A belated attempt at face-saving has now been made by Labour Penarth Town councillors in the Hinkley mud-dumping row. When they had to chance to debate the mud-dumping scandal in a debate on Wednesday the councillors remained silent – for fear of offending the Welsh Labour Government. Belatedly NOW, outside the council chamber –  and faced with a barrage of public criticism –  they   (somewhat late in the day) say they want the Welsh Government to halt the dumping.

The “Labour Group of Penarth Town Council” (i.e. the 12 Labour councillors who control the council) are now attempting to defend themselves from the barrage of public criticism they’ve received since cancelling Wednesday’s scheduled debate on the dumping of Hinkley Point mud  off Penarth’s sea front.

Penarth Council has been aware of the proposed mud dumping scheme for several months – and done absolutely nothing,  and said absolutely nothing about it.

The mud-dump vessel Pagadder splitting herself open to discharge another 2000 tons of ‘nuclear mud’ into the sea off Penarth – as she does every day

The scheme will dump a total of 320,000 tonnes of mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex on the sea bed just over a mile out to sea from Penarth. Whether radioactive or not, it will clearly pollute Penarth’s beach and shoreline – and could potentially affect the health and welfare of the town.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Angela Thomas (Labour Plymouth Ward) whose idea to hold a debate on the mud scandal was quashed by Labour leaders

In September the young Deputy Mayor of Penarth Cllr Angela Thomas (Labour Plymouth Ward) had announced that she wanted to table a motion for a full debate at the next council meeting on the mud-dumping, –  following concerns raised by several people in her ward.

…The idea of such a debate got an icy reception in the Labour-controlled Penarth Council because it could  embarrass the Welsh Labour Government (which had issued the original licence allowing the mud dumping).  There’s also a Labour leadership election coming up in the Assembly. It was judged to be not the right time to rock the boat.

On Wednesday October 3rd – the night when the scheduled debate supposed to take place, the motion was mysteriously withdrawn . …And that was that ….there was to be no debate, no discussion on potentially one of the most serious issues ever confronting the town, its sea front and its tourist industry.

Reading a prepared statement Cllr Thomas “called back” the motion – reading out a ludicrous prepared statement saying that this was because the matter is to be debated in the Welsh Assembly on October 10th (a delay during which another 14,000 tons of mud will have been dumped off Penarth)

The following day Thursday October 4th Barry Town Council – having rather larger cojones than Penarth Town Council –  DID debate the ‘nuclear mud’ issue and unanimously passed a motion calling  on the Welsh Labour Government to conduct further testing of Hinkley Point mud before allowing the dredging to continue.

That left Penarth Town Council – not for the first time – out on a limb, looking weak, indecisive, and afraid of offending politicians like Cardiff South and Penarth Labour AM Vaughan Gething who is busy lining himself up for the Labour leadership in the Assembly.

Yesterday October 5th 2018  the controlling Labour members of Penarth Town Council issued an unprededented face-saving statement which (wrongly) suggests they’ve been against the mud-dumping programme all along. [In fact the council has never discussed it].

The statement says:-

The belated statement issued by the 12 Labour councillors who dominate Penarth Town Council

“Penarth Labour recognise the strong public concern and strength of feeling by Penarth residents over the safety of the sediment being dredged and transported from Hinkley Nuclear power station, which is being dumped at Cardiff Grounds, just off Penarth Beach in the Severn Estuary.”

“Echoing the motion put forward by Penarth Labour Party in September that condemned the mud transferral until further tests are carried out, we ask the Welsh Government to halt this work, to allow for full independent assessment by a recognised international body.”

“The full assessment results should clarify and inform a clear statement, then be the subject of an engagement and consultation exercise with local communities and stakeholders. Only after this process should a decision regarding moving of the sediment be made. Therefore we welcome the debate at the Senedd on October 10th and we urge anyone with concems to write to your Assembly Members and encourage them to vote to stop the dredging and seek more information.”

Demonstrators outside Penarth Town Council offices today included the distinguished environmentalist Dr Max Wallis (2nd from left) and Environmental campaigner Anne Greagsby

The statement was a last-ditch effort to quell public disquiet about the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council  and head off public protests about its conduct.

Had wiser counsels prevailed, Penarth Town Council could, of course, have debated the issue on Wednesday night and passed a similar motion to that in Barry – but, rather than risk offending the Welsh Labour Government, Labour councillors pulled the plug on the debate.

Now the Labour-run council finds itself rightly accused of failing to heed or to represent the interests of local residents and the town as a whole.

Dr Max Wallis explains to Cllr Liz Fahy (Labour St Augustines) why dumping 320,000 tons of Hinkley Point mud off Penarth’s beach is not a good idea.

