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WELSHCHURCHACT ESTATE COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 26th March, 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor C.L. Osborne (Chairman); Councillor J.C. Bird (Vice-Chairman and Councillor R.P. Thomas.

 

 

1038   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors F.T. Johnson and Mrs. D.M. Turner.

 

 

1039   MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 30th January, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1040   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1041   EEA LIFE SETTLEMENTS FUND PCC LTD -

 

Ms Shalton had been invited to attend the meeting in order to expand on the issues relating to the EEA Life Settlements Funding Investments which had been reported to the previous meeting of the Committee. 

 

In expanding on the issues Ms. Shalton elaborated on the workings of the fund, confirmed that the fundamentals of the investment for the trust remained sound, and advised that the funds managers were considering three possible ways forward for investors:

 

(i)      To remain invested in the fund, accepting ongoing restrictions on buying and selling.

(ii)     To withdraw from the fund as policies mature via a newly formed “run-off” fund.

(iii)    To withdraw from the fund through sale of the holding to institutional investors.

 

However the above would be subject to the outcome of consultations currently being conducted by the UK Financial Services Authority into the trading of Traded Life Policies Funds and a report was expected in April 2012.

 

Members were informed of an apparent reduction in income received todate from the investment and requested that Ms Shalton investigate and report back to the Committee accordingly.

 

Having considered the presentation it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T Ms Shalton be thanked for her presentation, the comments contained therein and report back to the Committee in respect of the apparent reduction in income investment on the fund. .

 

(2)       T H A T Ms Shalton report further to committee as and when the proposals of the fund manager are finalised.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       For Members information

 

(2)       For Members information and on receipt of the FSA  report anticipated in April.

 

 

1042   APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE (DFICTP) -

 

The Committee was requested to consider applications for financial assistance from the Welsh Church Act Estate.  A further application for assistance was also tabled at the meeting for the Tabernacle Baptist Church.  Appendices to the report detailed the charitable purposes for which the trust might be applied and the revenue account estimates for the current year.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the applications for financial assistance as detailed below be approved:

 

Name of Organisation

Specific Purpose for which grant requested

Grant approved

Bethania Presbyterian Church (Pendoylan)

Improvements to access path rewiring and energy efficiency works

£2250

Park End Presbyterian Church, Llandennis Road, Cardiff

Upgrade to kitchen

£500

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Plassey Street, Penarth

Church facia stonework stabilisation

£1000

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the budget available and sums previously ordered.

 

 

1043   LAND AT THE REAR OF CHURCH ROAD, CADOXTON (DFICTP) -

 

Committee was provided with an update following the resolution of its decision in 21st November, 2011 to enter into discussions with each owner of the houses at Church Road to ascertain their interest in purchasing the land to the rear of the properties and to seek a resolution on the way forward.

 

Following the resolution of Committee, Legal Officers were instructed to obtain details of all home owners contact details from the District Land Registry.  Upon receipt of the same, Estates officers wrote to all owners seeking confirmation in principle of their interest in purchasing the land to the rear of each of their properties.

 

Residents were asked to respond to the consultation within a given timescale (approximately one month) with their comments.  A total of 24 residents were consulted and 5 responded (either by letter/e-mail or telephone call).  The response had been disappointing in terms of the number of responses.

 

Two of the residents confirmed an in principle interest in purchasing the land and three others confirmed that they were not interested in the proposal and just wanted the land cleared of overgrowth and fly tipping.  Previous comments received (which were detailed in the report of 21st November 2011 to Committee) confirmed that the residents also wished for a boundary wall between Church Road and Bastian Close to be reinstated to help stop further fly tipping occurring.  Another immediate concern of residents is that of vermin, which they feel should be dealt with.

 

The Council's Legal Department had confirmed that the wall referred to above at Bastian Close belonged to the Welsh Church Act Estate and was the Estate's responsibility to maintain.

 

Bearing in mind the residents had either declined to respond or mostly had responded to say they do not wish to purchase the land, Committee was now in a position of having to decide upon a different course of action to resolve the situation.

 

Members were informed that it would be difficult to sell parcels of the land on a piece meal basis and as interest had been disappointing in terms of the number of responses this was not a course of action that could be pursued.  However, the Welsh Church Act Estate had a responsibility for the land and as such Members suggested that the land should be cleared and that discussions take place with senior community enforcement officers, Visible Services into the possibility of support to assist with this.

 

Having considered the report it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Estates Officer investigates offers of support to clear the land with officers from the Visible Services Directorate.

 

(2)       T H A T the Estates Officer reports to a future meeting of the Committee regarding options in relation to the land in order to bring it to a reasonable standard.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To assist with nuisance issues in the area.

 

(2)       To consider options.

 

 

1044   EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

1045   DISPOSAL OF SOUTHERNDOWN HOME UPDATE (DFICTP) -

 

The Committee was provided with an update in respect of the resolution to dispose of the property on 21st November, 2011 and to seek instructions from the Committee on how to proceed.

 

Since the Committee's resolution in November confirmation of funding arrangements from the proposed purchasers ha been pursued. The proposed purchasers had responded by advising of new proposals which were a fundamental change to the offer that had previously been tendered for.  Following consideration of the report and the need to progress the matter the Committee considered that they could not agree to the requests of the purchasers as there were high risks associated with these proposals. 

 

Having considered the report it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1) That the Estates Officer be authorised to turn down the revised offer from the proposed purchaser

 

(2)       T H A T the Estates Officer seek fee quotations from three firms of Chartered Surveyors with a view to appointing one to advise the trusts on its options for the disposal of the property.

 

(3)       T H A T once appointed, the agents be asked to produce their advice at the earliest opportunity.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In order to advise the proposed purchaser that their revised proposal was not acceptable.

 

(2)       In order to seek professional advice in relation to the Trusts disposal options

 

(3)       In order to expedite a way forward.