Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'The Council Works in Even More Mysterious Ways....'

Further to my earlier post, 'The Council Works in Mysterious Ways...' I see the mystery deepens over the supposedly impoverished Carmarthenshire Council's £280,000 gift to the 'Towy Community Church' project. The proposal is going before Cllr Meryl Gravell's Executive Board on Monday 11th April but, surprise surprise, the report is 'exempt' and will, when the 'public interest test' is applied, be discussed in secret. A couple of Councillors queried the Council's involvement in this project last October when the land deal was done but were met with short shrift. The council put the total council cash contribution at around £360,000 (in addition to the £750k land deal) so there's a bit more to find yet. 
As I said, a little more clarity would help.

Update 18th April;
I see from the Minutes of the Executive Board meeting that this was held in secret and yes, it was rubber stamped. How predictable.

1 comment:

Dic Deryn said...

The Council's attitudes towards recreation facilties in the county is inconsistent to say the least. While amazing generosity is shown to some pet projects which find favour with the powers in County Hall, others are treated with utter contempt. Here in Newcastle Emlyn, a microcosm perhaps, the Leisure Centre has been hitting the headlines with massive increases in its charges to some groups of users. The children's football team saw charges for their training sessions double recently, and the club is looking for alternatives. They have pointed out that nobody else wants to use the facilities at those times, so the end result could be no revenue at all for the Centre. Another aerobics group started to become popular, so the Centre upped their charges to the highest level on the published scale. The group continued to flourish, so the next move was to demand a share of the profits from running the class on top of the rent. It now costs £4.80 per hour to join the class, and unsurprisingly numbers are dropping off.

Not far away, the town owns the King George V playing fields. A couple of years back the children's playground was in an absolutely shocking state - rusting and broken swings and slides, jagged metal edges, a tall slide with no barriers to prevent children from falling, etc. A group of parents got together to try to turn things around and started a campaign to raise funds. Money came from companies, the Lottery, etc., but the County Council was unable to find a single penny. Subsequently, it turned out that the County Council had simply taken a chunk of land gifted to the community from the playing fields and built a care home on part of it. No compensation for what amounted to theft has been forthcoming. The County Council had also been charging the Town Council rent for other properties which, it turned out, it did not own either.

All of this is peanuts in monetary terms compared with the scale of the proposed development by the Towy Church in Carmarthen, and it leaves you wondering why the same body can be so greedy and grasping towards one part of the county, and so generous to others.