OVER the last couple of months many of you have contacted me about the swing bridge in Penarth.

Spanning the Marina between Plas Pamir and Plas St Pol de Leon, the swing bridge for the last thirty years been an important part of Penarth Marina’s infrastructure and built environment. Unfortunately the swing bridge has been out of commission since June 2016.

I have met with residents and local Labour councillors, who have been working closely with residents to discuss their concerns and plans to make the bridge once more available to the public.

The bridge is owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and leased to Penarth Quays Marina (PQM) LTD. It was built to ensure that both residents and boat owners had equal access to land and water.

I understand that there are no mechanical reasons why the bridge should not be used.

The Vale Council and PQM have agreed that safety upgrades need to be carried out for the bridge to reopen. In October 2017 PQM submitted a planning application for modifications to the swing bridge. I have been told that PQM were contacted by the Vale council to modify the current application to include lower intensity flashing lights and ‘silent alarms’. Unfortunately PQM felt that the changes would not meet the safety standards they felt necessary and choose to withdraw the application. I understand that the Vale Council is currently awaiting the outcome of a noise report which will feature in future discussions between the Vale and PQM over the future of the swing bridge.

The swing bridge has been an integral part of marina life for many years and is enjoyed by both residents and the thousands of tourists to the area. Connecting the two sides of the marina the bridge acts as a short cut for residents, particularly useful for those with walking difficulties. Having spoken to local businesses about the potential for the reopening the consensus seems to be generally positive. Reopening of the swing bridge, customers could use the car park on Llwyn Passat and use the bridge to access Portway businesses.

I hope that the Vale council and PQM are able to work together to find a solution. I think we can all agree that the way forward is to ensure safe operation of the bridge while minimising disruption to adjacent properties.

Before the Easter recess I met with residents to listen to their concerns over plans to remove Victorian lampposts from across Penarth. The cast iron lampposts, which have been an integral part of Penarth’s street scene for a century are being replaced by the Vale council with modern LED lighting. I am disappointed that several lampposts along Cwrt-Y-Vil road have been removed without notifying residents.

Residents have set up a petition, of which over a thousand people so far have signed asking for the old posts to be left in place with new ones installed beside them. This has been carried out in towns and cities across the UK to protect the local heritage.

The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/vale-of-glamorgan-council-save-the-victorian-heritage-of-penarth/u/24158227.

I will continue to work with your local Labour councillors on these issues. As ever, if anyone has any comments or views on this, please get in touch.