Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Fight Goes On!

Llanishen Reservoir Action Group vow to fight on at their AGM which was held this week. Richard Cowie, chairman of the Reservoir Action Group (RAG), told members at the group’s AGM about plans to change the group into a charitable trust in order to be able to apply for funding for a sustainable future for the reservoir.To read the article in the Echo CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Will New Owner Celsa Refill Llanishen Reservoir? Not Anytime Soon!

Following the submission of the 3000 signature petition, on 24th October at the general council meeting Cllr. Kate Lloyd asked the Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr. Heather Joyce about refilling the reservoir. Cllr Joyce made the following statement in response:

"I can confirm that I met with Celsa management representatives on 15th October.  Celsa confirmed its acquisition of the two reservoirs in North Cardiff for strategic purposes in order to protect the water supply for the company's plant in Cardiff, which currently comes from the Lisvane reservoir.  Llanishen reservoir was also acquired in order to meet the long-term expansion plans of the company and future needs for additional water supplies.  Until such time as trading conditions in the U.K. improve considerably, Celsa will not, in the short-term, be able to give commercial consideration to undertaking any non-operational work such as refilling Llanishen reservoir, as their limited financial resources are focused on supporting day-to-day business operations.  However, the company has indicated that it does hope to expand its operations in the future once this position improves in the medium to long-term.  I am scheduled to meet on a regular basis with Celsa management representatives and will continue to raise this matter with them, in order to obtain a progress report on their future plans here in Cardiff."

This doesn't sound too good. Celsa have 'limited financial resources' and would only look to refill Llanishen Reservoir if they expand their business. And in todays ferociously competitive world of business its more probable Celsa will never expand which means they'll  never refill  Llanishen Reservoir. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

3000 Signature Petition Handed To Cardiff Council to Get Llanishen Reservoir Refilled

On Thursday 26th September a petition with over 3000 signatures was handed over at the general meeting of Cardiff Council. The petition calls on Cardiff Council to do all in its power to get Llanishen Reservoir refilled. The
ownership of the reservoir has transferred from Western Power Distribution to Celsa steel company. This has occurred since the petition was set up but the petition’s appeal for the reservoir to be refilled remains valid.

Its to be hoped both Celsa and Cardiff Council will take a positive view of the petition and act on the call of thousands of Cardiff’s residents to get the reservoir refilled.

Also earlier this month (9/9/3) the Echo reported that the primary reason Celsa have taken ownership of the Cardiff reservoirs is to secure their water supply, steel making requires good clean water and lots of it! Therefore re-filling Llanishen reservoir is entirely compatible with their business and would serve their needs into the future with the predicted extremes of weather and the changing climate.

Also at that same meeting Cardiff Council agreed to build 41,000 new houses in the LDP and this means there will eventually be a vast built-up area to the north of the city. In this context retaining the open space and the reservoirs themselves is even more vital as they provide an important wildlife corridor and could also be available to the public to enjoy walks in a natural environment. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

SOLD! Western Power Distribution Have Sold Reservoirs!

Terrific news! Western Power Distribution have sold the reservoirs to Spanish owned steel company Celsa who have a works in Tremorfa and currently take their water supply from Lisvane Reservoir. 

Hopefully Celsa will be a more responsible owner of the fantastic Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs. 

Full details of the sale are in the Echo newspaper report, click here to read the report and click here for a further report on Celsa future plans. 

There's also an excellent article from the Echo's news editor David James titled 'Now's the time to step up and create a proper public park for the people of Cardiff', click here to read the article.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fight to Save Llanishen Reservoir Makes Front Page News in the USA

PPL Headquarters Building in Pennsylvania.
Councillor Phil Bale, in a self financed trip, has met with PPL President, Rick Klingensmith, on friday 16th August at PPL's Headquarters building in Pennsylvania (PPL own WPD which is the electricity company that maintains the local electricity network in South Wales. Whatever supply company you use, some of the money you pay them gets passed on to WPD). 
The meeting made front page news in the local paper there, 'The Morning Call'. Mr Klingensmith advised Councillor Bale that "WPD would be making a decision on the reservoir in the next few months". But after WPD were refused permission to build houses on the reservoir then PPL/WPD have only one reasonable option - respect democracy, refill the reservoir and return the site to its former condition.
For the full story of Phil Bale's visit see the Echo report at - CLICK HERE.
The American version of Councillor Bale's story appeared in the Morning Call newspaper CLICK HERE. (For information the Morning Call has a circulation of over 90,000 compared to the Echo's 30,000).

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Councillor Phil Bale Flies to the USA to Challenge PPL

Councillor Phil Bale has flown to the USA in an effort to try to meet with the owners of Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs and try to get them to refill Llanishen Reservoir. CLICK HERE for the full story which appeared in the Echo on the 7th August.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sign the Petition to Get WPD to Refill Llanishen Reservoir!

If you use electricity then some of the money you pay your electricity company will go to Western Power Distribution (WPD). Therefore you’d hope they’d respect the communities they serve. However with Llanishen Reservoir now drained WPD have left the site in a right mess, showing no respect to their Cardiff 'customers':

If this is a typical example of how they work goodness knows what condition our electricity infrastructure is in!

Western Power Distribution also run an environmental  scheme under their  banner called 'Keen to Be Green'. Their website goes on to state: "Keen to Be Green is our environmental initiative. Its aim is to protect and enhance the communities served by us.'

Actions speak louder than words. Are WPD really “Keen to be Green” and do they really “Aim to protect and enhance  the communities served by us”? The only way for WPD to resolve this is to refill the reservoir.

Sign the petition now  (CLICK HERE) and lets get WPD to clean up their mess and refill the reservoir!

Saturday, 13 July 2013




!!!!THANK YOU!!!! 


