The Penarth Clock Roundabout is back to bare brown earth after flowers planted by local environmentalists were ripped out by the council

The Penarth Clock Roundabout is back to bare brown earth after flowers planted by local environmentalists were ripped out by the council

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) , Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, has now responded to concerns voiced by Penarth Civic Society about the continuing barren state of Penarth’s iconic Clock Roundabout – the central hub of the town.

Traditionally the roundabout  – set on the main junction of the town’s shopping centre – has had colourful floral displays planted on it every year – but no planting whatever has taken place this year other than an abortive attempt to lay concrete paving slabs on the soil.

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 they were torn out by the Vale Council

Frustrated by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s prolonged inaction, a group of local environmentalists and residents took matters into their own hands and sowed  marigold and evening primrose seeds on the roundabout last month. …But,  as soon as the plants appeared, they were ripped out by the Vale Council – leaving the once-attractive roundabout as bare brown yet earth again for the peak summer season.

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr Burnett has now been explaining  the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ’roundabout strategy’ to Penarth Civic Society.

In an initial response she had originally said “ There is a very clear reason for the current state of the roundabout but not sure anyone really wants to hear.” 

When re-assured by the Civic Society that its members “really would like to hear the reason why the roundabout has lost its flowers” Cllr Burnett then issued a fuller response.

In this she said : – “The Vale Council was planning to plant the roundabout with a herbaceous scheme with shrubs and perennials similar to what has been done with the Italian Gardens. It reduces the use of pesticides/herbicides and the need for watering. In that way it is much more environmentally friendly.”

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” installed by the Vale Council on Penarth’s iconic clock roundabout in March – at considerable expense – was uprooted and removed a few days later

Cllr Burnett also explains, for the first time, the appearance (and abrupt disappearance)  of the concrete paving slabs laid on the roundabout in March this year –  which were removed just days after being set in place

She says  “A design was completed to facilitate the annual Christmas tree without damaging the planting. (Hence the paving) and was about to be implemented. However, in tandem Penarth Town Council was considering a change away from one Christmas tree . Once this was decided, the paving was removed and used elsewhere and a new design was developed. This meant changes to sockets for trees and electricity supplies and it had to be costed and scheduled into the Vale’s work programme. The roundabout will soon be planted up and be back to the standard we have all come to expect from the Vale’s parks team. ”

She added that Penarth Town Council “hadn’t actually made a decision, but by being in touch they avoided expensive planting having to be ripped out”. No comment has been made by Penarth Town Council – which, like the Vale of Glamorgan Council – is also Labour controlled. 

The forbidding grey walls of the Penarth Head viewing platform were supposed to have beds of flowers laid around the base to - as the Vale Council promised- "soften and reduce the intial impact of the brick wall". Nothing happened.

The forbidding grey walls of the Penarth Head viewing platform were supposed to have beds of flowers laid around the base to – as the Vale Council promised  last year –  “soften and reduce the initial impact of the brick wall”. Nothing happened.

With regard to Penarth Head Park, Cllr Burnett now says that “in the interim”  the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Parks Team “have been designing planting for Penarth Head Park and working out which park should be their next green flag target.”

However Cllr Burnett had already announced last year that she had “signed off” on a planting programme to mitigate the dominant appearance of the monolithic new Penarth Head Park Viewing Platform.   No flowers have yet appeared there.

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  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    Very unconvincing excuses. The vale WAS planning….. No indication of how long it will be until planting just SOON. No apology from Lis Burnett for a year without flowers. It seems she is more interested in promoting Barry than Penarth.

    • david kerslake says:

      you”ve got to be joking she is all promices been saying the new road on barry island will be open for the season trouble is she dose”nt say what year. I PITTY THE PEOPLE LIVING ON THE ISLAND

      • Penileaks says:

        It was open a couple of weeks back because I used it, but only one way – off the Island.

  2. dmcprojman says:

    The woman is a complete joke, just like the V o G.

