NITROUS-OXIDE MENACE: PENARTH POLICE STEP-UP PATROLS

Police patrols are to be stepped up in Penarth in a bid to stamp out the craze of Nitrous Oxide sniffing

South Wales Police are to step up patrols of trouble spots in the Penarth area following several discoveries of cartridges of liquid nitrous-oxide in the area. (see PDN reports on ……………and ……………) 

Inspector Gary Smart  – who is in charge of Penarth police station  – says  “We are aware of the issue of nitrous oxide cartridges being discarded in a few public spaces throughout Penarth, and we have stepped up patrols while we continue to investigate.”

Nitrous Oxide chargers littering the roadside in St Augustine’s. The potentially lethal gas they contain is inhaled from balloons to give addicts a “high”

Discarded canisters of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) have been found in Glebe St / Ludlow Street, on Church Place North near St Augustines Church  and in the Penarth Council children’s playground near Pembroke Terrace

Inspector Gary Smart of South Wales Police

Inspector Smart warns “Not only is using nitrous oxide for anything other than its intended use extremely dangerous – it can even prove fatal – the antisocial behaviour associated with those inhaling it has a negative impact on those living and working in the area and it will not be tolerated.”

The police are again asking for the public’s help to stem the menace and are reminding retailers of their responsibilities in selling Nitrous Oxide cartridges .

Inspector Smart says   “I’d like to encourage the public to continue reporting any concerns to us via 101 [ the police access number for non-emergency calls] and I’d also like to remind retailers that it is an offence to sell nitrous-oxide to anyone under 18 if they suspect it is likely to be used to inhale.”

 

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THREE LIFEBOATS ARE CALLED OUT TO 18-FOOT YACHT IN DISTRESS

Penarth’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat towing the distressed yacht aground  in heavy seas off Lavernock Point this afternoon (Penarth Coastguard photo)

Both Penarth lifeboats – and Barry Dock lifeboat – were launched today to the aid of an 18 foot yacht with a crew of two – which radioed for help  in rough seas off Lavernock Point.

The coastguard HQ at Milford Haven requested the launch just before 16:00 hours this afternoon.The yacht’s engine was reported to have lost power in choppy seas,  force-5 winds  and a strong tide. Penarth Coastguard said the yacht had gone aground.

 

The Barry Dock all- weather lifeboat – seen here on exercise with Penarth lifeboat on August 8th 2017

The Barry Dock all weather lifeboat was  summoned to the scene and took both members of the yacht’s crew of two to Barry where they were given first aid.

Penarth Coastguard Officers met the lifeboat and inspected the casualty yacht on arrival at Cardiff Barrage (Penarth Coastguard photo)

A Penarth lifeboat crew-member boarded the casualty vessel and she was taken in tow back to Penarth and Cardiff Bay by the Atlantic 85 lifeboat with the smaller D Class lifeboat in support .

Penarth Coastguard officers met the vessel on arrival at Cardiff Barrage . The entire operation took four hours

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BIZWATCH: PENARTH ESPLANADE’S NEWEST ICE-CREAM OUTLET OPENS FOR BUSINESS

The new Crazy Licks ice-cream parlour has opened on Penarth Esplanade

The long-awaited new ice-cream parlour on Penarth Esplanade has now been opened next door to the “Crazy Cafe” – of which it is an adjunct.

Large  bi-fold windows open up to almost make the pavement part of the premises .

Original sea-side-themed paintings adorn the walls

. Carefully-chosen paintings adorn the rear wall, and vintage tungsten light bulbs are suspended over the counter areas  to enhance the period appearance.

Multi-coloured  – but faded-effect  -wooden back-boards give the brand-new business  a vintage “seaside feel” and help promote the range of ice cream flavours and colours being purveyed.

Alfresco seating is available outside

The shop is the latest enterprise to be launched by Penarth property entrepreneur Richard Hayward whose firm has carried out the total re-build of the entire Beachcliff complex and which now includes the “Restaurant James Sommerin ” , Mr Sommerin’s boutique hotel “Rooms” , the Crazy Cafe / bakery/ patisserie / coffee shop  – and now the ice cream parlour.

Somerset-made Lovingtons ice creams – produced just across the water from Penarth are on the menu

The “Crazy Licks” ice cream outlet (the name appears on the menu)  has a franchise for Lovington’s ice cream – a premium brand made in Somerset which is produced in a  factory with a strict “no nuts” policy and is said to be “suitable for vegetarians (lacto/ovo tolerant)” and is also free from “GMO with no artificial flavouring or artificial colouring”.

For those who are tempted – a single scoop cone costs £1.95, two scoops – £2.95 and three scoops will set customers back £3.95 –  with a variety of toppings available as as extras.

 

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BOSS OF THE VALE COUNCIL-SUBSIDISED “BRO RADIO” STATION QUITS

Bro Radio’s road show  on Penarth Esplanade. Reception of the publicly-subsidised station in the town is patchy

The station-manager of the Bro Radio – the community radio station subsidised by Vale of Glamorgan Council-tax payers – has announced he is relinquishing his post.

