It's hoped the free w--fi on Barry Island Beach will help the council rent-out its controversial Beach Huts which the council operated at a loss last year.

It’s hoped the free wi-fi on Barry Island Beach will help the Vale of Glamorgan Council improve rentals of its controversial Beach Huts which the council operated at a loss last year.

Penarth Council-Tax Payers are to underwrite the provision of free wi-fi  [i.e.  free wireless internet connections for mobile phones, iPads and lap-tops]  on the beach front at Barry Island.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council  has signed a contract for a commercial firm to provide the complimentary wi-fi service at the expense of Council-Tax Payers from later this month – but no such service has been considered for Penarth Esplanade.

The Vale Council says it hopes the  introduction of free public-access wi-fi across Barry Island beach front should “help improve tourism”

ALthoguh free wi-fi is to be provided by the Vale Council at Barry - no such service has been considered for Penarth

Although free wi-fi is to be provided by the Vale Council at Barry – no such service has been considered for Penarth

The Vale council is also hoping it will improve “the take up of the beach huts” .

The 24 huts were available to rent from Easter 2015 to February 10th 2016. Out of a possible 7,512 rental days available (313 days X 24 huts) the council says that a total of only 233 bookings were made over the entire period. That’s an occupancy rate of less that 4% and  generated only £8,026 of revenue – less than the annual amount of council-tax payers’ money that is required to maintain the huts each year.

The council considered placing the Beach Huts into the hands a commercial concessionaire – but in the end decided to carry on renting the huts itself.

The Vale now hopes that the new wi-fi service will eventually enable  members of the public to rent the mostly-unused beach huts on line.

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  1. Sarah says:

    I find it so strange why many councils take certain decisions. Social care, which in my view should never be driven by ‘the market’, has virtually no council led provision left in Wales. People who depend upon and it and their families are entirely at the mercy of the market. And yet the provision of beach huts, a venture ideally suited to be led by external market forces, is kept to be run by the council. I am sure a local entrepreneur would have more success with it, providing the necessary market research was done.

    • snoggerdog says:

      nail on head there,sarah.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      I have long supported and patronised the vital work of U K I B the association for the promotion of the United Kingdom Independent Beach-Huts . The Vale could do well by contacting Beach Hut. com of Bournemouth (yes it is for real) and will no doubt have Nationwide Renters flooding in on the Golden Sands of Whitmore Bay with the beautiful tide at painless and minimal cost by the day or week. Tel 01202-315-437
      Please note Sleepovers and Party’s are strictly forbidden under the terms of hire contract.
      Long live the Great British Holiday thanks to U K I B.

  2. sjleworthy says:

    free beach wide wi-fi? you’d get better service using 3g or dail-up

  3. Paul Fenton says:

    I think it’s excellent that Barry Island is having free Wi-Fi. But again Penarth yet again has been left out by this Barry dominated Vale of Glamorgan Council. Just look at the state of our roads in comparison to Barry. I don’t know how many times they have patched up West Terrace and Dingle Road also Wordsworth Avenue ( the bit in between they didn’t complete!) Also they have pulled the plug on the proposed plans down the Esplanade whilst Barty Island again gets preferential treatment.
    Next month is voting time. Please get this lot out before another 5 years of council rates going up for no return.

    • newsnet says:

      The Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Council elections will not be held until May 2017. Both councils were allowed by the Welsh Government to exceed their normal 4-year term of office for which they were elected. The public mandate of both councils expires next month but both will remain in office until Thursday the May 4th 2017.

    • Timothy Hughes says:

      Not really sure I feel the change in the quality of road surface when I enter Barry. With regard to the wifi, I think if I was deciding from a cost/benefit perspective which area to install first I would go with Barry Island, the numbers are larger and the the benefit and need greater. Not sure money is best spent by trying to obtain geographically uniformity.

  4. ColinD says:

    don’t worry once LG Re-organisation takes place and the Vale is swallowed up by Cardiff, Barry and Penarth will be ignored equally in favour of Cardiff as happened under the old South Glam…

    • hopenotnasty says:

      Cardiff has no pier or beach promenade. Penarth will be a jewel in the crown for a new larger authority. Most penarthians have more connection to Cardiff than Barry.
      Grossly unfair to say the old South Glamorgan ignored Penarth. Who built the Cogan spur, Grangetown link and Ely link. Yes South Glamorgan with help from the European Union.

      • ColinD says:

        no it wont, cardiff bay will continue to be developed, the remainder of the vale in particular Barry and the western Vale will suffer, but i guess as long as penarth is ok, well that’s just fine then… jewel in the crown… haha good one, the money will go to cardiff and stay in cardiff…

  5. Frank Evans says:

    Did you know that a significant proportion of the Penarth town council portion on your council tax bill goes to fund Barry town council!

  6. Tina says:

    Making comparisons in reports like this usually leads to divisions or at least ill feeling. There’s been more than enough ill feeling between Barry and Penarth over the years, it is ridiculous. I blame it variously on David Davies, Lord Beeching, the Mods and Rockers and the infamous dope dealers around the Town Clock…. Barry Island is finally getting some input to improve tourism after years and years of neglect by the “Forty Thieves” and you have to admit that there just isn’t the infrastructure or attractions on Penarth Front to justify any more investment. Can I ask you to cast your mind back 20 years or more to when the council were desperately trying to run the Pier into disrepair so they could justify offloading it for a bargain price. We’re lucky to have the Pier physically restored to its former glory although I don’t think many of the next generation will be conceived under it. Memories are short. The beach faces the wrong way too….

    For the “forty thieves” reference please read the Barry Centenary book. The original rotten borough.

    • Timothy Hughes says:

      Couldn’t agree more. The main structural work to Penarth Pier, undertaken some 10+ years ago, was at a time when the lovely lido at Cold Knap was being dismantled because of lack of money.

  7. AK says:

    Ah great, so we’ll all be able to sit on the beach and answer essential work emails, post selfies on Facebook and Instagram now !

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