The Paget Rooms now has more empty dates on its bookings register

The small poster which caused the row – and the cancellation of last weekend’s scheduled Record & CD Fair at the Paget Rooms in Penarth – the largest event of its kind in Wales

Hundreds of vinyl record enthusiasts were disappointed at the weekend when Penarth Town Council abruptly cancelled a “Record & CD Fair” due to be held at the Paget Rooms on Sunday because of a dispute over alleged “unauthorised signage”. 

The organisers of the three-times-a-year event –  Rockaway Record Fairs –  were  informed by email last Friday afternoon that the Town Council had cancelled their booking – even though they’d already paid in advance to hire the Paget Rooms.

The Record and CD Fairs have been running successfully at the Paget Rooms for 5 years. Now Penarth Council has cancelled them all

The Record & CD Fairs have been running successfully at the Paget Rooms for 5 years. Penarth Council not only cancelled Sunday’s event – but also the two others due to be held later this year

Penarth Town Council has also told Rockaway Record Fairs that its bookings for a further 2 record fairs – already scheduled for  the Paget Rooms later this year  – have been cancelled. A further fair was to have been held on April 23 2017 and a third was to have been held on September 17th 2017.

The cancellations are set to cost Penarth Town Council more that £500 in lost booking fees [if – that is – the council gives Rockaway its money back] – and this comes at a time when Penarth Council is under increasing pressure to boost its lack-lustre income from venue-hiring . That’s because of the massive increase in annual spending that’s been authorised by the Labour-run council – including huge increases in staff costs and office administration. ( See PDN )

[The “Penarth precept” – [the element of council tax which Penarth Council adds to the annual Vale Council Tax Bill] –  is already due to rise by 4.97%  following a similar percentage rise last year and the council is trying to almost double its income to remain solvent.]

The offending Record Fair poster that's caused all the trouble

The offending Record Fair poster that’s caused all the trouble

Rockaway Record Fairs’ director –  Simon Phillips –  said the council had objected to his placing small posters advertising the Record & CD Fair on street-furniture around the Vale of Glamorgan – something which he has been doing  for the past 5 years to drum-up business for the well-established 3-times-a year event.

He understands that exception was taken to a small number of handbills which had been displayed in Barry and Cowbridge – which leads him to suspect that it is someone in the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council who is really behind the objection and that it is the Vale Council which is forcing  Penarth Town Council to clamp down on his business.

Normally the small posters are put up in the area 10 days ahead of each  event.  In this case Mr Phillips received an email last Thursday asking him to take his posters  down – and threatening him that if he didn’t do so, the council would cancel Sunday’s event.

Mr Phillips was on his way to North Devon at the time and so couldn’t comply with that deadline – but promised that he would “forensically clean” Penarth of Record & CD Fair  posters on Sunday.

Penarth Council sent Mr Phillips a reply on Friday – (by which time he was on the road and out of touch) – telling him that his event on Sunday was being cancelled forthwith and that all future dates were also cancelled. Penarth Town Council said in their email that it was “sorry to lose” Rockaway Record Fairs as a customer but – if they did not stick to the terms and conditions – “this is what happens” .

Mr Phillips says the council told him he could only use “authorised” advertising locations in Penarth – but he makes the point that, apart from the glass case outside the Paget Rooms itself, and outside West House there isn’t any “authorised location” in  the town.

It's not known whether Penarth Town Council has taken action against "The Cyclones" and the "Shelley Norton Stage School" for their promotional posters- attached to town-centre street furniture

It’s not known whether Penarth Town Council has taken action against “The Cyclones” and the “Shelley Norton Stage School” for their promotional posters- attached to town-centre street-furniture

The Town Council has never discussed the obvious need in the town for places to display posters advertising forthcoming events – and Mr Phillips says it apparently expects event-organisers to hire council venues without using poster-advertising to promote them.

Mr Phillips – who had to stand outside the shut and barred Paget Rooms on Sunday to explain what had happened to traders and customers –  is now looking for an alternative venue in Penarth for his popular record fairs.

