COSMESTON ROW: ‘WAKE-BOARDING’ ISN’T LIKE ‘WATER-BOARDING’ – SAYS BURNETT

The A frames suspending the cables of the wakeboarding system would be similar to this one at Hove Lagoon wakeboard centre . Cosmeston's towers could be similar

The A frames suspending the cables of the wakeboarding system would be similar to this one at Hove Lagoon wakeboard centre .

A petition bearing over 10,000  signatures protesting about the Vale of Glamorgan’s scheme to set up a wakeboarding facility at Cosmeston Country Park was presented to the council last night by Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys ).

Cllr Chris Franks (Pladi Dinas Powys) hands in the 10,000 signature petition opposing wakeboarding at Cosmeston

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Dinas Powys) hands in the 10,000 signature petition opposing wakeboarding at Cosmeston

The petition comprised signatures collected on the streets of Penarth and an  on-line petition – all organised by the environmentalist and Plaid Cymru candidate for St Augustine’s Anne Greagsby.

Cllr Franks then tabled a question about “commercial schemes in country parks” which was answered by in the council meeting by Cllr Lis Burnett, (Labour St Augustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan and ‘cabinet’ member for regeneration and education.

Cllr Burnett said ” I am re-assured to see that  you actually talk about ‘wakeboarding’ rather than ‘the waterboarding’ (sic)”. “This is not supposed to be torture” Cllr Burnett said reassuringly  – to laughter from councillors.

She referred to an earlier answer on the scheme – and emphasised “ No pylons will be erected across the lake [ PDN Note: the lake for wakeboarding is to be the larger of the two at Cosmeston – the one most people see when they first arrive]   .

She told Cllr Franks that the proposals “will be  consulted on and scrutinised closely as an application for planning consent” [ Some insiders believe this peculiar form of words has been used in this context because there will be no actual planning application made: the Vale Council will simply authorise itself to proceed] 

Clr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines - deputy leader of the Vale Council sought to minimise the impact of the wakeboardingf scheme and quell public fears

Clr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines – deputy leader of the Vale Council adopted a light-hearted approach . She sought to minimise the impact of the wakeboarding scheme and quell public fears

Apparently seeking to minimise the potential impact of the scheme she said that it involved     what she described as a “slim A-frame set on land in tall wooded-areas on each of two sides at one end of the Eastern lake

Cllr Burnett said “a small area of the lake would be set aside for  safe and managed use”

Emphasising the word “quiet” Cllr Burnett said  “a quiet electric motor would pull users across the lake on a wire.” 

Cllr Burnett added “Other proposals under consideration would allow even more enjoyment of majority of the lake area by residents  – and this is seeking less energetic activities such as kayaking  – which already happens”

Cllr Brunett said she will not be signing the protest petition organised by Penarth resident Anne Greagsby an environmentalist and Plaid Cymru candidate for the St Augustines in the Vale Council elections next May

Environmentalist Anne Greagsby, Plaid Cymru candidate for St Augustine’s  in next May’s elections garnered the thousands of signatures on the Cosmeston Wakeboarding protest petition. Cllr Burnett says she will not be signing it, and neither- it seems – will Burnett be standing again in St Augustine’s.

Cllr Burnett said “I am old enough to remember Cosmeston when it was a disused quarry. It might surprise some that I am that old  – but I would reassure members that if just a small fraction of the some of the takes of impending carnage and destruction in our much-loved Country Park were actually true then I’d probably signing the wholly inaccurate petition   launched and handed in by the recently announced Penarth Plaid Cymru candidate for next year’s local government elections …..But it’s not true and so I won’t be signing “

Cllr Franks was the next to make an admission saying “It may shock you that I too used to  play in the old quarry” .  He asked – through the chair – whether Cllr Burnett did not regret having “failed to engage with members of the public who are very concerned about these proposals?”

Cllr Franks went on  to ask “Why are you so secretive about the future proposals that you are considering? “

Cllr Lis Burnett answering questions at last night's Vale Council meeting

Cllr Lis Burnett answering questions at last night’s Vale Council meeting. She was criticised for appearing to read-out a pre-scripted answer in response to what seemed like a “planted ” question.

