Get a grip on church
8:10am Thursday 31st January 2013 in Letters
ON Friday, January 25, I received my weekly “e-mail news” from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, which contained news of the consultation that has now started on the future of St Paul’s Church.
It would appear that this survey is being limited to the residents of St Augustine’s Ward, when historically the building has been used for the benefit of all residents of Penarth. Is it not reasonable to expect that all Penarth residents should be allowed the opportunity to participate in this important survey?
The history of both the Penarth Boxing and Gymnastic Clubs goes back over many decades. They both have served the youth of Penarth and offered services to the town, which have been provided primarily by volunteers. The standards achieved by Neil Munn and Gwynedd Lingard could not have been bettered and their efforts deserve ongoing support.
These clubs were both categorically promised to be rehoused at St Paul’s Church, following the repairs and refurbishment. The fact that Councillors Burnett and Roberts have chosen to renege on these agreements is putting the future of both clubs in severe jeopardy. The officers of the Vale Council, who have been involved in the long-drawn-out negotiations and final conclusion last year, must be feeling severely embarrassed.
As far as the condition of the building itself goes, no work at all has been carried out despite the allocation of £250,000 almost 12 months ago. This building could and should have been made weather-tight, and this work would have cost a maximum of £100,000 of the funds allocated. I have previously provided the breakdown of these figures to the Vale. I now fear what worsened condition the building is in, following a very wet period of weather and the total lack of action evident. The consequences of not carrying out any repairs were clearly identified in the expert reports commissioned, the first by the clubs and the latter one by the Vale itself.
During the original negotiations with the officers of the Vale, budget costs were also provided to allow for the provision of a mezzanine floor within the main hall of the church which would have opened up a first floor area for “other use”. This provision would maybe assist the councillors to satisfy additional community facilities. Again this suggestion appears to have been totally ignored.
The consultation period extends to February 22, after which I presume there will be further debate – so who knows when decisions will be made.
This whole affair is a disgrace and needs to be resolved quickly or we may well see the demise and disappearance of both clubs, which would be a crying shame for Penarth and its youth.
Somebody please get a grip.
Nick Chandler Via e-mail