THE “PENARTH TOWN TRUST” FIZZLES OUT ON THE LUNCH-PAD

It was at a public meeting in the uier Pavilion in April that the idea of a "big lunch" was first mooted by Cllr Alexander - who in May proposed the setting up of a "Penarth Town Trust"

It was at a public meeting in the Penarth Pier Pavilion in April that the idea of a “big lunch” was first mooted by Cllr Alexander – who in May proposed the setting up of a “Penarth Town Trust”

A second attempt to launch a much-heralded body –  grandiosely entitled  “The Penarth Town Trust” – has collapsed as the organisation’s lack of any formal status – either as a charity, a trust, a private company or – in fact anything – has come to light.

Behind the venture is the Deputy Mayor of Penarth –  Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) – who first floated out the idea of setting up what she then described as  a “Trust Fund for Penarth ”  in a Penarth Civic Society public meeting in Penarth in April this year.

The “Trust Fund” (subsequently named as the Penarth Town Trust)  she said – would enable people to raise funding for things like  “Penarth Library” . It would look towards “corporate fund raising” . She said “One thing is for sure  – that what we pay in council tax is not going to afford what we’re talking about tonight”. Many in the audience seemed  unsure as to exactly what she was talking about.

Penarth Town Trust promoter Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) became Deputy Mayor of Penarth in May this year

Penarth Town Trust promoter Cllr Tracey Alexander (Labour Cornerswell) became Deputy Mayor of Penarth in May this year

In May however, Deputy Mayor Cllr Alexander resigned as a member of the executive committee of the Penarth Civic Society but then wanted the  Civic Society to become a member of her proposed new “Penarth Town Trust” – along with other local organisations and individuals.

However the Penarth Civic Society declined the offer . The Society announced “it would be very unlikely to be sustainable and would simply engage existing initiatives within the town in an additional and unwelcome level of bureaucracy.”

The Penarth Civic Society stated firmly that it had no plans to participate in the Penarth Town Trust”. 

In spelling out just what the Penarth Town Trust was supposed to do, Deputy Mayor Alexander was – again –  less than specific . She had told Penarth Civic Society by email ” I have offered ideas that I hoped would change a dying society [meaning Penarth Civic 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.”

Some thought the Penarth Town Trust might have been an attempt to revive an idea which many hoped had been killed-off when local retailers had  overwhelmingly voted-down proposals to set up a “Penarth Business Improvement District” – or “Penarth BiD” . That 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”.

Without having any formal charitable status however,  the Penarth Town Trust would not be allowed to collect money from anyone and Deputy Mayor Alexander told PDN today   that the s0-called “Trust” does not even have a bank account .

The Trust had publicised that it was “supporting” the RNLI ‘s  Appeal to raise funds for a new inshore lifeboat – but this claim has now been clarified . The Trust was to support the RNLI by “cross-promotion” at the – now-cancelled – Big Lunch event  and would not have been collecting cash for the RNLI .

The Big Lunch itself was to have been a “free” event. No tickets were sold and the meals were to have been provided to the public at no charge and were apparently to be “donated by sponsors” .

In April - before being made Deputy Mayor of Penarth - Cllr Tracey Alexander (left) was on the high-powered panel which set out proposals for building the MkII {Penarth Headland Walkway Also on that panel were 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

In April – before being made Deputy Mayor of Penarth – Cllr Tracey Alexander (left) was on the high-powered panel which set out proposals for building the MkII Penarth Headland Walkway. Also on that panel were 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

A so-called “Big Lunch” to launch the embryo Penarth Town Trust had originally been touted by Cllr Alexander in the  Penarth Pier Pavilion public meeting in April called to discuss various future plans under the umbrella title of  The Future of Penarth – but the “Big Lunch” promoted at that meeting was subsequently cancelled.

The deferred “Big Lunch” –  was then re-arranged for tomorrow September 3rd  in Windsor Gardens but at the eleventh hour this too has now been cancelled – reportedly because the organisation “cannot obtain charitable status in time” .

Town Trusts do 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  for the benefit of the town and its residents as a whole. It had never been clarified who the members of the Penarth Town Trust would be or how such a Trust would be funded  . No application for charitable status has yet been made to the Charity Commission

Although Cllr Alexander is Deputy Mayor of Penarth – the Penarth Town Trust has no direct connection with Penarth Town Council.

In an official statement, Deputy Mayor Alexander says tomorrow’s  launch-lunch has been postponed owing to what are called “unforeseen delays”. She now anticipates that the  launch of the Penarth Town Trust will take place in the Spring of next year.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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10 Responses to THE “PENARTH TOWN TRUST” FIZZLES OUT ON THE LUNCH-PAD

  1. M davies says:

    It’s a little late at 1744 pm to inform the public an event has been cancelled for the following day isn’t it? Why not concentrate instead on getting the town eating and drinking facilities iparticipating In t he next years festival day so that the seafront isn’t left as desolate as it was this year with only the charity stalls on the seafront ( and this only because no one had tol d them nearly everything else had been moved to the clifftop) I bet some local publicans and would welcome being invited to run a stall for the day. Since Chandlers went the seafront has missed out.

    • Billy says:

      And there are certainly plenty of “eating and drinking facilities” in this town – that’s all people seem to do here is “go out” to eat and drink. Another big night in Bar 44 tonight.

  2. Ivor Bagman says:

    Trust no-one
    in Penarth.

  3. Robert says:

    Ask councilor Tracey Alexander, what she did with the money with the failed attempt to have a ‘friends of Cosmeston’ trust? Asking people to become friends paying into a fund and nothing happens……

    • Dan Potts says:

      And GPG (penarth greening) and the money they collected for the play area in the wordsworth park. We where promised a green utopia and got nothing.

  4. Beryl says:

    Just seems to be people sitting at tables liking the sound of their own voice.

  5. Paul says:

    A trust fund, for whom?
    It doesn’t sound rite……………….

  6. Peter Church says:

    I just love the photo of the “high-powered panel” more like retired old Labour “has-beens”

    There is more power in one of my solar panels that that lot put together!

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    Well in the photo the usually miserable Alun Micheal managed to smile , but it could have been ‘just wind’ . And it was nice to see Chris Loyn making an effort in representing the right image for the Civic Society as he sits there reading the ‘Racing Times’. Seems the motto of the Society should be ‘why bother?’ Was that a copy of The Beano that Cllr Cuddy was reading, I suppose like attracts like ,one comic to another comic..

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