Left The chairman of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – Professor Tony Hazell and right The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL) – the not for profit “charity” which holds the lease of  Penarth  Pier Pavilion – turned-down a proposed meeting with Penarth Town Council because the Mayor – Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) allegedly  only wanted Labour councillors to be present .

This allegation has come in a public statement issued by PACL  which appears to refute the version of events given to Penarth Town Council by Cllr Cuddy on April 13th 2017.

As Mayor, Cllr Cuddy was chairing the council meeting and had been responding to a question from Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell – but who is now standing for Plymouth Ward) . [Cllr Courtney, who is a finance-industry executive by profession, has intimate knowledge of the affairs of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd, having been the Mayor’s predecessor as the Town Council’s nominee on the board of the company up until his abrupt resignation in 2015 ]

Cllr Ian Courtney (Labour Cornerswell)

In a preface to his question to the Mayor,  Cllr Courtney reminded members that on March 29th the council’s  Policy & Finance Committee had unanimously passed “a resolution concerning PACL” * .

Cllr Courtney said I understand there was a follow-up to that [resolution] which involves an approach to the trustees” [ i.e. the Directors of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd]. Cllr Courtney asked the Mayor whether there had been a response from the Trustees?

The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)

The Mayor, Cllr Cuddy, said “There has been no formal response from PACL. They have thoughts they would produce a statement and I am informed that they will be making a statement shortly but are waiting for a few issues to be resolved” .

In a supplementary question Cllr Courtney then pressed for further information . He asked the Mayor “ So it would be incorrect on my part to assume that an approach which sought a meeting with the trustees of PACL was rejected?

The Mayor  said “Yes – they – or the chair [of PACL] thought it would be inappropriate at this time for there to be any meeting with any particular group.”

Cllr Courtney noted icily  At least there is consistency from PACL  – with rejection of overtures from all quarters”.

Now however, the Mayor of Penarth’s version of events –  as related to Penarth Council in a full council meeting –  has been directly challenged by Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd.

Professor Anthony Hazell chairman of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd

In a public statement Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd says “We wish to make it clear that this [i.e. the Mayor’s statement made to Penarth Town Council]  is totally inaccurate. On 7th April we received a request from Cllr Cuddy to meet Labour members of the Town Council.” [PDN underscore]

As a registered charity PACL must remain totally non-political. We therefore replied that it would be inappropriate for us to meet with councillors from one particular political party, particularly in the context of the forthcoming council elections.”

[PDN Note: * The original resolution on the Pier Pavilion passed by Penarth Town Council’s Policy and Finance Meeting on March 29th 2017 had been an anodyne message of support and had not gone as far as to specify which councillors should attend any meeting with PACLThe motion had been carried unanimously by all councillors present – including Conservatives and an Independent  ]

“We did add that we hoped to be in a position to report publicly on the progress made on our plans for the long-term future of the Pavilion in the near future and that we would be happy for that information to be shared by candidates from all political parties.”

“On 10th April we received a reply from the Council Leader  [ i.e. the Mayor, Cllr Mike Cuddy]  to say that he understood our position. It is therefore most disappointing that other Labour councillors chose, for whatever reason, to make the totally misleading claim subsequently reported by PDN.”

[PDN Note: For the record PDN stands by its reportage of the council meeting and no one has disputed the accuracy of the comments quoted.]


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. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. AK says:

    These wannabe politicians remind me of Mr Bean

    • Philip Rapier says:

      An open Letter to Mr. Hazell. Pier Pavilion Penarth.

      Dear Mr. Hazell,

      Please be assured my only interest in writing to you is the success of our Pavilion and the re-opening of the Cinema.

      Please forgive me for sending you an open letter in a non-political personal capacity but I have tried more usual channels of communication without success.

      I appreciate you are very busy but please would you kindly consider coming with me on a day out to Blaenavon so that we may visit the Workmen’s Hall 68 Seat Cinema together.

      I am assured the Cinema is able to pay it’s way and respectfully suggest we may both be able to learn from the experience.

      Perhaps we could take in a Movie. How about the Disney Classic Beauty and the Beast, Hacksaw Ridge or the Smurfs Lost Village. All showing in April in this cost effective, exactly the same size as ours 68 seat Community Cinema.

      I anticipate that Penarth Daily News and Pontypool Free Press (sisterpaper to the Penarth Times) would be happy to cover our visit to Blaenavon in person on the understanding of course that there must be balanced editorial coverage.

