On the campaign trail four of the five Penarth First Independent candidates Cllr Clive Williams, Victoria Humphries, Paul Church and Graham Humphries, have been meeting residents in Plymouth Ward over the weekend.
In a “Penarth First Independents” survey, street trees – and the lack of their management and maintenance – have emerged as one the main topics of public concern .
The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council is being blamed by residents for not paying enough attention to uneven pavements throughout the Ward – and throughout the whole of the town.
In addition Health and Safety concerns have arisen at the replacement children’s play area at Cliff Walk where a well-established playground was taken out – some claimed unnecessarily – to make way for a new £60,000 playarea in time for the local elections.
Parents have told the team their children appear to appreciate the new equipment in the – as yet incomplete – play area at Cliff Walk [there are still no gates fitted to control access to the play area] . Penarth First council candidates have been told the all the equipment which was previously installed at Cliff Walk, has been sent for scrap.
[ PDN Note :There were reports by some parents that safety inspectors had only got around to checking out the safety of the play installation at Cliff Walk on April 26th – a week after the area had originally opened to children. Parents said the Vale of Glamorgan Council should have undertaken a thorough check before children were allowed in. Amongst the late checks carried out was one to determine whether small children could get their fingers trapped in the revolving base of a new roundabout. When the safety checks were being carried out, children were already using the equipment – and had been doing so for a week].
Cllr Clive Williams says “The lack of control of the Health and Safety issues is frightening, and the Vale council should be ashamed of the situation of putting children at risk.” He is also to visit the renovated play area at Old Pens where the previous layout was not to Health and Safety standards. He says “I feel these were rushed through in time for the elections. ”
The Penarth First Independents‘ survey has also indicated widespread public disappointment with the way the Vale of Glamorgan Council has dealt – or hasn’t dealt – with the crisis at Penarth Pier Pavilion which it owns and leases to Penarth Arts and Crafts Ld . After a £4,200,000 refurbishment just four years ago the Pavilion is now closed 3 days a week and the new integral cinema has been shut until further notice.
Other topics raised by the public with Penarth First are the condition of the roads in Penarth, the threatened extra housing on the outskirts of the town and the general shortage of parking throughout the town . The Vale Council’s performance on planning, on St Paul’s Church Arcot St and what Penarth First describes as the council’s “obvious disregard for consultation with residents” has – they say – “caused frustration to many”.
Penarth First Independents say in their statement that they are “business, legal-professionals and experienced councillors who are all committed to do our best to act on behalf of the residents”.