Penarth Pier Pavilion is a pivotal part of Penarth’s tourist “offer”. Its partial closure -just 3 years  after £4,200,000 of public money had been spent on its renovation – infuriated local people.

Unconfirmed rumours have reached PDN that Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL) – the beleaguered “not-for-profit” company/charity which holds a 125-year-lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion –  is preparing to re-open the building on a 7-days-a-week basis next month.

It’s also rumoured that arrangements are also being made to staff the integral Pavilion Cinema – even though PACL had earlier claimed that its operation was not financially viable.

Local activist Nicki Page installed a protest banner across the Pier Pavilion entrance in March this year and is now banned from entering the Pavilion

If the rumours are right, they amount to a complete 180-degree U-Turn by PACL who  – only in February this year –  announced  the Pavilion Cinema would close indefinitely and close the Pavilion itself on 3 days out of every 7 as from March 6th 2017.

As of next month it appears there will be a total of 7 permanent staff at the Pavilion including a “cinema manager” and a “cinema and general events officer” – implying the cinema will be re-opened, although it’s not yet clear whether replacement arrangements have yet been made for the hire of movies for public exhibition.

The recent payment of a further £126,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund is for – amongst other things – the  engagement of extra staff [ See PDN  . Augmenting the 7 permanent or part-time staff are about 15 “volunteers”.

The new  – Conservative-controlled – Vale of Glamorgan Council was so concerned about the closure of Penarth’s “jewel-in-the-crown” that its leader, Cllr John Thomas, following discussions with Cardiff South and Penarth Conservative candidate Bill Rees, had ordered a review of the terms of the Pavilion lease [ as reported by PDN on June 5 2017 see ].

PDN‘s wholly accurate report of the implementation of a review was derived from unimpeachable sources but met with a “non-denial, denial” from PACL who said on its website  “We have not had any communication from the Council regarding such a review” . [ PDN Note: There would be no reason for the Vale Council to discuss such a review with PACL because, as the lessors, the Vale of Glamorgan Council already has all the necessary documentation on file in the council’s archives] .





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The 5 of the 9 Red Arrow Hawks winging-it over Weston Super Mare yesterday afternoon – as seen from Penarth, 10 miles away. They’ll be back over Weston this afternoon (Sunday June 18th 2017)

The two-day Weston Air Festival is likely to be drawing big crowds once again today for Day 2 of flying displays by more than 25 different aircraft – including the famous RAF Red Arrows.

Out of the Sun: The problem with watching in Weston is that spectators are looking into the sun

However purists say that with  good weather,  and a good pair of  binoculars,  by far the best place to watch the display isn’t Weston – but Penarth – where it’s possible to appreciate the  full scope and scale of the famous RAF aerobatic team’s precision stunts without squinting into the sun or getting stuck in a traffic jam when it’s all over.

The Red Arrows streaming patriotic smoke trails

A single Red Arrow appers to  skim the tower of Glastonbury Tor

The Red Arrows over Weston-Super-Mare’s famous pier yesterday

Weston is 10 miles away from Penarth  enabling spectators on this side of the Bristol Channel to take in the whole of the huge area of sky in which the Red Arrows paint the sky with tricolour smoke trails.

Going down! A piece of ephemeral aviation artwork in the process of creation.

The Red Arrows have three different displays they can choose to fly ” full, rolling or flat”. The full display depends on the cloud-base being above 5,500 feet (which it probably will be today)  .

For Arrows aficionados, the following graphics illustrate the different stunts to be flown from their 2017 aerobatic programme:-

The Red Arrows display routines (best viewed on iPad)

The Red Arrows put on an impressive display yesterday (Saturday June 17th 2017) and will be performing over Weston again  during this afternoon .The annual event is organised by North Somerset Council and  coincides with Armed Forces Day.