  3. Mark Foster says:

    Jeez, doesn’t Lissie’s hair look nice 🙂

  4. sjleworthy says:

    Yes. Still no answer why nothing is there now?

    We know though. Budgets and attitudes.

  5. Clive James says:

    Typical council speak an answer with no answer.

  6. Johnabutt says:

    It is too late in the season to be planting anything now, hope they can get it arranged by next year! Some hope!

  7. bizzilizzi says:

    How long does it take to “plan” a small area of planting? A half decent gardener could do it inside an hour.
    Penarth Head still has no plaques informing visitors about the view. In any case there is no provision for these to point south east towards the Severn Bridge but one, more or less, will point at the houses behind the park.

  8. Andrew Sarchus says:

    These expensive people and their “cabinets” are indeed an anal lot. Liz- go and do something useful like working out a meals in wheels budget within 400% of actuality.

  9. Taffy says:

    The only real response to this and otherVOG issues is for a number of Penarthians to get together and stand as independents in the next elections. If we could cover every ward success might prevail. Anyone interested in this?

    • Sarah says:

      I’d be interested. I agree with you. There is no point whinging and whining about things not being right if you’re not prepared to take any action. I’d definitely be interested in supporting an independent councillor who was genuinely interested in prioritising and listening to the people they represent.

    • Lindsay says:

      You must be joking. The people here just want to barrack from the touchline. It’s easier than getting on the pitch.

      • Sarah says:

        Lindsay, you’re probably right and that is my point. If there is genuine appetite for change there has to be accompanying action. However, although there are a lot of red herrings and personal insults about post it notes and appearance on this site which are a distraction, I think there is a serious point about how well we are represented. But just like you say I am unsure of any true strength of feeling to bring about change.

      • Andrew Sarchus says:

        And you?

    • Peter Church says:

      Didn’t Llantwit Major councillors all stand on mass as independents? I think this was because they were unhappy with local representation. Labour in Vale just voters for granted.

      • Sarah says:

        I wouldn’t want to stand, as I don’t think I have got the necessary attributes to be a good councillor. However, I’d be very happy to support with the campaigning, strategy and leg work that is necessary for success. Yes – I’d be interested in meeting up with other like minded people who did genuinely want to bring about change. If there is any interest, get in touch.

  10. Andrew Worsley says:

    Theres only one word for Burnetts words ‘claptrap, means nothing , says nothing , is nothing. If I was her I’d have been ashamed to put those petty excuses online but it does confirm that the Council is not up to the job.. I love the excuse for putting paving slabs on the roundabout, ” so as not to effect the planting”, WHAT PLANTING ???? does she mean footprints on the bare earth ??? maybe Liz has not heard of them (as its all very technical) we have tools for that problem ,they are called spades and rakes, been around for years , can be used to level disturbed ground, she may like to jot that down? ( if she ‘bothers’ to read this?) . Now we know the Council WAS planning to plant shrubs on the roundabout, which was going to reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides. The plants the Council ripped out seemed to be managing well without any special treatment!!, the area is miniscule for Gods sake ‘herbicides . pesticides ????its not a farmers field , get real!!. And the planning dept hadn’t made a decision yet , no rush then ? Why Liz bothered responding in such an unconvincing , lacklustre and banal way is anybody’s guess but at least we know what we know the kind of mind set we are dealing with.

    • dmcprojman says:

      Andrew, a perfect summary of how utterly useless this woman & her colleagues are. She is not in the real world. Unfortunately her world just goes on costing us all money while she doesn’t have a care.

  11. Andrew Sarchus says:

    Oh she does care- she cares very much about her £750 chair from which she parodies being a real politician in her “cabinet”. Thing is these wanabees- and I don’t include them all by any means, believe in their own image. Cast iron- they cant see it.

