The three trustees of the new West House Foundation are Cllr Nigel Humphrey, Cllr Kathryn McCaffer and Peter Knowles of Hamptons

A team of three people – two of them councillors – are now in charge of the Penarth Town Council’s  new “charity” called the called  “The West House Foundation” .

The trustees of the foundation are listed as:-

  • Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustine’s Ward)
  • Cllr Kathryn McCaffer (Conservative Plymouth Ward),
  • Peter Knowles who is a director of  Hamptons gift shop on Ludlow Lane, Penarth.

The West house Foundation is named after West House – Penarth Town Council’s HQ on Stanwell Road

Exactly how these three trustees came to be appointed to their positions, and who put them in place is not clear. There are no council minutes referring to the matter.

The main contact for the charity is recorded by the Charity Commission as  Emma Boylan – who is the Town Clerk of Penarth –  and its base is Penarth Town Council, West House, Stanwell Road, Penarth, CF64 2YG.

The West House Foundation is able to acquire property and therefore could be instrumental in the council’s proposed acquisition of the Turner House Art Gallery in Plymouth Road which is currently owned by the National Museum of Wales – but was originally bequeathed to the people of Penarth

The “West House Foundation” has been set up as a “CIO” which is the acronym for a  “Charitable Incorporated Organisation”.  These are a relatively new legal structure available for charities or charitable groups that wish to be incorporated as quasi businesses.

The West House Foundation can conduct business in its own name and  – like a conventional private company – has “limited liability” [ in other words its directors aren’t personally liable to cover losses out of their own pockets it goes bust].

Unlike charities formed as “not-for-profit” companies however , CIOs don’t have to be registered at  Companies House – they only need to be registered by the Charity Commission. This can have the effect of making their accounts and activities more difficult to delve into.

The declared aims and objectives of the West House Foundation are listed as:-

  1. The advancement of Envioronmental Protection and Improvement for the Public Benefit
  2. To advance the Arts for the public benefit through the promotion and support of local festivals and cultural activities
  3. To preserve for the benefit of the people of Penarth and of the nation, buildings (including any structure or erection, and any part of a building as so defined) of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest
  4. To promote for the benefit of the inhabitants of Penarth and the surrounding area the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, financial hardship or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life of the said inhabitants.
  5. To further such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable according to the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.

The West House Foundation declares that it will :-

  • • make grants to organisations
  • • provide buildings / facilities / open space
  • • provide services
  • • act as an umbrella or resource body

The West House Foundation has no public mandate from the voters of  Penarth. The appointment of foundation’s  trustees, and the setting of its objectives, have never been discussed in any open meeting of Penarth Town Council. The setting up of the West House Foundation was not part of the Labour Party’s manifesto in the 2017 local elections.

Some local business people believe that the setting up of the West House Foundation is the council’s response to the bloody nose it received from the business community when it attempted to set up a “Business Improvement District” (BiD) in Penarth  – a scheme that was rejected in a vote by the overwhelming majority of businesses in the town.

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  1. Taxpayer says:

    Who gives a💩

  2. RetailGuru says:

    Wow, three trustees! Only one reason for such a low number of trustees, so the organisation can be easily puppeteered by the Town Council. This town gets darker and darker, we should renaim it Gotham.

    • Lou says:

      Two local councillors with a political balance and a prominent local businessman. Sounds just right to me. How on earth will they be “puppeteered” by the Town Council? The town is certainly getting darker as the nights draw in but you can’t blame these public spirited people for that.

  3. Anne Greagsby says:

    So the Penarth Town Council consultation is a complete sham as they continue to make decisions behind closed doors.

  4. Peter King says:

    With your self proclaimed mastery of all things retail would you have become a fourth trustee, had you been asked?

  5. Christopher David says:

    So accountable publicly to whom?

  6. Jm says:

    This is actually, truly bizarre! I don’t say the idea isn’t a good one, but how can public funds be diverted to a ‘Trust’ in secret? If they’re not having public Funds, where are the funds coming from?

    Still, since their remit is to secure the ‘welfare’ of Penarth folk, perhaps they can start with getting some Geiger counters for the seafront. Then they could flatten West House and its horrible extension and make space for a much needed car park for the town.

  7. Jpow says:

    How? How can this even happen?
    The town council is in danger of being a rotten borough authority, existing only to exist, when much the best thing it could do would be to abolish itself.

    Much that goes on beggars belief.

  8. bobby says:

    where are their funds coming from? Will they require staff to function? This sounds a little bit
    odd to me.Does it mean part of the town council will no longer be required?l

  9. Le Duc de Westbourne says:

    Very very odd… no council accountability, no honesty, no openness and no candour.

Comments are closed.