All The Walkers:
  • All the  92 Participants, including a large group from Rhydypenau Primary School who, in brilliant sunshine on the 6th July, took part in the 2013 event on the Gold (21 Miles), Silver (17 Miles), Bronze (12 Miles), Copper (6 Miles) & Zinc Routes (3 Miles). 

The politicians who came along to support the event:

Copper Route:

  • MP JONATHAN EVANS for Cardiff North (also took part in both the 2011 and 2012 walks);
  • Councillor CRAIG WILLIAMS, (Pentyrch and Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Cardiff North)
Zinc Route:

  •  Assembly Member for Cardiff North JULIE MORGAN (also took part in the 2011 & 2012 walks);
  • Assembly Member for South Wales Central ELUNED PARROTT (also took part in the 2011 & 2012 walks);
  • Councillor PHIL BALE (Llanishen) (also took part in the 2011 & 2012 walks);
  • Former First Minister (2000 to 2009) RHODRI MORGAN (also took part in the 2012 walk);
  • Councillor ANDREW GRAHAM (Llanishen)
  • MARI WILLIAMS, (Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Cardiff North)
Event Photographer: 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Cardiff Council Costs

The costs to Cardiff Council of taking on a multi-national and save the fantastic reservoirs amenity has come to nearly £900,000, reports the Echo, CLICK HERE for the full story. There's an excellent letter published on the 3rd July in response to this story by Anne Gee, CLICK HERE'

This throws into sharp relief the total failure of our planning laws. The Council’s costs are from having to take on the four nearly identical planning applications submitted by Western Power Distribution. Clearly there is something very wrong with our planning laws when a multi-national company can take ownership of a well loved local beauty spot with the sole aim to destroy it for financial gain and make the local community pay a substantial sum to stop them. The owner of Western Power Distribution, the American company PPL (formerly known as Pennsylvania Power and Light), made $1,495,000,000 in 2011 so its not like they need the money! If Cardiff Council had lost this case it would have given the green light to the super wealthy massive corporations, like WPD, to develop almost any land they wished, knowing local councils would run scared of having to pay a heavy financial price to take them on. 

It is very wrong that a corporation like WPD/PPL can propose vitually identical planning applications and for each planning application a whole separate  process is required which can involve some or all of the following stages: 
  • local people having to object; 
  • then council officers and councillors having separate meetings to turn each one down and the application gets 'called in' by the Government Minister;
  • then there's a Planning Inquiry which finds against the developer; 
  • then the developer goes to appeal which the council has to defend and the developer loses;  
  • then the developer brings in the lawyers and takes the council/Government to the High Court! 
The planning laws must be changed so other communities don't go through the same long saga endured by those in North Cardiff and the democratic will of local communities is respected.  

And when the council's cabinet member for strategic planning, Councillor Ralph Cook, says “I think there are also many people in Cardiff that will think spending nearly a million pounds was not money well spent”, he would do better explaining to those people the importance of preventing reckless, irresponsible development and not de facto supporting the position of powerful multinationals.

UK Government Minister to Push WPD to Refill Llanishen Reservoir!

MP Oliver Letwin, the UK Government Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, visited Llanishen Reservoir and met RAG representatives on 1st July. The MP said it was a "striking and terrible thing"  that a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) could be left drained and in such a condition and called on the reservouir owner, WPD, to restore the reservoir. For the full story Click Here.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Councillor Phil Bale Will Be Taking Part Again

Phil On Top of Mount Kilimanjaro
Phil took part in last year’s Save Our Cardiff Reservoirs Walk and will be taking part again this year.
Last summer Councillor Phil Bale succeeded in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, where he raised a Reservoir Action Group poster at the summit (for a brief few moments at least!). Phil’s climb raised hundreds of pounds in sponsorship for our campaign to protect another area of outstanding beauty on this planet.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Search & Rescue Dogs Association Will Be Marshalling the Garth Checkpoint

The Reservoir Action Group would like to thank the Search and Rescue Dogs Association (South Wales) for marshalling the Garth Mountain Checkpoint on this year's event.

SARDA (South Wales) Mountain Rescue Search Dogs are a fantastic charity who specialise in searching for lost, injured or missing people in hostile terrain and extreme weather conditions.

Working with the Police, Mountain Rescue teams, and other emergency services, their search-dog teams cover large areas quicker and more effectively than human-only search teams. Missing people are found sooner and lives are saved.

Their handlers are all volunteers, who come from a variety of different backgrounds. All have day jobs, searching and training with SARDA South Wales is done in their spare time. Handlers and dogs are always ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to calls in urban, rural or mountainous areas across South Wales and further afield.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Jonathan Evans, MP for Cardiff North, Will Again Be Walking the Copper Route

Jonathan Evans, Member of Parliament for Cardiff North (Conservative), has taken part in the two previous 'Save Our Cardiff Reservoirs Walk's and will again be walking the Copper Route with his wife Margaret. Jonathan Evans continues to campaign in Parliament for the reservoir.

Baroness Randerson, Member of the House of Lords, Will Be Taking Part

Baroness Jenny Randerson, member of the House of Lords, has supported the previous two SOCRW events and again plans to take part this year. Baroness Randerson continues to campaign for the reservoirs in the Houe of Lords.

Appeal Period Now Lapsed

The period for WPD to lodge an appeal to the decision by the Welsh Government not to allow them to build on Llanishen Reservoir has now lapsed. It appears thet WPD now accept this decision which is good news! For the Echo story Click Here 

Having stopped the development, the Reservoir Action Group's next task in the process is to look into ways of taking this area back into public ownership and protecting it. This will allow future generations to once more enjoy sailing, fishing, bird watching and walking.  And by taking part in the third 'Save Our Cardiff Reservoirs Walk' you will help in a big way towards that goal.