There’s now nothing to stop dogs wandering onto the new Cliff Top play area, urinating and depositing dangerous toxicaria-carrying faeces on the playing surface

Stray dogs now have unfettered access to the new children’s play area  – installed as part of a £600,000 pre-election scheme by the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council .

Children were allowed to use the new play area for the first time yesterday afternoon. There was nothing to stop dogs going in there too and fouling the play surface. (Photo Nina Ward)

The children tried out the new play equipment for the first time yesterday afternoon

However local parents have already noticed that there are no gates to prevent dogs entering the compound.

The old play area which local residents said had years of life left in it – had access controlled by fencing and gates – and was relatively dog-proof. The new play area isn’t.

The Cliff Top play area has some fencing – but open gaps have been left in the fence to form open entrances

There is nothing to prevent dogs wandering into the play area, urinating and depositing faeces there.

Experts say dog faeces carry toxicariasis germs which can lead to serious disease and cause blindness in children .

In theory dog owners can be fined up to £1,000 for allowing their animals to stray into the play areas – but enforcement is a particular problem , especially with dogs roaming free.

Open sesame: There’s nothing to stop any dog wandering into the new Cliff Top play area at Cliff Walk, Penarth

Anyone can easily catch the disease from encountering dog mess – but children up to the age of four are said to be particularly vulnerable .

Toxicaria can cause asthma, stomach upsets sore throats and seizures – but worst of all it can damage the eyes and cause blindness.

Dogs are unlikely to take much notice of the bi-lingual signs which warn them of a £1000 fine.

The Cliff Walk play area carries small Vale of Glamorgan Council notices prohibiting dog fouling. Although the signs are bilingual they are unlikely to have a much of a deterrent effect on the animals themselves.

One local resident who visited the play area yesterday says  “I am hoping the gates will be replaced as they will keep out any dogs and their owners with ‘bad habits’.”

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  1. Mari Jones says:

    Surely the gates are going to be put back?! Not just to keep dogs out but to keep kids in! Also it would be good to reinstate the barrier around the swings to stop kids running towards them and being knocked down! Apart from that the new park is fantastic!

  2. Kath says:

    Have you contacted the Vale of Glamorgan Council to verify that there is no intention to put gates on this park? I would have thought that a news establishment such as yourself would understand the need to verify facts before blindly publishing them.

    If you had, or had consulted with a local councillor, then you would know that they are putting gates on it but decided that in order to not disappointed the children (and parents) of Penarth then they would open the park without them, rather than delay it by another week or so. I have spoken to both Lis Burnett and Mark Wilson, both whom have enquired on concerned parents’ behalf, and can indeed verify that gates are to be added, most likely next week.

    Now, will you publish this comment?

    • NewsNet says:

      The Cliff Top play area was opened to children yesterday without any safety gates in place.
      There are no gates there this morning.
      The provision of gates is not mentioned in the internal Vale Council email correspondence we have seen.
      Those are the “verified facts”.
      Neither Lis Burnett or Mark Wilson are the local councillors for this ward.

  3. Ceri says:

    There are gates being installed. There was a delay with the manufacturer but rather than having a finished park that couldn’t be used it was decided that kids should be able to play there over the holidays, which I and other parents are very grateful for.
    Children should be supervised anyway and I wouldn’t let a young child be in there alone. If dog owner are irresponsible enough to allow their animals to wander around unattended and foul the park then the fault lies squarely with them.

  4. Anne Greagsby says:

    The labour party is such a hurry to provide new rather than refurbished play areas to boast off, as their only positive achievement in 5 years for Penarth that they went ahead before gates could be installed. Labour party election propaganda clearly comes before our childrens safety.

  5. Pamela & Alan Armstrong says:

    The park is fabulous. Thank you for all the hard work. Yes we also hope the gates will be put back on to keep the dogs out. But at least we are now able to use while the children are home from school for the holidays.
    Well done!

  6. Neil pigdon says:

    No such thing as a dog proof play area.

  7. Jerry Widdas says:

    A lot of time, effort and money has been spent on putting in place a public facility which, on the whole, has gone extremely well however we did hit a snag with the delivery of the gates for the play area but, on balance, it was felt that the play area should be opened without the gates, these are due for installation during next week.

    As a company we are proud of the facility installation

    Jerry Widdas, Urban Recreation Ltd.

    • 249ers says:

      It is an exciting place for children to play safely in. You should be proud of it, my grandsons were ‘well impressed’. Maybe a notice giving the delivery date of gates would have explained situation.

      • Cllr Mark Wilson says:

        An excellent suggestion. I will raise it with an officer and see what we can do about a notice.

    • Mgg says:

      Well said .

    • JTR69 says:

      Looks great Jerry, well done.

    • Kath says:

      And quite rightly so, you’ve worked really hard on it and we all appreciate it.

  8. sjleworthy says:

    all we get on the PDN are party political loaded replies. it’s a shame. makes me not want to stick around.

  9. Windsor in my view says:

    And yet another park where the swings are left un-fenced so that toddlers can’t run around freely and in safety without having to rush around after them

  10. Martha says:

    Just imagine all those dogs gathering at the open gaps – Labradors, Dachshunds, Collies, Red Setters, Lurchers, Mastiffs, all of them plotting to gain entry to that spanking new play area to roam free in packs before doing a great big ***t.

