A SOCIAL action group says it is “deeply disappointed and saddened” after Barry Town Council (BTC) decided Cemetery Approach Community Centre would be its new facility’s name.

Barry-based Stand Up To Racism Vale said it had conducted a community campaign and organized a petition to name it after Gwen Hinds Payne, the Barry woman who was the first black woman councillor in Wales.

But BTC said it had taken the decision not to name the centre after any person – including community stalwart Bryan Foley, who died in June, who had received most public support.

The names put to the public vote were Ty Teilo; Ty Merthyr Dyfan; Cemetery Approach Community Centre; and Enfys Community Centre.


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Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) Vale chairwoman, Alison Woolcock said: “I am deeply disappointed and saddened that Barry Town Council failed to listen to public opinion and then held a limited consultation which did not offer Gwen’s name as a possible suggestion.

“Gwen Payne was a pioneer who, as the first black woman councillor in Wales deserves to be recognised for her achievements.”

She said Barry had a long history of multi culturalism.

“Despite this, neither the Vale nor Barry council have attempted to reflect Barry’s black history,” she said. “This could have been a fantastic opportunity for the council to honour a former member and would have been a positive start to Black History Month.”

Alison said SUTR Vale would like to see the council “re-address the error.”

“Gwen should be celebrated for making history,” Ms Woolcock added.

“She is a woman who gave and supported her community throughout her life.

"She deserves fitting recognition.”

BTC chief officer, Emily Forbes said the naming of the community centre was a council decision.

She said: “The council consulted with the public and took on board views and comments including those of this specific group.

“Full council resolved that the community building at Cemetery Approach is not named after one individual and that other avenues are explored to commemorate the lives of Darwin Payne, Gwyneth Hinds-Payne and Bryan Foley.

“The council set out a clear process and this process was followed.”

At its AGM on Monday, September 28 BTC voted to adopt the name favoured by the public.

With 102 public votes cast, Ty Teilo received 14; Ty Merthyr Dyfan – 20; Enfys Community Centre – 22; and Cemetery Approach Community Centre – 46.