  12. Peter Church says:

    Why did anyone vote for her?
    She promotes Barry at every opportunity, just look at her twitter feed.
    I would love to hear of her views on the turmoil at the top of Labour?
    Is she a trot or a blairite 😉

    I suspect along with the rest of Labour in Wales, they are waiting to see how the party breaks itself apart. But they will still get the donkey vote from the poor areas.

  13. Andrew Sarchus says:

    Professor ha! I doubt she has that title. No-one can achieve two chairs at over £750 each and then there’s the matching cabinet! Social Enterprise though- great principal. Unfortunately politicians (and council wanabees) are amateurs and will mess it up, business will exploit it outside its core principles. Still the youngsters coming up seem more enlightened than us old gits- inside and outside the VOG. Get in some fresh blood- with brains. Flowers on a roundabout- now that’s social enterprise….Liz 🙂

  14. Peter Church says:

    Just to show you what Labour Councillor Lis Burnett thinks of Penarth, whom she is also a town Councillor for, I have checked her Twitter account back to the 1st June this year.

    Mentions of Barry: 407
    Mentions of Penarth: 114

    This sums up her priorities, more interested in ingratiating herself with her fellow Barry cabinet members than the people she is supposed to represent and where she lives, in PENARTH!

  15. David Moorcraft says:

    Any reason why the flowers planted by some thoughtful Penarthians could not have been left there until such time (!) as this very headstrong Lady and her “cabinet” eventually get their “act” together next year ?

    By the Way, the Penarth Head “Observation” platform (with or without flowers) is still a monstrous, ugly overbuild; its inset plaque spaces are in the wrong places, and despite the wheelchair access ramp, wheelchair users cannot see over the wall. Fortunately not many Penarthians go up there to witness the vandalism.
    I think the Vale Council is “Not Fit for Purpose” , and I’ve voted Labour all my life.

  16. Alun says:

    Why don’t we all draw a flower on a post-it note (different colours and sizes to make it interesting) sign it “thanks for nothing Liz” and a fix it to the round about, I am sure she would take note of that.

  17. Andrew Worsley says:

    Peter Church the figures you quote (if accurate) and I have no need to doubt, them says all we by that I mean all who live in Penarth , need to know, you pointed out that Burnett has mentioned BARRY 4 TIMES MORE THAN PENARTH. So now we know why we have a record number of potholes in this town (of its size) im thinking of contacting the ‘Guiness Book of Records’ before long. Now we know why this year the town has looked disgraceful this year , decimated trees , litter strewn streets etc etc . and a big part of this is the VOGC inability to do their job or get priorities right . not that it matters to them. Now we know from the figures Mr Church has given , that Barry is getting the Lions share of attention and Penarth is almost an afterthought. Almost all the Xmas lights failed for the town last Xmas from day one it was quite frankly an embarrassment and a symptom of the CAVALIER, COULDNT CARE LESS , YOUVE HAD YOUR 10 MINUTES OF OUR ATTENTION ,back to more important stuff in Barry.

  18. Harry says:

    Cllr Burnett still hasn’t told us who gave the authority for the seeds planted by well wishers to be removed. Come on Cllr Burnett – tell us

    • dmcprojman says:

      Yes, it would be very interesting to find out who issued the order to remove them. I suspect we will never know.
      The operation was an example of vandalism of the worst type. If you or I carried out such an act we would be up in front of a judge.
      What was the harm in leaving them there ??

    • Andrew Sarchus says:

      Spot on Harry- and at what cost and why…….?

  19. penarthblog says:

    A reminder that there are council elections next year so consider all this when you put your cross on the ballot paper.

  20. Harry says:

    Very interesting figures Peter re Cllr Burnett only 114 mentions about Penarth. Bet that figure increases closer to the election, but then that will only be “talking the talk” maybe she she stand as Councillor for Barry!!

  21. Ali says:

    This women is a joke!

  22. Alan Thompson says:

    I agree !

  23. Frank Evans says:

    Who did she know to get into politics and labour?

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