Time may be running out for the current Labour council administrations

Time may be running out for the current Labour council administrations

With next May’s council elections less than 7 months away – what some regard as a suspiciously-significant number of long-awaited public-works in Penarth suddenly seem to be under way –  all at once.

No doubt by pure coincidence, much of the work is due to be completed shortly before the next local  elections – which will cement-in the next Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth Town Councils for unprecedented 5-year-long terms of office – running until 2022.


Work under way on Penarth's Clock Roundabout this morning.

Work under way on Penarth’s Clock Roundabout today.

On Penarth’s Clock roundabout – the veritable central hub of the town – work is under way on installing sockets for no less than three Christmas trees which the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council is commissioning this year.

The council has already been criticised for not planting any of the usual flowers on the roundabout this summer- and for pouring commercial weedkiller on it –  allegedly to  thwart attempts by local environmentalists to grow marigolds there. The cost of the latest construction work on the roundabout is not yet known.

Also coming soon for Penarth are new public benches at locations yet to be confirmed.


Newly-planted shrubs habve now appeared at the base of the stark Penarth Head Viewing Platform

Newly-planted shrubs have now appeared at the base of the stark Penarth Head Viewing Platform

Meanwhile on Penarth Head, the Vale Council has finally got around to carrying out a long-delayed attempt  to “landscape” its much criticised 150 tonne engineering-brick and reinforced concrete “viewing platform” .

Twelve months after being promised, a planting of shrubs has at last now taken place around the base of the dark-grey mausoleum-like  turret in an attempt to “soften” the visual impact of the Soviet-style edifice. Three expensive silver birch saplings have been planted at its entrance.

The wrongly-installed recesses were to contain plaques lined-up with coastal features across the channel

The wrongly-installed recesses were to contain plaques meant to line-up with coastal features across the Bristol Channel  – and to  explain to visitors what they were looking at. Instead, they align with  local resident’s homes.

No work, however, has been done to rectify another major Vale Council blunder – the complete absence of any public information for visitors to the viewing platform.

Several recesses for information plaques around the parapet of the platform were misaligned  by mistake  and  wrongly line up with local houses and flats, rather than towards the coastal features to be seen across the Bristol Channel.


Local residents say that there are other play areas in Penarrh which are in far greater need of renovation

Local residents say that there are other play areas in Penarth which are in far greater need of renovation than the relatively modern Cliff-Top playground.

Cliff-Top Play Area:  Earlier today PDN confirmed the Vale Council’s £100,000 so-called  “cutting edge” upgrade of the existing play facilities at Cliff Walk .

Already some local residents have commented that there’s nothing wrong with the present facilities and that  there are other play areas in Penarth which are in a far worse condition and in much greater need of attention.


Much of Penarth Leisure Centre had to be renovated after the disastrous fire there in 2013

Much of Penarth Leisure Centre had to be renovated after the disastrous fire there in 2014 – now another million is to be spent on it

As previously reported on PDN, the Vale Council has announced a further major £1,047,000 renovation at Penarth Leisure Centre – again at council-tax payers’ expense.

This will   include a revamp of the long-neglected changing rooms at the centre  where hinges are missing from some doors and there are lockers which are unlockable. On completion, most swimmers will now be expected to use cubicles in a new combined “unisex” facility.

Some local residents appear not to regard the plethora of public works  and the imminence of the coming elections as a pure co-incidence.

Some commentators on Twitter suspect that the next year's council elections may be a factor in the loosening of the Vale Council's purse-strings

Some commentators on Twitter appear to suspect that the next year’s council elections may be a factor in the apparent loosening of the Labour-controlled Vale Council’s purse-strings

Local residents posting on Twitter appear to suggest  the Vale Council’s Labour administration may be using Council-Tax-Payer’s money to indulge in some window-dressing  ahead of next May’s local government elections.




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  1. Colin Davies says:

    So predictable from the Vale Council. Have noticed other works going on through the Vale as the politicians sign off funds and business cases to spend in the hope that us residents vote them back in. If people are happy with the cycle fine, there’s only one way to stop it folks!

