The new Penarth Town Council Flag. (The old one had a blue background and the name of the council on it)

The new Penarth Town Council Flag. Unlike the old one, it doesn’t actually bear the name of the town.

Penarth Town Council – which this week discussed an 11.60% increase in its expenditure for 2017/18 to £748,235 (entailing another above-inflation hike in its council-tax-precept on every home in the town) has now said what it plans to do with the money.

The council has published a document on-line setting-out what it describes as its “Visions, Aims and Objectives 2017-2022” – not withstanding the fact that council elections are due in May next year which could result in the present Labour administration being thrown out of office.


A council budget report says the Paget Rooms - and all the council's venues - operate at a loss.

A council budget report says the Paget Rooms – and all the council’s venues – operate at a loss.

The key issue for Penarth Council is the need to derive more income from its council-owned venues. The council  says it plans to work with “energy specialist consultants” to raise income to run the council-owned venues on a “break-even basis (at least)”.

Penarth [Labour] councillors hold a regular surgeries every Saturday at the council HQ at West House, and holds public police liaison meetings are also held there . It also says that the charity Glamorgan Voluntary Services and the charity Citizens Advice Bureauuse West House as a base when actively promoting services in Penarth” .[ PDN Note: The council doesn’t say whether it charges Glamorgan Voluntary Services or the Citizens’ Advice Bureau for the accommodation it provides]

Penarth Labour Councillors on front lawn of West House

Even though Penarth Council needs to increase income from its venues, Vale of Glamorgan Labour councillors and Stephen Doughty, Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, appear to get to use West House free of charge .

The council also does not mention that it also allows the Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty to hold  “surgeries”  at West House on Saturdays – but apparently does not charge him for the accommodation.  There is also no record of Vale Labour councillors being charged for the use of the premises for their “constituency surgeries” – even though Penarth Council had to buy West House (a building it had originally owned outright) from the Vale Council ( see PDN Footnote “Why Penarth Residents Had To Pay Twice For West House” at bottom of this item )


The proposed new Penarth Headland Link Walkway .

The proposed new Penarth Headland Link Walkway .

The council says another of its  “Visions Aims and Objectives” is  To promote Headland Link Project Team” .

[ PDN Note: Penarth Town Council has never discussed the Headland Link scheme in any council meeting . This is the first time the council has openly declared its support for the controversial project. No details are given as to who members of the “Project Team” are, or how they came to be appointed, or how the “Project Team” is constituted. The scheme was first mooted in a launch public meeting in Penarth Pier Pavilion in 2015 (see PDN ) A follow-on public meeting was supposed to have been held later  – but was never convened ] .

The council says it plans to encourage the Project Team’s work and will “Utilise town council venues to enable the Project Team to spread the word about the proposal through consultative means”


The Kymin grounds are to be a candidate for a "Green Flag"

The Kymin grounds are to be a candidate for a “Green Flag”

The council says another of its goals is to “Obtain Green Flag Status at the Kymin”.

The Green Flag scheme is run by the Labour-dominated Welsh Government quango Keep Wales Tidy . It says “Wherever you see a Green Flag, you know you’re visiting an exceptional place with the highest standards.”  The awards are “judged by an army of green space experts who volunteer their time and knowledge.”

Penarth Town Council’s document “Visions, Aims and Objectives”  are accessible on-line on



The Penarth Council Offices at West House

The Penarth Council Offices at West House

In the last major round of local government reorganisation in 1974, the assets of the old Penarth Urban District Council – including its headquarters at West House – were all transferred without recompense to the now defunct South Glamorgan County Council

Subsequently those assets were transferred to the  Vale of Glamorgan Council – leaving the newly-downgraded  Penarth Town Council having to pay rent to occupy  West House – – the premises which it had formerly owned outright.

Penarth Town Council tried to regain the ownership of its own headquarters  but the Vale of Glamorgan Council  wouldn’t play ball – claiming that the “new” Penarth Town Council wasn’t the same authority as the old – and defunct – Penarth Urban District Council.

Penarth Town Council had no option but to raise money (from council-tax payers) to buy-back its own headquarters in a £95,000 deal on a “deferred purchase agreement” . The deal however only applied to West House itself.   The Vale Council held-on to the rear car park which it had also acquired free of charge in 1974. When, in 1998, Penarth Town Council offered to buy the car park,  the Vale demanded £20,000 for it – which Penarth Town Council  paid. 

This left the Vale still owning “West House Cottage”  – which Penarth Town Council had then partially leased and was supposed to have returned to the Vale.

Both the original purchase of   – and the subsequent re-purchase of  – West House were paid for by the residents of Penarth via a precept on the council tax or rates

….In effect Penarthians were made to pay-up twice for the same building.

