The preliminary results of a public consultation on the future of Penarth called “Your Future, Your Say” were conveyed last night to members of Penarth Town Council – and reveals some worrying statistics about the amount of use now being made of the Town Centre by the people of Penarth.
The survey was conducted both on-line and in hard-copy and gave all residents of Penarth, local businesses, community groups and charities an opportunity to set-out their priorities for the future development of the town.
The data gathered is still being analysed – and a full detailed report is to be issued in due course – but in the meantime the council has released some of the initial findings.
The most worrying data to emerge is the relatively small percentages of local residents who make regular use of the town centre itself – for shopping
PENARTH TOWN CENTRE
A surprisingly-low percentage of only 46% of respondents said they “use the Town Centre on a daily basis” – 44% of them visiting it “weekly“. 77% said they wanted a “greater range of shops with a focus on local independent businesses”
78% of respondents were aware of the council’s “Penarth in Bloom” initiative
85% of respondents knew about the “Shop In Penarth” scheme and 93% had attended one or more event organised by Penarth Town Council.
Most people had no idea that Penarth Town Council is responsible for running the cemetery – or what’s called “Bereavement Services” ; only 27% of residents knew that it was and 57% of respondents had never visited Penarth Cemetery.
70% of respondents were in favour of the cemetery’s chapel being “renovated into a flexible space for both community hire and memorial services”. 70% were also in favour of adding more small plots for cremated remains at the cemetery.
TURNER HOUSE ART GALLERY; PLYMOUTH ROAD
64% of respondents had heard about Penarth Town Council’s discussions with the National Museum of Wales to manage the Turner House Art Gallery (which was a bequest to the people of Penarth) “in partnership” with the museum. (The National Museum still holds in its vaults all the valuable original Turner paintings which it acquired when it assumed control of Turner House from Penarth Urban District Council in the 1920s)
54% of respondents had visited Turner House – of which 57% attended exhibitions there “on a monthly basis”
77% of respondents want Turner House to continue to have an “exhibition space” and 71% of respondents want there to be space for local “makers/artists”. 61% wanted Turner House to be available as a meeting place for community groups.
THE PAGET ROOMS
91% of respondents have visited the Paget Rooms at least once with 35% going there “regularly” and 56% attending “monthly”.
The main attraction at the Paget Rooms is “Fayres” which is why 60% of respondents go there.
The other big draw is “other forms of public events not including National Theatre Live”. 78% of respondents said they would be “more encouraged to visit if there was a wider programme of theatre and music” and 44% wanted there to be more activities at the Paget Rooms for children and young people.
THE KYMIN HOUSE AND GROUNDS
92% of respondents had visited the Kymin – and of those 44% go there regularly
57% of respondents visit in order to walk through the grounds and 54% said they had attended for a public event [ The annual Penarth Food Festival is one such public event – although it did not take place this year because of the weather]
WEST HOUSE COMMUNITY GARDEN
A whole page of the report is given over to the Council’s own “West House Community Garden” . It transpires that only 47% of respondents knew the front garden of West House in Stanwell Road is open to the public.
43% thought there should be a “more attractive planting scheme” [There’s a lot of bare earth in the garden at the moment]
60% seemed to think more seating was required in the Community Garden . [There are in fact plenty of seats and benches there – which may suggest most respondents had not visited the West House grounds since the recent make-over – see PDN http://tinyurl.com/y9dmva5y ]
[ PDN Additional Note added 22:20 November 8 2018: Some commentators have asked how many people responded to the copnsultation. No figures have been given for the number of respondents who filled in the council’s questionnaire. However in September councillors were told ” “In terms of actual returned responses we don’t go over 200 I don’t think, but in terms of the engagement you can build on that it will be a wider reach”]
In these preliminary findings there is no reference made to Penarth’s “Jewel in the Crown” – Penarth Pier (which is owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council) – nor to Penarth Marina – presumably because Penarth Town Council has no control over these areas, nor of the major parks in Penarth.
The Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council does however own a single childrens’ playground at Pembroke Terrace which is long-overdue for refurbishment to bring it up to the same standard as other Vale of Glamorgan Council-owned playgrounds in the town. This playground is not mentioned in the survey report.