SENIOR figures at Blaenau Gwent council have been accused of “letting down” the children of Tredegar over their handling of the borough’s new splash park.

Ebbw Vale’s Festival Park was chosen as the desired site for the facility despite calls for it to be provided at Parc Bryn Bach.

And the proposals courted controversy after it emerged that officers had secured an agreement with private developers without approval from councillors.

Council leader Nigel Daniels admitted “lessons would be learned” from the blunder and apologised for “any discontent it created”.

But when asked at a council meeting to apologise directly to the people of Tredegar, Cllr Daniels refused.


“I get where members and the public are coming from in regard to levels of disappointment,” he said.

“But it’s difficult for me to apologise for something that I was only recently made aware of.”

In early 2018 the council had asked Aneurin Leisure Trust to deliver the splash park at Parc Bryn Bach, having secured £144,000 from the Welsh Government.

The trust handed the money back last June, saying they were unable to pay an extra £100,000 for a new water system.

Under pressure to spend the money within a certain timeframe, the council approached Festival Park in January 2019, with the outlet’s owners keen to take over the project.

As part of the agreement, Festival Park will cover all revenue costs associated with the splash park, which will form part of wider regeneration at the site.

But councillors were kept out of the loop of the entire decision-making process, prompting anger among members of the regeneration and economic development scrutiny committee in May.

The lack of oversight was raised by Tredegar resident Nesta Davies when she confronted Cllr Daniels at a council meeting on Thursday.

Ms Davies said: “It was obvious that correct scrutiny procedure had not been adhered to, and our representatives had no idea of what had been going on. It was a fait accompli.

“It is our belief that if this had been dealt with in the correct manner, additional funding could have been secured for the splash pad to go to Parc Bryn Bach.

“You have truly let down the people and children of Tredegar, will you apologise?”

Cllr Daniels said officers had not deliberately sidestepped democratic process but were waiting for a firm commitment from Festival Park before bringing it to councillors.

The meeting also heard that recommendations made by the scrutiny committee to go back to the Welsh Government to ask for further funding to revisit Parc Bryn Bach had proved fruitless.

Cllr Daniels added: “The Welsh Government said they would need to see significant progress by September this year otherwise they would claw the money back.

“Should we let that money go, and Blaenau Gwent not get that facility? The answer is no, and I don’t think I need to apologise for this.”