Picnic Penarth 2018 was attended by 14,000 people – but no one knows how many of them were actually local residents  who have to pay the Penarth Precept tax which funds such shindigs. Now the questions being asked is “Who is Picnic Penarth actually for? ”  (Photo : MG)

In the wake of good reviews for this year’s two-day “Picnic Penarth” on the Esplanade, Penarth Town Council is now wrestling with a yet-to-be-agreed proposal to hold a second “Picnic Penarth” – possibly in Station Approach.

This year’s main Picnic Penarth event on the 9th and 10th of June was organised for the town council  by local  professional event company Genero Productions. It attracted what is said to have been the largest crowd ever to attend a council event – some 14,000 people.

The 2017 Picnic Penarth, held in Station Approach, was organised  not by Genero Productions but by Penarth  Town Council . It was marred by a 300% overspend . The council had to use council-tax-payers’ money – from the Penarth Precept (the charge on Penarth residents) to bale itself out.

Following on from this year’ssuccess of Picnic Penarth on the Esplanade – which coincided with the Volvo Ocean Race –   Genero have now offered to run a second Picnic event (apparently at “no cost” to the council ) on August Bank Holiday weekend.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell)

In this week’s meeting of the Events Committee Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) and his wife Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) –  who is Leader of the Council –   noted the success of the 2018 Picnic on the Esplanade and thanked the council officers who had worked on the event with Genero Events to make it a success..

The only quibble they had was with the weather and that it had been  “so hot” at one point that they had both had to seek shade and ice cream.  Cllr Birch said she had been particularly impressed on emerging from the cinema that evening that to see not a speck of rubbish anywhere on the Esplanade. It had all been bagged up for early morning collection.

Vale Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward) also praised the organisation of the event – by Genero Productions and council officers,  and endorsed Cllr Birch’s comments about rubbish clearance.

On a putative   second “Picnic” event [ now being offered by Genero Productions with “no cost”  to the council]  Cllr Gray said  it clearly would be possible to have it without any public money being involved and he would support idea of  holding of a second Picnic on August Bank Holiday .

The enduring image of the financially diasastrous 2017 “Picnic Penarth”. A little family with nowhere to sit, has to squat on the pavement to eat their food

Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines)

However chairing the committee was Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines) – and she was NOT so persuaded of the idea of holding a second “no-cost” Picnic Penarth.

Ms Murphy –  a councillor of the 2017 intake – tends to challenge the prevailing views of other  members.

She said  “I think there IS cost to the council – and it’s to do with resourcing”   . She said the council staff were working at “absolute capacity” – and expressed reservations about putting another Picnic event on in August that had not had “adequate planning and marketing lead up”.

Cllr Murphy said I would like to propose that we do not do the second Picnic” . She said this did not mean that a second Picnic could not be organised in future years, but the council needed to think strategically about “what the offer is” and “whose needs were being met ” at such an event.

Cllr Gray said he had moved the resolution [in favour of holding a second Picnic Penarth] because that was the “officer recommendation” in the report. Cllr Mark Wilson said that all the costs needed to be examined.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  asked what the cost to the Town Council would be if it was resolved to keep going and organise a second “Picnic”. He urged that any decision should be deferred until the meeting of a working party next week. He asserted that  “Picnic has enhanced the reputation of the Town Council”.

Cllr Murphy stuck to her guns. She had taken advice from council staff and found it was not clear who it was that Picnic was supposed to be catering for . The first Picnic had received a far longer planning time that a second one would have.  People were starting to get confused as to the “offer”, who Picnic was actually for,  and how it was connected with the Summer Festival.

The decision on a second “Picnic”   was suspended pending a discussion of the working party which will be held on Monday next week. Working party discussions are not open to the press or public.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Name supplied says:

    Who gives a toss who attended. Surely it’s better for ‘outsiders to visit the town anyway at great events like this as it’s also promotes the town?! I despair sometimes

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Second helpings of fast food festival and treble pints of Old Tiddles Extra Strong Real Ale all round. at p**s up Penarth .
      Last Years Picnic (sic) Cost Five Grand so every voter in Penarth chipped in to help outsiders stuff themselves on the Promenade. (formerly Esplanade but we are turning in to Barry now )
      PTC are offering a freebie second helping of fast food festival! Why on earth would you do that?
      The Picnic* (sic) appears to have made a fortune at the expense local traders and Council Tax Payers by the Vale and PTC subsiding outsiders to come in to sell Junk Food and Booze to non residents. –
      Can Councillors use an Oxford English Dictionary?
      PICNIC defined as
      * an occasion when people pack a meal and take it to eat outdoors, especially in the countryside
      e.g. It’s a nice day. Let’s go for a picnic. or
      We had a picnic beside the river.
      the meal, usually consisting of sandwiches, salad, and fruit, etc. that you take with you when you go on a picnic
      A P**S UP defined by the OED as-
      an occasion when a large amount of alcohol is drunk
      A more polite, informal word for this is booze-up.

