Park protesters outraged as banners are removed by council
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Residents say they are outraged after the council decided to remove its protest banners from a popular Cardiff park.
A number of Llandaff North residents decided to create posters, banners and a plaque to express their opposition to plans by Welsh Water to build a sewage pumping station at Hailey Park.
However, these were all removed over the course of about three days between December 11 and 14.
One member of the public had asked campaigners for a banner that they could attach to their property on Station Road. This has also “disappeared”.
Cardiff Council has confirmed that they were not responsible for removing any banners or posters from private property.
However, they did admit taking down protest banners and posters at Hailey Park.
Llandaff North resident Pam French said: “Other posters are put up and they are not removed.
“It seems very targeted and very deliberate, especially at a time when they are saying that there aren’t resources in the council and there aren’t enough people there.
“It very much feels like it is an assault on the voice of the local people.
“They are happy to put a sewage pumping station in that park, but they are not happy to put a sign on it.
“That is really not okay with the local people.”
Pam, who is part of the group that helped create the banners, YGC Rebel Mams, said the idea behind creating them was to increase awareness of their campaign amongst park users who aren’t from Llandaff North and those who aren’t on social media.
She said the removal of the banners has only encouraged residents to speak out more against the plans for the pumping station.
Pam added: “Local people have responded by saying ‘come and chalk our walls, give us posters, we are going to put these up on our private property’, and I think it will end up returning 10-fold the number of posters and signs that we have, but it will be on private property.
“We have been inundated with requests for posters, offers to deliver posters, offers to print posters.
“We have probably got 10 walls that we have been offered to go and chalk stuff on.
“It is one thing to want to put the pumping station there, it is another thing to want to silence local people about it and that really seems to be striking a nerve with a lot of local people.”
Residents opposed to the pumping station plans have secured legal support to try and overturn Cardiff Council’s decision to grant planning approval for the pumping station.
The residents’ legal team submitted an application for a judicial review into the council’s decision in October.
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Permission is required for all signage placed in Cardiff’s parks.
“Council staff are instructed to remove any signs they find without permission.
“This is standard practice, consequently any signage placed without permission is removed and disposed of at the earliest opportunity.
“A number of signs and banners placed on park gates, trees, and other areas of Hailey Park were removed yesterday.
“No signs or banners attached to private property were removed.”
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