Meanwhile Penarth Council is looking for someone else to book the otherwise empty Paget Rooms on the dead dates – and has another potential hole in its finances.

UPDATE:  Later Penarth Town Council placed a statement on its website saying “The Town Council is aware of a lack of formalised sites in which to display promotional materials, but we cannot condone fly-posting whether by hirers of our buildings or by outside parties.”



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  1. 249ers says:

    I have no objection to advertising posters provided they are removed after the event

  2. Anne Greagsby says:

    This is so petty, jobsworth attitude. I wish the town council would complain to the Vale for removing cast iron black lampposts and replacing with inappropriate looking modern ones in conservation areas. Not so easily undone. What about banners on the central roundbout, labour party ones outside west house on Saturdays or flags and signs by housing developers?

  3. Penileaks says:

    What a pathetic action by our council !
    There may have been some rules on advertising broken here, but the council’s heavy handed response helps no one, including themselves when they are constantly pleading poverty and the need to raise funds from letting the Paget Rooms and similar places – ‘cutting off their nose to spite their face’, comes to mind !
    The people who hire the Paget Rooms and other council owned premises, should be allowed to advertise their events for a reasonable period beforehand and be given a reasonable period of time to remove these advertisements after the event, If they fail to adhere to these conditions, then the council should be able to recover the cost to removing the offending advertisements from the organisers by way of a bond lodged with the council before the event. Then if everyone sticks to the rules and agreements, the events should run smoothly and hopefully successfully.
    What has happened differently here that the councils response has been so instant and harming to all concerned ? Perhaps a local councillor could enlighten us ?

  4. PR says:

    Some people just should never be put in any position of authority in any form of government. Idiots.

  5. Phil Dawson says:

    They just carry on getting worse and worse – unbelievably petty and pointless.

  6. Chris David says:

    PUDC= Penarth Utterly Dimwit Councillors? Or was it the expensive staff? Or even the Vog? Councillors show some guts, ignore the party ban and explain to us will you. Whatever the truth you should have rescued this and future events.

  7. Many local people used to attend this fair so the council will lose awareness of the venue for future potential hirers.
    More that that other potential hirers will be aware that the council may cancel bookings at the last minute so be reluctant to book in the first place.
    Hopefully our Penarth representatives will review this mess and get our record fairs reinstated.

    • Lm says:

      Are they determined to stop anyone coming to Penarth!
      This town is going downhill
      No parking, litter everywhere, unsafe pavements
      Give this priority and stop these pointless actions against events which help to promote our town

  8. Guido says:

    The rules governing the display of advertisements, banners or similar, are complex but the basic rule of thumb is that any sign not placed at a location the subject of that advert i.e. the Paget Rooms in this case, is unlawful and it is actually a criminal offence to do so. As a consequence, anybody benefiting from that sign, the event organisers, the venue operators, ticket sellers etc. can be liable to a prosecution. While understanding the seemingly petty attitude of the Town Council (if it is indeed them), if such signs are not pursued, then what is to stop any organisation placing adverts around the town. I’m sure most people will be aware of the regular placing of signs around the Town Centre roundabout, Cogan Hill roundabout, Penarth Haven (Tesco) roundabout, Barons Court junction etc.

  9. Chris David says:

    Ruddy hells bells. Its very very simple. The council agrees a marketing and advertising formulae for events it ratifies. Go on- tell me I have to explain- arrgggggggg. Are we are run by small minded idiots? Whomever is (ultimately) responsible is irresponsible and pretty stupid. Sometimes politeness has go to out of the window. On this occasion anyone with a brain would have let it go for the greater good and with the future in mind produced a discussion paper for the council to consider.

