It’s reported that PODS has been told that – at forthcoming performances at the Paget Rooms – Penarth Town Council will run the bar and keep the takings – including at the forthcoming Christmas panto –“Pinocchio”

Penarth Opera and Drama Society (PODS) –  which has always run the bar at the Paget Rooms when it’s booked the venue for its performances – is understood to have been told that, from now on, Penarth Council will be operating the bar – and trousering the takings.

The forthcoming pantomime Pinocchio is coming to the Paget Rooms

PODS is staging the pantomime Pinocchio at the Paget Rooms from Thursday December 6th to Sunday December 9th inclusive. [Pinocchio is the children’s story of a toy puppet, transformed into a boy, whose nose grows every time he tells a lie] 

Tickets for the pantomime are priced from £10.  In the past the bar takings have always been an important for the society and its amateur  members in helping meet the cost of each production – including venue hire (paid to the council) , costumes,  lighting,  copyright fees, and music rights.

However this year PDN sources say that Penarth Town Council has told PODS that the society can no longer run its own bar at the Paget Rooms when they stage shows there.

For groups that have hired the Paget Rooms in the past, that extra bar revenue has often made the difference between covering costs or losing money.

Penarth Town Council issued a statement on the new arrangements today

Today the Town Clerk, Emma Boylan, issued the following statement on behalf of Penarth Town Council :-

“This relates to a strategic management decision of the Council to run a fully stocked professional bar service.  This decision was taken to improve the services we offer the community but also it ensures that revenue achieved as a result of providing this service could be reinvested into the Paget Rooms so that the future sustainability of the venue is secured for future generations to come.  I am sure you would agree this is a positive move.”

“This arrangement is not a unique situation and many venues similar to the Paget Rooms offer this service.  I am delighted to advise you that the feedback received from those who have benefited from the bar service the Council offers have complimented the Council on offering a wide range of quality wines, spirits, beers and soft drinks, friendly bar staff, reasonably priced drinks and the knowledge that the bar service is now one less thing for the hirer to think about when organising an event.”

Comedian Owen Money MBE

In July this year Owen Money’s production company Rainbow Valley Productions pulled out of a 3-year-deal with the council; to stage pantomimes at the Paget Rooms.

Penarth Town Council had demanded a 40% per cent cut of the box office takings – double the previous rate of 20%.

Since March this year Penarth Town Council has spent £3,804 on “bar supplies” which is £2,554 more than budgeted for the full 12 month. It has set a sales target of £5,000 in bar sales for 2018/19

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  1. rodtharrod says:

    This sounds like a Tax on Children. The only solution to amateur societies would be to increase the ticket price and possibly out-price the cost of the pantomime
    for some parents. The children are those likely to suffer. Who will stock and run the bar and clear up everything? Is there sufficient profit from a few parents’ drinks to cover these costs or does bar mean ‘children’s soft drinks’ as well?

  2. Sian fox says:

    It’s outrageous but some bookings are still running the bar if you threaten legal action as the contract the hirer will have signed states inc. bar . I am having a horrendous battle with them at the moment

    • Philip Rapier says:

      We can take them on and defeat this forcing them to back down quite easily.
      I would be delighted to assist all Paget Rooms hirers to win this campaign and they will
      win as custom and practice is a powerful;weapon in these circumstances.

      Personally I am fed up with Penarth Town Council FOISTING ALCOHOL FOR PROFIT on the residents to cover up their financial incompetence. PTC organising Civic booze ups on the Promenade, Station Approach and at Street level is cynical bad governance but this practice is descending to the gutter in politics.
      All that is necessary is a LOCAL REFERENDUM to get this thrown out.

      Sian if you wish-please contact me via Mr. Jones at PDN and with the cooperation of all the hirers we will hold a public meeting and all of us win this together.