      I have strong contacts in the area as I am proud to say my son is a Councillor elect (unopposed) and he would be only to pleased to help set up a meeting with the Cinema Trustees/Management Committee for us.

      I was not aware or informed of any discussions between yourself and Penarth Town Councillors and as I am not standing for re-election have no political motive.

      At exactly the same time as your discussions I contacted a PACL Trustee in writing requesting they mediate and help arrange a meeting.

      The simple objective being that they set up a discussion (informally) with a Group of Community Representatives. (I would have excluded my self from the Meeting as a serving Councillor then and had- quite rightly- been advised to do so by Penarth Town Council Officers ).

      I have had no response to my request from PACL or the Trustee.

      All eight persons put forward to meet with you were suitably qualified with Charity Sector experience. Consisting of Penarth resident Lawyers – Chartered Accountants. Arts Management Graduates and prominent Penarth Business Persons.

      May I look forward to our excursion to Blaenavon and the reopening of our Cinema soon?

      Philip Rapier

  2. Mr Cuddy seems to be a good multi tasker ! As well as his positions on the Penarth council he is also I understand a trustee or board member of PACL: and what about Penarth Pier Ltd and the directors there including Tony Hazel – lets not forget them in our open public enquiry which we are demanding.

    I have now written to HRH The Prince of Wales as promised and an eminent very well qualified Queens Silk Barrister in Chambers in Cardiff dealing with public law and charities who is now reviewing matters with his colleagues for me on behalf of the I love ❤️ Penarth community action group. We will get to the bottom of this mess to ensure we save our pavilion and cinema for the community.

    Meanwhile an environmental consultant x Penarthian is reviewing the operational efficiencies of the pavilions heating and lighting system for me to see how and why more energy efficient methods were not planned in to save the environment and the gas and electricity bills which remain unopened as reported by volunteers in the past !

    • Dear Commoner,

      Please refrain in future from writing to the future King. He is not interested in Wales or Welsh people or even their Piers.

      Your Sincerely,
      Reg Smyth-Vardy
      Second under secretary to his Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

  3. Geraint Jones says:

    It is simply not acceptable to make the crisis facing the pier into a party political issue. Penarth Town Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, which are both run by Labour, and PACL have a duty to the residents of Penarth to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

  4. The Penarth Daily News is absolutely correct in its reporting of events. I was one of those present at the Town Council Committee meeting, which affirmed its willingness and intention to meet with PACL. We did not agree to a sole political party’s involvement, and I think Labour is being duplicitous in suggesting otherwise. At the end of the day, I support all that is being done, and proposed, to help PACL meet its aims and objectives, whether by the current Trustees or any who might join them in the future.

  5. George says:

    Talk about smokescreen – what a lot of silly nonsense this appears to be.
    It is, in my opinion, designed to deflect from the real issues at hand, these to include:
    * PACL’s performance
    * PACL’s apparent refusal to engage with pubic concern about the future of the pier and its cinema
    * how PACL spent £4.2m of public money
    * PACL’s apparent failure to meet Companies House deadlines
    * Tony Hazell’s role as “chair” of PACL

    Few quick questions for Prof Hazell now he appears to have surfaced to set us all straight – no, not about anything to do with the future of the pier and its cinema, I know, but who was invited to a meeting…
    1) If Cuddy did request an all-Labour meeting, why didn’t PACL respond with a request for an all-party meeting?
    Surely, keeping the town council – those who represent the public whose money was spent at the pier – in the loop is important, and Hazell can’t be worried about putting Cuddy’s nose out of joint by such a request as (it seems to me) he’s made a right fool of Cuddy now.
    2) Did Hazell share the request with other members of the board before a) refusing outright the meeting b) issuing a statement along these lines – one which will surely embarrass Cllr Cuddy and his Labour colleagues.

    A couple for Cllr Cuddy.
    1) Is it true you requested an all-Labour meeting of the Town Council with PACL?
    2) If so, what stopped you wanting your non-Labour colleagues present at such a meeting?

    I wonder why Tony Hazell has made this announcement – I can’t imagine it’s the query of a possible police investigation (elsewhere on PDN by a poster) after it was reported PACL had refused to meet with Penarth Town Council.
    Perhaps this announcement will mark a more transparent phase in the workings of PACL and their engagement with those, not least the town council, concerned about the future of our beloved pier.

