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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://tinyurl.com/gnrsp6m )