Clubs are under threat
10:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Letters
ON February 15 a consultation meeting was held for the residents of St Augustines ward with councillors Gwyn Roberts, Liz Burnett and a silent member of the Vale Council.
The councillors were met with concerns of the residents as to the format of the consultation document which did not reflect the choices on offer. An apology was made and the consultation officer blamed but surely the document should have been proof-read.
Further concerns were raised by those who had either not received the document or had not received enough for those entitled to a view within households, so clearly they were not distributed on the basis of the electoral roll.
Probably again no blame to be attached to the councillors, they certainly did not accept any fault.
Residents were supportive of the boxing club and the gymnastics club and the fact that two years has now elapsed and no progress has been made to rehouse them.
The councillors again relied upon restoration costs which they clearly had not taken the time to scrutinise and they took no account of the work completed by independent companies and the hard work to put the valuations together by Mr Nick Chandler.
A survey had been carried out by Arup following the councils survey and it should be noted that Arup are a world leading firm building roads, bridges and other large projects all over the world.
The upshot of the meeting was that the consultation process despite bring flawed would continue nonetheless and the best that could be hoped for would be that a proposal could be put to the Vale by about May.
From there the future would be once again in the hands of the Vale who have managed to let both clubs and the residents down monumentally so far.
It appears that no one at the council has thought to ask Crest Nicholson the builder to consider using its manpower and available resources still on site to remedy the situation.
One can only wonder why such an idea had not dawned upon them individually or collectively.
The councillors were told in no uncertain terms that something needs to be achieved soon or both clubs would find themselves being financially ruined and consigned to memory as funds run dry.
Despite the legacies of both clubs who have provided British champions and Welsh champions at all levels and ages, and provided clubs which Penarth has been proud to have, it appears that the councillors of both Penarth and the Vale are prepared to act like Emperor Nero and fiddle as Rome burns!
Whilst they continue to say that they do not want to be responsible for the demise of either or both of the clubs they are empty words in reality and the truth will be that their legacy unlike the clubs will be that they oversaw the end of them and will be judged by the people of Penarth for their inability to retain them.
Their present next Christmas will be “we told you so” and “we warned you but you did not listen” but by then it will be too late to resurrect the clubs because once they go there will be no coming back despite decades of hard work and achievement.
In a week where we have seen the demise of PACL and the Washington Gallery its time that both councils woke up and listened to the community they say that they serve.
Kevin Seal, Chairman Penarth Boxing Club