being progressed against these residents

Cllr Cox said that “Whilst this would appear to show a trend , the period is really too short to draw any firm conclusions.” .

He added that the general level of compliance with the two-bag rule has been excellent”.

 

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POLICE CHECK SPEED OF 100 CARS ON PENARTH’S “TERROR NOVA WAY”

A South Wales Police unit monitoring speeds last night on Penarth’s Terra Nova Way

South Wales Police – equipped with a radar speed gun – last night began a  a so-called “scoping” exercise on Terra Nova Way in the residential area of Penarth Marina.

Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative St Augustines)

The move follows pressure from local residents and representations made on their behalf by Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative St Augustines) .

The  police have agreed to establish the extent of the speeding problem on this section of roadway and provide data for the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s highways department to consider further action.

Terra Nova Way (nicknamed “Terror-Nova-Way”) has only one “speed hump”  on it (all the rest of the routes in the marina already have several speed humps or “speed tables” on them) and local residents are concerned that some drivers are breaking the 30mph speed limit and putting lives at risk . However bus passengers have complained about spinal injuries caused by the humps and some motorists say their vehicle springs and tyres are being damaged.

Last night the speeds of more than 100 cars passing along the route were logged and the results will now be analysed to establish the best way of dealing with the problem. It’s not yet known what proportion of the cars using the road last night were actually exceeding the speed limit.

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GOLD-MEDAL IN MANOUVERING FOR “OLYMPIC CHALLENGER”

Before passing Penarth – the Olympic Challenger had executed a very unusual manouever to extract herself from Cardiff Docks (Photo John Clark)

Passing Penarth this week has been the unusual-looking ship Olympic Challenger  – an offshore supply and support vessel which carries out underwater plumbing services on sub-sea pipelines  and cables.

The ship – which has a helicopter landing pad on her bow –  has been working on underwater installations off Lavernock Point.

In an exhibition of ship-handling of which our local Olympic gold-medallist Hannah Mills would have approved , “Olympic Challenger” was reversed out of Cardiff Docks – Photo John Clark

Olympic Challenger – spins around to head South from Cardiff (Photo John Clark)

After calling in  at Cardiff Docks,  Olympic Challenger was – unusually – manouvered  out of the lock stern first  and was brought out backwards  – a feat which takes some doing in a stiff Easterly cross-wind, in a tight lock  and without any tugs.

The helipad on the bow compromises normal forward vision – making it easier to go out stern first.  The ship had called into Cardiff for stores and minor maintenance.

 

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‘LEAVES ON THE ROOF’ MADE IT NECESSARY TO INSTALL GLASS BALCONY

The glass balustrade now added to the roof of the brand new “Frank House” at the end of Penarth’s exclusive Park Road, had allegedly not been included in the approved plans for the development.  The property is within the Penarth Conservation Area and adjacent to Alexandra Park.

A newly-built, 3 storey luxury home in Park Road, Penarth ( in the Penarth Conservation Area) had an unauthorised glass balustrade  installed around its roof as a “safety barrier” – the Vale of Glamorgan Council has been told.

The glass balustrade – which now surrounds the flat-roofed area some 20 feet above the ground –  is alleged to have been  added to the new house  without prior planning permission . A planning enforcement investigation was launched by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The roof-top glass balustrade appears to have been a late addition to the new house and was not on the original plans

Now a“Retrospective Planning Application” has  been submitted- which would – if approved –  legalise the allegedly-unauthorised addition of the glass balustrade to the rooftop of the building – (a feature which had not been included in the original approved plans for the house).

In an “architectural statement” the application states “It became apparent during construction that safe maintenance access would be required due to the proximity of the adjacent woodland”  [The property is on the boundary of Alexandra Park and overlooks the park itself and adjacent homes in Park Road ]. 

The new house as it appears from Alexandra Park. The flat roof enjoys a commanding view over the surrounding area including Park Road and the sea-front

The statement goes on to say that “the owner has had to access the flat roof area on a number of occasions recently to remove the significant build up of debris and leaves blocking the rainwater discharge points “.

The architectural statement notes that  “Galvanised rails could have been used as a safety barrier but the applicant has invested considerable sums in order that his safety is protected. Access via a ladder is not permitted under Health and Safety Regulations or a cherry picker brought in each time access is required.” 

The Retrospective Planning Application –  now submitted for the property – is now under consideration by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning department.

 

 

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“IMPROVED FOOTFALL” REPORTED AT PENARTH PIER PAVILION

Penarth Pier Pavilion was leased for 125 years by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to the struggling not for profit company Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd

A formal update on the position of Penarth Pier Pavilion – and on the company/ registered charity  that holds the 125-year-lease  on the restored building (Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd) –  has been made by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The statement came following a request for a public update made by Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) .

Cabinet member for learning and culture Cllr Bob Penrose (Independent Sully) reading out a statement on Penarth Pier Pavilion to the Vale Council.

Cllr Bob Penrose (Independent Sully) who is Vale Council cabinet member for learning and culture said :- “Work has been undertaken to assist the Pavilion  to operate on a sustainable footing so that it can be enjoyed by residents and visitors well into the future.  I can confirm that the Managing Director and the Head of Finance met  with the outgoing chairman and the new manager of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd at the end of September. “

Cllr Penrose said “At that time an interim chairman was the lead the board for a few months whilst a permanent appointment was to be agreed.”

Cllr Penrose went on to say: “At that point it was confirmed that the new Manager was already making changes at the Pavilion   which I hope will make a positive impact on the financial situation at the Pavilion. It was also reported at that meeting that the Pavilion was experiencing increased footfall as a result of the changes made at the cafe and the changes made to the cinema viewings being made available also”.

Cllr Penrose gave no financial update on the company’s affairs and did not refer to the warning given by Julia Mortimer of accountants Watts Gregory who undertook the independent examination of the Penarth Arts and Crafts accounts. She  found there was  “a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the charity’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

The boardroom of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd

The financial situation at Penarth Pier Pavilion – (for the year ending December 2017) recorded that Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd’s  total income for 2017 was £214,521 (an improvement on the income of £157,594 in 2016)  – and total expenditure was £173,246  – producing a “surplus” of £41,275 … but because its wholly owned subsidiary, Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd, is  £174,293 in debt  – the overall position continues to be  negative.

The “Report of the Trustees” for 2017 – wasn’t signed-off by then chairman Professor Tony Hazell (who’s now quit the company) until September 26th 2018. In it, Professor Hazell said a  “key objective” of the company would be  to attain a self-sustaining funding position by December 2018” . It IS now December 2018 – and reading between the lines of Cllr Penrose’s statement to the Vale of Glamorgan Council, it would appear this “objective” has not been reached.

PDN NOTE: In October 2018 it was confirmed that three directors of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd –  comprising the former chair Professor Tony Hazell, Paul Cantrill and Jonathan Jones had retired.   As previously reported by PDN , they have been replaced by Dr Danny Antebi, (a retired consultant psychiatrist), Sheridan Ward, (artist) and Nerida Palser (business executive) all of whom live in Penarth . Marta Gehrmandi is the new pavilion manager.

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