Yet more board directors have now left the troubled not-for-profit company Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – which holds a 125-year lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion – and there is “significant doubt” as to whether it can keep going.
The company’s latest set of accounts, for the year ending December 31st 2017, have just been published and – yet again – show the financial position of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (a.k.a. PACL) is a mess.
Julia Mortimer -the independent examiner who’s checked out the accounts – says in effect that the only reason the Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd‘s accounts show an apparent “surplus for the year of £41, 275“ is because the company is owed the sum of £155,358 by its own trading subsidiary – a firm called Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd.
….BUT the snag is that Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd had “net liabilities of £174,293” (as at December 31 2017) .
In a no-punches-pulled statement on the 2017 accounts Ms Mortimer says “These conditions indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the charity’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd’s total income for 2017 was £214,521 (an improvement on the income of £157,594 in 2016) – and total expenditure was £173,246 – producing a “surplus” of £41,275 … but because that wholly owned subsidiary, Penarth Pier Pavilion Ltd, is £174,293 in debt – the overall position is negative.
The “Report of the Trustees” for 2017 – wasn’t signed-off by then chairman Professor Tony Hazell (who’s now quit the company) until September 26th 2018. In it Professor Hazell says ( ludicrously in the circumstances) the “key objective” of the company will be “to attain a self-sustaining funding position by December 2018” .
Meanwhile yet more directors have bailed-out of boardroom of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – including Professor Hazell himself:-
Professor Tony Hazell – who resigned as chairman last month – has now also relinquished his place as a director on the board and is therefore no longer an officer of the company. (PDN reported the appointment of an “interim chairman” – Dr Daniel Antebi last week. Dr Antebi has been on the board for barely a month).
- Also gone from the board is former senior civil servant David Jonathan Lewis Jones who resigned with effect from 30 September 2018.
- Another director vacating the board room table is Paul Roger Cantrill .
In the last 20 years – out of 56 people who at various times have been appointed as directors of Penarth Arts and Crafts, a total of 47 have of them have departed.
Meanwhile 2 new appointments have been made to the board:
- Mrs Nerida Palser has been appointed as director as of 1 October 2018. Mrs Palser is a director of the executive air taxi service Dragonfly Aviation which was founded by her husband, the well-known solicitor and aviator Howard Palser. She is also a director of Palser Family Investments Ltd .
- Mrs Marta Lithgow, the newly-appopinted salaried manager of Penarth Pier Pavilion, has been appointed company secretary as from 26 September 2018.
The Penarth Pier Pavilion was leased to Penarth Arts and Crafts in 2012 by its landlord and owner, the Vale of Glamorgan Council. That lease has a duration of 125 years.
Penarth Arts and Crafts still has two members on its board representing – respectively – Penarth Town Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council. They are Deputy Leader of Penarth Town Council Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) and Vale member Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward) .
Customarily, the councillor representing Penarth Town Council on the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd has given regular updates on the position of the company to the full council. Those reports are then minuted and should therefore available to the council-tax payers of Penarth
…However, even though three years ago Cllr Cuddy appointed himself to the board of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd, and is ostensibly there to represent the people of Penarth, he is yet to deliver a report on the financial position of the Penarth Arts and Crafts to the council or to the residents of Penarth.