Penarth's Clock Roundabout as it looks this morning - once gain stripped of all flowers.

Penarth’s Clock Roundabout as it looks this morning – once again stripped of all flowers.

The on-going battle  over Penarth’s Clock Roundabout – the veritable hub of Penarth – has now entered a new level of hostilities.

In the last few days the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council now appears to have re-imposed its controversial “scorched earth” policy on the roundabout – and has uprooted  and removed  every one of the hundreds of flowers planted there by local environmentalists.

Local residents have been complaining for months about the lack of flowers in the town centre. (A dozen flower baskets eventually appeared in Windsor Road and Glebe St a fortnight ago – but the “Piccadilly circus of Penarth” – the Clock Roundabout – remained bare earth.)

As recently as 2014 the Vale Council used to plant flowers on Penarth Clock Roundabout - but not any more

As recently as 2014 the Vale Council used to plant flowers on Penarth Clock Roundabout – but not any more

In the past the usual practice has been for the council to plant some 2,000 polyanthus on the roundabout for a spring bedding display which was normally retained until May each year and then replaced in  June with a summer bedding display. However this year the council has done no planting on the roundabout at all.

In the 1950s Penarth's colourful roundabout was well worth "writing home about" - as on this vintage postcard

In the 1960s Penarth’s colourful roundabout was well worth “writing home about” – as on this vintage postcard

So frustrated were local environmentalists at the barren desert surrounding the Town Clock this summer that they decided to take matters into their own hands and plant some perennials there  – at their own expense.

Last week the marigolds and primroses which local people had sown on the roundabout were coming up nicely

Last week the marigolds and primroses which local people had sown on the roundabout were coming up nicely…but now the Vale Council has removed every plant and returned the area to bare earth

The residents sowed marigold seeds and evening primrose seeds  – and despite reports that the council had poured powerful commercial herbicides onto the roundabout – the marigolds and primroses began to spout.

How Penarth's Clock Roundabout looks from above today - all bare earth

How Penarth’s Clock Roundabout looks from above today – all bare earth

However it now appears that within the last few days the council has intervened again and has undone all the work done by local gardeners, uprooted the marigolds and primroses and has –  once more – reduced the roundabout to bare brown earth.

Many local  residents are now totally puzzled by the Vale of Glamorgan’s Council’s Clock Roundabout Policy – if there is one. There are claims that Penarth Town Council which (like the Vale of Glamorgan Council) is controlled by the Labour Party, is not prepared to stand up for Penarth and complain – not least because six Penarth councillors occupy salaried seats on the Vale Council.

In March this year  the Vale of Glamorgan Council – without any consultation with Penarth Town Council – installed a “patio” of paving slabs on the roundabout.

The paved "patio" installed by the Vale Council on Penarth's iconic clock roundabout in March - at considerable expense - was uprooted and removed a few days later

The paved “patio” was installed by the Vale Council on Penarth’s Clock Roundabout in March 2016 – at considerable expense – but was uprooted and removed just a few days later

When asked why paving stones were being laid on the roundabout at a time when pavements elsewhere in Penarth were in dire need of repair , the Vale Council claimed that the new roundabout paving was a “Health and Safety” requirement to stop staff slipping and losing their footing when installing the Penarth Christmas Tree each November.

A few days  later the “patio” was taken-up and the slabs were removed. (See PDN )


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  1. AK says:

    Perhaps they are planning to demolish it and put in some traffic lights – we don’t have enough traffic lights. More traffic lights needed*

    * not serious

  2. Ian Norton says:

    It is very sad that such a marvellous, vibrant town like Penarth is so under-represented with Councillors who actually care. Where is our Mayor and what are his thoughts? Where is our Town Clerk and what are her thoughts? Why aren’t our Councillors standing up for their electorate? What do the business people of Penarth, who pay such high rates, think about it? Remember our Christmas ‘decorations’ which were an absolute embarrassment! C’mon Penarth, tourism is a brilliant industry, so why isn’t more being done to capitalise on it?

  3. Really Totally Fed Up Citizen says:

    I bet that doesn’t happen in Barry! Only to their poor neighbours in Penarth! It’s a total disgrace that we always get second best. Of course, that means that we Penarthians will now get a rebate on our council tax, because the Council doesn’t do anything for us. I wish!

    • Lindsay says:

      Are you really serious? Have you not been to Barry recently? We are hardly “poor neighbours”. The Barry/Penarth discussion has gone on for more years than I care to recall, under administrations of all hues. Interestingly, Barry folk often think the exact opposite.

  4. Sue@56 says:

    Let’s have a list of our local councillors so we can lobby them easily.

  5. Harry says:

    Who gave the order for the marigolds and other plants to be uprooted. I think as taxpayers we have a right to know, who did it and WHY? Disgraceful VOG. Would happily donate to more plants being put there, and am sure others would join. Dont give up on this one Penarth Daily News – if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t know half the things the Council gets up to……

  6. slh says:

    So the staff dont slip putting up the Christmas tree? Did anybody actually see the abysmal state of our poor Christmas tree last year!!
    So sad.
    Half arsed people doing a half arsed job.
    Make your minds up!!
    Penarth needs a bit of brightening up and let’s be fair its not as if the flowers on the roundabout are causing any kind of problems.
    Sort it out.

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    Who the hell do VOG think they are ??? its about time they got their act together and stopped wasting money and stopped neglecting Penarth . So the people of Penarth planted some flowers on the roundabout thus saving the slipshod and amateurish VOG money and time . What right have the Council to rip out those same plants, and those who planted them (unless they got a letter telling them of the Councils intentions) should send a collective letter signed by all asking for compensation which includes the plants and more important the time taken to plant them. The Council seem to forget they work FOR THE PEOPLE they own nothing, what they do have is thanks to money taken from the people to do it. But judging by the disastrous way this group have behaved lately and continue to do so a cut in wages should be on the cards , any employee would have sacked this lot ages ago for gross incompetence , cutting down trees to disfigure the town in most cases totally uncalled for (and at the wrong time of year). The list goes on and local people will know them, if the VOG was a comedy act they would be booed off the stage. I think the VOG needs a shake up and those unable to do the job to any degree of satisfaction or unable to get their priorities right should be weeded out .

  8. snoggerdog says:

    double well said !

  9. CoexistinPenarth says:

    What a very odd waste of money. Not really sure what the council is thinking. Why don’t we just plant a few hundred wild flowers on the roundabout like they have done in Ali park and on the barrage? Surely not expensive to buy and scatter some seeds, we could get the local scouts to do it as part of their community badge!

  10. Peter Church says:

    How about a Council Tax strike until VOG spends some money in Penarth?
    After all this is where most of the council tax is raised, unlike Barry where most is spent.

  11. Andrew Worsley says:

    Good thinking Peter Church , then if that happens they cannot WASTE as they have been doing what they get paid . I know in Penarth we have been denuded of road sweepers , we never see a parking attendant if they are around they are dropped off and picked up half an hour later at the bottom of some road. We have a part time Police station , litter strewn everywhere , waste bags , mostly black put out all days of the week as some cannot make out when collection is and of course some people don’t care .One thing you have to give the VOGC credit for is their enthusiasm for attacking trees , how many people have visited the part completed ‘ viewing platform’ on Penarth Head , a fantastic example of more money than sense ,or another way of spending or wasting ‘other peoples money’ or money needed in more sensible actions.
    And im not sure who’s pipe dream the ‘Headland Walk’ is ?? but id put money on it being a Council plan as it has that familiar ring of absurdity about it , ‘ a childs fantasy’ and of course the cliff face will never crumble ??.,

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