Rumney Rec: “A century of friends meeting and using coats for goal posts”

September 17, 2010 9 Comments »
Rumney Rec: “A century of friends meeting and using coats for goal posts”


I was proud to stand on the Rumney Recreation Ground with the former Cardiff City footballer Christian Roberts as he gave his support to the save the Rec campaign. Christian is a Llanrumney boy who went on to enjoy a professional football career.

It was on the Rumney Recreation Ground that Christian would play for hours with his friends, learning the skills that would make him a star. He took those skills and honed them and later went on to become a Bluebird, a wonderful achievement for a Cardiff boy. That opportunity should be open to all future sportsmen and women from East Cardiff.

Take away the Rec and you take away a community space where children have played for nearly a century. A century of friends meeting and using coats for goalposts. A century of bat striking ball. A century of friends racing friends. A century of recreational opportunity all at risk because of a few councillors in 2010.

It is a squalid spectacle seeing Cardiff Council spending thousands of pounds of tax-payers money to defeat the wishes of some of the poorest communities in Cardiff.

Cardiff Council has revealed that Leslie Blohm QC, the top lawyer they have appointed for the Rumney Rec Public Inquiry will be paid £9,000 to £9,500 plus VAT. The council has still to disclose the fee that Harriet Townsend, a top London barrister, will earn from tax-payers money to run their case.

What makes it even more unedifying is that this Liberal Democrat-Plaid Cymru run Council continues to leaflet Cardiff citizens with the message that they are the defenders of green space.

Councillor Lisa Ford is quoted in a current Plaid Cymru leaflet in Fairwater and Pentrebane “We do not want to build on the green fields on the edge of Cardiff…Save our fields.” It is insulting for the people of Cardiff to be told that Plaid Cymru value green space in Cardiff when they champion concreting over the Rec.

Deputy Council leader Neil McEvoy signed his coalition deal with Rodney Berman in 2008 with a promise “Flourishing Communities – Upgrade sport pitches across Cardiff Council.”

Yet the Council is the sole objector to the village green application. The sporting pitches that Plaid and the Lib-Dems claimed they would upgrade will be lost forever.

Only Plaid and the Lib-Dems believe that East Cardiff must sacrifice the best used piece of local green space to receive a new school. They want to force this through but won’t face the people. No Councillor from the Executive has agreed to attend the public inquiry to tell our communities why the Rec should not be a village green.

Neil McEvoy says he wants to keep open space in West Cardiff but tells East Cardiff their green space will be concrete. The hypocrisy is obvious. He should come to the Public Inquiry being held at Llanrumney Library from 21st September and face his critics. He should explain why he told RREEL that he’d support the fight to keep the Rec but then changed his mind.  It’s not too late to change your mind again Neil.

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  1. Cath September 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    I am pleased that Christian Roberts has got behind the campaign to save this precious green space in the heart of Cardiff East. The other footballer who springs to mind is Craig Bellamy a Trowbridge boy, much has been made of his coming to Cardiff and his great football talent. Cardiff council has championed the fact that they are supporters of Cardiff City but I fear no more Bellamy's or Roberts' when green spaces such as these are concreted over, there are 3 school sites that could be used so why build on valuable green recreation grounds. There are not enough at the moment for children to train and play football, which can lead to obesity and health problems. The council is using our tax payers money to fight against us, I hope that common sense and democracy wins.

  2. Iago September 18, 2010 at 10:29 am - Reply

    I don't like to see any green space disappear, but Cardiff is a growing city. Our schools need reorganising and there's not really any other option on the table. There's 8000 spare places in English medium schools and a surge in people wanting to send their children to Welsh medium schools because they perform better and they are healthier for our kids. The good thing about Cardiff is its green spaces, but we will still have one of the greenest cities without the Rec. Sorry.

    • Cath September 20, 2010 at 12:36 am - Reply

      I presume you don't live in Cardiff East!!, it is easy to spout the council rhetoric when it doesn't affect you, this is not a case of school re organisation, there are 3 perfectly good sites the schools can be built on, this is land grab to sell off for housing. Also, where is the hard evidence that welsh medium schools all perform better and how are they 'healthier' for our children. Building the second largest school in the city on the second smallest site is certainly not healthier for our children in Cardiff East with busy roads either side with traffic and pollution. Why don't our children deserve the same as other parts of Cardiff and why should we lose a valuable green space as well as school sites I hope common sense, decency and democracy prevails.

