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Planning boss takes swipe at YesCymru petition against 100ft Union Jack on Cardiff tax office

28 Jul 2021 4 minutes Read
Cian Ciaran and Cardiff’s new tax office.

A planning boss has taken a swipe at YesCymru for its 20,000-strong petition against plastering a 100ft Union Jack on a Cardiff tax office.

Councillor Keith Jones, the chair of Cardiff Council’s planning committee, criticised the pro-independence group after it demanded that he “withdraw” permission for the “advertisement” on the UK Government building.

The petition was delivered by keyboard player for the Super Furry Animals, Cian Ciaran, who called on the committee to “reconsider”.

But according to Jones, the council’s planning committee “has never had any involvement with the granting of permission”, and he as chair “had no legal involvement”.

He added that the committee does not have “have any legal authority to withdraw approval for the development that has been lawfully issued”.

The councillor said that if “YesCymru seek to be seen as a credible voice”, it “would do well to gain a fuller understanding of how Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, is governed”.

The ad is set to be wrapped around the outside of the landmark city-centre building, Tŷ William Morgan, but according to YesCymru it “does not represent the people of Wales”.

It has also branded the move a “blatant political act designed to act as a provocation”.

In a letter published on July 27 in the South Wales Echo, Cllr Keith Jones wrote: “The article (‘20k petition goes in against Union flag’, South Wales Echo, July 23, 2021) omitted a fundamental aspect, namely that Cardiff’s planning committee has never had any involvement with the granting of permission for an advertisement on a UK Government office in the centre of Cardiff.

“Just as I and the planning committee that I chair had no legal involvement in the issuing of planning permission, neither do we have any legal authority to withdraw approval for the development that has been lawfully issued.

“As chair of planning, I and my colleagues have a role in the regulatory aspect of Cardiff council as a local planning authority.

“We offer a democratic oversight into a legal process that is set and governed by laws made by the Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament.

‘Public consultation’

“Our country is governed by laws. In this instance public consultation was undertaken, by Cardiff council, into the proposed advertisement. There was not a single representation either positive or negative from the public.

“The representations from the petition have only been made post the decision being made, under delegated powers, by a planning officer of the council.

“As law and process dictates. As it should. We do not want overt political decision making in planning decisions.

“When the planning committee and myself sit in decision-making we do so as county councillors leaving our political party affiliation aside, as the law demands.

“In this instance we had no involvement whatsoever. If YesCymru seek to be seen as a credible voice for how Wales should be run, they would do well to gain a fuller understanding of how Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, is governed and how decisions are made.”

The petition from YesCymru states: “We believe that as the capital city of Wales, visitors, commuters and residents should not be faced with a gigantic Union Jack flag on arrival at Cardiff Central railway station.

“This decision by Cardiff Council Planning Committee to grant permission to drape the HMRC building on Central Square is an act of political symbolism designed to promote ‘muscular unionism’ a reminder to the people of Wales of their subservient status in the United Kingdom.

“This flag does not represent the people of Wales and is a blatant political act designed to act as a provocation to the people of Wales.

“We the undersigned call on the Cardiff Council Planning Committee, and its chair Councillor Keith Jones, to withdraw their permission for this advertisement.”

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Philip Jones
Philip Jones
1 month ago

Public consultation was undertaken? When? Anybody remember? Sounds like another Boris puppet – scared to stand up for his country.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

I suspect it was one of those consultation processes so excellently parodied in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” with notices posted in some obscure, out of the way place.

Perhaps it should remind us to keep an eye on local authority website planning pages to see what potentially contraversial plans are coming up?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

The planning application was in the basement, the lights were probably gone (as were the stairs) and it was in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in the cubicle of an out of order toilet with a sign on the door saying ‘beware of the leopard’.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Compare Cllr. Keith Jones’ hair-splitting with Bridgend Council’s threat to prosecute Sian Thomas-Ford for painting a Tryweryn mural on her house. More attention needs to be focussed on whatever powers planning officers have or do not have to determine significant and blatantly political proposals without consulting the electorate or their representatives.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
1 month ago

Perhaps he should show the proof that there was public consultation.

Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy
1 month ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Check out Cardiff Council Planning website (search for Ty William Morgan). They have published all relevant documentation – but which does not include any public notice. In short – there was no consulation

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

B and Q paint stocks holding up OK?

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago

So, Welsh Councils can refuse planning permission for someone to paint murals on their homes, where as Banksy puts them anywhere he likes, but they can’t stop ‘advertisements’ for colonialism being put up on a high rise office block 🙄 Please spare us the bureaucratic BS!? It’s a planning issue or a licensing issue. Either way that tends to come under the scope of the same committee or another committee within a council. Councillor Keith Jones’ mental gymnastics here imply the former. The fact is for whatever reason he wants nothing to do with this, but that’s not an option.… Read more »

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

We do not want overt political decision making in planning decisions.”

What? You mean like the placing of a massive overt political symbol on the side of a public building? Seems to me lie the planning committee has made an overt political decision here.

Lies obfuscation and argument form complexity by an ideologue caught out in his scheme

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Just to clarify, there are 2 Chrises posting regularly on here now. I will shortly come up with a new posting name to avoid confusion. The post above is also me) I don’t want other Chris taking flak for my postings which seem to REALLY annoy some people 😕
So may be something like Chris A or 1Chris or BestChris. I’ll give it a think

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris
defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

How about “The poster formerly known as Chris”?

Or just some obscure punctuation?

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Beastly? Chucky?

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Thank you. But I’m not sure that adequately conveys my delightful personality and sunny disposition

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

So tell me, who the hell gave permission? If not the councillors or the planning committee who? Or was it that the UK Gov didn’t even ask for permission? The public did not know of this flag until after it was given the go ahead so how were people to give their view? I now want the flag to go up – it will show the people of Wales just what a bully Westminster is and aid us in gaining independence.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

It was a planning officer who gave planning permission. Most planning decisions are carried out by Council officers, not Councillors.

R W
R W
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

It will also remind us of the quislings at Cardiff Council who allowed this to happen.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  R W

Cardiff Council is a deeply loyalist unionist organisation. It has no affection for the country of which it is the capital city but prefers to seek status as a major British provincial centre. Sad. One more reason why Y Cynulliad, now Senedd, should have been located elsewhere and Cardiff stripped of capital status.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

If that is the case, then it is up to the people of Cardiff to vote these outdated, provincial councillors out at the next council elections.

Gareth W
Gareth W
1 month ago

If Keith Jones seeks to be seen as a credible planning office perhaps he should make sure there is a PUBLIC consultation on such a blatant act of colonialism instead of hiding behind political excuses.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Anyone got that old deja vu feeling here?
“But the plans were on display…”“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”“That’s the display department.”“With a flashlight.”“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”“So had the stairs.”“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

They were probably put in the local newspaper, which most people don’t read. I don’t believe the laws require Council officers to place notices of public consultation online as yet. Well, maybe on a Council website, but not the online equivalent of a local paper.

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
1 month ago

TANIWCH DROS GYMRU!

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago

Cardiff is not the capital for us in North Wales.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Mate as I said before, Shropshire is not North Wales

R W
R W
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

I”m starting to think that ‘Llewelyn” is actually one David Jones MP

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  R W

😄 His post certainly seem similar to those of the odious ERG creep and the place he grew up seems to change depending on the point he is trying to make, so you might be onto something.

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