“PENARTH TOWN TRUST” PROPOSAL IS FLOATED-OUT BY NEW DEPUTY MAYOR

Penarth's Clock Roundabout - the hub of the town

Penarth’s Clock Roundabout – the veritable hub of the town

The new Deputy Mayor of Penarth Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) – has floated out the idea of setting up a new body – a registered charity to be called  the “Penarth Town Trust”

Cllr Alexander resigned last week as a member of the executive committee of the Penarth Civic Society and now hopes the Civic Society will become a member of the proposed new Trust – along with other local organisations and individuals

Deputy Mayor Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Coerswell) is now proposing the setting up of a Penarth Town Trust

Deputy Mayor Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) is now proposing the setting up of a Penarth Town Trust

Cllr Alexander revealed her Penarth Trust idea in a valedictory email to the members of the Penarth Civic Society . She told Civic  Society members ” I have offered ideas that I hoped would change a dying society into one that could influence change and contribute to future regeneration and sustainability of services and projects, here in Penarth.

I now aim to realise these ideas, with others, through the new Penarth Town Trust.”

The embryo Penarth Town Trust may be an attempt to get around the problem presented when local retailers overwhelmingly voted down proposals to set up a “Penarth Business Improvement District” – or “Penarth BiD”  which would have been funded by a proposed surcharge on the rates of commercial premises in the town. The Business Improvement District, it was asserted, would have been able to “attract grant funding from other sources”  – as would the now-mooted  Penarth Town Trust .

The proposed new Penarth Headland Walkway could be a prime candidate to come under the aegis of a Penarth Town Trust

The proposed new Penarth Headland Walkway could be a prime candidate to come under the aegis of a Penarth Town Trust

In Penarth’s case it’s more than likely that the proposed Headland Walkway would come under the wing of a Penarth Town Trust   – as could any  scheme to take over and run Penarth’s Turner House Gallery , which – although bequeathed to the people of Penarth – was handed over (by Penarth Town Council) to the National Museum of Wales and then leased to the publicly funded “charity”  Ffotogallery.

Deputy Mayor Alexander says “It is my most sincere hope that the Penarth Civic Society will become members of the Trust to serve the areas that they represent, for Working in Partnership to enable like aims and objectives for the future of Penarth is something that can only be for the greater good.”

Town Trusts already operate in other UK towns and are basically “charities” run by boards of trustees  who take on the  responsibility for the upkeep of specific areas of their town (As the Penarth BiD might have done) for the benefit of the town and its residents as a whole.

The legacy bequeathed to the people of Penarth - Turner House could come back into the ownership of the town

The legacy originally bequeathed to the people of Penarth – Turner House and its multi-million pound Turner paintings could conceivably come back into the ownership of the town under a Town Trust.

Town Trusts can be eligible to receive funding from various public bodies and other so-called charities’ and therefore tap into the enormous amount of untapped and unowned cash – originally provided by the taxpayer – which is swilling around in the public sector and so-called “voluntary sector” .

Unlike local authorities Town Trusts don’t carry the overheads which councils do and  therefore almost all the money trusts receive, or draw upon, would be expended – at least in theory – on the town itself.

Cllr Tracey Alexander (left) was on the high-powered panel which set out proposals for building the MkII {Penarth Headland Walkway Pictured with her are Cllr Anthony Ernest Vice president Penarth Civic Society) , Cllr Mike Cuddy (now Mayor of Penarth)-, Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael and Civic Society President Chris Loyn

Cllr Tracey Alexander (left) was on the high-powered panel which set out proposals for “The Future of Penarth ” in a public meeting at Penarth Pier Pavilion . Pictured with her are Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward and Vice president Penarth Civic Society) , Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour st Augustines Ward and Leader of Penarth Council – and now Mayor of Penarth,) Police and Crime Commissioner and former Labour MP Alun Michael and Civic Society President Chris Loyn.

One source said that a Penarth Town Trust could  organise local events and street-fairs, look after street-trees (a particularly sensitive area in Penarth) , plant flowers, cut grass and so on – but would not be subject to the legal and financial constraints the Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth Town council – and would not have to pay for the enormous staff salaries, overheads and pensions that these councils are saddled with .

One town which already has such a trust, Alresford in Hampshire , says ” the work of the Trust lends a subtle layer of civic pride to the town” .

UPDATE: The Penarth Civic Society subsequently issued a statement ( see Comments Section below) saying that it had considered Cllr. Alexander’s proposal but had come to the view that “it would be very unlikely to be sustainable and would simply engage existing initiatives within the town in an additional and unwelcome level of bureacracy.”  The Penarth Civic Society – it says “currently has no plans to participate in the Penarth Town Trust”.

 

 

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16 Responses to “PENARTH TOWN TRUST” PROPOSAL IS FLOATED-OUT BY NEW DEPUTY MAYOR

  1. zanksky says:

    Excellent idea. Let’s hope it’s well supported and is a success. This is exactly the sort of innovative thinking that Penarth needs to reduce the over dependency on cash strapped public bodies.

  2. Anne Greagsby says:

    Cut grass, plant flowers and trees? Aren’t we paying enough council tax for these basic council services or are we being asked by Cllr Alexander and her labour friends to fundww and do it ourselves? We have the civic society to promote pride in our town already. Have the town council discussed this? Why haven’t we been consulted on this new initiative? Is this new trust linked to the group with Alun Michael, Tracey Alexander sea front car park and walkway scheme? Too many decisions that effect us all are being taken behind closed doors. Let’s have some clarity and openness for a change.

  3. penarthblog says:

    We all need to work together to promote the image of the town and that means politicians, businesses, charities and individuals. There is a hell of a lot that can be done, improving public areas, making them more attractive to residents and visitors alike. I’m sure there are people reading this article who would have some great ideas.

  4. Martin gossage says:

    If this idea was done behind closed doors and in hiding how come it’s on here ??

  5. Ivor Bagman says:

    It would seem that the walkway
    Around Penarth head would
    Only benefit the cafes
    On the promenade .
    The town will not benefit at all.
    So – the rate payers will only
    Subsidise the shopkeepers
    At the seafront
    To the detriment of the town centre .
    Cut the extortionate rates
    that town centre shops and public have to pay !!

  6. The Penarth Civic Society considered Cllr. Alexander’s proposal at length but eventually came to the view that, as it stood, it would be very unlikely to be sustainable and would simply engage existing initiatives within the town in an additional and unwelcome level of bureacracy. The Society therefore currently has no plans to participate in the Penarth Town Trust. However, our Society remains very much alive and in excellent health, albeit without the services of our new Deputy Town Mayor.

    • penarthblog says:

      I understand what you are saying and agree that there are dangers of duplication, but there must be a way in which all members of the community from businesses to individuals can work together for the betterment of the town.

  7. penarthblog says:

    Yes Ivor I did read your comments, but a Town Trust would be more than the proposed walkway which I have reservations about. I think the Alresford model could be modified to work in Penarth by bringing lots of strands together.

  8. the nomad says:

    On a personal note the only way penarth will survive and continue to grow is if the town gets away from the Vale as to the councilors well. To me they don’t seem to do to much ether line there pockets or not bother to turn up to meetings (last part is in reference to a previous article on who was at meetings) so I ask in general sing how we are now in the modern world what do we need the council for ? The civic society could be given the money the council waste on the self’s to keep the town looking great. housing planing aplication could be done via online pole were by the community decides . This just my humble look on it .

  9. Penarthal says:

    Nomad. Is English your first language?

  10. Nomad says:

    Lmao well it could be a Thai thing I’ve lived in a car for the last 8 months thanks to the vale

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