REFERENDUM IS DEMANDED ON PLANS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF AMs

There could be three "Vaughan Gethings" representing Cardiff South and Penarth in the future

There could be no less than three “Vaughan Gethings” representing local voters in the future – under proposals to increase the number of Assembly Members from the present 60 to 87 .

The campaign group True Wales is demanding a referendum be held on proposals under discussion to increase the number of members of the Welsh Assembly from the present 60 to no fewer than 87.

A leading Cardiff academic, Professor Roger Scully,  says it’s “possible” that the political parties in the Assembly may agree to increase the number of AMs – despite several re-assurances in given in the past that this wouldn’t happen.

It’s claimed that the present 60 AMs just can’t cope with the amount of work they now have to do . The Presiding Officer Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) says the Assembly is currently “overstretched ” .

THE PROPOSAL

The Welsh Assembly may well have to find seats for 87 AMs

The Welsh Assembly may well have to find seats for 27 more AMs bringing to total to 87

The new proposals for increasing the number of Assembly Members  – and creating what’s claimed would be a “more effective and accountable” Welsh Assembly –  have just been published by Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre and Electoral Reform Society Cymru in a report called “Reshaping the Senedd”.

PROPOSED CONSTITUENCY CHANGES

Instead it’s proposed that Wales should adopt the same revised constituency-boundaries for Welsh Assembly constituencies as those proposed by the Boundary Commission for Parliamentary constituencies. That then that would create 29 Assembly constituencies in Wales. one of two possible alternative electoral systems for electing Assembly Members .

 The present UK Parliamentary boundaries have Penarth within the Labour-dominated Cardiff South and Penarth constituency. The Boundary Commission proposes placing Penarth in a new "Vale of Glamorgan East" constituency

The present UK Parliamentary boundaries have Penarth within the Labour-dominated Cardiff South and Penarth constituency. The Boundary Commission proposes placing Penarth in a new “Vale of Glamorgan East” constituency which could have not only 1 MP but 3 AMs

If the Boundary Commission’s proposed new constituency boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies the MP elections are also adopted for the elections of Assembly Members, (and – so far –  there’s no sign that they will be)  then as far as Assembly elections were concerned Penarth would be placed in what would be a new Vale of Glamorgan East constituency with 3 AMs.

The  existing Cardiff South and Penarth Assembly constituency – which is currently held by Vaughan Gething would disappear –  with most of it going into a new Cardiff South constituency.

PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE VOTING SYSTEM

Voters arrivng at St Augustine's Church Hall in May this year to fill in two different ballot papers for the election of Assembly Members

Voters arrivng at St Augustine’s Church Hall in May this year to fill in two different ballot papers for the election of Assembly Members for Cardiff South and Penarth and for South Wales Central . In future they may be just one ballot paper – and one constituency – Vale of Glamorgan East

The new proposals involve  scrapping the two existing systems of electing AMs  (- the  “First Past the Post” system and the so-called “Additional Member system ) and would bring to an end the hassle voters have in filling in two different ballot papers to elect AMs.

Instead it’s proposed that Assembly Members should – in future – be elected by one or other of two suggested methods :-

  • Single Transferable Vote (STV) –  A total of 87 members elected in 29 constituencies . Each constituency would be represented by 3 members. [Professor Scully has said that the Labour Party “would, in nearly all political scenarios, do very well out of STV in Wales”]
  • Open List System – A total of 87 members elected in 29 constituencies. Each constituency would be represented by 3 members.
Rachel Banner of True Wales says AMs must put any proposals to increase their numbers to a referendum

Rachel Banner of True Wales says AMs must put any proposals to increase their numbers to a referendum

Activist Rachel Banner of the True Wales campaign group says it would be “entirely illegitimate” to enlarge the size of the Welsh Assembly and create seats for 27 more AMs without first obtaining the assent of the people of Wales in a  national referendum.

She says the arguments for enlarging the number of AMs in the Welsh Assembly must be put to the electorate .

