In a pre-Christmas clamp-down, the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has taken swift action to silence a six-foot high “singing Santa” in Penarth Town Centre.
The offending Santa was innocently rendering a repertoire of traditional festive ditties outside the premises of the hairdressers La Zarou at No.90 Glebe St when an unidentified neighbour registered a formal complaint with the council .
The Vale Council’s regulatory services department – which is run in conjunction with Cardiff City Council and Bridgend County Borough Council – sprang into action to curtail the Christmas culprit.
To ensure that the red-robed reveller had sung his last Christmas carol, the Vale dispatched a letter to the hairdressers urging them to take whatever action they might consider necessary to “ensure than a statutory nuisance does not occur”.
The letter went on to warn them that officers with recording equipment might make unannounced visits “over the next three months“…and if Santa was found to be still in full voice then, he – or they – could face a £5,000 fine, maybe even £20,000.
Santa has now been duly brought indoors, switched off and is taking things quietly.
Local resident Leigh Atkinson says :-” It’s about time the Vale of Glamorgan focused on cleaning our streets rather than undermining innovative traders trying to bring a smile to residents’ faces”.
It’s not known if the Singing Santa has “Silent Night” in his recorded repertoire – but, if so, it might be a wise choice whenever he’s let out on the streets again.
Whatever the outcome, it’s thought the Vale Council might no longer be on Santa’s Christmas card list.
…And on Christmas morning, when Santa is making a list – and checking it twice – there could well turn out to be a few omissions in the Barry area.