A small demonstration was held outside  the Penarth Council HQ at West House Stanwell Road, Penarth this morning – timed to coincide with the Labour Party’s Saturday morning “surgery” at which local residents are invited to discuss their problems with Labour councillors.

The councillors however refused point-blank to discuss the mud-dumping issue with the demonstrators – who weren’t invited in to discuss the problem.




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. WTF says:

    Too little. Too late. The damage has been done. Remember this at election time!

    • dmcprojman says:

      Way too little. Way too late.
      Mark their card for the next election. All a bunch of cowards with no regard for the people who elected them.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      “The insolence of office”……………………
      “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,”
      Hamlet Act 3 sc1
      Two timeless quotes from Shakespeare that fit Penarth and Vale Councillors exactly as they are cowards that hold their voters in contempt.

      Thank you Barry Town Council for your care, courage and respect.

  2. Lesley Monger says:

    They all want dumping!
    The damage is probably done to our environment already and continues to be so whilst these wastrels are scared of their own shadow
    Remember everyone at election time!

  3. This mealy-mouthed statement dodges the fact that Natural Resources Wales granted the Marine Licence unlawfully since the required Environmental Impact Assessment was not done. The tests the Labour Party calls for won’t change that. Not even a vote in the Assembly next Wednesday can change that.
    What “recognised international body” will satisfy these councillors? They can only mean the International Atomic Energy Agency; NRW and Lesley Griffiths have repeatedly said they are “required to required to abide by IAEA procedures” although the law in Wales requires them “to take account of all relevant evidence and gather evidence in respect of uncertainties.” Uncertainties there certainly are. How much unlawful behaviour will these people get away with?

  4. Scootergirl says:

    Even if it is declared that the ‘mud’ is 100% safe I personally wouldn’t believe ( I would think they were hiding something ). I still really don’t understand why they couldn’t have taken this stuff the same distance in the opposite direction ie downstream where the channel is obviously deeper. There are deeper reasons why Penarth/ Cardiff was selected for this heinous course of action.
    But let’s ALL Welsh people remember ‘being sold down the river’ by this extremely inaffective, inadequate, Labour run Welsh assembly and also Labour run Penarth Council when it comes to the next/any elections ( which involves labour representatives.

  5. Peter Church says:

    Gosh they are subservient poodles of the Labour establishment in Wales.
    It just shows what a hold the Labour claws have on every level of “democracy”
    Maybe Town Council’s should be made up of only independents who have the interests of the local community rather than people who just want to ingratiate themselves with the party big-wigs.

    • Barrie Howell says:

      A good point

    • Peter King says:

      Town Councils are not “made up” of anything except elected councillors, all of whom have had the gonads to put themselves forward for election with very little recompense. Independents are free to offer themselves as candidates and many have done so. They stand or fall due to the will of the people. It’s called democracy, a concept which has been championed in recent times by those in favour of leaving the EU. Peter, and everyone else who is dissatisfied with the present Penarth Town Council, please don’t confine your rage to a few quick and easy strokes on the keyboard, DO something. Expose yourselves to the will of the electorate and prove that you have “the interests of the local community” at heart.

      • john says:

        I intend to – will run on a local economy and environment based platform next time. This statement is just so they can say, when they face the electors, they opposed the dumping. They will hope that nothing goes wrong and people forget between now and then.

        The cowardice is amazing – there were more councillors than protestors, how could they not have spoken with them?

      • Peter Church says:

        Thanks for the explanation Comrade Peter King, don’t know where we would all be without you!
        Yes, we all know that you can stand as an independent, but when you have a large party machine and plenty of dumb Labours voters, who would vote for a donkey with a red rosette, the odds are stacked against independents. Same is true of other parties to a much lesser extent.
        Look how the current Police Commissioner was elected, there was a far more qualified candidate with in-depth police knowledge, but old man Michael played the red Labour card and hey presto he boosts his pension by another 100k a year.
        Maybe you should stand? but I forgot there is already a Labour Councillor called Peter King, we can’t two kings now can we 🙂

      • Peter King says:

        Thanks for the rant Peter, I only stated a few self evident truths. Clearly you’re not prepared to attempt to defy the odds.

    • Penileaks says:

      That’s exactly what should happen. Party politics should have no place local government, it should be local people with local interests at heart only.

  6. Richard Snell says:

    I would not trust these people to tie my shoelaces let alone address what is a potentially very large environmental timebomb. As is always, heads buried in the sand, so as not to upset the powers that be. At Election time it will be a pleasure to rub their noses in it, but preferably I would rather they grew a pair collectively and face up to what is a very big concern to the public and do something about it. MIND YOU HELL MIGHT FREEZE OVER FIRST!!

