South Wales Police have been deploying their latest drone on Penarth Marina. However local residents say thieves are already one step ahead and are using drones to reconnoitre local homes in the marina’s residential area to help them select houses to rob.  (Photo John Clark)

South Wales Police have been testing  out their latest generation of unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – or drones by flying them around the  Penarth Marina/Barrage area.

South Wales Police didn’t bother with any politically-correct EU products but instead plumped for a top-of-the-range USA-designed Typhoon model produced by Yuneec Americas Corporation  in California .

The drone is transported in its own dedicated 4X4 SUV.(Photo John Clark)

The hefty six-rotor machine weighs-in at over 23 lbs. and is transported to locations in a dedicated police 4X4 SUV . The drone carries a live high-definition camera on a remote-controlled gimballed mount and also has an on-board transmitter to beam the live pictures back to the ground from over a mile away.

The machine can stay aloft for up to 25 minutes at a time between battery changes.

The police team at the barrage – all wearing mufti or casual clothing – merged inconspicuously with visitors (Photo John Clark)

However the skies over Cardiff Bay and the Barrage are already getting a might crowded. Local residents say burglars are now using their own drones to peer through the upstairs windows of local homes before deciding which one(s) to break into.

In the last few days there has been a spate of incidents  in the Penarth Marina residential area in which houses have been burgled and cars stolen.



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Police were called to Plas Taliesin in Penarth Marina on Sunday May 20th after a burglar stole the keys of a Ford Mondeo and drove off in it

South Wales Police have confirmed that they are investigating a burglary which occurred in Plas Taliesin, Penarth, overnight on Sunday, May 20th.

Police say the thief broke into a house in Plas Taliesin, and took the ignition keys of a black Ford Mondeo from the owner’s rucksack and drove off in the car.

Plas Taliesin is at the end of this road Llwyn Passat in Penarth Marina

Penarth Marina  Residents Association however reports many more crimes than are declared by the police . Over the weekend the association says:-

  • Two cars were broken into on Llwyn Passat [one of which presumably is the stolen Mondeo].
  • A car was broken into and a handbag stolen from it outside St James House.
  • A car parked at the side of Taliesin  was broken into.
  • There is also evidence of drug use at the turning circle.

Meanwhile South Wales Police today reminded residents to make sure the doors of their homes are securely locked and that any belongings are stored safely. Police also advise that to minimise the risk of falling victim to this type of burglary, they  recommend keeping all keys out of view – ideally taking keys, handbags etc, upstairs when going to bed – and keeping them well away from windows, doors and… catflaps.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is being askedto call  101, quoting reference 1800180181. Alternatively informants cal also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


A PDN correspondent has also reported that residents of Penarth Heights have  recorded images and video of a group of 5 men trying every front door and every car on 19th May at 4:40am along the length of Royal Close and Trem Y Bae.

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The design for the heavily-criticised apartment development at Cogan Hill was modified several times before it eventually received planning permission. Now the land has changed hands without a single breeze block being laid – and just what its new owners, the Welsh Labour Government, are going to do with it is anyone’s guess

It’s emerged that the extensive plot of land adjacent to Cogan Station  – on which a 3 storey block of social housing apartments was to be built –  has now been sold to the Welsh Labour Government. 

The area includes the derelict old Cogan community hall – also known as the OAP hall – which had been almost totally obsecured by greenery.

The land is also  the site of the old road which used to continue in a tunnel underneath the main road at Cogan Hill and the Cardiff-Penarth railway line to emerge in Penarth Docks (now Penarth Marina).

Developers Jehu erected a placard proclaiming they had acquired the land – a relatively narrow plot sandwiched between Cogan Station and Cogan Hill. It was previously owned by former Penarth car dealer Robert  Smith

The plot of land was owned at one time by Robert Smith the former Penarth car dealer and was then acquired by the development company Jehu who set up a placard to inform local residents it had bnought the land

Now it seems that Jehu – a company well plugged-in to the Welsh Labour establishment – have sold the land to the Welsh Labour Government without doing anything to it apart from clearing trees and – according to local residents – disturbing local bat colonies.

The development site is on a strip of land between Cogan Hill and Cogan Railway station which – until December last year was shrouded in trees and undergrowth. The pensioner’s hall on the right was to be demolished – but is still standing  – and now the land has changed hands.

