‘No re­spect’

Mo­torists are us­ing the Ceno­taph in Aber­dare as a free park­ing space and it’s up­set­ting a lot of peo­ple:

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­line.co.uk

CARS and vans park­ing at the ceno­taph in the mid­dle of a Val­leys town have been con­demned and de­scribed as “dis­re­spect­ful”.

Peo­ple have grown frus­trated at ve­hi­cles’ “abuse” by park­ing at the mon­u­ment in Aber­dare, and want to put a stop to it, whether that’s by block­ing the space with a bench and gar­den, or putting rail­ings around it.

It’s been the sub­ject of so­cial me­dia posts, and lo­cal res­i­dent Gra­ham Marsh said: “The essence of some heated de­bate this week has been the con­tin­ued abuse and dis­re­spect of Aber­dare’s ceno­taph by some busi­nesses and res­i­dents who ob­vi­ously have no re­gard for what our ceno­taph rep­re­sents – the dark­est of times in our his­tory and the bravest of peo­ple.”

He said the “main cause” of frus­tra­tion was that peo­ple are us­ing the ceno­taph’s paved area as a free park­ing bay to use the shops nearby.

He added: “This frus­tra­tion is com­pounded by a lack of en­force­ment for the park­ing of­fence by the coun­cil and a lack of un­der­stand­ing on the part of the po­lice as to the level of vex­a­tion this can cause.

“As part of the work of Aber­dare’s Busi­ness and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion, I have asked the coun­cil on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions to make funds avail­able to solve this prob­lem, with­out suc­cess.”

He said those so­lu­tions in­cluded putting flower planters around the area, which he said would help as it would also im­prove the ap­pear­ance of the whole square.

First un­veiled in 1923, the ceno­taph com­mem­o­rates those who died in the First and Sec­ond world wars.

Mr Marsh added: “Be­cause of the frus­tra­tion, so­cial me­dia this week has seen a num­ber ideas to rem­edy this prob­lem, with rail­ings, memo­rial bench and gar­den, all be­ing pro­posed.”

Most re­cently, con­trac­tors work­ing for NatWest to close down the Aber­dare branch were spot­ted park­ing on the pave­ment next to the ceno­taph last week­end.

On that oc­ca­sion, Mr Marsh tweeted a pic­ture of a van parked on the pave­ment: “Isn’t it bad enough that @NatWest_ Help is aban­don­ing Aber­dare town, now their con­trac­tors are dis­re­spect­ing our ceno­taph.”

Re­spond­ing to the com­ments, a NatWest spokesman said: “NatWest would like to apol­o­gise for this is­sue.

“The van should never have been parked there and it’s not some­thing that will hap­pen again.”

A Rhondda Cynon Taf coun­cil spokesman said: “There is no ex­cuse for park­ing on the Aber­dare ceno­taph and park­ing en­force­ment of­fi­cers will con­tinue to tar­get this area, and work with the po­lice, to en­force the park­ing re­stric­tions in place.

“The coun­cil is also con­sid­er­ing op­tions for a so­lu­tion to re­solve this is­sue. This will be in liaison with the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion.”

A car parked near the ceno­taph in Aber­dare

NatWest apol­o­gised after a con­trac­tor parked on the pave­ment near the ceno­taph

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