The commemorative coin whcih Penarth Primary schoolchildren will not now be presented with to mark ther Queen's 90th birthday

The commemorative coin whcih Penarth Primary schoolchildren will not now be presented with to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday

Penarth Town Council has decided against presenting special commemorative medals to local primary schoolchildren to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen – now Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

The decision came in last night’s meeting of Penarth Council’s policy and finance committee when members considered a report by the Town Clerk on the medals – which many other local councils are giving to thousands of other school children as a memento of the historic birthday.

Town Clerk of Penarth Shan Bowden

Town Clerk of Penarth Shan Bowden

The Town Clerk Shan Bowden reminded the council that in 2012 it had purchased 2,700 commemorative medals to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which were distributed to local primary schoolchildren. The “similar medal” being produced for the sovereign’s 90th birthday this year would cost £1.99p each and the estimated total cost would be £5,400. There was no financial budget for this and , if approved, the funding would have to be drawn from general reserves.

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town Council said he had been interviews on Bro Radio for 30 seconds.

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town Council

The chairman Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of the Council invited comments from members

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said he understood the council had no money in the budget but thought this was “an opportunity for this council to show its commitment to the children in local primary schools“.

He said “It would mean a lot to these children” and said that if the council had been able afford it in 2012 he would like to think the  council could do it now.

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  supported Cllr Williams  . He said ” I think it’s absolutely right  – a lot of children will value it . Maybe it’s the sort of item which will be looked at the time and then put carefully away in a cupboard and pulled out many years later with pride”

A sample of the commemorative coin was produced and passed around the council members for inspection. Cllr Williams said it was very similar to the crown coin and at £1.99 was “good value”.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said he had shown it to his three grandsons aged 6, 4 and 3 and they had been “singularly unimpressed”  .He said “I’m not certain it’s what the kids would appreciate”

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) said “I don’t see the point of doing this either”. He said that he still had a Coronation Mug from “1952” . It was “somewhere in the attic“. It was not brought out and looked at with pride – it was just put back for another  few years. Cllr Roberts said I think the relevance to children is not particularly significant. I also think the 90th birthday of the Queen is not a constitutionally significant event “.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

“If it was a Diamond Jubilee” Cllr Roberts said ” that is something. We did it [ award medals to schoolchildren] in 2012 because it was the Diamond Jubilee and for the Golden Jubilee and Silver Jubilee “. These had been “constitutionally significant matters” but the  90th birthday was, he said,Just somebody’s birthday – of no significance whatsoever”. He thought that if the council wanted to “spend some money in a useful way, maybe to  reflect the royal connection” the council could donate £1000 to the Prince’s Trust and he tabled a motion to that effect.

Cllr Williams agreed that the Queen’s 90th Birthday wasn’t as “prestigious” as the jubilees had been but said  “If the children are our future in Penarth , it’s a nice gesture – and it’s something for them rather than their parents or anything else“.

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) said that having had a “clear-out ” of her attic   she had come across a coin that had been given to her son at some point  in the past . She had asked him if he wanted it and he had replied “Why?“. She said she did not remember there being “huge excitement” when the coin had been originally received. Cllr Burnett said that at the moment “when we are trying to save every penny that we need to be fairly sure that it would be meaningful to the young people”. She said she would abstain on any vote.

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Philip Rapier ( Labour St Augustines) said he would have to check his history books but he was fairly sure the Queen would be the first 90-year-old monarch that we had ever had – so the occasion was “worthy of some respect for the service she has given“.  The Prince’s Trust did good work in the Principality, he said,  but if the council wanted to form a sub committee to discuss alternatives  he would support that. He certainly thought expenditure should be limited to no more than £1,000. 

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) chairman of the planning committee has had its recommendation overturned.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) seconded that proposal.