Jehu put in a planning application to build a large – barrack-like block of low-rent social housing apartments on the site.  The proposed scheme was criticised as “a gross monstrosity at the gateway to Penarth”   After various modifications were made to the initial scheme, it was given planning permission.

Now however, it appears that Jehu have sold the land to the Welsh Labour Govermment for £620,000. The Land Registry now records that the land is now owned by “THE WELSH MINISTERS of Director Of Legal Services, Crown Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ and of Welsh Goverment, Transport Department, Crown Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ.”

No one from Jehu was available for comment today.  PDN is awaiting comment from the Welsh Labour Government.

UPDATE: One  PDN source has said there may be plans to develop a “transport hub” in association with Network Rail on the site.

Another PDN source says that amongst the options being looked at by the Welsh Labour Government is the construction of an accommodation block which would offer a choice of 2  schemes for the site . One is apparently to house immigrants, predominantly from Africa. The second option is to house recovering drug addicts and/or alcoholics during an intermediate stage in their rehabilitation. In the latter case, the accommodation provided would include some  “secure accommodation” which might restrict the ability of residents to leave the premises.

There is no confirmation whatever of either of these schemes and no planning application of any kind has yet been submitted – although the planning permission is still valid for the social housing apartment scheme which Jehu were going to build prior to their sale of the land .


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Several police officers and three police vehicles were involved in investigations at the Dinas Road roundabout in Penarth, late last night (Photo Alex Morris)

South Wales Police officers descended in force on an area near the roundabout at the end of Dinas Road late last night .

Two police cars and a police van brought officers to the area – where there was activity on the small area of open ground where there is a public seating area adjacent to the roundabout.

The van had the markings of the South Wales Police Territorial Support Unit. . Police have not yet released any statement about the operation.

Meanwhile there are unconfirmed reports that 2 – possibly 3 – cars have been stolen and a house broken into the general area of Plas Taliesin in Penarth Marina.

Some local residents say they believe burglars may have used radio-controlled drones to scout-out vulnerable properties. There have been reports of young people being seen flying drones near to houses in the Marina area. Further information is awaited.

A PDN correspondent has also reported that residents of Penarth Heights have  recorded images and video of a group of 5 men trying every front door and every car on 19th May at 4:40am along the length of Royal Close and Trem Y Bae.

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The Welsh Labour Government’s plans for merging local authorities together in South Wales . The happy result of such a merger for Labour would be that all councils in South Wales would then be completely controlled by the Labour Party – turning South Wales into a “one-party state”.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has drafted a stinging response to  Welsh Government consultation on council mergers – in which it attacks  the Welsh Labour Government’s “muddled thinking on how councils should work together“.

The Conservative-run Vale Council is in the process of refining a response to the “Green Paper” [ The Green paper is a  form of consultation document in which the Welsh Labour Government invites comments from local authorities across Wales about its resurrected  plans to amalgamate the 22 existing councils into to just a handful of 8 or 10  merged councils.]

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is having – yet again – to fight off the revived proposals for a merger which would force it to combine with the  Labour-controlled Cardiff Council

The Vale – in its draft response – tells the Welsh Government to that it should recognise that councils like the Vale are ALREADY  working in collaboration with other councils . The Vale tells the Government  bluntly  Further structural changes are not required or desired by the sector as a whole” “

The Vale says there is already considerable co-operation  between local authorities and that  “It is unhelpful that again Welsh Government has sought to put this work in jeopardy by promoting an agenda of wholesale reorganisation which will distract local government from working together where it makes clear sense to do so”

The Vale plans to tell Welsh Labour Government that “This Council can demonstrate significant effort has been put into collaborative working over the past five years and there are benefits being delivered as a result.”

What goes around, comes around  in Cardiff Bay: The Welsh Labour Government’s resurrected plans to merge 22 councils in Wales into a mere handful are the result of “muddled thinking” – says the Vale of Glamorgan Council

In its draft the Vale Council goes on to say that what it calls the Welsh Labour Government’s “preoccupation” on merging councils together is “hugely damaging”

The Vale Council says Welsh Government’s Green paper is “extremely disappointing given the Cabinet Secretary’s foreword which states “local government is not simply about structures and lines on a map”. Regrettably this is in total contradiction to the body of the Green paper. The Vale of Glamorgan Council rejects the proposed process of mandated mergers”

An excerpt from the hilariously inaccurate and grossly misleading “Easy Read” version of the Welsh Government’s Green Paper on Local Government Re-organisation. It fails to mention it is the Welsh Labour Government itself which has starved local councils of cash by pocketing money it received from the UK Government in Westminster which was specifically designated for local councils. The Welsh Labour Government also gives more funding per head to Labour councils than to those controlled by other parties. The Vale Council is demanding a fairer funding formula.