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 17 Comments

‘MORE THAN 40 HAIRDRESSERS IN PENARTH’ – BUT COUNCIL OKs YET ANOTHER

No 2 Royal Buildings is the location of the proposed new hair and beauty salon - the name of which has not yet been made public

No 2 Royal Buildings is the location of the proposed new hair and beauty salon – the name of which has not yet been made public

Members of Penarth Town Council’s planning committee – who heard there are already more than 40 hairdressers in Penarth – this week decided to support a “change of use” of premises in Royal Buildings for yet one more.

The premises –  at 2 Royal Buildings –  had been converted for use as a photographic studio in 2006,  on condition that it not be used for any other form of business.  However, now – ten years on – an application had been made to operate the premises as a hair salon.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) chairman of Penarth planning committee

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) chairman of Penarth planning committee

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) in the chair, said this was a  “fairly significant location in the Conservation Area site” and was next door to the Etc… restaurant.

Cllr Mark Wilson said the site was actually in “Gwyn’s Ward” [the ward of Cllr Gwyn Roberts Labour St Augustines]

Cllr Roberts however asserted that the borderline between the two wards “runs along the centre of Stanwell Road” and the premises were actually not in St Augustine’s Ward but in either Plymouth Ward or Stanwell Ward  – he wasn’t sure which.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

This assertion prompted considerable discussion . Veteran councillor Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) settled the matter by declaring the premises were in his ward – Plymouth Ward. “I know my ward” – he said.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Roberts said that the application was for change of use and entailed no change to the exterior of the building. The premises had been empty for some time.

Referring to Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell),  Cllr Roberts said  “I know Mark  will tell us how many hairdressers there are in Penarth”  – but said he would rather see the premises as operating commercial business than being left empty . He would raise  no objection to the change.

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour ,St Augustines)

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour ,St Augustines)

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) said he totally agreed. It was a difficult site – sensitive to the Conservation Area.  He noted there were two similar businesses “successfully trading” nearby . He said he would support the application .

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) voted last night with Labour - against his own Conservative colleagues

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) considered that  Cllr Rapier had “just said it all”.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) said that in the ward that he represented – [the other side of Royal Buildings]   “We have 3 hairdressers already. We have over 40 in Penarth – nevertheless  we’ve got a concentration of hairdressers in this area and it would be ludicrous if we said ‘no’ to this one“.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Wilson added that more customer footfall might help make the area even more viable than it already was and “hopefully, that would be good news” . It was better to have the new businesses  than have an empty shop-front in what he called “a premier part of Penarth” .

Cllr Anthony Ernest, Conservative Plymouth Ward

Cllr Anthony Ernest, Conservative Plymouth Ward

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said  that “as usual” he took a slightly different view  from that of his “colleagues”.   “I take the view that a diversity of different types and classes of shops is important in a town” he said .

Cllr Ernest said he believed the condition imposed on the photographic studio had been applied to ensure that there was a range of shops in Royal Buildings which he described as “a very,very nice shopping area which has been long-established in the town “.  Once, there had been fishmongers, grocers, poulterers there –  but those classes had been “condensed down and down” .   Cllr Ernest thought the planning committee should try to ensure  that there was “diversification”  both in Royal Buildings and in Cornerswell Road.   Cllr Ernest said that if there was a vote then doubtless he would be outvoted – but that did not stop him making the point.

Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell ) said he was “fascinated that a Conservative was advocating a planned economy”.

Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell)

Across the table, Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell)  said he wanted to pick up Cllr Ernest’s point and said  – to laughter  – “sat opposite you and being able to study your quiff I can see that you are a student of hairdressers . You must have had a lot of experience of hairdressers in Penarth” .

However, Cllr Courtney declared that “ We have to let the free market operate  – so I’m inclined to take the view of the chair”. He even envisaged Penarth becoming “ hairdressers’ quarter” or what he called a “centre of excellence and a concentration of economic activity”   .

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Rosemary Cook (Labour St Augustines) said the premises had been empty for well over a year and ” I, for one, would be delighted to see them being used”.