Gareth Sweeney was in charge of Bro Radio and has been involved with the operation since it first went on the air in 2009.

The radio station – primarily funded by a  grant from the Vale Council – is based in Barry and reception of its signal in Penarth, Dinas Powys other areas of the Vale has always been patchy.

Mr Sweeney’s last show on Bro Radio will be today – because of an “already planned holiday” – and will continue as an unpaid director of the company.

The managing director of the station – Clive Silver – says “We would like to take this opportunity of thanking Gareth for the commitment and support he has given to Bro and wish him well in his new ventures.”

Broi Radio’s road show welcomes Stephen Doughty – Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

Launched in 2009, ‘Bro Radio’ is in fact a private company called the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company . Companies House records reveal it is  run by 3 current directors and has four shareholders – all of whom are private individuals . Twelve previous directors have resigned.

Although the station carries some advertising, the £24,000 a year grant it receives from the Vale Council continues to be a major source of the station’s income.

The station’s OFCOM licence-to-broadcast runs until 2019 . Its  £72,000 three-year deed-of-grant from the Vale of Glamorgan Council was renewed by the former Labour-controlled administration in 2015  and the now Conservative-controlled council is going to have to decide whether to renew it  next year – in 2018  .

Cllr Lis Burnett displaying Labour Party literature with former councillor Gwyn Roberts in 2014, posed for a photograph for Bro Radio on Penarth Esplanade
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In 2015 Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell) praised the station for getting “straightforward advice and information out there”. The fact that it was an “accessible station” – she said –  did not mean it was a “tame radio station where you get an easy ride”.

The station has been described as being  “half way between a charity and a business”. Additional income to supplement the council grant is derived from “fundraising, grants and sponsorship from some local businesses” . Apart from the salaried Station Manager post Bro Radio is staffed by unpaid volunteers, some of whom are disadvantaged or suffered from physical impairments.

Two years ago Bro Radio told Penarth Council  said it was hard to say what the audience size was. The station had not used RAJAR – the officially-recognised radio audience measurement system.

The OFCOM transmitter map for Bro Radio indicates that it doesn't cover Barry properly -let alone Penarth

The OFCOM transmitter map for Bro Radio indicates that it doesn’t cover all of Barry fully – and does not penetrate  Penarth

[PDN Note: Unlike other radio and tv broadcasters, there is no requirement on community radio stations to maintain political balance –  unless they have undertaken to do so in their licence applications . The House of Commons was told in 1986 that ” as the published guidance notes for prospective licensees make clear, there will be no obligation on them to balance programmes expressing political points of view.” However, as far as funding is concerned, Ofcom lays down that  “There must be no influence on the output of a service that is contrary to the public interest, including for political ends.” ]

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PENARTH COUNCIL LEADER RE-APPLIES TO BUILD “INCONGRUOUS” PAGET PLACE HOUSE

An architect’s watercolour depicting what the new modern box-like house would look like inserted in the middle of Paget Place’s classic row of  Victorian villas in Penarth’s Conservation Area.

The Leader of Penarth Town Council –  Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) has applied to the  Vale of Glamorgan Council to renew permission to build a modernist box-shaped two-storey dwelling in the heart of the Penarth Conservation Area. 

The proposed new house -would be erected in the grounds of Cllr Cuddy’s classic Victorian villa in Paget Place and would be inserted into a row of similar properties.

The proposed box-like modernistic sdesign house it’s proposed to insert into Victorian Paget Place – in the grounds of the Leader of Penarth Town Council

The contemporary-style house was designed by local architect Chris Loyn former president of the Penarth Civic Society – who is well-known for his cutting-edge designs. [Mr Loyn is also responsible for the design of the ultra-modern 30-apartment “Northcliff Lodge” development – which it is proposed to build immediately across the road from Cllr Cuddy’s Victorian villa  in Paget Place]  

Cllr Cuddy has been Leader of the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council since 2012, is deputy chairman of its planning committee and was Mayor of Penarth until May this year

Cllr Cuddy is the Leader of the Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council and is also deputy chairman of the Penarth Town Council planning committee – the body that makes recommendations to the Vale of Glamorgan Council on all planning applications made in the town.

Back in the year 2012, when Cllr Cuddy’s scheme was first submitted,  Penarth Town Council was (at that time) controlled by the Conservative Party  and its planning committee RECOMMENDED REFUSAL  of Cllr Cuddy’s plan.

Penarth Town Council’s planning committee told the Vale of Glamorgan Council in February 2012 that the building which Cllr Cuddy wanted to erect at Paget Place would be:-

  • out of keeping with the surrounds
  • an incongruous and overly dominant development” and would
  • “harm  the integrity and appearance of the street scene to the detriment of residential amenities as well as the character and appearance of the Conservation Area”

Cllr Cuddy’s plan also ran into  opposition from  Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Conservation Advisory Group – the body which advised the council on all conservation matters.