Cllr Burnett (who had earlier been accused by Plaid Cymru of reading-out a pre-prepared answer to a “spontaneous ” question asked by Cllr Rhiannon Birch) – retaliated by saying “…And you say I pre-prepare things?”. In the ensuing hubbub the Mayor called for order.

Cllr Burnett  said “far from being secretive – even before we went out to tender it went to cabinet,  and some of the uses that are being discussed now, were explicitly mentioned. [PDN Note: Wakeboarding wasn’t] . It also went to Scrutiny [the council’s scrutiny committee ] It was fully discussed at Scrutiny . We also put out at least two press releases. I have talked to people ad infinitum”

Cllr Burnett concluded by saying “Sometimes there is a desire to create a shock-horror type sensation. Hopefully, once the plans have been processed and are fully available in the planning process, people will be able to see that far from having a damaging impact on Cosmeston,  this actually will help us to offset some of the huge financial pressures that our country parks are facing  and actually invest in them for the future”

 

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26 Responses to COSMESTON ROW: ‘WAKE-BOARDING’ ISN’T LIKE ‘WATER-BOARDING’ – SAYS BURNETT

  1. Johnabutt says:

    When the Council has already made up its mind about one of these stupid schemes, no one is able to be heard because they were not listened to in the first place. V of G Councilors are usually deaf, requirement for the job.

  2. Paul says:

    Lis seems like a person who cannot see why others may disagree with her point of view. If so many people in Penarth support the idea of wake boarding in Cosmeston as Lis thinks then fine, but 10,000 people already seem to disagree with her. Our open spaces need to be protected from politicians and developers alike.

    • Geoff says:

      I agree. Nobody is allowed to tell Lis Burnett anything. She always knows best. I think she must believe herself to be of far superior intellect to the rest of us. She talks of this scheme in ‘wills’ and ‘woulds’. In her mind, it is fait accomplish and WILL happen. I can’t get over this – you really couldn’t make it up – water sports in a SSI country park. Is this really legal considering the disruption to wildlife it will cause?
      Also, who was responsible for the crumbling watch tower on Penarth Head? Was that Lis as well. How she has the stomach to face down such opposition is beyond me. I do not think she listens.

    • RosyB says:

      It would have been 10,001 people, if the petition form didn’t require all sorts of details, short of asking your bra size. I’m quite happy to give my name, but the other questions were quite intrusive, for example my email address, and my home address. What sort of messages are you likely to get, which you then can’t stop? I don’t want any junk mail, I just want to vote against the wake boarding.

      • Paul Seligman says:

        Rosy
        Any petitions site has to ask a minimum if questions to establish that the signatures are, as much as possible, real people and unique (ie not multiple fake signatures from one person). It’s highly relevant to know if the signer lives in the local district, nearby or overseas, for example, if the council is to understand who is signing. In the case of The Petition Site that hosted this one, they ask for the normal details of email, name and address. If the next think you’d offer up is your bra size, that’s your choice!

        However, I fully understand security and spam concerns. I recommend that everyone should use at least several email addresses (possibly ‘aliases’ if your email provider supports that) and don’t reveal the one you use for close friends and family when shopping on line, signing petitions etc

        The petitions ite is operated by Care2 whose privacy poilicy is here: http://www.care2.com/help/general/privacy.html I do find that any time I sign on their site they start sending me more petitions etc, but they then respect it when I ‘opt out’ again. So not the best, but not the worst..