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    I’m beginning to lose the plot with all this. So many people speaking with forked tongues. It’s really hard to work out who is telling the truth … if any of them!

  7. Peter Church says:

    Something very fishy about PACL and local Labour Party.

  8. Penileaks says:

    ‘As a registered charity PACL must remain totally non-political.’
    That’s a strange comment remembering the VERY political exhibition of cartoons that was recently held there !
    Still, the general comments regarding the requested meeting between PACL and the Penarth Council should indeed have included representatives of the whole council and not only Labour members. I wonder why this ‘Labour only’ request was made by Cllr Cuddy ? My guess is that it was either to smooth over any embarrassing issues that may point to their party, or claim the accolades for sorting out the pavilion issues…..or both.
    More openness needed in our local politics, both in Penarth and the Vale. It seems that we have not had it with Labour, would not get it with the Conservatives, at least from the one family mafia in Penarth and that the only real hope is with the Independents, who hopefully put Penarth first and do not follow any particular political or other agenda.

  9. foxyman59 says:

    The Labour are so corrupt if the people of the Vale vote controlling Labour again Our lives will be a Misery !!! No Money for our services because they are lining their pockets base Salary + ££ for every meeting of whichever committee they are on then add on all the”Jolly Boys” psid by Our Taxes

    • Jeff says:

      What’s worse is you watch the silly b*gg*rs in this town vote Labour back in. They can’t help themselves.

  10. Anne Greagsby says:

    Prof Hazel promised me that a full report on PACL plans would appear on their website in the next few days….4 days ago. Still waiting.

    • Dan says:

      How is Tony Hazell still in charge???? That’s what I want to know?
      In my opinion he has amply proven he is not fit for purpose in this role. What is he still doing there??????

  11. Mal says:

    Why would Labour’s Cllr Cuddy, the mayor of Penarth, want a Labour-only meeting with PACL?

  12. Jeremy says:

    Is the Mayor allowed to exclude his non-Labour colleagues on the town council?
    What’s going on?????

  13. Graham says:

    It would be nice if PACL actually published something substantive about the present situation and their future plans – including reopening the cinema that the Heritage Lottery Fund paid good money for – instead of indulging in this pointless nitpicking.

  14. Simon says:

    Sorry, what was that that Cllr Cuddy? I can’t hear you.

  15. A penarth Joe says:

    What a right royal mess. The reason for the procrastination is the elections on May 4th. Labour stand to lose most and want the can kicked down the road till then, when we will hear the closure of the cinema and winding up of PACL
    The Pavilion are quick to come out with a rebuttal on their web site but sod all else. What Is Professor Tony Hazell playing around at, can he not issue a statement or answer some very basic questions?
    If you Vote Labour then we will get more of the same. Wales is like a one party state with appointments given out to friends of the party and never made accountable, they just resign and move on to another plum post.
    It makes North Korea look like a model state.

  16. Honest Voter says:

    I did an internet search and the State Investment Board of India advises people to steer clear of PACL
    There statement went on to say:
    “In its biggest ever fine, Sebi in September last year had imposed a penalty of Rs 7,269.5 crore on PACL Ltd and its four directors for illegal and fraudulent mobilisation of funds from the public, saying the company deserves “maximum penalty” for such large-scale duping of the common man. ”
    Luckily there is no connection what so ever with are own PACL who have never duped any of the common man.

  17. Richard says:

    It seems clear to me that both a full inquiry and police investigation are needed into this situation. I think it reeks.

  18. Anom says:

    The entire vale of Glamorgan council newfs to be investigated there us so much coruption there and penarth it reeks

  19. Mark Foster says:

    There is no way that Alun Michael would agree to an inquiry or police investigation of PACL and the Labour Party and this is the problem with allowing politicians to run police forces. If there were corruption you’d never find out about it.

    • PR says:

      Very true, once one party control everything the public are left in the dark. It’s a local government dictatorship

  20. andrewsketty says:

    what can we do to force this issue to get some form of enquiry or access to information. Theres clearly a cover up as nobody would allow Hazell and Co to get away with such mismanagement

    Meanwhile our cinema still closed. A disgrace

  21. Max Wallis says:

    new statement discloses new £126 000 lottery funding bunged to PACL to keep them limping on. http://www.penarthpavilion.co.uk/news/pacl-unveils-plans-for-the-future
    Note it thanks Penarth Town Council for discussions; how much other economy with the truth?

Comments are closed.