Drawing the discussion to a conclusion, Cllr Thomas said that “with the exception of Comrade Ernest”  the consensus was that the committee supported the lifting of the condition imposed in the planning permission.

The final decision will be made by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

 

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News, Special Investigations | 22 Comments

PENARTH POLICE HUNT VANDAL WHO THREW PAINT OVER £35,000 MERCEDES

There was more than just early morning ice on this Mercedes SLK parked in Penarth - a pot of paint had been thrown over it

There was more than just early morning ice on this Mercedes SLK parked in Penarth – a pot of paint had been thrown over it

South Wales Police are searching for a vandal who deliberately threw the contents of a large tin of white paint over two black cars parked in Penarth – one, a seven-month-old  £35,000 Mercedes SLK.

The Mercedes  belongs to animal-rescue worker Adam Street – from Taunton in Somerset  who had been making one of his regular visits to a friend in Cosmeston Drive, Penarth.

The paint also blocked the air vents and fouled the windscreen wipers of the Mercedes

The paint also blocked the air vents and fouled the windscreen wipers of the Mercedes

The car was left undriveable after the incident – with paint over the windscreen, lights and indicators and blocking the air vents and wipers. The vehicle had to be loaded onto a recovery truck to be taken back to the West Country.

The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday morning. Adam said that early on Thursday morning he was preparing to set off from Penarth to return home to Somerset at 6.15 and went out to de-ice his Mercedes SLK after a frosty night – only to find it was paint – not ice –  all over his car  .

He told WalesonLine “I was shocked and angry and couldn’t believe what had happened. Nothing like this has happened to me before.”

Attempts to remove the still-wet paint Adams car - and that of his friend - parked behind - were unsuccessful. The car had to be recovered by a breakdown truck .

Attempts to remove the still-wet paint Adam’s car – and that of his friend – parked behind – were unsuccessful. The car had to be recovered by a breakdown truck .

Adam’s friend who drives a black Audi A3  also found his car, parked nearby,  had also had white paint flung over it .

Whilst they waited for police to arrive they found an empty  paint pot nearby which they handed over to the police. Adam is having to claim on his own car insurance to get the damage repaired – and  faces a possible consequent increase in his insurance premium

A South Wales Police have confirmed they are  investigating the incident in respect of both the vandalised cars.

Penarth police say  “The damage is believed to have been caused in the early hours of Thursday, December 1, and we are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area or who has information about the incident to contact us via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 1600463608.”

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 8 Comments

PENARTH JEWELLER ANNE MORGAN INVITED TO 10 DOWNING ST

Penarth's Anne Morgan on the doorstep at Downing St

Penarth’s Anne Morgan on the doorstep at Downing St

Penarth jeweller  Anne Morgan is one of 100 entrepreneurs from across the UK invited to 10 Downing St yesterday to mark tomorrow’s   nationwide event  “Small Business Saturday” 

Anne Morgan owns  Anne Morgan Jewellery in Glebe St, Penarth –  a gallery that specialises in selling handmade jewellery from a number of recognised crafts-artists.

Anne Morgan Jewellery was amongst the businesses open in Penarth for late-night shopping in last night foggy weather - but the boss was Downing Street

Anne Morgan Jewellery was amongst the businesses open in Penarth for late-night shopping in last night foggy weather – but the boss was in a  Downing Street reception

Anne, and fellow small-business owners, attended a special reception at No.10 Downing Street where they met the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility Margot James.

The Small Business Saturday campaign aims is to prompt people not only to spend money with small independent businesses in the run-up to Christmas but also to create a “mind-set” amongst customers to support them all year round.

Prime Minister Theresa May often wears jewellery in the House of Commons

Prime Minister Theresa May often wears jewellery in the House of Commons

The Prime Minister Theresa May says “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to celebrate the success of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses – from family run restaurants, to innovative tech start-ups, to local corner shops. I’m delighted that we had such a great representation of firms here in Downing Street to mark this event and recognise the prosperity they bring to the UK.” 

Anne Morgan said her visit to No 10  had been an amazing experience  She said it was hoped that “Small Business Saturday will encourage people to think about shopping with independent small business like myself not just on Small Business Saturday but all year round.”

