The Leader of the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council , Cllr Neil Moore has told the Vale of Glamorgan’s ruling ‘cabinet’ that he’s “disappointed” that so many council projects – with money already allocated for them – have been delayed.
Amongst a long list of already-funded projects deferred until the next financial year (2016/17) were the long-awaited repairs to Penarth Public Library – including sorting out its damp problem and fixing the library’s faulty lift.
The lift – which is the only way in which disabled customers can reach the basement and the first floor of the library building – had begun giving trouble in 2010 .
Work finally began this month on upgrading the lift after it had initially had safety restrictions imposed on it and later was totally barred from public use. Meanwhile, the long-awaited work on sorting out the problem of damp in the library has yet to start.
Cllr Moore has now told his ‘cabinet’ he is “disappointed that many projects had slipped and were not going forward until next year” and has proposed that in future more robust information is provided for each scheme, along with a time-chart to ensure that in future “slippage” is kept to a minimum.
The Penarth Library scheme – including urgent repairs to the unsafe lift – were originally called for back in 2014 but have been continually deferred ever since.
In August 2014 – after a prolonged delay – the Vale Council finally got around to authorising the expenditure of £88,000 on essential maintenance and repairs to “address damp” in Penarth Library . However that project was deferred to the financial year 2015/16.
In February this year (as reported by PDN See http://tinyurl.com/gp2ra6n ) the council deferred the work yet again – this time trotting out the excuse that it needed “Listed Building Consent” to carry out the work on the Grade II building. Critics say officers should have realised that back in 2014 – after all, the Vale Council claims to own the building.[The library was a gift to the people of Penarth – its construction having been funded largely by the Carnegie Trust on land donated by the Earl of Plymouth.]
Other funded projects which the Vale of Glamorgan Council has also now deferred to the next financial year are:-
- Penarth Learning Community: This project – which only on Monday this week was claimed by the Vale Council to have been “completely finished” – has another £100,000 of work to be done on it – which will now be completed in “the 2016/17 Capital Programme”.
- Penarth Cycle Parking Project: This £25,000 project was originally called “The Penarth Heights Cycle-Parking Project” and is funded from Section 106 money due from Penarth Heights developers Crest Nicholson. It is being carried forward into “the 2016/17 Capital Programme.”
- Penarth Renewal Area: A total of £85,000 is to be moved (or “vired” in council-speak) from the Castleland Renewal Area to the Penarth Renewal Area and a balance of £125,000 is to be deferred into to “the 2016/17 Capital Programme.”