  10. Mary says:

    This Council is so small minded it is beyond belief.
    Provided they are not putting on events in the Paget Rooms which would directly detract from other rate paying traders in the town centre, I fail to see what harm this can do and can only bring revenue into the town as a whole. When are we going to have fair minded Councillors who will put the good people of Penarth first

  11. Frank Evans says:

    Maybe they banned them cause the posters weren’t in Welsh 😅

  12. Grey local says:

    You would think the council had learnt from their disastrous nonadvertising of National Theatre Live performances , and in some cases subsequent lack of screening with no apologies or notification. Apparently they have not leading to significant loss of income and reputation. Penarth is becoming a laughing stock of mismanagement and poor decision making. Roll on elections and hopefully a change of staff in West House.

  13. Mgg says:

    Mmm? Must be something else going on here .

  14. Mgg says:

    I e other transgressions

  15. Im looking forward to seeing more ads for the Circus in Cardiff that gets plastered all over town , and strangely enough they are never removed afterwards and I also look forward to the next banners tied on the roundabout railings advertising Productions at the Paget . This story is totally pathetic the petty minded individuals who made this an issue need sacking , total idiots but I suppose a £100,000 , 130 ton structure on a cliff top that was imposed on the public despite objections and without proper planning permission was okay to go ahead with , I wonder who the cretin is to make an issue of a few posters?? I agree that posters of fly posting if gone unchecked would disfigure the town , but as long as those who posted them remove them too after an event , I see no problem. And guess what , I myself have removed some posters myself as I passed them, even 2 concerning a missing cat who i’m glad to say was found. But I suppose removing them myself is a community spirited thing to do , a thing totally lacking nowadays especially in Penarth, I also kick large pebbles or stones into the gutter to avoid myself or others stepping on them in the dark, id like to bet i’m the only person in the town that does !!? I am old enough to remember females washing their front door steps once a week and using red or white Cardinal to spread around the edges. And at the same period neighbours fetching washing in off another neighbours line if it began to rain and the washing was dry, and the neighbour was out, ‘community spirit’. And as for the leaflets themselves I was told some time ago it was someone called ‘Bill Poster’ if that info was passed to the Council they could put up some posters asking him to stop it!!.

  16. Peter Church says:

    Problem is not the town council, just that the town council is Labour.
    As with most career Labour politicians, they have never earned a non subsidised pound in their lives.
    Most go from handout Quango to handout Quango. Ask them to do a real profit and loss account and they will look at you as if you had two heads.
    I would bar any politician who hasn’t lived in the real world, including some who think a PPE degree is a substitute for life.

    • Chris David says:

      Perhaps his cowardice has accelerated after all the stick the hand wringer gets 🙂

  17. Ron Foxton says:

    Victorian town.
    Victorian council.
    Somebody needs to kick these micro-minded buggers out on their puritanical arses.
    Unbelievable yet again…

  18. Just Curious says:

    I’ve just seen a poster on the railings on the corner of Westbourne School, opposite The Railway, which appears to be advertising an event at the Paget Rooms this weekend? Something to do with “kids”. Is that banned then?

  19. No ‘Just Curious’ in that instance the poster is correct they have just banned the kids instead , they have done that just for laughs as the ‘Wags’ in the Council are just waiting to see the faces of the parents when they turn up. One Council member said, QUOTE ‘ I will be sure to have my camera ready for some Facebook photos it will be super’. I myself do have a bit of advice for people still wishing to put posters up around the town (and I got this info on good authority) the tip is put up the posters where they cannot be seen, then E mail the Council and inform them of the posters around town (but say you don’t know who’s put them up or where they are!). The Nut Job errr the anti poster people will go wild with rage as they try to track down the elusive posters, for added fun give a few details about events they are advertising , the ‘Jobsworths’ will go into meltdown.

  20. Paul says:

    “Rockaway Record Fairs’ director – Simon Phillips – said the council had objected to his placing small posters advertising the Record & CD Fair on street-furniture around the Vale of Glamorgan – something which he has been doing for the past 5 years to drum-up business for the well-established 3-times-a year event.”
    The writing is on the wall, for the councils use of the Paget rooms. If its not being used and allowed to be used for certain events. The revenue will dry up and it will have to be sold. Perhaps thats their intention..

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