(The above section on West House is a reprint of an earlier PDN article)


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  1. martin houghton says:

    Is this it? Is this really the best they can come up with. Nothing about matters of real concern for any of us. Like youth. The elderly. To name just two. I could go on. It only confirms how truly sterile this lot really are. (By the way : ‘Penarth Town Council’s document “Visions, Aims and Objectives” are accessible on-line on‘ ?? – trying clicking on it and they tell you they’re closed so the site shuts down. Out of touch, incompetent and in need of urgent surgery.)

  2. Jan Harding says:

    No please don’t transform The Esplanade, it’s perfect as it is.

  3. Mark Foster says:

    Oh look they’ve made the walkway wide enough for a seventy ton NATO tank. On the Wales Coastal Path you would have had to climb the cliff to get to the gun emplacement and helicopter on the landing pad. Thats if the Donald hadn’t been elected in the USA. Consign these idiots to the dustbin of history.

  4. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    Venues may operate at a financial loss but the societal gain is great, profit in kind is still profit.

  5. Peter Church says:

    “Penarth Labour Councillors Here Today to Help (waste your money) and Listen (to mad consultants)”

  6. The Headland Walkway will never be completed and with a hundred tons of so called viewing platform taking its time to eventually fall and rip away the cliff face with it its a pipe dream and why waste all that money just to walk to Penarth Marina , there’s nothing at the marina but boats and sterile surrounding , cold and unappealing . A rich mans playground which in my opinion they are welcome to , I wouldn’t live their if they paid me, no greenery worth the name to soften the impact either , and they want to waste thousands of tax payers money to walk to this nothingness, which could only appeal to boat lovers.

  7. Anne Greagsby says:

    When will we be able to have our say on their ‘vision’ for 2017 on. Why all the secrecy about the membership and minutes of the ‘momentum’ group and now the headland link group that they have given the green light to. Alun Michael & Doughty want to impose their vanity project on us but they can think again. Damn cheek. The town council/ labour party’s vision document says ‘Promote Headland Link Project Team To encourage the Project Team’s work and proposal – Utilise town council venues to enable the Project Team to spread the word about the proposal through consultative means’ = free promotional sessions for the labour party.

  8. Peter Petherick says:

    Below is taken from “VISIONS, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES” …. It maybe my age, but it sounds to me like a load of old waffle. I don`t understand any of it.

    The new team employed by the Town Council have the expertise, knowledge and ability to deliver new and existing services that will refresh traditional events, provide opportunities for venues and facilities to amplify their potential and the scope to look at future projects that have not been considered by the Town Council before.
    A refocused look at the traditional events that Penarth are known for will enable the Town Council to deliver events in the future that are more in keeping with what the people of Penarth want today, involve the community groups and retailers/restauranteurs more, which will identify economic growth opportunities to benefit people all over Penarth.  This will involve redesigning Christmas and Summer festival events and reallocating resources to improve various elements.
    Picnic Penarth is a hugely successful event and has contributed to the “foodie” destination identity that Penarth is quickly becoming famous for.  Whilst grant funding support offered the Town Council the opportunity to trial the event, it was always intended that future sponsorship would be sought to enable Picnic Penarth to be a standalone event.  Work will commence in early 2017 to secure funds that will see Picnic Penarth appear on the streets of Penarth once again.
    The recent late night shopping event was the second of its kind in Penarth.  The Town Council offered its financial support to the event on both occasions but ultimately, this town centre event has established itself as a retailer led experience and was reported by many retailers who took part as a very successful evening.  The Town Council will be happy to support the event via its website advertising at Christmas 2017.
    In a context of increasing pressures upon all public services and town and community council’s playing a more prominent role in the reshaped services of their principal councils and also offering additional services than ever before, the Town Council’s role in the future success of Penarth has never been more important.  With this in mind, in coming years, the Town Council’s vision for the future of Penarth will require significant investment and could be achieved through a public works loan.  Loans of this type currently have extremely low interest rates, for the life of the loan, which is usually around 30 years.  In order to achieve the significantly improved offer and to trigger the improvement of services and facilities to the people of Penarth, the precept would underwrite the loan repayments.  This would provide the Town Council with a platform upon which it could generate more income as a result of the venues and facilities being vastly improved to what they are today.  Additional income would be used to offset what is required through the precept to pay for such an advance.

  9. snoggerdog says:

    there is already a walkway from the north esp to the barrage,its called the dock beach,& its no different than walking on the broken flagstones of penarth pavements (without stepping in the dog poo) mind how you go & a merry xmas .

  10. Top Twat says:

    Another council story….

  11. Sick of the same old politicians says:

    Why no charge for Am and MP surgeries? The AM and MP can claim this money from Assembly and Parliamentary Authorities. Poor management at our council.

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