      • Name supplied says:

        Thanks for another one of your extraordinary rants. You do realise that penarth residents as well as people travelling from outside the town actually pay for the food and drink they eat, don’t you? It’s not actually paid for by PTC

      • Frank Evans says:

        Oh god phil you are like a broken record who goes around the wrong way!
        Go join Corbyn in leafy Islington and chat about left wing statistics from yesteryear

  2. simon says:

    that family sitting on the pavement eating finishes me ever time

  3. Small Town Syndrome says:

    “Ms Murphy – a councillor of the 2017 intake – tends to challenge the prevailing views of other members.”
    Indeed she does. Anne Greagsby Mark II

  4. AK says:

    For all the efforts of the promoters, Station Approach is totally the wrong place for such an event.

    The Esplanade, the cliff top, the Kymin, Cogan Rec, Plassey Square all surely are more suited.

    But with the Summer Festival on the way, and the Food and Drink Festival in Mermaid Quay soon, we are in danger of fast food overload.

    • Fishhenge says:

      Oh I don’t know, all the other venues are knee deep in dog shit according to some contributors on here.

  5. FlowerPower says:

    Putting on events in Penarth that clash with big events going on in Cardiff bay is bonkers. And it always happens. On The Saturday afternoon/ evening Picnic Penarth was hardly heaving and wasn’t full of people here for the Ocean Race. Bank holiday weekend is the harbour festival…. know where I’ll be

  6. graham vodden says:

    What a load of rubbish. What was it all about. Who was it supposed to be for. I expect we the Penarth rate payers will have to pick up the “TAB” again. What I would like to know is why was the bouncy castle ,tents and stalls put outside our local Beach House Hotel and not outside Sommerin’s restaurant. This excellent hotel must have lost a lot of custom over that weekend . I smell a rat .———-Graham Vodden .

  7. Chris David says:

    Here’s a plan. Make the working party open to the public (ruddy Labour secrecy- tis outrageous) and put aside an hour to ask for ideas from us commoners. Put councillor Murphy on litter duty. Mrs you’re supposed to run the staff and Clerk, not the other way round!. Include council staff in the talks. Cancel all staff and councillor sick leave for the week before and during the event. Ask Genero and two additional outfits to pitch a profit making proposal to the council and public- after the council produce an outline brief over the weekend. Oh yes the last one……mugger.

    • Name supplied says:

      Not sure why they would ask you when you constantly tell us beneath you that you’re in France

      • Chris David says:

        Bit gobbledygook and inaccurate that anon NS. But oh I just spend the best months of the summer here anon luv. Ps to have a valid opinion we should know who you are Ms Coward 🙂

  8. Andrew Worsley says:

    Hooray! another chance to eat in public and let others see you , trust Penarth to come up with novel ideas that no one else does or could think up…………just like that other idea .. eating on the promenade during a boat race…..oh and eating in a park on Albert road………….all of them totally great ideas from a sensible , highly intelligent and imaginative Council or whoever!!!?.

  9. PenarthLady says:

    14000! Who counted all the people?

  10. Jon Reeves says:

    Genero clearly made a pretty profit from the first one and want another bite of the cherry.
    Why a commercial company have been used to arrange and put on this event in the first place tells you all you need to know about PTC.

    • Chris David says:

      Cmon- council’s and governments can never ever make anything work that takes organisation and flair. Using a commercial operation to deliver is always the best way to success as long as the council negotiate the right deal. Mind even that’s beyond many!

  11. CC says:

    Isn’t it time that Penarth creates events for itself, not just jumping on the bandwagon of street food vendors. I enjoy eating from their stalls, and there is nothing wrong with having the occasional street food event, however to replicate the event again is really not imaginative. The last event had the stalls, however provided no seating or covered seating area( in case of rain) Is not satisfactory. Sitting in the gutter really isn’t good enough!

    The street food event should cater for the whole family. The event should be having entertainment for the kids too. A bouncy castle is not enough.

    Come on Penarth and Genero why don’t you organise a summer evening with candlelit walks through our beautiful gardens, how about a festival of brass bands.
    Build annual memorable events rather than the easy option of getting street food (who may be excellent in their own right) vendors to fulfill this for you.

    The Pavilion and pier should be the focus of these events rather than a stretch of the seafront.

    As for organising another event on the August Bank Holiday weekend, it’s difficult enough on a normal bank holiday to find parking without shutting off the road again on a busy weekend. How is this issue to be addressed?

    Let’s hear your views.

  12. Jp03 says:

    Of course Genero would like another payday, but the Council should surrender its tax or precept if it’s going to keep competing with the town’s Traders using public funds . They must be due quite a rebate on busin as rates as it is! Remember, this is the same Council that cancelled last year’s late night Xmas shopping event (leaving traders to put together an-actually very successful! – event themselves) and even abandoned the Xmas window dressing competition because it would cost too much to judge. So, £6k for a Volvo picnic? No trouble at all just as long as the stalls all come from outside the town. Operate another farmers’ market next door to the established one? Sure, the Council can arrange that at the site next door but one!

    Why is the Town Council SO divorced from the town’s businesses?
    How many Cllrs actually even use the town’s businesses?

    • CC says:

      I agree think about supporting the business on the seafront who I understand didn’t benefit from the street food event. Apparently local traders didn’t didn’t do too well. If events like this are taking place consideration needs to be given to the views go business who are there year long.

Comments are closed.