  2. Andrew Worsley says:

    Oh my God there’s people in visibility jackets messing up the clock roundabout . I hope the Council don’t find out about it, of course if the CCTV cameras were working the Police would have been informed , whats that the Police ??? well they are those People who wear errrr visibility jackets , yellow ones and some wear pointy hats, yes I know we do not have a proper Police station and you hardly ever see the Police, oops I tell a lie some drove past in a big van yesterday. As for their stand ins the PCSO’ well none of them lately either , having said that due to their poor or lack of proper training leading to unprofessionalism, some can do more harm than good. And we never or hardly ever see the road sweepers (but I saw one the other day) he was wearing a visibility jacket. Its the same with Traffic wardens, you will recognise them if you see them they stand out as they wear visibility jackets. I think it would be a great idea if Councillors also wore high visibility jackets as they would stand out from the errrrrrrrr….. other people unless they too wore them!?… Anyway why are people so suspicious of the Council doing a few odd jobs here and their , don’t they behave as busy bees all year through???? and I think its awful that the Council cannot do right for doing wrong , you will never catch me slagging them off or questioning their actions or lack thereof.

  3. Peter Church says:

    The installed recesses on the look out seem to point to Barry, perhaps they could have brass plaques engraved on them showing how much money is sent from Penarth to Barry every month?

  4. Margaret says:

    How cynical. Will you never give any praise for council work?

    • hopenotnasty says:

      If it was that R T Davies putting forward these improvements you be sure we would see the smiling farmer and positive comments.
      Unfortunately all we read are the same people with the same or similar comments who moan and groan and are very sad people.
      The vale of Glamorgan council which was voted the best run council in Wales surely must be doing things right to have won that accolade.
      Couldn’t agree more with Margaret.

  5. Richard says:

    That ‘viewing platform’ is so ugly and unnecessary. I hope it stands as a reminder.

  6. Andrew Worsley says:

    Yes we will Margaret , do you know of any?????????????

  7. Margaret says:

    I think the upgrade of the cliff top play area will be much appreciated by the many young families in Penarth. And our parks and gardens have looked beautiful this summer.

  8. If they spent more money on fixing the roads, they would get my vote along with countless others.

  9. Andrew Worsley says:

    Its called priorities Margaret and the upgrading of a childrens playground that has been used for years without complaint is not a priority , POTHOLES are, CCTV cameras are, improving the PAVEMENTS in some of the backstreets like Plassey St are, especially from the Labour Club to Albert road which is in an appalling state , improving or replacing STREET FURNITURE are in the town centre in particular . We all like to hear of the ‘twee’ and ‘adorable’ and sometimes ‘batty’ little ideas that the Council come up with but they are supposed to attend to what is needed and required . when they have EARNED public approval of the works they do , then that same public will forgive the occasional ‘flight of fancy ‘ but we are not at that stage yet. If the Council pulled their socks up and did a PROPER JOB then no one would complain , but thing is they don’t or is that seldom ?.

    • penarthblog says:

      I agree, because of the state of the pavements on Glebe St between Plassey St and Salop St and because of poor street lighting, I find it easier to walk on the road, not ideal. I know other areas are just as bad.

  10. Andrew Worsley says:

    And I will say some people are easily satisfied and if your going to use the criteria of THE PARKS LOOKED NICE THIS SUMMER as your yardstick then you are. We expect the Parks to look nice in Summer , we have heard an seen the wanton vandalism of the trees this year by this Council along with petty behaviour such as removing harmless plants on the roundabout this Summer because the people wanted it to look nice. Get the pavements seen to on the back streets instead of the silly idea of putting in dimmer street lights without improving the footpath first (PRIORITIES) . As for the town centre when it rains its still a game of avoid ALL THE PUDDLES due to cowboy contractors not laying the paving slabs properly . The only alteration they did to this was when a large puddle appeared just outside Windsor Arcade blocking the access to the arcade and to the zebra crossing , apart from that no other , so we play avoid the puddles outside the shops. And do not forget the time the Council tried not once but TWICE to impose a TOWN SQUARE at the bottom of Glebe St, a square no one wanted or asked for and they employed clowns and other street entertainers to try and appease the public and this flight of fancy cost thousands of pounds and as I say was even repeated , taxpayers money wasted like monopoly money . If you EARN PRAISE, ITS NOT A GIVEN THING.

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