      This is how—–
      The law which entitles local communities to a referendum is part 3,
      schedule 12, paragraph 18, sub-paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Local
      Government Act of 1972. In Wales, the reference is part 5, paragraph
      34, sub-paragraphs 4 and 5. You have to live in r a Community Council in Wales.
      Here’s what you do..
      . Decide on and draft the question that you want
      to put to the people in a referendum. Then, you and at least 5 other
      community residents need to contact your community council, arrange a
      meeting and advertise it locally.
      At the meeting you have to call a vote on the proposal to hold a
      referendum. At least 10 people, or a third of those who are at the
      meeting, must vote in favour. Assuming success, go to your local
      council offices, and submit your demand for a referendum. Tell
      them you are invoking your right to do this under part 3, schedule 12,
      paragraph 18, sub-paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Local Government Act of
      1972, or if you live in Wales, refer to part 5, paragraph 34,
      sub-paragraphs 4 and 5.
      The Council should contact you within a week, and the referendum has to
      take place between 14 and 25 days after you submit your request. You
      must publicise the referendum yourselves. The result is not legally
      binding on the council but it can have important effects on local
      Further information about citizens’ referendums can be obtained from:
      The National Association of Local Councils, 108 Great Russell Street,
      London, WC1B 3LD. Tel: 0207 637 1865
      Friends of the Earth

  3. Lesley says:

    Has Penarth Town Council been asked to comment as it’s alleged at the moment?

    • NewsNet says:

      Both PODS and Penarth Town Council have been invited to comment. Penarth Town Council has now done so and the statement has been added to the news item.

    • Racist Mark (aka Mark Foster) says:

      “revenue achieved as a result of providing this service could be reinvested into the Paget Rooms so that the future sustainability of the venue is secured for future generations to come”

      This doublespeak translates to “the Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society and old Italian folk tales like Pinocchio are white supremacist and anachronistic propaganda and do not fit in with our Labour and Tory party blueprint for the future multicultural shithole of Penarth to be like the rest of the UK. We will therefore put PODS out of business and use the money to destroy your culture ourselves.”

  4. Its not uncommon for venues to run thier own bar.
    It can be an important source of revenue, that said you would then expect a professional “bar” and appropriate staffing.

    Usually if a venue does run the bar or takes a cut – this is reflected in the hire price.
    i have a history in events and loads of venues were “free” when a certain bar spend was hit… or you pay the balance. if the council are charging more… and still want to do the bar its a bit naughty.
    One off event bars might sound like a license to print money but they usually well under preform what a commercial operator would look for given the hassle… so if a hiree wants to do it themselves id have thought let them crack on… stick a tad more on the hire… £ have an easy life.

    We have supplied both the council and private events @ the paget rooms loads of times… the space is attractive but ive always said with a few teaks the bar or bar provision could be soo much better.

    i think the bar @ a panto would be mostly tea / coffee and soft drinks which are high margin but low value… so really i dont think its a big loss for the council to cede this one to the group.

  5. Penarth Town Council seem to be a difficult organisation to deal with. Remember the Record Fair debacle as well? If they’re allowed to continue like this the facility will become unused and closed down.

  6. Christopher David says:

    Oh it’s fine- Emma Boylan says so! Well the acid test will be want happens in future with POD’s et al. Perhaps Sian Fox whom posted above could explain a little clearer? PTC don’t have a very good track record do they. C’mon PODS tell us the low down.

  7. snoggerdog says:

    i believe in swapping around now & again E.G. the armed forces swapping with the bankers,so the bankers get the medals & the a.f.s get the money —-so why doesnt the council do the pantomime (come on as themselves) & pods can take over the bar—-sorted —–or not!

  8. James Bard says:

    Do people not realise that public services are a little short of money?? Fortunately some people in the Council actually have a sensible business head and consider what it would actually take to run an estate such as this. What would you rather have; a bar and rooms that the Council can actually run or should we just close all the venues and build flats? As for aiming comments directly at Ms Boylan perhaps you should be thankful of a switched on business Dynamo otherwise things might not get done at all!

    • Dewi says:

      Well said. People seem to think PTC has a magic money tree and can provide all manner of facilities free of charge or at no profit.

  9. Christopher David says:

    Ha ………the council that can’t organise a “picnic day” so pays an outside company £36,600 to do it. No magic money tree eh cliché kids. Perhaps you business experts should do as I did and ask for the business case to be explained before pontificated blindly.

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