VALE MAY DEFER £10K GRANT TOWARDS £31K CAR PARK AT PENARTH’S OLDEST CHURCH

The entrance of St Peter's Church at Old Cogan - the oldest building in Penarth

The entrance of St Peter’s Church at Old Cogan – the oldest building in Penarth

A Vale of Glamorgan Council report is recommending deferral of a £10,000 grant towards the £31,000 cost of creating a car park in a field across the road from the ancient St Peter’s Church at Old Cogan – on the Western outskirts of Penarth.

The Parish of All Saints has applied for the £10,000 contribution from what’s called the Welsh Church Act Estate – a self-sustaining charity which was originally set up by Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George but which is administered by local authorities in their respective areas – in this case the Vale of Glamorgan.

The car park plan has already received planning approval

The car park plan has already received planning approval

Planning permission for the car park – in a field opposite St Peter’s Church – was given in 2013 but as yet, apart from boulders being installed at the entrance to the site, no work has been carried out and money is still being raised for the project.

The scheme is part of an ambitious programme at the church which will include drainage improvement, damp prevention – and building a toilet block and a separate meeting hall at the site.

The interior of St Peter's Church, Old Cogan, Penarth

The interior of St Peter’s Church, Old Cogan, Penarth

Some local people, who support the remedial work on the church building itself,  have however criticised the plans for a car park and toilet (where there’s no mains drainage) saying these are  inappropriate in such a rural area and could spoil the setting . The church is the last remaining vestige of the mediaeval village of Old Cogan.

 

An internal report for councillors attending next month’s  Vale’s Welsh Church Act Committee has noted that no building quotations have been submitted in support of the car park application and recommends that no grant is made until that information is provided.

A further £10,000 is due to be contributed to the scheme by the Parish of All Saints and £1,000 has already been expended n professional fees.

PDN BACKGROUND NOTE

  • The Welsh Church Acts Fund for the Vale of Glamorgan is worth approximately £2,700,000 and it’s the interest on the capital and its property receipts which provide income for the charity. It’s stipulated that the charity’s income should be devoted to “charitable or alms-giving purposes”.  The main aims of the fund are:-
  • Educational – Provision of benefits not readily available from other sources, and recreation,social and physical training facilities, at educational establishments, not normally provided by the LEA.
  • Relief in sickness – Assistance to persons who are sick, convalescent, disabled, handicapped or infirm, where such assistance is not readily available from other sources.
  • Relief in need – Assistance generally or to individuals in need,hardship or distress.
  • Libraries, museums, art galleries etc.– Advancing the appreciation of Welsh arts and literature in general.
  • Social and recreational facilities in general
  • Protection of historic buildings .– Promotion of interest in Welsh architecture, history and science in general, for the benefit of Welsh people
  • Medical and social research, treatment in general- Preservation and protection of the physical and mental health of society in general. Provision of nurseries, convalescent homes and hostels
  • Probation – Assistance to persons on probation or the families thereof.
  • Blind persons – Provision of welfare including accommodation.
  • Aged persons – Provision of accommodation.
  • Places of worship and burial grounds – Restoration and maintenance.
  • Emergencies or disasters – Directly assisting persons in need.
  • Other charitable purposes – Contributions to charitable organisations not inconsistent with the purposes of the trust.

An internal council report recommends that the criteria used to allocate funding should be reviewed because  the range of the applications for cash from the fund has “increased significantly”

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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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11 Responses to VALE MAY DEFER £10K GRANT TOWARDS £31K CAR PARK AT PENARTH’S OLDEST CHURCH

  1. Christopher David says:

    Why on earth should / would a council give tax payers money to a church for any use? Who benefits from this cart park?

  2. Woowoo Wizzywoo says:

    These churches don’t pay taxes, but they’re very keen on receiving handouts. It is a con trick from start to finish – the two millennium scam.

  3. Christopher David says:

    “Places of worship and burial grounds – Restoration and maintenance”. Yes indeed- this is what it says part of its £2.7 million is for. Councillors just shouldn’t have the power to spend tax payers money on personal whims.

  4. Chris Franks says:

    The money comes not from council tax payers but from a charity created following the disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales about 100 years ago. There has been wide spread opposition across Wales to the Anglican Church obtaining tithes from Non Conformists and Catholics for instance. The Councillors involved [including me] act as trustees for the Charity. That’s the law not something the Council has made up.

  5. Christopher David says:

    So Chris are you saying the 1) By law councillors have to act as trustees for “the” charity? 2) If so to be clear which charity? 3) So the £10,000 contribution comes exclusive from a charity- to be revealed? May as well get the matter cleared up for all.

    • Chris Franks says:

      To add to Kevin’s helpful explanation it’s also worth noting that the Committee must act independently of the council as a whole. We are there as Trustees and not representatives of the Vale. The system works well and helps to assist a lot of good organisations in the community within the limits of the cash available.

  6. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I happen to have been designated a Vale councillor on this committee as well Christopher.

    As Chris Franks says, Any money allocated and passed for approval from the Welsh church act estate committee is not council ratepayers money nor national taxpayers money.

    The money available for application is from the annual interest accrued from the main invested fund which is maintained by income such as field or property rent gained from ex church land and properties within the Vale.

    Organisations, mainly but not exclusively, church organisations, apply for modest amounts for projects such as refurbishments to church facilities for example.

    The total amount handed out each year is roughly about £30,000 or so in my experience and the committee of Vale councillors decide on the merits or otherwise of each application.

    The meetings are open to the public and the next one is this Monday (3rd Oct) at 4pm at the civic offices in Barry.

    There is nothing underhand going on and as mentioned no council or any other tax payers money involved. The Charity is the Welsh Church act estate, and as the article mentioned this application has not been approved or even heard yet and presumably will be judged on it’s merits when it is eventually heard and discussed.

    Cheers

    Kevin Mahoney
    Cllr Sully and Lavernock

  7. Christopher David says:

    Cheers indeed Kevin and thanks for the clarification. Its cathartic to receive an open and transparent answer to a question. Something one never gets from the likes or Mr Earnest. Not my type of charity but each to their own as long as benign eh!
    Chin chin.
    Chris David
    Former Chairman of MAC (Welsh Development Agency)

  8. Jean says:

    Isn’t it the oldest building in the area, irrespective of the fact that it is a church, shouldn’t it be cherished for future generations to view history in situ. Surely there are opportunities for it to be enjoyed by a wider number people once they have a car park.

  9. Christopher David says:

    Thank you Chris, more clarity. I’m also heartened the monies are managed by a good old fashioned tried and tested committee and not a bogus “cabinet” 😉

  10. Louise C says:

    You can’t get more then 6 people in that church without a car park. It’s essential for the use of the building.

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