Residents of Penarth and the rest of the Vale of Glamorgan are to see yet more public money being spent on cleaning-up and repairing deliberate damage carried out by vandals on brand-new public facilities in Barry.
Yet again the £3,000,000 Barry Island re-development has been targeted by anti-social criminals who have smashed virtually every one of dozens of expensive light fittings installed to illminate the specially constructed ramped pathway and steps leading down to the Eastern end of the beach.
The latest damage to the lighting it will be difficult to access the beach at all in the evenings or during the winter unless expensive repairs are put in hand.
This damage comes on top of the vandalism carried out shortly before the development was opened early last year when vandals unscrewed the door-numbers on 21 of the 24 beach huts. A few weeks later the locks were ripped off all 24 huts.
The huts, and the new access ramps and steps built to link them and the beach with the adjoining car-park, were part of a £3,000,000 Welsh Labour Government-funded regeneration scheme at Barry Island.
Meanwhile the Barry vandals have also attacked what was to have been a “dog-free” children’s play area and park at Hatch Quarry in Barry’s Cadoxton Conservation Area which was only opened in March this year.
Time after time, the “Dog Free” signage has been obliterated with spray paint – presumably by “dog-lovers” in a series of attacks costing what the council describes describes as “considerable expense” to replace the defaced signs. Within a day of installing brand new signs only this month – the signage has been obliterated yet again with spray paint .
The area had been fenced-off and notices erected to keep dogs out in a bid to stop the animals fouling the grass with faeces carrying the toxocariasis roundworm – an infection which can cause serious illness and blindness in children and adults.
Local Labour councillor Anne Moore – wife of council leader Neil Moore – says “We have repeatedly placed signs in the park for well over a year and each time we do they are either removed or defaced. This is unacceptable, not only because the risk caused to the children, but also because this is costing the council tax payer a great deal of money at a time when resources are stretched to the limit.”
One Penarth Council tax payer says she intends to write to the Vale Council suggesting that the cost of damage sustained in Barry should be borne only by Barry council-tax payers through a local precept – rather than it being borne by all Vale council tax-payers.