Thirteen million in reserves, a Council Tax Hike, revenue from traders’ outside tables, cash from communities to park outside their homes – and still the Vale Council cash cow grazes on.
The latest letters to land from the local authority are telling our town’s traders to fork out for their street furniture.
Bizarrely businesses across the Vale have been told to pay for their outside signage, sandwich boards, and planters, blah, blah, blah, or face enforceable removal – as happened recently in Penarth.
This includes the infamous back in the day bike outside High Street’s Vic Hopkins Butchers. It’s a fine feature that our town’s kids love to ring the bell of, and many a picture has been posed on the said cycle.
But, despite being recently finely furnished for the Festival of Flowers, it has now been promptly parked inside the shop to avoid the Council’s cull.
Absolutely outrageous really as the bike has sat serenely outside for twenty long years with no reported breakage of rules.
But overnight it has morphed into an ‘Obstruction of the Adopted Highway – Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.
It’s only an issue mind you if it’s parked on the pavement for free. If owner Tony, and his other Vale traders, part with some cold hard cash, their obstruction occurrences disappear quicker than the Vale Council Call Centre when you are trying to get hold of them.
This is thanks to a new policy position the Vale Council adopted on July 1st 2020 with absolutely no community consultation.
Yeah, yeah, they may have done their usual chucking up of a Survey on Facebook asking for our views, and then sat back smugly satisfied that they’d done their bit to engage our town’s population.
But nah, it’s not nearly enough.
Truth be told, I may not be adverse to licensed shop street furniture, it’s just, like always, the clueless Council have blundered in like a bull in a China shop without ‘reading the room’ or indeed some of the strong but sensible comments on those said Surveys.
So, I think all of us who are outraged by the above should all drop a lovely little letter, or email, of our own to the Vale Council, addressed to the Leader here, letting him know exactly how we feel about the latest fiasco.
By the way, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Sound like a Plan.
What do you think?
The Voice of Our Community
HEADS UP: The Vale Council have a duty to publish a Public Engagement Framework which sets out how they will approach engagement and consultation – and also how residents and other stakeholders can get involved in Council decisions.
If you’d like to get in touch direct or find out more please contact:
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and activist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
Sue’s Views, the reboot of her much-loved infamous B&D opinion column from back in the day, is where Sue gives her take on the hot topics we are all talking about in our beautiful Barry, and beyond – the good, the bad…and the ugly.