Big Sweeps across Pontcanna

Thanks to everyone who took part in #TheBigSweep in November and December.


It started with a notice pinned to a tree on Severn Grove ‘Shame on Cardiff Council for ignoring their road sweeping duties,’ and ended with 75 people cleaning the street one week later.

Cardiff residents in the leafy suburb of Pontcanna have been working with the council to make their streets safer. On November 21, 75 people, including residents, shops and Coop Pontcanna, took part in the first ‘The Big Sweep’. Co-organised by Fran O’Hara of @pontcannahub and labour councillor Caro Wild, Severn Grove, Conway, Llanfair and Turberville Road was swept, leaves bagged, and the bags then picked up by council trucks and cleaned the streets. The event was shared on twitter as #thebigsweep and now more streets have been inspired to sweep up too, a great example of the community working with the council…

  • 21 November – Severn Grove and Llanfair Road
  • 28 November – Plasturton Gardens, Place, Avenue & Pontcanna Street
  • 5 December – All of Conway Road, Pitman and Talbot Street

How it happened…
CTS-tE_W4AADs9xFran O’Hara saw a piece of paper pinned to a tree on Severn Grove saying ‘Shame on you Cardiff Council’ which she tweeted at @PontcannaHub, several people said they would be interested in cleaning the streets. She asked Caro, who met with the council the next day at 8.30am. They agreed to provide bags, trucks and street cleaners. Fran created a poster, tweeted it, put it in the Coop, @paul_seaman printed and put leaflets through 60 doors. After the first Big Sweep other streets contacted Caro Wild and Iona Gordon who co-ordinated more. The Coop Pontcanna team, New Conwy and Beverley supported the Big Sweep by supplying hot coffee and refreshments.

“These services have had cuts so we decided to do something about the streets, they had become dangerous for us to walk on, and even worse for the elderly’. It was great to see so many people come onto the street and clear up, making new friends and safer place to walk. So many people came up to us while we were sweeping, telling us stories of falling over, and not letting their kids use scooters because the pavements were so dangerous with the compacted leaves.”
Fran, Severn Grove resident, ‘The Big Sweep’ co-organiser

“It’s nice now that we don’t have to wear wellies to walk to our car! A great turnout and people are very happy to do it again”
Paul, Severn Grove resident

“How lovely it is to meet your neighbours, a nice morning to get together and clean the streets.”
James, Severn Grove resident

“A brilliant idea – I was out there with my broom.”
Flip Severn Grove resident

“We were very happy to help to clean up the streets and make it safer for everyone to walk”
Simon Allen-Ridge, Manager Coop Pontcanna

“Lots of local enthusiasm from Severn Grove for organising ’The Big Sweep’. Great to see so many residents working together to improve their community with the council supporting.”
Caro Wilde, Labour Councillor for Riverside

‘Suburban Disco – The Funk Returns’ on 28 September

1187073_589058801137621_41946119_nAfter running the lovely Mini-Womad in July which some of you may have attended – 400 people attended not mini at all! – Steve, Chris and the crew are back again with a Suburban Disco on 28 September at St Catherine’s Church Hall.

There’ll be the usual funky tunes, request playing, guest DJs and dancing. With alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks, to get you in the mood for a great night out with your mates. You can just turn-up and pay on the door, £2.50.

For more info email Steve: – see you there!

The Big Picnic was BIG!

bp8Thank you to everyone who made the Big Picnic a huge success! More than 1,000 people joined the Llandaff Fields People’s Hub team on September 1 for ‘The Big Picnic’ on Llandaf Fields – making the most of the sunshine on the last day of the summer holidays.

Children flocked to the climbing wall and British Military Fitness’ junior assault course, while grown-ups-ups took part in drumming sessions, Tai Chi, Ultimate Bounce dance classes, pilates, yoga and tennis and visited the many stands. The Tug of War trophy was claimed by the Mochyn Du team, with the New Conway taking second prize.

Llandaff Fields People’s Hub was formed to protect Llandaf Fields from development and commercialisation. A public meeting held on June 4, and attended by 150 people, established that park users want no further development of green space.The LF People’s Hub aims to raise money to replace the run-down changing rooms on the Fields with a low-impact, sedum-roofed, single storey structure appropriate to a listed parkland setting.

“Economic cuts are threatening councils’ ability to maintain green spaces so, as park users, we have come together to forestall any transfer of public assets into private hands. We wish to avoid commercialisation and development on our priceless green spaces, and to protect and enhance them for future generations to enjoy as we do now. The Big Picnic, despite the fun and games, has a serious message about the loss of public green space.  Maps show that more than a third of our central parkland has been lost since the 1940s and much of that erosion is recent. The destruction of parkland has to stop.” explains Mike Chubb.