The schedule for this afternoon (subject to weather and aircraft serviceability) – from 13:00 to 15:30 is :-

  • Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
  • Extra 330SC (aerobatic display)
  • RAF Red Arrows
  • BAC Strikemaster Classic Jet Warbird and Muscle Pitts Bi-Plane
  • Team Raven Display Team
  • Whirlwind 10 (Search and rescue demonstration)
  • Mig 15 and P-51D Mustang
  • Catalina Flying Boat

15:30 to 17:30

  • The Blades Aerobatic Display Team
  • Calidus Gyrocopter
  • Breitling Wingwalker
  • Schweizer 300 ‘Otto’
  • Girl Power Pitts Special
  • Gazelle Squadron
  • TRIG Aerobatic Team
  • RAF Typhoon

Since the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council cancelled the Penarth Holiday Festival Carnival Day air show the Weston Super Mare air show on the other side of the Bristol channel is the nearest to Penarth

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Police arrive at the scene of  a 2-car crash near the Cefn Mably pub on Lavernock Road last night

Police and paramedics were called to the scene of a 2-car crash on Lavernock Road, Penarth yesterday evening – near the Cefn Mably Pub.

There were children travelling in at least one of the cars . All passengers were checked for possible whiplash injuries.

The cars at the scene of last night’s collision on Lavernock Road

This Hyundai car appeared to have mounted the pavement and crashed into the steel railings of Stanwell School sports ground.

One of the vehicles appeared to have mounted the pavement and  collided with the railings of Stanwell School’s sports ground – bending them out of alignment.

The front of this Suzuki saloon car was badly damaged.

The cause of the multiple crash has not yet been established. Further details are awaited.

Meanwhile in  another  – separate –  accident  in Penarth, South Wales Police placed the following tweet on Twitter on today.

The tweet about what’s thought to be a separate accident in  Penarth – published by South Wales Police on June 18th 2017





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Labour’s heavily criticised wakeboarding scheme at Cosmeston Lakes may be torpedoed by the Tories

The controversial scheme to install a commercial wake-boarding circuit on the largest lake in Cosmeston Country Park may be dead in the water.

The wakeboarding scheme is a left-over legacy the previous Labour administration and of its main proponent, the former Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council – Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell).

On December 14th Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell  – (then deputy leader of the Vale Council) had sought to minimise the impact the wakeboarding scheme would have. But she – and the Labour administration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council –  were booted out of office in the May 4th elections.

Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully)

However after the Labour administration in the Vale lost its control of the council on May 4th, Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully) “called-in” the planning application for the scheme for consideration and examination by the full planning committee – thus preventing the scheme being decided by just a Vale staff planning officer on a “delegated” basis.

Cllr Mahoney has also now contacted Cllr John Thomas, Leader of the Conservatives on the Vale Council  – whose administration has now taken over from Labour. Cllr Mahoney  asked Cllr Thomas for “a reconsideration of the whole plan”.

Wildfowl at Cosmeston Country Park need now have no trepidation about getting back into the water

Cllr John Thomas Conservative Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr Mahoney said in his letter to Cllr Thomas “any such proposals need to be in keeping with the overall tranquility and concept of the country park. In this instance wake boarding on the main lake which must damage the nesting and breeding patterns of the wildfowl as well as wrecking the peaceful nature of the surrounding area cannot be considered in the same manner as other successful wake boarding centres around the UK.”

Now it’s been confirmed that Cllr Thomas has put the wakeboarding scheme “on hold” until a full presentation is made to the Conservative-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet. 



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The new road ends at the Queen’s Gate tunnels

Without much in the way of a fanfare, the new Eastern Bay Link Road – opened earlier this week – making it easier for drivers from Penarth to get to and from  the other side of Cardiff .

Initial reaction from the few drivers who know the new road exists – and is open –  is reported to be good. The new 1.2 kilometer road  cuts out  the tortuous and congested route and should improve traffic flow

The route of the new road

The new road begins at the “Queens Gate Roundabout ” (the other side of the tunnels from Penarth) and connects to the  Ocean Way roundabout in Tremorfa  – easing access to the East Moors area, Cardiff Bay and the Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone. It also provides a more direct route between the A4232 Butetown tunnel and Rover Way


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Several police cars converged on Stanwell Road Penarth after a stolen Lexus saloon crashed into three parked cars this afternoon (Photo John Matthews)

A major police pursuit is under way in Penarth this afternoon following an incident in which – it’s understood –  a stolen blue Lexus saloon collided with three parked vehicles in Stanwell Road.

Eyewitnesses say there were at least two –  possibly three people in the Lexus  – all of whom bailed out and ran-off,  with the police officers in pursuit.

