TWO historic pieces of Barry Island tourist artwork could be saved from destruction after angry residents demanded their reprieve.
Residents took to social media to voice their dismay at the Vale Council’s move to remove all five ‘90s regeneration-funded mosaics from the seaside’s promenade as it began re-paving work at the resort’s western end.
Islanders claimed three mosaics were retrievable – with two now beyond repair.
Vale Council cabinet member for regeneration, innovation, planning and transportation, Cllr Lis Burnett said only two were decent and repairing the others was not an affordable option.
Cllr Burnett said: “Leaving two out of the set of five might look a bit silly as they are not really hardy enough for paving.
“It was decided to remove them and redo the paving to match the yellow paviours. When people contacted me to voice their concern I checked to see if there was any chance of lifting them and moving them to a new location. We are not sure if it will work, but we will give it a try. We are mindful that when work is done on the Island money is not set aside to maintain it. We’ve put £900k in council reserves to allow us to maintain Barry and Penarth seafronts.”
Vale Council director of development services, Rob Thomas said re-paving work had begun.
Mr Thomas said: “The Council will attempt to remove two mosaics and the plan is to salvage them and look to re-use them at a later date. We cannot say when they will be re-used as the focus is very much on refurbishing the area that has fallen into disrepair in recent years. We will work with interested parties in considering how the mosaics can be re-used.”
Barry Island Historical Group chairman, Mike Heffernan said he believed the mosaics should stay where they were as long as rides, on the promenade, were moved elsewhere so they could be publicly seen and the risk of damage minimised.
Mr Heffernan said: “If they have to be moved they should be moved to a location on Barry Island where members of the general public can see them.
“That's why I wouldn't support them being given to Barry Island school. I think that they could and should be incorporated into the development taking place on the eastern end of the promenade.
“They could be put on the wall of the empty eastern shelter, for example, where they could be seen by thousands of visitors to the Island or even incorporated into the bouldering wall which is going to be a feature of the regeneration.”
Beverley Mackintosh, of Friars Road, Barry Island said she believed the mosaics should be repaired and left where they were.
She said: “Surely it would be far more costly to dig them up and remove them to another location? And what is the point? Lis Burnett says they will look odd as they were part of a set and only two are worth saving. What utter tosh! They are part of the promenade and should remain there. They will look just as odd in any other location if that is her argument. They should never have been allowed to deteriorate in the first place and this is down to Council neglect.”