The Vale of Glamorgan Conservation Advisory Group ALSO RECOMMENDED REFUSAL  of the application. In a report to the Vale Council the advisory group said it said  the scheme :-

  • did not  “harmonise with the existing street scene”
  • was on the existing “building line” [ i.e. the modern building would be inserted within the existing line of Victorian frontages]  and… 
  • the design “represented an overly dominant form of development”.

Cllr Cuddy’s application was set to be decided upon by a “delegated” Vale Council planning officer  rather than being discussed at a full Vale Council planning committee.

In May 2012 he Labour Party came into power in both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Town Council –  and Cllr Cuddy was ensconced as Leader of Penarth Town Council.

In June 2012 the now Labour-controlled Vale Council planning committee considered the Vale Conservation Committee’s Advisory Report [ which recommended rejection of Cllr Cuddy’s application]  and only noted it  – without taking any action.

The application was then formally APPROVED by the “delegated” Vale Planning officer  who over-rode  the opposition of the Vale Conservation Advisory Committee and of the old Conservative administration in Penarth Town Council  and allowed the development to go ahead,  the only caveat being that there should be “landscaping to soften the impact of the development.”

As with most planning applications, the standard condition was imposed, requiring that work should begin within 5 years of the granting of planning permission.

In the event however, that 5 year period has now expired – with no work having started  – and the  2012 planning permission has now expired.

For this reason Cllr Cuddy and his wife have now had to lodge a formal application to revive the lapsed and expired planning application and are requesting an EXTENSION OF THE PLANNING DEADLINE.

Despite the tangled history of this proposal – and the “incongruous” impact on the Penarth Conservation Area which Penarth Town Council said in 2012 that it would have – the matter is still due to be dealt with only by a “delegated” Vale Council planning officer and will not come before the full Vale of Glamorgan planning committee unless it is formally “called-in” by a local councillor.

….So far, no local councillor has made that move.

 

 

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PENARTH TOURIST BODY BACKS NEW UK “DEAL FOR TOURISM”

A small section of the  widely-distributed free map of Penarth which is one of  Penarth Tourist and Visitor Association’s most successful publications. A new map is currently in preparation.

The Penarth Tourism & Visitor Association (PTVA)  – the local tourism-promotion body which operates independently of Penarth Town Council and of the Vale of Glamorgan Council  – has announced its backing for the UK Government’s consultation on a “new deal”  for the tourist industry.

The proposed new deal is – amongst other things –  intended to  improve productivity, tourism infrastructure and the recruitment of young people into the industry.

The new chairman of the Penarth Tourist and Visitor Association Anthony Ernest.

Former Penarth town-councillor Anthony Ernest  – has been elected to succeed the retiring chairman – Gary Soltys – who will  remain a member of the association’s management committee .  The new PTVA vice-chairman is Jo Jones – a former senior tourism executive in the Welsh Office.

Mr Ernest says  “Here in Wales we have excellent tourism products appealing to a widely differing market, and we need to ensure that local tourism businesses are able to build on their own successes with the backing of national government and local authorities.”

He points out that  there are “terrific opportunities for young people seeking an interesting and satisfying career in this field, and many local businesses are looking for enthusiastic trainees who can offer commitment and potential management skills”

PTVA has a wide network membership of businesses in the Penarth, Sully and Dinas Powys areas, and acts as a focus for tourism activities and events in the area, working with representatives from the local  business communities, especially restaurant, accomodation, sports and retail outlets, as well as attractions and council-led activities.

The PTVA is currently developing a new map of Central Penarth following on from the popular Town Map published by the PTVA and sponsored by a well-known Penarth restaurateur.

The PTVA’s  next ordinary meeting is to be held in October. All local businesses and organisations with interests in tourism will be welcome to attend. The PTVA is contactable by email on  PTVA.Penarth@gmail.com .

 

 

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WANNA PARK IN PENARTH – 24/7? THAT’LL BE £6,000 PLEASE!

Permanent parking spaces in Penarth are expensive

The price of parking – or at least the price of a permanent parking spot in Penarth town centre – is going up.

The current going price for a couple of parking spaces which are currently for sale at the rear of shops in Stanwell Road is – according to a PDN source – no less than £12,000 each. That’s £6,000 per space.

The two spaces for sale are access-controlled by an electronic bollard

The latest offering is for two designated adjacent parking plots in an access-controlled car park off the bottom end of Hickman Road where an electronic bollard keeps out unauthorised drivers.

Meanwhile some local retailers are blaming the shortage of parking spaces in the town on other retailers who, it seems,  can’t break the habit of parking their own vehicles – all day –  outside their own shops – and then have the temerity to grouse about trading being quiet.

With new housing developments in prospect, and with estate agents being besieged by buyers wanting to come and live in the town, the price of a place to park in Penarth  is moving higher all the time .

 

 

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