PROPEL, Wales’ newest political party, will hold a community meeting on Monday 20 May at St Vincent’s Hall, Mill Road, Ely in response to Cardiff Council’s continued neglect of Mill Park in Ely, which includes a children’s play area which been gated off and out of use to the public since March 2020.

This is in response to calls from Ely residents who have been in correspondence with Cardiff Council and local elected members for over 4 years with no action taken.

The meeting will address numerous concerns by parents and carers of Cylch Meithrin Trelái, which occupies the former pavilion building located in the park, along with those of local residents, and include the neglect of Mill Park, the lack of play equipment, particularly for younger children, the state of the former pavilion building and widespread anti-social behaviour.

Cylch Meithrin Trelai parent and Ely resident Liam Calway, said:

"As parents, we are appalled that this situation remains unresolved. There are children whose older siblings have long moved on to secondary education and the building and park are still in the same state of neglect and disrepair, including the dilapidated remnant of what used to be a playground adjacent to it.

“We have written to our councillors, and petitioned the council, inviting them to see the park for themselves. Despite our best efforts, we, and more importantly, our children, have been dismissed, ignored, and let down.”

Ruth O’Hanlon is also a parent and lives near Mill Park added,

“When will Cardiff Council act? Many children from Ely, and further afield, attend this setting every day, on a piece of scrubland they can’t play on when it rains, adjacent to a children’s play area which has had all its equipment removed, in a park that is littered with gas canisters, dog mess, plagued by vandalism and arson attacks and other anti-social behaviour.

“My children have been attending this setting for 8 years and I’ve never seen it this bad. This would not be allowed to happen in other parts of the city, it feels like this part of Ely has well and truly been forgotten.”

Propel Leader, Neil McEvoy added,

“Cylch Meithrin Trelai is the only dedicated early years Welsh-medium provision in Ely. Their service to its community for over 40 years is invaluable, they deserve the council’s full and proper support to continue with their fantastic work. It is high time that Mill Park should be upgraded to serve the community.

“Some funding is available which could go some way to improving things, but the council is extremely slow to act on it. What is more shocking is that the Labour Ely ward members are openly blocking efforts to find solutions to a situation that has been unresolved for over 4 years.

“The recently announced Action Plan for Ely and Caerau offers no commitments to invest in play equipment and provision for the area, which is incredible. The suggestion that Cardiff is a Child Friendly city is not a reality in Ely.

“Our children have a right to play, and we demand better for them. The question is: does Cardiff Council?