The Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council has now installed “modesty panels” on the first-floor windows of its headquarters at West House in Stanwell Road – presumably in order to prevent the public catching an unguarded glimpse of what is going on inside.
The new privacy panels bear the Penarth Town Crest and are made of an obscuring tacky plastic material similar that used in pubs to emulate frosted-glass
The sticky plastic allows light through, but ensures that the 20 staff and the councillors who work inside the building cannot be seen by council-tax-payers from outside.
Similarly, council staff are no longer able to enjoy the view outside the building during working hours.
The installation of the panels – which change the external appearance of West House – has not been debated by the council .
It is not yet clear whether such modifications are permitted in the Penarth Conservation Area – which imposes strict rules on changes in windows.
The unusually designed “nine-over-one” windows of West House are the 1880 originals – installed when the original farm house was demolished and the Victorian mansion was built as his home by Cardiff outfitter Frederick Jotham.