An on-line petition has now been launched to protest against the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council’s decision to dispose of the former St Paul’s Church – a building which was originally bought and paid for by the people of Penarth.
The petition has been set up by Aled Thomas – who, with Anne Greagsby – is running for election as a Plaid Cymru Vale of Glamorgan Councillor for the St Augustine’s Ward .
The former church was originally bought by the old Penarth Urban District Council in 1967 with money raised from the residents of Penarth in the local rates “precept”.
The building was then bundled up amongst the local assets which were appropriated – without any compensation – by the now defunct South Glamorgan County Council and later – in 1996 – by its successor authority, the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
St Paul’s had been the base of Penarth Boxing Club but had to be closed five years ago for “health and safety” reasons even though the former Vale Conservative administration had allocated a budget of £250,000 for the refurbishment of the building.
The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council held a public referendum and postal ballot in the St Augustine’s Ward of Penarth . The stated purpose was to find out what local people wanted St Paul’s to be used for – but it was actually an attempt to get local people to endorse the ideas that Labour councillors had for the future use of the building.
….The snag was that the overwhelming majority of local people did NOT want what the Labour councillors wanted .
The result of the referendum was a humiliation for Labour when St Augustine’s rersidents voted overwhelmingly against the Labour plans and in favour of returning the use of St Paul’s to Penarth Amateur Boxing Club – run by the highly respected local boxing coach Neil Munn
The Labour administration in the Vale then ignored the outcome of the referendum and pressed ahead with an impractical plan to encourage politically-correct “social enterprises” to take over the building. Not a single viable proposition was received.
Now St Paul’s is set to be demolished and the site cleared to build “social-housing” for rent by a housing association – much of which will, in all probability, be allocated to people who do not currently live in Penarth .
A council report says the selected housing association will have the option to “regenerate a derelict site either involving the retention and conversion of the church or by way of a new build scheme subject to viability.” [ i.e. flatten the existing building and build a new development on the site.]
The petition has so far attracted more than 50 signatures so far and is on “ThePetitionSite.com”. PDN readers can go straight to it by using the following link http://tinyurl.com/golepoj
The full controversial chronology of the St Paul’s saga was reported most recently by PDN on http://tinyurl.com/zyt5qau