    • edwin October 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Is this the Welsh Language lobby thinking of themselves and 'let's build Welsh schools, no matter where it is'? How are Welsh speaking schools 'healthier' for our children? Do they have something English speaking schools don't have? How does this benefit the children in the East of Cardiff? Stop thinking about yourselves and think of the whole. Yes, the City is expanding, so where the new school needs to be is in the developing areas where the growth will come from – not smack in the middle of a heavily populated area, with traffic congestion and built on top of our well used, green open space which has stood our children in good stead for the past 100 years. This is a Council 'land grab' from a predominantly English speaking area to pay for the minority of Welsh speakers. There is undeveloped school site in St. Mellons which the Council set aside many years ago – so why can't the school be built there? There is absolutely no justifiable reason or cause for the Council to 'steal' our recreation ground.

  3. Bryan Smith September 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    There appears to be some link here between the Council throwing out a small Sainsburies on the old Carpenters Arms Pub because of local traffic congestion, but surprise surprise two hundred yards up the road it's OK to build a 2,000 place school on green field land with it's obvious traffic congestion that will be caused, not forgetting disrupting the main access route into Llanrumney. The usual double standard from the Council. I support the application of the Village Green but more importantly it is nice to see sports played on this last bit of green field land and I think our large number of ex students from both France and Italy also see this are as an integral part of our community. Cardiff Council stop trying to constantly argue against public opinion and allow this Village Green application to succeed or at least allow for the democratic process to go ahead, I am actually ashamed of our Council and the way it runs roughshod over our local communities. Oh and by the way who authorised the cost of two London Based legal persons, I certainly did not and I pay my Council Tax. Remember you are using Council Tax payers money unnecessary, wise up and drop this ludicrous aggressive stance against the local people. Start respecting the very people who have put you in your positions. Also we need the Superstores so there is open and fair competition with reasonable prices, the local stores have a captive audience and over charge us and have done for many years. Bye the way the Council did not actually ask how many in Llanrumney opposed the Superstore, I doubt if anybody would have done, as we need it now.

  4. @mikecrid September 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Always assumed that this was about local people wishing to preserve their park, and not over Welsh Medium education,, Iago. This 8000 surplus place is a crock invented by this WAG to save money. As you can see in the news schools and education have been neglected to the tune of 1.5 Billion pounds, nothing new most thinking citizens knew that the government was neglecting them, this is just the confirmation. Your comment about English speaking parents sending their children to WM schools because they are superior. Is there same rational used by those Tories wanting foundation status for Whitchurch High School. Saying it is a matter of choice for parents to be able to choose “good” schools over bad ones. This is poppycock, my own English speaking cousin sent his children to Glyn Taf, and they don’t speak Welsh, and certainly do not use it at home. Despite the fact that they have a good local school. Its ignorance that directs their choice. Also having walked past Glyn Taf quite frequently and hearing children using English during break , what is the point. I support both the Welsh language and WM education n principle. But I find your airily dismissal of EM education rather disturbing sounding of racism.. All children deserve a good education, and all schools should be good schools for both English and Welsh speaking Welsh.

  5. edwin October 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Is this the Welsh Language Lobby thinking of themselves again and wanting to build schools no matter where they are built? How are Welsh speaking schools 'healthier' for our children? Do they have something that English speaking schools don't have? How will building a school on recreation ground benefit the children of East Cardiff? There is a site in St Mellons which the Council set aside for a school development many years ago, which was never used so why can't it be built there? A new school should be built in an area of growth, so why build a new school smack in the middle of a developed area, amidst heavy traffic congestion and on green open space that has benefited our children for the past 100 years?
    Is this the Welsh Language lobby just thinking of themselves again? Stop thinking of the minority and think of the majority – and that's not just children….what about the remainder of the community who will lose out if their recreational space is destroyed. There is and never will be a justifiable reason or cause for building on green open recreational land.

  6. MRGREENWAY November 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Well we are not blind all the parties and politicians are useing this issue to safeguard their posistion or launch a career .
    This has been in the pipeline for years and no matter who controlled the council they would be pushing for the same closing RHS and building on the REC.
    Show your protest at the next elections and vote them all out they will not be able to change anything if they are not in control its that simple vote your local independent in no more of these two faced politicians .
    Look at the decline in the area and they labour have controlled Cardiff for many years and let it get in this state wake up people its you whom live here and your children.
    Lid dems are just getting personnel with Labour shouting the odds but we will pay for their squabling as will our children.

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