More information on Small Business Saturday can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ smallbusinesssaturdayuk) Twitter page (@SmallBizSatUk) and website (www. smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com).

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 1 Comment

LOCAL MPS SPEAK ON LBGT SCHOOL-PUPILS AND HIV IN TRANSGENDER WOMEN

Local Labour MPs Chris Elmore (Labour Ogmore and Labour Vale Councillor for Buttills Ward barry (laft) and Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) have been speaking in the first ever Transgender debate in the House of Commons

Local Labour MPs Chris Elmore (Labour Ogmore and Labour Vale Councillor for Castleland Ward Barry (left) and Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) (right) have been speaking in the first ever Transgender Equality debate in the House of Commons

Local  MPs Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) and Chris Elmore (Labour MP for Ogmore and Vale of Glamorgan Councillor for Labour Castleland Ward, Barry) have both been speaking in a House of Commons debate on Transgender Equality.

Maria Miller chair of the Commons Equalities Committee

Maria Miller chair of the Commons Equalities Committee

Doughty asked Maria Miller (chair of the Commons Equality Committee) whether she would  join him praising the work of  South Wales Police and the British Army their work with “trans communities and the wider LGBT [ Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender] community?”

Miller said that some institutions coped better than others: “I particularly have been impressed by the way in which the Ministry of Justice has accepted the challenge around trans prisoners. I note the comments the hon. Gentleman makes about the police as well, and I hope other police authorities are able to follow suit.”

Chris Elmore (Labour MP for Ogmore and Vale of Glamorgan Councillor for Castleland Ward, Barry)

Chris Elmore (Labour MP for Ogmore and Vale of Glamorgan Councillor for Castleland Ward, Barry)

In his speech Chris Elmore – who is an opposition whip –  praised “great initiatives by public bodies and institutions“.

He went on to say “I was proud to march at Pride Cymru this year and saw South Wales Police – my honourable friend  Stephen Doughty mentioned this – marching with special shoulder patches to demonstrate their support for the LGBT+ community. Similarly, the British Army recently won the PinkNews public sector equality award for its work supporting LGBT personnel, including those who identify as transgender.”

Doughty told the house he was wearing a World Aids Day ribbon as was Chris Elmore

Doughty told the house he was wearing a World Aids Day ribbon as was Chris Elmore

Doughty reponded by saying “My honourable friend is making a very strong speech. He, like me, is wearing a World AIDS Day ribbon. On the global context for trans people, is he aware of the challenges for trans people who have HIV? Men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely than others to have HIV, but trans women are 49 times more likely to have HIV. Special attention needs to be paid to the provision of HIV services globally for the trans community.”

Later Elmore drew attention to the issues of LGBT children in school  . He said “Addressing the difficulties that transgender people face in school often focuses on physical accommodation. Efforts may be made to provide gender-neutral facilities but, although that is incredibly important, there is often not enough focus on why transgender people fall behind academically. A number of local authorities now produce guidance for head teachers, but equally important are the NGOs and charities that deliver awareness training for school staff. In and around Bridgend county, which includes my constituency, the group  A Brighter Future Altogether” Benefiting Bridgend provides crucial workshops to ensure that schools are better prepared to help transgender pupils to excel.”

“…….We owe it to the transgender people in each of our constituencies to come together to take concerted action to help to deliver equality for everyone, and we must start by recognising the scale of the problem.”

“…. I sincerely hope that today’s debate will help to raise awareness of the issue and mark the start of a journey to make the UK inclusive for everybody”.

 

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 10 Comments

ST PAUL’S CHURCH IS VALE COUNCIL’S “KEY AREA OF CHALLENGE” IN PENARTH

The derelict St Paul's Church - former home of Penarth Boxing Club was closed on health and safety grounds  in 2011

The former St Paul’s Church building – held in trust for the people of Penarth by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council – was  former base of Penarth Boxing Club. The building was  closed on health and safety grounds in 2011 – and has remained unused ever since. 

