The Vale of Glamorgan Council pats itself on the back in this “self- assessment” document

With May’s local council elections drawing ever nearer, the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council now appears to be not only congratulating itself, but claiming credit for projects which it has either had little to do with –  or which it has failed to deliver.

In an internal document called “Service Self Assessments” the council’s “Visible Services and Transport Department” pats itself on the back for what it describes as “Service Achievements (April 2015–December 2016)”.

The St Paul’s Church building in Arcot St , was bought by the old Penarth Urban District Council for the benefit of the people of Penarth and was leased to the local boxing club. The Vale of Glamorgan Council closed it, failed to repair it, ignored the results of its own official public consultation in St Augustine’s Ward and refused to let the boxing club back in. It then failed to find alternative  tenants  – but now it lists St Paul’s as a Vale Council “achievement” – even though the building is now beyond restoration.

Preening itself, the Vale Council department says “Through sound legal advice and support we have contributed to the good progress made on a range of key council projects “- and goes on to include in its list :-

  • “St Pauls Penarth[ sic ] :  St Paul’s Church is the  Vale of Glamorgan Council-owned former church in Arcot St which the council refused to allow the local boxing club to carry on using as its base, despite an overwhelming public vote in favour of the club  in a council-organised referendum in St Augustine’s  Ward. This was then followed by failed attempt to get the building marketed and leased out as a “mixed use community centre” to a politically-correct so-called “social enterprise”. The only vacuuous ‘social enterprise’ that then came forward, turned out not to have  a viable business plan. Now the site is to developed for residential social housing.
  • “The completion of Penarth Heights“.   Penarth Heights is  – entirely – a private-enterprise residential housing project carried out by developers Crest Nicholson and has no more to do with the Vale Council than has any other private-residential  project.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s “members and officersdid however play a full part in the disastrous choice of “public artwork” at Penarth Heights – in the form of the so-called “Twinkling Weather Station“.

An impression of what the kinetic “Twinkling Weather Station” at Penarth Heights was meant to have looked like. Local residents voiced such strong opposition to the “artwork” that it was never built .

PDN Note:  The Twinkling Weather Station was so strongly opposed by local residents it was never installed. It was meant to be seen “twinkling” across Cardiff Bay towards Mermaid Quay and the Welsh Assembly as its multiple swinging polished stainless steel plates reflected the Sun as they caught the breeze . The design brief said it would occupy “a site that is visible from across Cardiff Bay and that it was to be “a statement piece that can be read from long distances” and become “a well regarded landmark for many years to come”.

However Penarth civic leaders were informed in an authoritative but confidential briefing last month that, as Cardiff Bay lies to the North of Penarth Heights, the Sun (somewhat inconveniently)  would always have been behind the Twinkling Weather Station – to the South. The Twinkling Weather Station would therefore never have actually “twinkled” towards Cardiff – but only into the windows of nearby homes in Penarth Heights.

…Apparently nobody on the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council had thought of that.     

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Brickie says:

    Is that it then? Nothing else they want to ‘boast’ about?

  2. AK says:

    I like the final section on the ‘twinkling weather station’ – this was obviously designed by the same person who installed the infamous viewing platform with the plaques pointing in the wrong direction.


  3. Big Davey says:

    Typical, our council leaders don’t even know north from south!

  4. Peter says:

    St Paul’s Church….said to be “beyond restoration”. Who says? I went there the other day and the building was constructed at a time when things weren’t just thrown up and sold for £500,000. It is not “beyond restoration” at all.
    I wonder why it has suffered such a very different fate to the church on Albert Road which has been retained and has, as I understand it, become apartments with an adjoining community area? Was the council’s prohibitive 40pc social housing dictat in place then?
    I’m told the costs of restoring an older building are a good percentage higher than knocking it down and starting again.
    I wonder if St Paul’s has suffered its fate because the imposition of 40pc social housing mean no developer will touch it – the cost of bringing this lovely old church back to its original handsome state would presumably not be adequately refunded if nearly half must be social housing.
    Never mind, we’ll have another of those disgusting modern buildings there in that cheap brick not too long after the elections.
    They’ll have Penarth looking as ugly as sin before too long but at least we’ll have a wealth of spanking new social housing.

    • Freddie says:

      Totally agree with you. If we let them, the Vale will take the town’s architecture to rock bottom. That church should stay. Of course, if anyone says anything about the buildings or look of the place, you get the “we need social housing” brigade so don’t lose any sleep over it. Just let the place slide into grot.

  5. Jonathan says:

    I can’t believe the Vale is knocking this old church down. Isn’t it protected in anyway? Once gone, it’s gone. Nothing like it will ever be built again. Don’t they care about preserving anything unique and with some history? Is it all about knocking up social housing or chavving it up on the clifftops with ‘quality’ design? is there no middle ground, where the old and once-cherished can be preserved for future generations to marvel at what has gone before. Or isn’t that ‘progress’? I appreciate the cost of converting the current building into living space, and that if social housing is to go there, it’s impossible to keep the lovely old features etc, but doesn’t anyone else think this is sad? How did it ever reach this stage?

  6. andrewsketty says:

    ….it could make a rather nice cinema???

    • Tom says:

      I’m beside myself about that pier cinema and the pig’s ear that PACL has made of things. Who’d have thought with that GINORMOUS amount of money, they would manage to close the place down for three days a week?
      When you think about it, it seems the most incredible example of utter ineptitude.
      If you’d give millions to simpletons sitting on a hay bale sucking straw, I do believe they’d have made more of a success of it. How on earth did it happen?

  7. Richard says:

    Wouldn’t it be lovely to live somewhere with a bit of vision where a cinema was a real possibility to save an old church instead of all the money going on propping up Barry and dismal lectures every five minutes about the need for social housing.
    That said, if there was a cinema, the ‘great and the good’ know-alls would jump onto the bandwagon – because, of course, they understand things better than anyone else and are good at running things – and then they’d make the most appalling mess of it but nothing would be said. A great wall of mafia-esque silence would build, a bit of Tartuffe-style hand-wringing from certain quarters, and then the building would be left to rot again…
    Penarth – where the crème de la crème rises to the top and turns the whole town sour.

  8. Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

    I agree with the above comments regarding the professional incompetence shown towards the Church. Of course it should remain and of course it would be a valuable community centre. BUT if run with the same sort of management as that running the Pier, it wouldn’t last long. Labour…..useless, vain, incompetent.

  9. Penileaks says:

    They really do live in a real La La Land !

  10. Turn it into premises for a doctors surgery instead of messing about building an out of town surgery or health centre at Cogan.

  11. Dizzydeb says:

    RIP St Pauls. They know not what they are doing. Labour Idiots.

Comments are closed.