The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ is to transfer part of the budget set aside for vital work on the supports of Penarth Pier to the council’s £550,000 scheme to repair the Cross Common Road Bridge in Dinas Powys.
The work replace several of the wooden beams which support the planking of Penarth Pier was originally to continue for several weeks – probably months – and is being carried out by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s own direct labour force .
The problems with the joists originally came to light when some of the planks began to lift up out of alignment – pushed up by rot which had begun in the joists below .
About 40 faulty beams have been discovered so far in a painstaking process which involves drilling into the timber of each beam to extract core samples which will show whether or not the beam is rotten. More are likely to come to light as the work continues. Each beam reaches just over half way across the width of the pier .
The top-planking is now being progressively stripped-off in stages – with each plank being individually numbered so that it can be screwed back in its original place once the affected beam – or beams – beneath have been removed and replaced.
Some observers say the Vale of Glamorgan Council should have replaced all the beams when the planks – on which they rest, were replaced – but that wasn’t done.
However – although the work on Penarth Pier is by no means complete – the Vale Council now claims that there has been an “underspend” of £11,000 on the project – and therefore this “underspend” is to be “vired” to a £550,000 Vale of Glamorgan Council scheme to repair Cross Common Road Bridge, which spans the Cadoxton river that runs through the village.
The derelict St Paul’s Church – former home of Penarth Boxing Club was closed on health and safety grounds in 2011 . 5 years later the Vale of Glamorgan Council still not been able to bring it back into public use
Meanwhile the Vale Council is continuing to “carry forward” on its books an unspent budget of £233,000 for the redevelopment of Penarth’s St Paul’s Church in Arcot Street.
Despite promises made in the election campaign of 2012 – and a public referendum which called for the premises to be made available to Penarth Amateur Boxing Club – the Vale’s Labour administration has made no progress at all over the last 5 years in either renovating St Paul’s or finding a tenant to lease it.
An internal council report says that “The way forward for the property is being determined and a report updating nembers will be brought to cabinet in the near future”.
Meanwhile the report also reveals that lead has been stolen from the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s offices in Barry Docks . The theft has now delayed work on an £80,000 repair scheme for the premises.