Agenda Item No.












A Request for Consideration of matter had been received from Councillor R.J. Bertin who had been approached by former Red Coats and Employees who wishes to install, at their cost, a blue plaque on the site of the former Butlin’s Holiday Camp commemorating its existence.  Councillor Bertin had also requested that both Mr. Steve Slocombe from Welsh Government and Mr. Steuart Kingsley-Iness former employee at Butlin’s, be invited to speak at the Scrutiny Committee on the matter.


The Chairman informed the Committee that Mr. Slocombe had been invited but had advised that he was unable to attend the meeting. However, he had submitted written representations which advised that he was totally supportive of the blue plaque idea although he was aware that it was a Vale site.  He asked  in view of the ongoing works and the redevelopment proposals at Barry Island, that the Council consider a temporary solution to be available and allow for a permanent siting at a later date.  He made such a request in view of the fact that there were many elderly members of the Butlin’s Red Coats and it would be important for something to be agreed so that as many as possible were able to attend an unveiling.  He further stated that it was fitting to commemorate Butlin’s as it was what defined Barry Island in the 60s and 70s.  Although Welsh Government in conjunction with  the Vale Council was seeking to establish a new identity for Barry Island, the legacy of the camp should not be forgotten and the valuable efforts of the Red Coats in helping to make the Island the renowned tourist destination that it was should be noted.


Mr. Kingsley-Iness, a former employee and Red Coat, had also been granted permission to speak by the Chairman and advised that a number of his colleagues had worked at the site and would like to repay the town for their memories.  The idea of a plaque had been suggested as it would also remind people of the heritage, he requested that the Council consider the proposal and provide a logistical position for the plaque’s erection. At the meeting Mr. Kingsley-Iness circulated to Members a copy of the suggested design for a plaque for approval.  He specifically mentioned that the cost of the plaque and its design would be borne by the past employees  themselves.


The Operational Manager for Leisure and Tourism, in presenting his report to the Committee, advised that there were significant regeneration proposals that were currently being detailed for Barry Island which would be funded by the Barry Regeneration Fund and that it would seem entirely appropriate to consider a request to commemorate the site of the former Butlin’s Holiday Camp and those who worked at the site as part of the ongoing regeneration proposals.  This had indeed been a remark that had been made by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation at the Council meeting on 13th May 2013 following a question from Councillor Bertin.  In essence, the report proposed that it would be premature to install a plaque at this time given that the regeneration programme for 2013/14 would consider proposals for a range of interventions at Barry Island including a consideration of public realm enhancements and applications for public art and interpretation.  The report also highlighted that given that Barry Island Holiday Camp figured heavily in recent local history, it would therefore be appropriate for the request to commemorate the camp to be considered alongside a consideration of wider public art, interpretation and public realm enhancements.


Members, in considering the request, were concerned about placing a plaque on a temporary aspect at a time when a considerable amount of building work would be ongoing as they would wish to make sure that it was sited in the most appropriate place. 


Following a request by a Member who suggested that if may be more appropriate to present the plaque to the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan for safekeeping until an appropriate place could be sited. Mr. Kingsley-Iness stated that he agreed that this was an excellent suggestion and as the employees held a reunion in Barry each year usually in June and he wondered if such a presentation could coincide with the reunion which would be a fitting tribute to the employees and would be entirely appropriate.  The Committee being unanimously supportive of the suggestion were thanked by Councillor Bertin and Mr. Kingsley-Iness for the opportunity afforded to them to present their case.


It was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the request to install a blue plaque at Barry Island be agreed in principle and referred to Cabinet.  It being noted that the cost would be borne by the previous employees of the Butlin’s Holiday Camp as referred to above.


(2)       T H A T following the regeneration work planned for Barry Island an appropriate location be found for the installation of the plaque.


(3)       T H A T prior to an appropriate place being found for the installation of a blue plaque, the plaque be presented to the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan for safekeeping.


Reasons for recommendations


(1&2)  To ensure that appropriate provision is given to the request to site a blue plaque on Barry Island and for Cabinet approval.


(3)       In recognition of the former Red Coats and employees of the former Butlin’s Holiday Camp."





Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 16th July, 2013