One by one the Vale of Glamorgan Council document demolishes all the Welsh Labour Government’s arguments and dismisses plans to merge the Vale with the Labour-run Cardiff Council. It says “This council does not support the view that mandating a footprint which sees the Vale of Glamorgan Council merging with Cardiff Council to create a single authority is an appropriate way to provide ‘clarity’ on how services should be provided”.

In a final kick-in-the-teeth to the mandarins of Cardiff Bay, the Vale Council notes that it receives “an extremely disadvantageous settlement from Welsh Government, year on year, and one which continues to be based on out of date methodologies.

The council tells the Welsh Labour Government thatPerhaps time would be better spent reflecting on the way in Welsh Government funds local government to ensure more consistency and fairness to all”.

The front cover illustration from the “Easy Read” version of the Welsh Labour Government’s consultative “Green Paper” on local authority mergers. The document has been described as “patronising and inaccurate “.

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This temporary replacement D Class lifeboat is currently in service at Penarth pending the arrival of the new £50,000 boat later this week

Penarth’s new lifeboat – due to be named a week on Saturday (June 2nd) – is to be called “Spirit of Penarth II”.

“Spirit of Penarth II”  is replacing the D Class lifeboat “Connie Dains” (named after an RNLI donor)  and has now been retired. A standby D Class is currently based at the RNLI station on Penarth Esplanade  pending the arrival of the new boat this week.

The replacement D Class lifeboat will be in use for another two weeks – until June 2nd

The name of the new of the Penarth lifeboat – which has been kept a closely guarded secret –  echoes that of the original “Spirit of Penarth” ( B-725)  which was an Atlantic 75 that did service at Penarth from  1996 to 2010 .

A PDN source says the issue has been  the subject of considerable discussion within the RNLI  – but it was decided that because local residents had raised much of the money for the new boat, its name should reflect that of the town.

A formal request has been made to the Vale of Glamorgan and to Penarth Town Council for permission to close Penarth Esplanade to traffic in a fortnight’s time on Saturday June 2nd from 07:00 to 14:00 for the official naming ceremony and subsequent launch of the new boat.

The appeal for the new  lifeboat was opened in July 2016 with a target of £50,000.

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Penarth Marina Manager Stuart Jones (left) receives the new heart de-fibrillator from the charity Welsh Hearts

The first electronic heart-defibrillator to be permanently based in Penarth Marina  has been handed over for installation by the charity Welsh Hearts.

The handover came during the Penarth Quays Marina Open Day yesterday when marina manager Stuart Jones accepted the new portable  battery-powered machine.

The defibrillator can be used by anyone without training and talks users through the method of using it

Defibrillators are electronic devices for use on heart attack victims. They deliver an electric shock to a patient’s heart in order to get it beating properly again. If  used promptly – even by untrained people – they can often save the life of a heart-attack victim in the “golden minutes” before an ambulance can reach the scene. A built-in audio recording talks untrained users through the procedures of operating the device.

There are already several heart de-fibrillators at other sites in Penarth – but this is the first permanent machine to be based in the Marina and available around the clock.  It will be based at the Marina Harbourmaster’s Office and will be available 24/7 for anyone to use at any time.  [ Another defibrillator is available on board the training yacht “Challenge Wales” which is normally berthed in the Marina outer basin] .

The cost of £1,000 for the new machine has been met with contributions from Penarth Quays Marina and from the Penarth Portway Management Company – which manages much of the residential estate around the Marina.

The current list of defibrillators in Penarth – of which there are now 3 available around the clock – is as follows :-

  • Penarth Quays Marina Harbourmaster’s Office (24/7)
  • Penarth Lifeboat Station (24/7)
  • Lloyds Bank, Windsor Road (24/7)
  • Aboard the yacht “Challenge Wales”  berthed at Penarth Marina Outer Basin
  • Penarth Pier Pavilion
  • Penarth Bowls Club
  • Penarth Rugby Club
  • The Holm House Hotel, Marine Parade
  • The Paget Rooms
  • Westbourne School
  • The Co-operative Food Store in Windsor Road
  • Penarth Yacht Club
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