Clarifying a few points
10:08am Thursday 7th February 2013 in Letters
WE would be grateful for an opportunity to clarify a few points made in Nick Chandler’s attack on us (Penarth Times, January 31).
Far from reneging on a promise, we actively campaigned in our election materials for the provision of community facilities at a renovated St Paul’s and we take that commitment very seriously.
Back in 2006 the community asked for a mixed use facility with space for the boxing club. However, in what many still see as a cynical election ploy, the previous Conservative Vale Council allocated £250k, that had been set aside for local facilities, to renovate St Paul’s for the exclusive use of the two clubs. Mr Chandler, in his professional capacity, feels that to be achievable for the money even though he states that it will take £100k to just make the building watertight. The council’s independent surveyor disagrees with his estimate.
We find his current suggestion that the building could house other activities questionable when the Gym Club says that they would need to build changing rooms on the side of the building because it is slightly too small for them.
Unlike Mr Chandler we have no vested interests. We do not have children who attended the clubs and are we not engaged to act for them. However, before we feel able to go back on an election pledge, we need to check if people are happy to give up their only opportunity for a community facility in this area of Penarth.
It is essential that people can make an informed decision and not based on one-sided arguments or personal attacks. We want people to know what might be possible and about the sorts of facilities provided by the three community centres elsewhere in Penarth.
We need to know if people in St Augustine’s want that sort of facility of if they are content to continue to do without.
We fully recognise the long history of both clubs and their contribution to their sport across South Wales and, far from abandoning them, we will continue to seek a workable solution.
It’s a shame that Mr Chandler chose to make his attack so personal. We were elected to listen to and represent the people of our ward and we make no apology for doing just that.
Lis Burnett Gwyn Roberts Town and Vale councillors for St Augustine’s