Cardiff Council Update: 20 October 2023

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Half-term fun for all at Cardiff's Autumn Playday
  • St David's Hall to stay closed until roof is replaced and building refurbished
  • Cardiff Council agrees funding for flagship school project


Half-term fun for all at Cardiff's Autumn Playday

If it barely seems five minutes since the long summer school holidays ended, some parents might not want reminding that the Autumn half-term is almost upon us.

When the schools break up again on October 27 for a week, young minds will need to be kept occupied with stimulating and adventurous activities. And if you're looking for ideas, help is at hand courtesy of Cardiff Council's Play Services team.

They've organised a Playday for all ages at Central Library Hub on The Hayes, Cardiff, on Thursday, November 2 between 1pm and 4pm.

Activities include junk modelling - making toys out of everyday household objects like egg boxes - and arts and crafts, den-building, story-telling, sensory and role play games plus a good old sing-a-long. What's more, it's all free to take part and it's indoors - so it can't be spoilt by the weather - and there's no need to book: just turn up with your young ones.

Cabinet Member for Tackling Poverty and Supporting Young People, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: "The National Playday that was due to be held in Heath Park last August has long been a key event for our Children's Play Services team and everyone worked so hard this year to ensure it offered some great ideas about how your children can be kept entertained ‘on a shoestring'.

"Sadly, the weather put paid to it earlier this year but our Play Services team is putting on another wonderful event at Central Library Hub on November 2 that will demonstrate that play is fundamental for children's enjoyment of childhood and vital for their health, wellbeing and development."

To find out more about National Play Day, visit: 

As well as hosting National Play Day, hubs and libraries across the city have a wealth of activities and events on throughout the half term school break. To find out what's on at your local hub or library, visit:


St David's Hall to stay closed until roof is replaced and building refurbished

A report into ‘potentially dangerous' concrete panels in Cardiff's St David's Hall recommends that the building's roof needs to be completely replaced.

The report was commissioned by Cardiff Council following changes to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advice on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete RAAC in public buildings.

Over the past few months several buildings have closed across the UK due to concerns over RAAC - a building material which the HSE said was now past its intended lifespan and is liable to fail without warning.

RAAC experts have been at St David's Hall for several weeks carrying out ‘intrusive' tests on panels across the span of the building's roof.

Their report noted that a significant number of the 900 plus panels in the roof are ‘red - critical' and others ‘red - high risk' meaning they could fail and collapse. Engineers recommend the venue stays closed either until emergency temporary mitigations are put in place, or the whole roof is replaced.

Temporary mitigation would take at least six months to install and is likely to cost several million pounds, but the entire roof would still have to be replaced at a cost of many more millions within a relatively short time.

This poses a serious question around the financial and practical merits of putting a temporary solution in place, given the medium-term need to replace the roof entirely in any case. It also raises concerns around insurance and liability which any temporary fix would have to satisfy. The Cabinet Report thus recommends fixing the roof in one go enabling the venue to reopen for the long-term when it is ready to welcome back concert goers.

Read more here


Cardiff Council agrees funding for flagship school project

One of Cardiff Council's flagship projects to transform education across the city has cleared a major hurdle with the approval of funds to begin building the pioneering Fairwater Community Campus.

A new report, which went before the council's Cabinet yesterday next week (Oct 19), the same day on which full planning was granted, recommended approving funds that will allow the main building work to go ahead on the redevelopment of the Cantonian High School site.

When the campus is completed in the 2026/27 academic year, it will incorporate three existing schools - Cantonian, Woodlands and Riverbank - and form the largest project in the Welsh Government Sustainable Communities for Learning programme.

Cllr Sarah Merry, the Council's deputy leader and the Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Approving this report and giving the go-ahead to the funding is a significant step along the road to creating Cardiff's first joint educational campus.

"When it is complete it will be a wonderful example for the rest of the city to follow and a huge asset for pupils, staff and the local community who will all benefit from these excellent, modern amenities."

Read more here