The name chosen for a new community hall in Barry has “deeply disappointed and saddened” Stand Up To Racism Vale.
The town council has announced that the hall will be named Cemetery Approach Community Centre despite a community campaign and petition to name it after Gwen Hinds Payne, the Barry woman who was the first black woman councillor in Wales.
The chair of Stand Up To Racism Vale, Alison Woolcock, said: “I am deeply disappointed and saddened that Barry Town Council failed to listen to public opinion and then held a limited consultation which did not offer Gwen’s name as a possible suggestion.
“Gwen Payne was a pioneer who, as the first black woman councillor in Wales deserves to be recognised for her achievements.”
Alison added that Barry had a long history of multi culturalism. “Despite this, neither the Vale nor Barry council have attempted to reflect Barry’s black history.
“This could have been a fantastic opportunity for the council to honour a former member and would have been a positive start to Black History Month.”
Alison said SUTR Vale would like to see the council “readdress the error”. She added that it was good meeting many people with fond and happy memories of Gwen when the group was campaigning to get her recognised.
“Gwen should be celebrated for making history,” said Alison. “She is a woman who gave and supported her community throughout her life. She deserves fitting recognition.”
🖤Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) Vale are a Black-led Campaign Group who, with the strong support of Allies, are looking to unite our communities – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
🖤All, who support their aims and values, are welcome to join.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
As a founding member of Stand Up To Racism (Vale) she, promotes the Black-led Campaign Group who, with the strong support of Allies, aim to unite our communities. And also acts as Communications Advisor for the voluntary collective.