The Labour run Penarth Town Council – which for years has dissuaded ordinary members of the public from daring to dawdle on its front lawn – has now had a change of heart and is encouraging local residents to take the weight off their feet there – and even indulge in some planting and weeding.
Members of the public have always been a bit diffident about treading on council territory – not least perhaps because they were openly referred to as “riff-raff” by council officers. In the past Labour councillors saw West House’s garden as being very much “for the few – not for the many”….But now, they claim, all that has changed.
The front garden of West House has been re-branded this week as the “West House Community Garden” – and it is now rather more open to the public than once it was .
No longer are the benches in the front garden regarded as the exclusive preserve of councillors – a place to soak-up some rays between onerous committee meetings. The whole area has now, in effect, been proclaimed to be a public park – although there is no sign which categorically states this.
In a council meeting on September 19th council officers were asked whether a sign could be erected saying “This Garden is Open to the Public “and were told by a council officer that the new signage would indicate that West House front lawn was now a “Community Garden” .
[PDN Note: There is no sign which categorically says that the West House Garden is open to the public – and it is not clear what the term “Community Garden” actually means]
The signage is said to have been based on original artwork by children at Victoria Primary School who also now have their own dedicated plot within the garden. No other Penarth schools are represented anywhere at West House.
The Town Clerk said free “wi-fi” would be available in the West House garden. [PDN Note: There is , as yet, no public signage which says this] .