The re-development of the derelict St Paul’s Church in Arcot St Penarth has now been identified by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as what it calls a “key area of challenge”.

The most recent St Paul’s developments are outlined in the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s so-called “Corporate Performance Plan” which is due to be considered next week by the council’s Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Corporate Plan logo. ...Nice graphic - shame about the spelling

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Corporate Plan logo. …Nice graphic – shame about the spelling.

The most recent proposals to renovate disused former Methodist church building in Arcot Street were rejected by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s project board in December 2015  – after 12 months of delays.

The shell of the burned out Methodist Church before it was called "St Paul's"

The shell of the burned out Methodist Church before it was called “St Paul’s”

The history of the St Paul’s building is as follows:-

  • 1863 : The building was originally erected in Arcot St as a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
  • 1882: The chapel was enlarged as congregations swelled.
  • 1905 : The chapel caught fire and was gutted – leaving just the exterior walls standing. The Methodists decided not to re-build it and instead built the Albert Road Methodist Church as a replacement.
  • 1906: The chapel was re-built as a church by the Anglicans and named “St Paul’s” . In the re-build, several feet in height were chopped off the elaborate finials and pinnacles on the front fascia of the building . The front window  was re-modelled and reduced in height – giving the structure its current awkward, ungainly and inelegant appearance.
  • 1940: It received bomb damage courtesy of the Luftwaffe
  • 1967: It was bought by Penarth Urban District Council for £2,500 – and then handed on to the South Glamorgan County Council.
  • 1996 St Paul’s came into the possession of the Vale of Glamorgan County Council and it is made available to Penarth Boxing Club and later Penarth Gym Club.
  • 2011 The building is closed for Health and Safety reasons and the Penarth Boxing Club has to leave after  37 years at St Paul’s . The Boxing and Gym Clubs are told they will be able to move back-in once repairs had been completed .
  • 2012 The then Conservative administration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council allocated £250,000 in the council’s “Capital Programme” to make the building  suitable again for use by Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Boxing Club. The money was to be recouped from the Section 106 funding from Crest Nicholson in respect of the Penarth Heights Development. The Labour Party condemns the move as a “pre-election stunt” .
  • May 2012 The Labour administration takes over in the Vale of Glamorgan – and  puts a hold on the planned renovation of St Paul’s. No maintenance of the building is carried out – it continues to deteriorate. The Capital Programme money is never spent, the Crest Nicholson Section 106 funding is never called in. Nothing is done . The building is under the control of the  Vale Council’s so-called “Visible and Leisure Services Committee” which is represented on the Vale ‘cabinet’ by Cllr Gwyn John (Llantwit First Independents) . He represents the tiny party that keeps  Labour in power in the Vale Council.

    The results of the Vale Council's public consultation" on St Paul's Church, Penarth were delayed and  ignored

    The results of the Vale Council’s public consultation” on St Paul’s Church, Penarth were delayed and ignored

  • December 11 2012: The Vale Council announces there is to be a six-week “public consultation” on the future of St Paul’s is to begin in January 2013. Controversially the public consultation is limited only to 3,400 homes St Augustines Ward although the Boxing Club and the Gym Club have members in all wards of Penarth and St Paul’s is seen as an asset for the entire town.
  • January 2013 The Vale of Glamorgan Council holds a public consultation in the form of a postal referendum. Local councillors Lis Burnett and Gwyn Roberts (both Labour St Augustines) urge the use of the hall as a “mixed use community facility” rather than just as a base for the Penarth Boxing Club and Gym Club – but the council appears to leave the final decision to the  residents of St Augustine’s Ward in the postal referendum.
  • January 2013 The deadline for the return of referendum ballot papers from local voters is extended until March 1st because of bad weather .
  • March 1st 2013: The extended deadline for the consultation closes. The Vale Council says  it’s delighted” with the level of public response – but there’s no sign of the results being announced.
  • April 16th 2013: The Vale Council announces that the publication of the results of the referendum has been postponed for further month to enable all the key officers and councillors involved to “review the data”.
  • May 21st 2013: At long last, the result of the referendum is announced. It is a set-back for the two St Augustine’s Vale Labour councillors. Out of a total of 669 responses 62% of households in St Augustines want to see St Paul’s become a permanent home for the Boxing and Gym Clubs . Only 38%, want the  “mixed use community facility” that Cllrs Burnett and Roberts are proposing .
  • Cllrs Gwyn Roberts and Lis Burnett are publicly criticised