The blue Lexus had hit the back of a Mini and two other cars were damaged.(Photo John Matthews)

South Wales Police said this afternoon that ” A road traffic collision occurred on Stanwell Road shortly before 3.20pm today (Friday, June 16th). Two men have since been arrested and enquiries are ongoing.”

Coolant, oil and possibly fuel was leaking from the stolen Lexus (Photo John Matthews)

Penarth firefighters were called to the scene to deal with leaking fuel (Photo John Matthews)

Penarth Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at one point in order to check the safety of the damaged vehicles and their fuel.

It’s understood from eyewitnesses at the scene that police are still in pursuit of one of the persons in the Lexus.


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On May 12th 2016 local residents in Sully held a placard protest about plans to build unnecessary houses  on Cog Road, Sully . After years of being ignored by Labour – now the new Conservative Vale Council is listening to them and thousands like them  – and is taking action

The newly elected Conservative administration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council has thrown down the gauntlet to the Welsh Labour Government and demanded the housing targets imposed on the Vale by Labour should be reduced by “at least” 1,500 .

The previous Labour administration in the Vale had meekly accepted the controversial and widely criticised Welsh Labour Government diktat that 9,950 new homes (private and social housing) should be built in the Vale – even though there was scant evidence of population growth to justify this figure.

This highly productive agricultural land is on Swanbridge Road  – the site on which Taylor Wimpey want to build 350 homes – with more to follow. Vale Conservative Leader John Thomas has told the Welsh Labour Government   “We have a duty to protect and preserve our green spaces for future generations”

Now with the election of a Conservative administration in the Vale of Glamrogan Council, the Welsh Labour Government is being challenged head-on.

Cllr John Thomas (Conservative St Athan) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

The Leader of the Vale Council – Cllr John Thomas – says “We have a duty to protect and preserve our green spaces for future generations, and the new administration was elected having promised to oppose inappropriate development in the Vale”.

Cllr Thomas is also demanding review of all the housing targets that  the Welsh Labour Government is seeking to impose on the Vale of Glamorgan. He says the Welsh Government’s own statistics prove that the targets should be reduced significantly.

The Vale’s Conservative leader is now calling for an urgent formal meeting with the Welsh Labour Government’s  Environment and Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths.

The full text Cllr Thomas’s letter to Secretary Griffiths is as follows:

RE: Call for Review of Welsh Government Housing Targets (Local Development Plan)

I write to you in relation to the Vale of Glamorgan local authority’s Local Development Plan, with urgent reference to the housing targets identified by the Welsh Labour Government.

As you will be aware, the Deposit Plan was prepared based upon 2008 data for household projections.

Additional data has since become available, revealing Welsh Government projections to have been significantly higher than true levels of population growth – data which could enable the authority to significantly reduce housing development targets in the LDP.

Welsh Government projections for 2011 (published in February 2014) identified a need for a significantly lower figure than that identified within the Deposit LDP. Specifically, the 2011-based projections identified a need for just 5,778 dwellings over the lifetime of the LDP (using the Principal Projections) – or 7,399 dwellings if a 10 year average migration trend was utilised.

In either case, both figures are significantly below the 9,950 requirement identified within the Deposit Plan – a figure which was reached as a result of targets imposed by your government.

Further, the latest projections for 2014 appear to suggest that housing targets for the Local Development Plan could be reduced by at least 1500 properties.

It is my duty as the newly-elected Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan council to represent the interests of the constituents I serve, and it is my firm belief that the Welsh Government’s targets must be reassessed.

Housing policy, particularly when viewed alongside plans for required infrastructure improvements and greater service provision, must reflect genuine local need.

With Welsh Labour Government data having been proven inaccurate, there is an opportunity for your officials to reassess the target – enabling the local authority to revise the plan and reduce the housing development requirements in our LDP.

We have a duty to protect and preserve our green spaces for future generations, and the new administration was elected having promised to oppose inappropriate development in the Vale.

With that in mind, I would ask for a formal meeting with you at the earliest opportunity to discuss the Local Development Plan. I would also request an official review of these housing targets.

Kind regards,

Cllr John Thomas

Leader, Vale of Glamorgan Council

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