  7. daipop1 says:

    Disgusted – councillors shameful misrepresentation of their constituents- they are “unfit for purpose’ & should resign en masse!

  8. MT says:

    Borrowed from Hawaiian “kahuna”:
    shaman, wizard priest, sorcerer, magician, minister, wizard-
    expert in any profession (doctors, surgeons, dentists were referred to as such in the 1845 laws).
    Borrowed from Spanish cojones,
    plural of cojón (“testicle”), from Vulgar Latin *coleonem, accusative of coleo (“testicle”), from cōleus (“sack, scrotum”).

  9. Peter D says:

    I preferred Billy Smart’s Circus to this one.

  10. Cogan nomen says:

    We are talking about a council
    That thinks , painting the houses
    In Cogan will eradicate noxious
    Gases from passing traffic !

  11. Ocobblepot says:

    PENARTH LABOUR COUNCILLORS … Thick and Spineless.

  12. jpow says:

    Can we not have recall elections for councillors?

  13. Lesley says:

    Where were all the mouthy ones from this website today then for the demonstration? Action speaks louder than words. Bunch of keyboard warriors springs to mind

  14. jm says:

    Wonder if this means polit-HQ are going to put safety and wales before private profits next week – really hope so, the more we find out the worse this gets and the fact that EDF are content to keep on dumping even though the court says they have no valid licence speaks volumes about them.

    Have lobbied my AM (Geiger Gething hasn’t bothered to reply) and MP (he said it’s over to AM).

    Have also complained to bbc about suspiciousnkacknof coverage!

  15. Andrew Worsley says:

    These laggards and spineless crew should not even be allowed to use the Council offices at all as they have broken the first rule in the rule book of democratic representation. and that is to put the concerns and wishes of the people first. Just who are these people representing ? because it certainly isn’t the people of Penarth or their well being or the towns reputation or future . No longer will Penarth be able to trade on its Victorian roots and its sedate and quant reputation . No one will look on the town in the same light as they always have, a toxic beach and the threat of nuclear contamination , to which degrees of weather be it winds etc will disperse , either on the beach or further afield. These charlatans and ner’dowells need removing as soon as possible as NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE and BETRAYAL OF THE PEOPLES TRUST IN THEM….. as Cromwell once said ” For what good you do for GODS SAKE GO”.

  16. Mike Brown says:

    Thick and Spineless and now the party is getting nasty with the people who have always voted for them all theirs lives.

  17. Janet says:

    The risible attendance today at the “protest” should signify a few things to those spreading fear regarding this mud.

    One: if you have toxic personalities leading your campaign then people will ignore it.

    Two: Despite widespread coverage in PDN and other Welsh media the vast majority of people in Wales do not believe that this mud is dangerously radioactive.

    Three: if scaremongers keep upping the ante by making wild claims their credibility will eventually be reduced to zilch.

    Today’s protest was widely advertised and yet only four people turned up. The message is clear: no one apart from the various aliases on PDN comments believes that the mud is dangerous.

    • jm says:

      How do you know that some sort of contamination from Hinkley Point isn’t absent? Are you sure that you know? Even if it doesn’t, do you think 320000 tonnes of it isn’t going to impact on the environment, the quality of the water, the mass of the cardiff Banks?

      Tell you what ‘Janet’, if you want the mud, have it. Take it all! If you don’t want it, why not just keep quiet.

  18. Clive says:

    Subprime Crachach

  19. Clive says:

    Gutless,Spineless and just plain Useless.

  20. Just goes to show how incompetent the WAG are. They waived this through without the proper checks and now their scared of being sued by EDF if they block further dumping. All the PTC are doing is looking after their own self-interest after all any one who is not Labour or opposed to the WAG get reduced funding, just look at what happened in the Vale.

  21. Le Compte says:

    Labour doesn’t serve well either at council level in Penarth or nationally in the assembly… champagne drinking, Porsche driving pseudo socialists puffed up on their own self importance. They fail to make life better for working folk… health: failure education: failure PTC: failure environment: failure
    Vote for a (Labour) donkey… and guess what… you get taken for a ride.

  22. Le Compte says:

    Unless you want a trip in a Porsche of course!

  23. PB says:

    The tories used be toxic, and frankly still are, that mantle though has now moved over to labour who have shown how they act when in charge over and over again. Never again, labour want the young votes, the young cate about the environment, labour have committed political suicide in wales for anyone under 30 who can be bothered to vote. The greens, plaid and independents are going to do well at the next election unless they manage to shoot themselves in the foot like usual. If my only choice is between either of the two main parties that have failed wales again and again then I wont vote until there is a real choice.

Comments are closed.