  3. Anne says:

    So Labour Councillor Burnett refuses to back down on wake boarding in spite of 12,891 people objecting. She totally misses the point that people want to keep Cosmeston as a quiet peaceful park with all its wildlife. RSPB has condemned it. Every naturalist and environmentalist approached has signed this petition. Lis insists it will go to planning.and that she is a huge wake boarding champion so she must declare an interest at the planning committee when this is discussed as she has made herself ineligible to vote on this matter. What a shame she is abandoning St Augustines ward at the 2017 council elections as I would have enjoyed standing against her and pointing out how she has failed her constituents.
    Cosmeston is actually a success story, from quarry to wildlife sanctuary. Why destroy that? The lake that has a resident population of up to 60 Mute Swans. some of which nest, occasionally a similar number of Canada Geese, 100’s of Gulls and Coot, other wildfowl from autumn through to spring, birds such and Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting which nest in the reed bed which no doubt would be disturbed by the (quiet) wash that wakeboarding creates never mind gantries and obstacles in the water.
    Would users would be as quiet as riders on a big dipper? They want to hold wake boarding competitions which would require a PA system, How quiet would that be? No way – bring it on Lis…Penarth says NO

  4. snoggerdog says:

    im old enough to remember the head,when it was a green space with a wooden shelter,look what you did to that!

  5. Helen Highwater says:

    Plenty of room in Cardiff Bay for waterboarding! Leave Cosmeston as a natural park!

  6. Ford Prefect says:

    The Vale residents can’t stand the idea of a small area of a small lake being used for water sports, but they LOVE the idea of a 2 mile long road being driven through undeveloped countryside so that they can sit in their cars queuing in a slightly different spot.

    • Robert says:

      And by the sound of it you ‘can’t stand the idea’ of the wildlife being left in peace. ‘A small area of a small lake’ you say? All the more reason for the SMALL lake to be left as it is, don’t you think. Do you LOVE the idea of Cosmeston being destroyed so people can hang off wires and scream???

    • Bobby says:

      Ford – you’re assuming that people objecting to the wake boarding are the same people who are supporting the Dinas bypass.

  7. e roberts says:

    perhaps they should set up a petition for those in favour – I wonder how many would sign that?!

  8. Jonny says:

    It’s so ridiculous when people say ‘I can remember when…it was a tip/quarry/railway line’ as if to say that is a reason for meddling with a peaceful habitat for wildlife. It makes me sick.

  9. Big Davey says:

    What is it with Liz Burnett, if it isn’t skate parks next to houses its wake boarding on sites of scientific interest!!

    No mention of a safety boat that would HAVE to be patrolling the whole time.

  10. It's a huge park says:

    That’s a huge number of people signing a petition. More than half the adult population of Penarth !

    I must be one of the few that think this facility might make sense. Almost silent in operation cash generating and job creating. The lake is huge and it will only occupy a small part of it.

    • Daft o dull says:

      How having a safety boat running around the lake is that near silent?

      • Chris David says:

        Sorry but your entire anonymous Huge Park post is inaccurate. The whole idea is far from silent. The lake is not huge at all- in fact its a big pond and its environmentally very sensitive. So if we follow your argument lets give over one of your bedrooms to a few chimpanzees. They’ll only occupy a small part of your abode 🙂

    • Peter Petherick says:

      I think people are confusing Cosmeston “Lake” with Bala Lake, the one in Gwynedd.
      Bala is a proper Lake, Cosmeston is a large pool situated in a large area of unspoilt land.

  11. Peter Church says:

    How did she ever get elected, never mind become deputy leader?
    Ah I forgot, a red rosette!

    “These improvements will ensure that the park becomes a special destination for users of the Wales Coast Path offering unrivalled views in a unique cliff top setting.”
    Penarth Head Viewing platform (currently closed due to cliff subsidence)

    At least her track records on white elephants is excellent.

  12. Chris David says:

    Waterboarding is a form of water torture in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. Some may think it could have a place- but not at Cosmeston. So how do we stop the ego maniac Burnet ?

  13. Gina says:

    I have a horrible feeling Lis thinks she’s being with-it.

  14. Peter Petherick says:

    How or Why … do these idiots get into positions of power.

  15. Max Wallis says:

    There is nothing in the Council’s Envir&Regeneration Scrutiny committee minutes, though Lis stressed “It was fully discussed at Scrutiny”.
    Perhaps this was in confidential (ie. secret) session; or might she have mixed up memories?
    We have to allow her a little mistake, as she attends so many Council meetings.

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