A REPORT on the next phase of work to review statues, monuments, street names and building names is set to be put to Vale council cabinet members on Monday, November 2.

The report is in light of current concerns on the interpretation of some of the names associated some statutes, monuments, street names and buildings.

It is proposed that all town and community councils, as well as the public, are invited to make representations for commemorations that should be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate.

It is proposed that representations will be sought from those in underrepresented groups who may have an opinion on the review and may also wish to make commemoration proposals.


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It is proposed that a panel be established to review the representations received.

The panel would consist of the Vale council leader and deputy leader; the member equality champion; the member LGBT+ champion; an officer from the council's strategic leadership team; a representative from local history societies; and a representative from the Vale of Glamorgan Stand Up to Racism group.

The report said: “Earlier in 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement brought to the world's attention important issues relating to on-going racism that exists in the world.

“It is clear that more needs to be done to tackle racism.

“One important issue that was raised during the Black Lives Matter movement related to how commemorations of history should now be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate to the current time.

“In June, the leader of the council indicated the need to begin work to proactively review all statues and commemorations, including street names, public buildings, and plaques, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“This work will be to ensure statues and commemorations on public land, as well as the names of streets and buildings to be reviewed are representative of local people’s values and those of a modern, inclusive council.”

Penarth Times:

The report added: “In July 2020, the First Minister announced an audit of public monuments, street and building names associated with the history of black communities in Wales, saying, "it is time that we properly reflected on the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic lives in the heritage of Wales.

““We need to re-examine the way some of our public monuments and buildings are valued and consider what they say about us, our society today and our shared history."

“It is also important that action is taken locally and with as wide a range of people involved as possible," added the report.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has rightly prompted people to consider the appropriateness of commemoration or acknowledgement of people and events from history and their relevance to today.

“This is particularly the case where links to the intolerable slave trade exist.

“As well as reviewing the appropriateness of these commemoration or acknowledgements, we should consider the positive recognition of people from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds, as well as other underrepresented groups have had too, as an important part of celebrating the diverse community which exists within the Vale of Glamorgan and across Wales.

“It is therefore proposed that a review of statues, monuments, street names and building names will be undertaken both from an historic perspective (to ascertain any causes for concern) but also inviting consideration for future recognition of individuals or events that celebrate diversity and important events in our recent history..

“The council will invite representations from the public via social media.

“Upon receipt, a panel will review the findings to determine the action that should be taken.

“Actions that could be progressed could well include the removal or retention of any statues or commemorations and potential re-naming of any streets or public buildings alongside the identification of any issues that require additional information/education.

“Proposed actions will be informed by the representations made to the panel.”

In July this year a protest, organised by Cardiff & Vale Stand Up To Racism with Black Lives Matters, took place outside the Civic Offices, in Barry.

The protest surrounded the name of Ffordd Penrhyn – one of the roads in the Barry Waterfront development.

The protesters say the name is “shameful” and “disgusting” as Richard Pennant, of the family that built Penrhyn Castle, owned nearly 1000 enslaved people across his four plantations in Jamaica.

But others, including the Vale council, argued that ‘penrhyn’ is the Welsh word for ‘peninsula’ and that the road in Barry leads to a peninsula.

Campaigners have already identified ‘Gladstone’ as another potential cause for concern with Gladstone Primary School, Gladstone Road, Gladstone Bridge, and Gladstone Gardens - all in Barry.

Penarth Times:

Former prime minister, William Gladstone was the son of Sir John Gladstone who was of the British Empire’s largest slave owners.

They opposed emancipation and said slaves had to have better morals.

Gladstone opposed the abolition of slavery.