Veteran Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth Town councillor, Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward), has ramped-up his criticism of Labour-run Vale Council’s proposals to “commercialise” Cosmeston Country Park.
Cllr Williams accuses the council of trying to create at Cosmeston what he calls “a Fun Fair by the Lakes”
Cllr Williams says he had warned on 8th November that this was what the Vale Council was planning and said it was an issue on which local people must be consulted.
Cllr Williams has congratulated Plaid Cymru Vale Council candidate Anne Greagsby for raising the issue of Wake Boards on Cosmeston Lakes, but says he wants to tackle the wider issues raised by the threatened commercialisation of Cosmeston .
He says he has seen Cosmeston Country Park “grow into a nationally known and respected wild life park enjoyed by thousands of people – together with educational trips by hundreds of schools over a number of years.” The mix of Mediaeval Village and the Lakes is, he says a “treasured complex – and blends in with character of Penarth, as the “‘Garden by the Sea'”. Cllr Williams says “Cosmeston must not be allowed to become ‘The Fun-Fair by the Lakes.’
He has also hit out at the Vale Council’s “nonsense of asking potential clients to tender, with whatever scheme is imaginable as long as it is financially accepted.” After the massive reaction against the wake-boarding proposal he warns that “Next week we will be asked to consider another scheme which will appeal to a minority and not a majority.”
Cllr Williams says “Penarth is a wonderful place, complemented by the Lakes, which we have inherited and it is up to the People of Penarth and friends of Cosmeston Lakes to DEMAND [ his capitals] that the Lakes are left as a wild-life park for future generations to enjoy. ”
Cllr Williams (80) – a much respected public figure who is battling cancer and heart trouble – and who received the MBE for his decades of public service – says “ The people have the power. Councillors are nothing. We are elected to do the will of the residents and are often only there for a short time. I know some councillors think they are better than they actually are.”
He asks “Why should Penarth be used to raise money by desecrating this treasure, at the expense of so many people being affected.? With the election looming next May, what is the hurry with commercialising the lakes?” .
Cllr Williams was controversially “de-selected” by the Conservative Party on November 22nd and denied the right to stand again as for one of the two Plymouth Ward seats in next May’s council elections.
Many local residents have been outraged at the decision not to allow the popular councillor to stand for re-election in May next year.
Amongst the many messages of support he has received is one from the Reverend Canon Peter Cox of All Saints Church, Penarth who says “Clive Williams has been a good and faithful servant of our community. He honoured me by making me his chaplain when he was Mayor of the Vale and he worked tirelessly through his time of office even though cancer and heart problems were major issues. He carried on regardless and I see no sign that he has lost any energy or appetite for community service, as when I attend public occasions, Clive is invariably present. Good on him, and if this is the end of his career as a local councillor, I hope that he finds some other way of channelling his appetite and energy for public service”
The Conservative Party has been asked by PDN to comment the selection process and the composition of the selection panel – which is said to have contained a number of members of the same family.
This is the first time in Penarth that an incumbent councillor with a faultless record of service and strong electoral support has ever been forced to surrender his seat to make way for another candidate. So far the Conservative Party has not provided an explanation.