THIS week the Penarth Times begins its review of the year in Penarth news for 2017.

In the first of the two part series, we will focus on the main stories that hit the headlines in the town from January to June this year.


The year started with news that the lives of a family were saved by a smoke detector.

A fire broke out in the kitchen of Roger Grafton's house on Cornerswell Road in the early hours but the smoke detector woke his family up in time.

Mr Grafton urged everyone to fit one after his family's lucky escape.

Also in January we learnt that 2016's Poppy Appeal in Penarth had raised £23,000

This pushed the total raised over five years to around £100,000

Ex-Army commando Kevin Halborg from Pizza Pronto said it was a pleasure supporting something so close to his heart with the support an amazing community.

Calls were made for more details into potentially forged letters being submitted to the Vale planning department in support of a housing application.

Opponents to the plan for housing and retail development on the Sully Sports Field site highlighted a council report which stated some of the 800 letters submitted in support of the proposal may have been fake.

After an internal council investigation, as many as 20 per cent of the sample taken was judged to have possibly been affected and councillors called for more details.

At the end of January, Dinas Powys' Olympic heroine Hannah Mills had a plaque unveiled in her honour in the centre of the village.

Ms Mills won gold in the sailing at the Rio Olympics in the summer of 2016 and was present to see the plaque unveiled.

She said it was really nice that everyone had come out to support her and urged the next generation to get involved in sport.


February began with warnings over a potential hazard at a new £500,000 junction in Dinas Powys.

One car had got stuck after not seeing a section of looped pavement with other drivers reporting near misses after dark at the Cross Common junction

The council said at the time that any safety issues would be addressed before the scheme was fully operational.

Tributes were paid to a head teacher of a Penarth primary school who was found dead.

Huw Jones who was the head teacher of Albert Primary School was found dead in a church yard in Lavernock.

Parents said that he was a popular man who would be missed by everyone in the school community.

A petition was launched to prevent more crashed happening on a "hazardous" stretch of road.

Stephen Katchi said an increase in the amount of traffic on Sully Road due to the increase in the amount of houses in the area had led to more accidents.

Andrew RT Davies echoed these concerns saying it was clear that the area was becoming an accident hotspot.

Plans to turn a derelict church and former community hub into housing were heavily criticised.

Neil Munn from Penarth Amateur Boxing Club which used to occupy St Paul's Church in Arcot Street said he wished the building could be kept as a community facility.

Although the plans include community space, there was uncertainty what exactly this would involve.


March began with serious questions being raised over the management of Penarth Pier Pavilion.

PACL which manages the building announced it was closing the cinema over the summer and reducing opening hours to four days a week.

There was outrage in the local community with the I Love Penarth Pier Pavilion group and resident Andrew Jones making their feelings known about the decision.

Tributes were paid to a teenager who fell to his death from a cliff near Penarth.

Miller Coyle, 15, of Stanwell School died in hospital after the fall from Lavernock Point.

A statement from the school said he would be deeply missed by everyone and that their thoughts were with his family.

The appeal to raise £52,000 for a new lifeboat for Penarth was officially announced as a success.

Supported by the Penarth Times campaign, Penarth rose to the challenge raising the figure in just nine months.

The RNLI thanked everyone who helped with the campaign and said the support they had received had been overwhelming.

Staff at a Penarth school were left devastated after the buildings were targeted by lead thieves.

One classroom at Cogan Primary School was left flooded and unusable after the incident which was the second time they had been targeted in less than a year.

Head teacher Susan Sibert said it was "absolutely terrible."

A petition officially calling for a bypass to be built through Dinas Powys was handed in to the Welsh Assembly.

The Dinas Powys Bypass Steering Group handed the document to the petition committee with 3000 signatures making it the largest petition in the village's history.

Cllr Vince Driscoll said that the signatures showed the strength of feeling in support of a bypass.


Fears were expressed by residents in north Penarth over the site of a proposed new bus stop.

Residents of High Street said the location of the proposed new stop on a blind bend was an "accident waiting to happen."

The Vale council said that it was assessed to be safe but that they would take opinions on board during a consultation.

A Shameless criminal who described himself as a top bank robber was jailed for eight years.

Daniel Jones, 34, of Cornerswell Road went on a five day crime spree, stealing nearly £10,000 including robbing a taxi driver and raiding a shop.

Police found him smoking crack cocaine with £2000 cash on him.

The management of Penarth Pier Pavilion announced they had received £126,000 to help develop a business model.

The grant for PACL came from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Concerns had been expressed in the local community about the management of the pier pavilion following the closure of the cinema and reduction in opening hours.

A centre to help armed forces and emergency services in honour of a Penarth marine received nearly £1 million funding to continue its work.

Woody's Lodge in Sully received the grant from the Ministry of Defence and would work in partnership with Age Cymru and Age Alliance Wale on Project 360.

Sian Woodland, fiancee of Paul Woodland after whom the centre was named, said she is proud that veterans will benefit from the centre.


Thousands of people attended the street food festival Picnic Penarth in Station Approach.

Organisers say more than 10,000 visitors attended the two day event which saw food and drink provided by businesses from Penarth, the Vale and across south Wales.

The festival was organised by Penarth Town Council which said it was amazing to see the community come together.

Negotiations were underway to decide the leadership of the Vale council after the Conservatives just fell short of an overall majority.

The council elections which took place on May 4 and saw the Conservatives win 23 of the 47 seats on the local authority.

It meant they fell just one seat short of an overall majority with Labour winning 14 seats, Plaid four, two independents and four Llantwit First Independents.

Neighbours of a property in Penarth which had been left to rot for decades said they were at their wits end.

Carolyn Mead said it was unfair that people living nearby the house on Redlands Road had had to put up with the situation for so long.

The council confirmed they had received a number of complaints and were looking to carry out works on the property.

Horse riders marched through the streets of Penarth as part of a campaign to educate drivers on how to pass horses safely on the roads.

Thirty riders and 20 walkers made their way through the town on an Awareness Ride as part of the Pass Wide and Slow Campaign.

Jocelle Lovell launched a petition with other local riders after her daughter was thrown from her horse after a car sped past them in the lanes on Sully Road.


A Dinas Powys man was jailed for 16 years for assaulting a couple and shooting at them with a BB gun whilst their children slept upstairs.

Jamie McNaughton, 26, of Caerleon Road, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, possessing an imitation firearm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He also pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a knife in a public place in relation to an incident in Cardiff

Tributes were paid to a father and well-known political activist who died following a battle with cancer.

Sam Gould who grew up in Penarth died of bowel cancer aged 33.

He became known as a prominent Ukip and Leave campaign supporter in the 2015 general election in Caerphilly.

Stephen Doughty was re-elected as the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth in the snap general election.

He doubled his majority in the elections held on Thursday, June 8.

Mr Doughty said he was "humbled" by the support of residents saying it was a "privilege and honour" to be elected.

Two men received honours for their service to their community and their country.

Arthur Parish, 99, from Penarth, was awarded France's highest honour the Legion d'Honneur.

Edward Jenkins, 74, of Dinas Powys was recognised in The Queen's Birthday Honours List with a British Empire Medal.

Concerns were raised over reported illegal sexual activities in a public toilets in Penarth.

The Vale council owned facility on Albert Road was revealed to be a notorious hot spot for so called "gay cruising" where gay men look to meet others for casual sexual encounters.

The police and the council said they were aware of the issue and were taking it seriously.