Cllr Anthony Ernest said Cllr Williams’s motion had been to recognise the young people of this town and said “many of us around this table are very supportive of the youth of  Penarth”. The amount involved [ for purchasing the medals] was “relatively small” compared with the council’s budget of well over £500,000. Next year it would be more with the increases being applied. £5,000 he said was the sort of money the Vale of Glamorgan council spent “in a few days on something or other and don’t bat an eyelid”. Penarth Council, on the other hand, had to think very carefully if it spent £1,000 . He was not prepared to change his view.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Williams said he would be “quite happy” to lose what he had proposed at a vote but said “I am very much against putting £1,000 into the Prince’s Trust . The reason I say that is that we have always looked after people locally here. The Prince’s Trust is a national thing.  ” 

Cllr Williams pointed out that the proposal to give £1,000 to the Prince’s Trust did not appear anywhere on the agenda of the  policy and finance committee  – “It’s just something that’s come out of the blue”. He was certainly against it.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts ( who is a “twin-hatted” Vale of Glamorgan Councillor)  wanted to rebut Cllr Ernest’s allegation that the Vale of Glamorgan Council spent   £5000 without turning a hair. “Perhaps they did when you were a cabinet member Anthony – we don’t any more” .

Cllr Roberts proposed two motions. The first motion was not to award the medals to schoolchildren and the second – separate – a motion would be to give money to the Prince’s Trust .

Cllr Turner reminded the meeting of Cllr Rapier’s proposal of establishing a committee to examine the options.  Cllr Rapier said the money should be “spent locally for the benefit of the young people of the town”.

In a vote on the first motion – not to give medals to Penarth primary schoolchildren to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday – the committee voted 6 for, 2 against with 1 abstention.

The second motion was to put £1,000 aside to recognise the Queen’s birthday but to form a sub committee to decide how to allocate the money locally.

Cllr Clive Williams was not happy with this motion. He said councillors could not say to little children “Well we haven’t given you a medal – but we’ve put the money into some other trust.”  Cllr Williams said “It’s a vote as to whether we wanted the medals or not. I can’t see why we should be clouding the issue by putting £1,000 into something else” .

Cllr Neil Thomas expanded on his proposal to set up a sub committee to decide on “the best way to spent £1,000 locally” . Cllr Williams said he would go along with that proposition. The motion was passed unanimously save for  one abstention (Cllr Burnett).



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  1. Christopher David says:

    Good call PTC.

  2. Ivor Bagman says:

    We all need medals !
    Meddling councillors !
    Half-wit schemes !
    Get your act together !

  3. AK says:

    £1.99 each ?

    I’m sure most families could manage that if they wanted the children to buy a commemorative medal.

  4. Ellabell says:

    Agree with AK give us the option of being able to purchase these.
    I’m sure there is a lot more in the town budget that could be cut so that these could be provided for local children. Wasting time and money on a ‘sub committee’ shouldn’t be one of them.

  5. Christopher David says:

    Oh and for a minute I was thinking AK was being pragmatic. Ms E are you seriously suggesting “we” should waste on pound on a medal for this let alone £5k plus? Mad. If wanabbe parents want medals for the kids write to the ruddy palace

    • Ellabell says:

      “Give us the option” is what I said. I’d be happy to buy them for my children.
      £1.99 is very reasonable.

      My other point was, whilst 5k might be a lot how much more money is spent on items or services I.e a ‘sub committee’ that is not needed.

  6. 249ers says:

    I bought similar Crown coins in 1977, to commemorate the Queen’s silver jubilee. They were for my daughters who at the time were at primary school. I thought it was an excellent way to commemorate the occasion and maybe to buy something that would be more a little more valuable in the future.
    The reaction of my daughters then and in 2016 was very luke warm and my grandsons, both now at Penarth primary schools, have shown little interest and no excitement about owning one.
    The 1977 crown coins now sell for 49p on EBay so I achieved very little from my purchase . I have placed the unwanted coins back in their dusty box and have learnt from the experience.
    I think parents should be offered the opportunity to buy these coins but I’m glad they are not being dished out to every child whether they want them or not.

  7. Cllr Nic Hodges Plaid Cymru says:

    Barry Town Council have also offered these coins by a private firm seeking to cash in on this birthday. For each schoolchild in the town would cost 15,000 pounds. I much prefer my scheme that gives 10000 pounds a year to buy books for schools

Comments are closed.