One of the main reasons for having the Big Picnic was to update people on the plans and to ask people if they would like to join the Llandaff Fields Peoples Hub mailing list, we can then keep you informed about future events and also updates on any plans. If you would like to join please

The Big Picnic was supported by many business close to the Fields including Chris John, Hern & Crabtree, Jeff Hopkins, Café Castan, Allen & Harris, Bute Parks Alliance, Belle Toujours and the Cooperative. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and helped run the event, including picking up the litter, hardly any!

For further information please email Press information: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce – 07701 007 128.

Pictures show: 1. Mabli Phillips 5 from Cathays with Mum and Dad – Katherine and Tomos, and brother Osian 1 2. Nanw Jones 6, from Victoria Park on the climbing wall. 3. Tug of War trophy winners – the Mochyn Du pub in Sophia Gardens

Community Picnic, Sunday 21 July

community picnic2People’s Park/Parc Pawb are organising a ‘People’s Community Picnic’ In Llandaff Fields from 3-6pm on Sunday 21 July – All welcome!

There will be:
– People eating picnic food !
– Bowling Demo
– Community Tennis
– Hula-Hooping
– Story-telling with Francis Maxey
– Probably other sports brought by picnicing people

Plus the opportunity to find out more about the Llandaff Fields Private Members Sports & Community Club plans.

Where: It will be in the area next to the children’s playground between the two rugby posts near the car park. This is also a great opportunity to celebrate the lovely parklands of Cardiff, and show how many people use them – and that they should be kept for everyone’s use – as they were originally intended.

Also to meet your neighbours and local community, similar to the recent highly successful Mini-Womad where 100s came along and enjoying the sun, activities and music.

If you wish to help out or perhaps bring something special or a stand please contact the organisers, please email Nerys Lloyd-Pierce:

Thank you/Diolch. (Welsh translation of this post following soon)

Riding School at Pontcanna Fields ‘to close’

horse2Since this post and the huge media campaign and show of support (thanks) the riding school closure is being reviewed by the council and an alternative solution being sought.
Thanks to those who asked us to post this news: the staff at the council-run Cardiff Riding School, at Pontcanna Fields say they have been told it will close within 3 months.
If you wish to protest about this there is a council meeting on 31 January at 3.30pm in City Hall. The school are hoping as many people will come to the meeting and support them – please attend if you can.

30 workers were apparently told on Wednesday that the 30-acre site in Pontcanna Fields would shut by 1 April. The 43-year-old school has 50 horses, and one member of staff feared many would have to be put down because they would be impossible to re-home. The school offers riding for children and adults and specialises in providing riding for disabled people. One staff member told the BBC:

horse3“Our main clients are young schoolchildren. We also have lots of disabled people. We teach them four or five days a week – they really enjoy it; often they relate to animals better. 

We don’t know what will happen to the horses here. I think they will have to be put down because it will be difficult to find homes for them.”

Cardiff council refused to confirm the closure, although a budget statement is expected at a council meeting on Thursday. More of this article here.

Developer defeated again…

PrintPontcanna Pine/Dairy Update: We are very very pleased 🙂 to report that the Council Planning Committee has again REFUSED planning permission for the convenience store and 8 flats scheme proposed for the Pontcanna Pine site. We don’t know what the developers’ next move will be – We are sure the saga isn’t completely over yet – but the vote against the development was unanimous on grounds of the traffic and parking issues.

Thank you so much for all your tireless support, petitioning, and letter writing over such a long time – it has really helped to demonstrate that this was a completely unacceptable scheme for this location. We would again like to thank Mike from the Cooperative for coming to our meeting, and communicating with the Press and the Council, that the developers’ statement that the Co-op were currently interested in placing a supermarket on this site – were fictitious.

We end this post with a question from a supporter, if you have any thoughts/suggestions on this (we do!) please email us: “Has anyone thought about the community buying it / leasing it long term on a co-op type basis?”

Best wishes & Happy 2013! – The Pontcanna Pine team

Below are some of the 40+ responses to our email, thank you:

“Brilliant news.  So good to have won for once – people power – hurrah!”

“Unanimous – wow! I’m quite ready for more letter writing, knocking on doors too, if the saga isn’t over.”

“Good news. It’s probably not the end but hopefully the unanimous vote will tell them something.”

“Thank you so much for all the teams efforts. Grateful residents of Kings Road.”

“Fantastic news! Though as you say, it may not be over yet…”

“Congratulations to you and the team for all the hard work in achieving this stage as a success victory.”