    Cllrs Gwyn Roberts and Lis Burnett are publicly criticised

    September 20 2013: Councillors Lis Burnett and Gwyn Roberts both come in for withering criticism from prominent local businessman and Penarth Boxing Club supporter Nick Chandler. He says in a letter on the Penarth Times website “If Councillors Burnett and Roberts had not interfered with the previously agreed Cabinet proposal, the building could be weather-protected by now and work to rehouse both clubs would be well advanced.”..“It appears the councillors and officers have all been sitting on their hands despite an overwhelming vote of confidence being given by the residents for the building to be handed back to both clubs. Crest Nicholson, I gather, also support the venture. This whole debacle is a disgrace and appears to be more about the posturing of elected members and has had very little to do with the people of Penarth and their wishes. “

  •  Cllr Gwyn John Llantwit First Independents

    Cllr Gwyn John Llantwit First Independents

    March 24th 2014 Cllr Gwyn John tells a public meeting in the Paget Rooms in Penarth that St Paul’s Church is what he calls a “huge headache” that had been “dumped” on the incoming Labour administration by the outgoing Conservative administration in 2012. He says the building is in such a poor state he recommends demolishing it and “starting again”.

  • October 6th 2014: The Vale of Glamorgan Council announces is has appointed the estate-agents Savills to market the lease of St Paul’s Church.
  • January 2015 a group, called “St Paul’s Shared Fitness Space CIC”  [“CIC” stands for “Community Interest Company“],  puts forward  ambitious proposals for turning St Paul’s into  “mixed-use community facility“. However the group – a “social enterprise company”  fails to come up with an acceptable business plan. The Vale Council’s internal Project Group later formally rejects the scheme .
  • December 2015 : The Vale Council’s Project Board is said to be “considering options” for the property. A total of £233,000 already  allocated to the project – but yet to be spent –  is rolled forward into the Vale’s  2016/17 “Capital Programme”.

Next week an internal report will be considered by members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee. It says  that  the “conclusion and development of a scheme for the reuse of St Paul ’s site in Penarth, continues to remain a challenge”.

The report says that a “legal strategy” was to have come to a resolution in October 2016 and a new board meeting has been arranged to determine future of the building.

….There’s no mention of another referendum.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | 7 Comments

PENARTH GETS A LIFT IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS

There's a surprise waiting inside for local residents calling in at Penarth Town council's HQ at West House

There’s a surprise waiting for local residents calling in at Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House – …and it’s not just the illuminated snowman snowperson

There are a couple of surprises in store for members of the public who call in now at Penarth Town Council’s headquarters at West House in Stanwell Road – and no,  it’s nothing to do with the illuminated snowperson standing outside in the cold .

When anyone walks towards the main entrance, the two double-doors open inwards automatically to beckon them in – without the customary need to apply a hefty shove on the Victorian brass fingerplates.  An infra-red beam detects anyone coming up the path towards the building and the automatic system pulls open the doors without the council having to employ a concierge to do the job.

The new lift in Penarth Town Council's offices at West House has just been installed - in time for Christmas

The new “cabin lift” in Penarth Town Council’s offices at West House has just been installed – in time for Christmas

Another boon for local council-tax payers is a brand new “cabin lift” – which will make it a lot easier to get upstairs to reach the staff working in the main council offices on the first floor  – especially for wheelchair users , for parents with prams and for anyone for whom climbing the stairs of West House could be a formidable challenge.

The total cost of internal modifications – including the new lift – was  £32,083 . However council documents state that “overall £100,000 can be realised in earmarked reserves for these works in total “.

Posted in Penarth Daily News | Leave a comment