The re-developed front garden of Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House, Stanwell Road features new facilities and floral displays – and the somewhat eerie silhouette of a WW1 “Silent Soldier”

It’s emerged that the  grounds of Penarth Town Council’s headquarters at West House are being constantly monitored by CCTV.

The revelation was made in a discussion about developments in the front garden of West House – which have been undertaken using Section 106 funding [ money paid by local developers as a condition of receiving planning permission].

Former Councillor Ken Lloyd (Conservative Cornerswell) with his consort Georgia Bennett try out the new seating area they have donated for the grounds of  Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House, Stanwell Road (Penarth Town Council photo)_

Amongst the new features of the West House front garden is a new seating area which has been donated by the immediate past-Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd (Conservative Cornerswell) and his consort Georgia Bennett

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

The leader of the Conservatives on the town council, Cllr Martin Turner,  (Plymouth Ward) praised the development of the front garden of the premises and said “One of the things I think is good is that we have opened up the front of West House . With all the input into the front of West House and garden” Cllr Turner asked “do we have any CCTV covering the area in the event of there being a problem”?

The Town Clerk Emma Boylan confirmed that there was indeed CCTV covering the front garden of West House – an installation of which  most councillors appear to have been unaware.

Cllr Turner then asked whether there would be signage installed to warn anyone in the garden that their activities were being video-recorded . It was confirmed that such notices ( which are not on display at the moment) are to be installed.

It appears however that most local residents are unaware that the front lawn and gardens of West House actually ARE open to the general public.

The Labour controlled Penarth Town Council uses front garden of West House (now designated as a “public space”) – as an area where it can display Labour Party banners

[Despite its name, West House actually faces South and the sunny benches in the garden have been used by councillors to “catch some rays”  . Some have regarded it as a private fiefdom –  and handy place to display Labour Party banners ] 

Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines) asked whether some signage could be installed to say This garden is open to the public” ?

Cllr Murphy was told by a council officer that such signage was “on order” and Victoria Primary schoolchildren had done the artwork for this. The new signage would say that the area is a “community garden”. There would also be signs on the various plots in the garden saying “community plots” .

The Town Clerk also pointed out that the council’s “wi-fi” service was also available in the garden for members of the public could use “during their lunch hour” .

Cllr Murphy said “free wi-fi” was one of the main requests of young people to whom she had spoken to in the current consultation on the future of the town [ See ] . A consultation with Penarth Youth Action and Stanwell School 6th form pupils had asked for such a facility “especially for their revision sessions”

Cllr Ian Buckley (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Ian Buckley (Labour Cornerswell) who is Vice Chair of the Public Spaces committee, said he would like to pass on his thanks to those who had done the work on the West House front garden “because I think it looks absolutely fantastic . I’ve seen them a few days and they have been grafting and it’s not just work – they’ve put some love into that”.

Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell)

Councillors were told the work on the garden was 75% complete and further planting would take place in the spring  .

The Mayor Cllr Jon Luxton said he would like to propose a vote of thanks to all those involved – which was passed by general assent.

Meanwhile there remains doubt as to whether the Penarth Town Centre CCTV system functions at all.

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  1. Ocobblepot says:

    money paid by local developers as a condition of receiving planning permission …. What planning permission.

    • NewsNet says:

      The specific planning permission which yielded the money for the West House garden improvements was not specified in last night’s council committee meeting but should be available if a Freedom of Information request is made the Penarth Town Council.

  2. David Moorcraft says:

    Who on earth cares about CCTV coverage of West House Garden. Couldn’t our dynamic Town Councillors press to get the CCTV cameras in the Town Centre working ? If someone were injured on one of the pedestrian crossings , there’s no recourse to any Camera evidence.

  3. Andrew Worsley says:

    Totally agree David Moorcraft , the CCTV cameras in the town centre are not working and you may notice some if not all of the cameras are in need of repair or maintenance , the possibility exists that just one camera is working but that’s hardly worth a mention . And by the way all the monitors for the cameras were moved to Bridgend some time ago ………I repeat Bridgend 40 miles away. Strange how CCTV is considered for this little plot of land outside the Council Offices but not where they should be and that’s on Windsor Rd shopping area and Stanwell towards the Railway pub. What I further want to know is will they be putting up swings for the kiddies?

    • Frank Evans says:

      It really doesn’t matter where the operations room is in relation to the cameras. There is even virtual airport control tower which work very well. I repeat….. by the magic of low latency fibre you don’t need a bloke sitting a few yards from every carb camera.

    • Peter King says:

      How do you know they’re not working?

      • Martin Gossage says:

        How do you know they are? Show us evidence then

      • Peter King says:

        You miss the point Martin. I have no idea whether they are working, no more idea than anyone else on here. Urban myth has it that they’re not but I’ve seen no evidence to prove a point either way.

  4. Frank Evans says:

    More should be made of household Cctv.
    Many systems out there which could be networked and AI scanned for missing persons etc. Which would be very useful.
    Everyone’s cctv uploaded to the cloud.

  5. Jm says:

    The town council is so distant from reality it might as well sit in cctv protected isolation on Mars. As always, the people who live off others graft are protected while the people doing real work in the town centre are not.

  6. Jack Cohen says:

    Why do these premises need security cameras?
    Where has the money come from to install them, ah yes the Council Tax Payers.

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    Spot on Jm the point I was making too , the House of Lords is not the only place in the UK where parasitic rich people (or at least comfortably well off) get paid more than they are worth from the taxpayers who are bled of money to pay these leeches. These lethargic buffoons who’s only talent is to creep or crawl to a position where they no longer need to get their hands dirty and can , look down on members of the public whilst going through their pockets in a sense. They are people beyond their worth they are deluded and live in privileged state , whilst the most common down at heel worker shines like a gem through his labours but is looked down on by these charlatans and mental dwarfs. Sorry for going on a rant …..but hey its the truth!.

  8. Scootergirl says:

    If there was any spare money surely it should have gone to at least ensuring that the main shopping centre ( Windsor road/ Glebe Street ) were covered by working cctv – not a garden that hardly any members of the public will ever use, more likely council staff. Why has it been installed there anyway, to make sure no one steals the pot plants!!
    It’s about time these councillors start living in the real world, there has been a lot of crime recently in the town, and I don’t think that members of the public are going to be that concerned about a garden especially when we’ve got our lovely parks.

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