  11. Richard says:

    ‘One local resident who visited the play area yesterday says “I am hoping the gates will be replaced as they will keep out any dogs and their owners with ‘bad habits’.”’
    Be assured, I, for one, and my dog will be keeping well away from you lot and your ghastly, screaming spoilt brat kids.

  12. Nincompoop says:

    With or without gates you won’t stop irresponsible owners from not supervising their dogs and cleaning up after them. We’ll do e for opening the park and letting children have somewhere to play over the Easter holidays. I agree with the other reply about people using PDN to score political points and wish they would stop. I for one will not be voting for Ann Greagsby who seems a pain in the backside.

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, she’s a nightmare isn’t she. I’m fed-up of her trying to protect Cosmeston Country Park, objecting to damaging planning applications like the Northcliffe development and St Paul’s, and trying to keep Penarth green.

      I fancy another 5 years of Labour. They’re so consistent: never reply to emails, don’t like consulting, know better than us mere mortals. At least you know what your getting!

  13. Freddie says:

    With the elections fast approaching, I would be interested to hear which candidates would be prepared to ban dogs from Penarth.
    When one considers the host of problems they create, it seems to me the most sensible way forward.
    There are so many children in the town now – just think of all those future Stanwell pupils destined to become doctors and lawyers, dentists and accountants.
    How can we possibly endanger their future with packs of wild dogs running free among toddlers on the clifftops?
    If ever I see a dog when I’m with my small children, I always scream ‘Keep away!’ at the top of my voice, thus ensuring my children grow up to understand that:
    1) dogs are vile, dirty, disease-ridden creatures
    2) and my offspring are precious, cherished treasures who will rule the world.

    • Louise says:

      Jerry, it looks fabulous. Well done to you and your team. Ignore the coffee swilling helicopter parents who have no idea how to instill good manners and some personal responsibility into their badly behaved little sods oops darlings.

    • Seth says:

      Absolutely Freddie, I think a comprehensive cull of the town’s curs would be a tremendous vote-winner (certainly among those of us already braced to fork out on after-school tuition fees once the time comes for our toddlers’ Oxbridge applications).
      I’m not ashamed to say I’ve become fearful of stepping outside the front door with my two young sons on account of the considerable threat – not least to their plus-fours – posed by packs of dogs roaming Penarth.
      It can only be a matter of time before one of our town’s pre-schoolers becomes Prime Minister and thus it seems inconceivable the clifftop play area remains accessible to unruly beasts who may prey on the future backbone of the nation – the plastic surgeons, the investment bankers, the corporate tax lawyers.
      It cannot carry on like this. The play area must be cordoned off at all costs.
      Would it not be possible for the Vale to erect some kind of electrically-charged barricade which delivers a fatal blast of volts to anyone attempting entry who doesn’t own a Collins paperback entitled Easy Learning French (Ages 5-7)?

      • George says:

        The slaughter of the town’s canines is not simply a “vote-winner”, Seth, it’s a downright necessity.
        I didn’t pay good money to move into the Evenlode catchment area to have my six-year-old son circled by uncontrollable mobs of froth-mouthed dogs at the clifftop play area.
        Nor have I devoted hours to coach him in spelling (houmous or hummus)…to explain to him the difference between organic and free range…or to instil in him a suspicion of anyone who admits to a holiday in Centre Parcs…for the pair of us to live in constant fear of contact with flea-ridden animals defecating on the rubber infill.
        I will demand that Anne Greagsby raises a petition forthwith.

  14. Jonny says:

    What a crying shame this super playground couldn’t have been erected on a large plinth covered in royal blue velvet with protective Perspex sides. That would have kept those fur-faced beasts at bay and their frightful owners. “Unfettered access” indeed.

  15. Marcus says:

    Apparently a ferocious pack of Doberman Pinschers are on their way, tanked up on Pedigree Chum and Bonios with the express intention of offloading at the clifftop park.

  16. Michael Garland says:

    Well done to the Vale Council for opening the park so that the children can use it during the holidays.
    A much better effort than at the Cosmeston Estate ‘Young Childrens Play Area’ where the Vale Council could not even be bothered to cut the grass in order for the children to play here during the holidays, but there again we have no play equipment for the children to play on anyway.

  17. Helsbelles says:

    I think people should be banned from all the parks and beaches after all they leave far more litter and dangerous deposits behind than dogs.

  18. Nincompoop says:

    Marcus I love your reply. Gave me a real hoot!. I spotted a pack of rabid elderly labradors on my evening walk, I explained to my little darlings that these feral dogs should be avoided at all costs as merely touching them could make them go blind! How I managed to negotiate all the dog poo on pavements and in parks when I was a child makes me shudder. I’m thinking of putting in a restrospective claim against the council !

  19. Anne Greagsby says:

    I think a play area just for dogs would be very popular!

    • Jonathan says:

      I’ll be disappointed if it’s not included in the next edition of Plaid’s St Augustine’s Voice. 🙂

    • Peter Church says:

      I think a play area for Labour councillors would also be popular!

      Hang on, we have one, its in Barry.

  20. sjleworthy says:

    Where are these rabit packs of wild stray savage hounds murdering and being uncooth to children? Please show photo evidence.

    Freddie – you are quite amusing 🙂

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