Cars and traffic in the town have emerged as one of the key local issues as the council election campaign in Penarth enters its last 24 hours.
Former Mayor Cllr Martin Turner and running-mate Cllr Wendy van den Brom are calling for an increase in resident-only permit-controlled parking in streets near Penarth Town and Dingle Railway Stations where they allege commuters “inconvenience residents” by parking their cars all day. [The two Conservative candidates are standing for election to Penarth Town Council in Plymouth Ward and in St Augustine’s Ward for the Vale of Glamorgan].
Cllr Wendy van den Brom says “It’s a real inconvenience to residents when they can’t park outside their own home and have to abandon their car several streets away. We need more resident permit parking “. Cllr Turner says “Wendy and I want to be a strong voice for Penarth” [PDN Note: In fact Cllr van den Brom has actually said very little in Penarth council meetings over the last 5 years]
Meanwhile their former Conservative colleague Cllr Anthony Ernest [now standing as an Independent in Plymouth Ward for both the Vale Council and Penarth Town Council ] says a survey he has carried out indicates that traffic levels in Plymouth Road “are at saturation point at times” and “is being double parked by commuter and contractors vehicles” . If re-elected, he pledges to seek a formal report on the state of the highways in Plymouth Ward.
In a barb aimed at his former party colleagues he says “Unfortunately the current Conservative councillors in the ward have let the situation get worse and worse whilst sitting back and doing nothing”.
Two Conservative candidates standing for Penarth Town Council in St Augustine’s Ward who are not currently councillors, – Gary Allman and Simon Stranks – have jointly promised to publish a “Five Year Plan for the Town Council within 100 days” .
They also aim to hold annual public meetings, and will “endeavour to keep any increase in Community Charge” [ presumably, they mean the Penarth Town Precept] to no more than the level of inflation”.
They are the only candidates PDN has yet been informed about who are proposing to cap the Penarth Town Precept (part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council Tax Bill) to the level of inflation .
The Labour Party is continuing to campaign actively or a large and well-organised scale and posting selfies of its campaigning activities on Twitter but – unlike the other parties – has to defend its record, – and so appears to be avoiding raising specific local issues.
Instead, the party is making more generalised, anodyne and – critics would say – meaningless poll pledges, such as that if elected, its councillors will “improve life in Penarth by promoting a vibrant, sustainable community focused town“, “listen to and act on your ideas for improvements” and to “work in partnership with the Vale Council, Penarth businesses and local charities promoting our town” .
Plaid Cymru meanwhile are hammering away at Labour’s failings in both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Town Council – citing the scandals of Labour’s decision to ignore the results of the public consultation on St Paul’s Church; to build – without public consultation or even planning permission – the structurally-faulty Penarth Head Viewing platform; and the massive increases in Council Tax and Penarth Town Precept which the Labour administration has imposed on local residents.