PENARTH Town Council is set to spend nearly £4,000 on refurbishing a room and up to £8,800 on 40 new chairs in a bid to attract civil ceremonies to council offices.
Room 1 of the town council offices at West House has recently been granted a licence to host weddings and has already received six bookings despite it not even being advertised yet.
A Town Clerk report before the policy and finance committee, held on Thursday, February 27, said there was a sum of £5,000 in the council budget but if the cost of the refurbishment, and replacement chairs, went over the budget “additional money would need to be taken from the general reserve fund”.
The report added that the room would attract a hire fee of £170 per ceremony and once refurbishment was completed it would “prove a popular and attractive venue with the local community given the grandeur of Room 1 and West House, the availability of parking and the use of West House for photographic opportunities”.
The estimated costs of refurbishing the room is £3992 and would include £780 to free up all six bottom sash windows and refit, £1140 to rub down and repaint all six windows, a pair of dress curtains for £718 and two dress roman blinds for the side windows at £404.
The Town Clerk report added that 40 chairs needed to be replaced in the Council Chamber and Room as they were no longer fit for purpose, were in need of repair and were not easy to manoeuvre.
The report added: “The design, quality and cost of replacement chairs varies greatly from £50 to £220 per seat. A decision will need to be made on the quality of chairs to be obtained, having regard to the dual role they will play in a council chamber setting and civil ceremony venue. Other factors are durability, portability as they need to be stackable for ease of movement, and cost.”
Councillors voted overwhelmingly that officers should be appointed to choose the most cost effective chairs.
Town Clerk Shan Bowden said during the meeting that the works needed to be done as the room had not been redecorated since the early 1990’s.
Councillor Gwyn Roberts, who represents the St Augustine’s ward, said he was "fully supportive" of the idea as it was "not an expense but an investment for the future".
He added that the council would try its best to minimise the costs.
There are also plans to sell off the existing chairs.
In regards to the old chairs councillors were currently sitting on Cllr Janice Birch added: "We should sell these chairs to some small country where they still have torture.”