The popular “Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) Food Festival” successfully returned to the Kymin at the weekend .
After disappearing from last autumn’s town calendar, the GPG organisation itself had almost gone out of existence last year – but is now back in business and so is the Food Festival – now in its fifth year. following last year’s enforced break.
In October 2016 GPG’s members had voted in principle to wind-up the organisation once an audit of its accounts had been completed – in the wake of an Emergency General Meeting.
However in March this year the bilingually-named body rose again like Lazarus when its remaining members decided to keep going after all – saying that this was “felt to be the best way of enabling the continuation of our major projects” .
Gwyrddio Penarth Greening had been the driving force not only behind the GPG Food Festival ( which was first launched in 2013) but also the original “Shop in Penarth” scheme (which it launched in 2010). In the latter scheme, shoppers can claim discounts from local retailers on production of a “SIP” (Shop in Penarth) card .
A new version of the “Shop in Penarth” was launched at the Kymin in yesterday’s food festival . A new membership card – looking like a credit card – has replaced the £1 original and is now priced at £2.
The Shop In Penarth scheme also issues explanatory leaflets and now has an on-line website at www.shoppenarth.co.uk. This website displays an up to date register of all the businesses participating in the scheme and the discounts they offer for cardholders. The idea is to retain as much as possible of the discretionary spend of Penarth consumers within the town itself – to the advantage of the local economy.
GPG says it operates the Shop in Penarth in conjunction with key Penarth businesses, the “Penarth Times” weekly newspaper and “Penarth Town Council” .
Penarth Town Council has promoted the Food Festival on its Facebook page – and accommodated it in the Kymin- but in the past some councillors have considered GPG as being too closely aligned to the Green Party.[ GPG’s former chair, and Food Festival organiser Anthony Slaughter, has fought several elections as a Green Party candidate and has been Deputy Leader of the Green Party in Wales] .
Some members of GPG had blamed Penarth Town Council for launching “Picnic Penarth” which was considered to be a tax-payer-subsidised rival to the GPG’s own Food Festival . The competition from “Picnic Penarth” was said to be one of the main reasons why last autumn’s Food Festival was cancelled.
However the success of yesterday’s event proved the Food Festival – despite a turbulent 12 months – has retained its attraction for local residents