“Brilliant brilliant news!!!!!!

 Well done everyone!!!!

 Glass of wine to celebrate.”

“On behalf of Cardiff Civic Society – congratulations!”

“Hooray! Llandaff fields development next??”

 “This is fabulous news !!!! I will now celebrate with marmite on toast and my cup of tea.”

 “I’m so delighted to hear this news! Each day I drive through this area, I think how crazy it would be to put more development there. The junction is already a dangerous place at times!” 

“Congratulations. A lovely early Christmas gift to us all.”

 “Horray! But you are right we need to keep our noses to the ground as no doubt there will be future developments.”

‘Hands off Llandaff Fields!’


At our last community meeting Gill Boden and Iona Gordon gave an update on the proposed ‘Llandaff Fields Community and Sports Trust’ plans. At the moment these have not been submitted to the planning committee but the developers have held meetings and conducted research to support their plans and a future application.

They explained how the land was gifted to the city for community and sports use. The Trust, claims to represent 32 sport and community organisations. We  were told at the meeting that the organisations were approached and asked if they would be interested in access to free rooms and resources, without being full updated on the plans.

It would in fact be a private members club, and be a space which events and conferences could hire. There are already several similar buildings in the vicinity, including the SWALEC stadium nearby – which has ample parking and delivery access.

They are proposing that rooms/space would be available for community groups to use. We of course welcome this aspect feature is of course welcomed, but at the price of a private members sports club that can hold approx. 300 people standing, with a full bar and a two storey building in middle of a beautiful public park. We naturally have concerns about their delivery and access plans, which propose using the bridle way next to the allotments and riding stables.

As Martyn Williams, who chairs the trust, explained how the centre will be available for classes, conferences and fundraising activities providing first class sporting facilities. This is a complete change of use, with the maintainence and transport required to run a large sports club in the middle of the fields potentially having a major negative impact on the parklands.

Local resident Jane Williams said: “We also have no issue with building new changing rooms at Llandaff Fields but we do object to building an events venue and bar and having it as part of the university.”

If you would like more information please contact us, we will continue to provide updates on the progress of these plans and future contact details as they emerge.

*Thanks to walesonline for the photo and references in this article:

Also of interest: ‘Pontcanna Fields are the centre of city life, 365 days a year’:

Council recommend rejecting developer’s supermarket plans!


Great news yesterday that Cardiff Council have AGAIN recommended rejecting the developer’s proposed supermarket plans for the Pontcanna Pine / Dairy site on Kings Road. Huge thanks to everyone who wrote letters/emails, signed petitions, tweeted, came to the meetings and contributed to the campaign… Proof that community action does work. 

To read the council report in more detail please download this council document and read from page 65 (pdf page 72).

We would still like people to attend the planning meeting, as it’s not a guaranteed that the application won’t be approved, and its likely the developer will appeal. The application going to Planning Committee on Wednesday 5th December. they will meet at 2.30pm in the Ferrrier Hall at City Hall.

And here are some more Pontcanna updates:

Pontcanna Art Fair
Pontcanna Hub’s own Felicity Auden is taking part in the Pontcanna Arts Fair on Sunday 2 December from 2-5pm at St Catherine’s Church Hall, Kings Road. Free entry, some lovely art and ideal Christmas gifts, with art and music activities too – and of course mulled wine and minced pies to get you into the Christmas spirit.

SUBURBAN DISCOsuburbandiscoYes its that time again, Pontcanna Hub are keen supporters of the Suburban Disco, this time its a Christmas special with free glass of Christmas Punch and cake – plus the usual groovy 70’s and 80’s toons and disco dancing – a great place to get a gang of mates and bop til you drop!

Tickets are selling fast, for more info and to send him your disco dance requests please  contact Steve Biddlecombe: or visit the Christmas Suburban Disco facebook page.

They’re back… Co-op Supermarket Planned for Pontcanna Pine site


This gallery contains 11 photos.

As anticipated, despite having their proposals recommended for rejection last time and OVERWHELMING PUBLIC CRITICISM OF THE PLANS the developers have DISREGARDED LOCALS’ CONCERNS and resubmitted plans for a supermarket on the Pontcanna Pine/Dairy site. Please attend the meeting to … Continue reading

Babies need you! Please sign RCM Midwives petition…

Please support the Royal College of Midwives and help them protect maternity services across the UK, click to sign their petition by 21 August.

Happy to post a local resident’s request… There has been a crisis in midwifery and it has been forgotten. Most of the problems in maternity care would be solved if every woman had a midwife who had time for her. If you know anyone hoping to have a baby please sign and ask all your friends to do the same, thanks.