PENARTH Town Council has given its backing to the Vale Youth Service moving to two rooms in West House - subject to negotiations over a new lease.

During a policy and finance committee meeting last Thursday, February 27, councillors heard that the Vale Youth Service had indicated that it would like to break its lease on West House Cottage at the end of the current financial year because it could no longer afford the running costs.

Andy Borsden, the manager of the youth service, said in a report presented to the committee that they were interested in negotiating a lease on Rooms 3 and 4 of West House as they were currently vacant and they wanted to maintain a presence in Penarth.

The Town Clerk’s report, which went before the committee meeting, said: “The Vale Council is in negotiations with the Town Council’s agent in relation to a settlement figure for an early release on the Cottage. The Vale Youth Service cannot give a firm date on when it wishes to vacate the Cottage because the relocation of staff depends on the availability of staff in other Vale Youth Service accommodation in Barry.”

The report added that the lease on the Cottage was for ten years from April 1, 2008, for a sum of £12,000 pa, but warned that due to the current economic climate they were more likely to get £10k to £11k for the Cottage and, if a replacement was not found, could face a potential loss of £17,353 pa.

The report added that the Town Council could request £1,000 for every calendar month left on the lease from when the Youth Service vacate, so it would be beneficial to find a tenant as quickly as possible.

The report concluded: “If the committee was agreeable to the Vale Youth Service taking on a lease of Rooms 3 and 4 this would generate income of £3,264 plus payment of charges of at least £500 pa plus the Town Council would no longer be responsible for the business rates on the accommodation which are currently £2,505 pa (£6,269 per annum)."

Councillor Neil Thomas, who represents the Cornerswell Ward, said: "We need to make sure that we are fully supportive of the youth service going into Rooms 3 and 4.”

Councillor Michael Cuddy, chairman of the committee, added: “We are supportive of the youth service remaining in this area, but we would like to address the marketing of the premises and also introduce a deadline for them to be clear on their vacation.”