Three mayors, Cllr Mike Cuddy (Town Mayor of Penarth) Cllr Stuart Egan (Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan) and Cllr

Two mayors, Cllr Mike Cuddy (Town Mayor of Penarth) and Cllr Stuart Egan (Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan) attended the opening. On the right is Cllr Egan’s consort Mr Nigel Gibbs

Tabernacle Church has officially opened its Arcot Street foodbank today – to coincide with the holding of Harvest Festival.

Attending the official opening were the Town Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Mike Cuddy, Cllr Stuart Egan (Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan)  and Mr Nigel Gibbs who acts as consort to Cllr Egan.

The Arcot House Centre (converted from former retail commercial premises on the corner of Arcot St and Plassey St) is run in association with “Home Access” – a charity which provides advice and support for those who are “homeless or threatened with homelessness”  and is – so far – the 10th retail shop in Penarth to have been taken over by a charity .

The Arcot Centre also has  a weekly Foodbank (opened on Wednesdays each week) a Breakfast Club, a Job Club and also offers “money management services”.

It’s now emerged that the centre will also provide accommodation for up to five homeless people although this provision was not included in the original planning application for “change of use”.


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  1. Johnabutt says:

    Arcot House is not a charity shop as it does not sell second hand goods. It is planned as a ‘drop in’ centre for people with housing needs. On Wednesday mornings the food bank provides provisions for those in need. The ‘money services’ will be Christians Against Poverty courses in debt counselling and money management, aimed at helping people manage their money. These are free to those who need to use such services.

  2. John m says:

    Surely now someone should act to weed out some of these charity shops, they contribute nothing to the town, avoid rates, and too often behave either as second-hand markets, antiques shops or gift shops. The town is virtually fully occupied, a rarity these days indeed, the last thing we need is yet another charity shop! They should share premises and want to pay full rates.

  3. Mgg says:

    Ah so another food destination

  4. Christopher David says:

    I certainly think an “audit is needed. The big charities benefit from free labour on the frontline and hugely subsidised business rates. They pay their directors as much as £750,000 PA (they mealy mouth the point and call pay “compensation”) with over £100,000 being the norm. I understand Penarth’s Stephen Doughty cost Oxfam c £60,000 PA in pay, stamp and expenses. How many donations does it take just to pay the regional manager (although I think he called himself CE of Wales) then? We all know the third sector is important but is out of control and sometimes a guise for big business. However many of the smaller ones are run entirely by volunteers with all money raised going to the cause. Can our councils audit and decide what charities can benefit from tax payers subsidies?

    • RetailGuru says:

      Christopher, so where an earth do you draw the line? How would local authorities decide who should or should not pay business rates? Surely it would be more straightforward to either grant rate relief, or not grant rate relief?

      My view is that a business should ensure that the numbers stack up before opening. This should include charities and their cost projections should include business rates affordability.

      At the end of the day, we all know that most of the charity shops in Penarth make a small fortune (certainly more than most independent retailers); so if a charity shop cannot afford to pay rates then they shouldn’t be trading at all.

  5. Christopher David says:

    One broadly concurs. Governance for “charities needs reviewing?

  6. ALAN BALCOMBE says:

    To all of the above I would point out that Arcot House does not sell anything to anybody. Its work is helping people who sleep rough, giving people food when they have no money to feed themselves and giving free debt advice which for many is a life saver. Yea, lets weed them out , make them pay rates, etc. I hope none of you are ever homeless or hungry.

  7. Christopher David says:

    Then its a worthy cause Mr Balcombe- unlike some. Ps I’ve been both homeless and hungry so don’t make assumptions. But if this is truly charitable (unlike the high st big businesses) then good on you and all non salaried concerned.

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