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WELSH CHURCH ACT ESTATE COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 15th July, 2013.

 

Present:  Councillors G.A. Cox, C.P. Franks, K.P. Mahoney and R.P. Thomas.

(Note: Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman) entered the room part-way through the meeting.)

 

213     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman) and Councillor A.G. Powell (Vice-Chairman).

 

 

214     CHAIRMAN –

 

Committee were advised that Councillor F.T. Johnson, Chairman of the Committee, had reported that he would not be able to be present for the start of the meeting.

 

In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Councillor G.A. Cox was elected to the Chair.

 

 

215     MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 8th April, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

216     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

217     APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE (MD) –

 

The Committee was requested to consider applications for financial assistance from the Welsh Church Act Estate.  Further applications were also tabled at the meeting.  Appendices to the report detailed the charitable purposes for which the Trust might be applied and the fund’s approved revenue estimates for the current financial 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)

Structural repairs (estimated cost £6k.)

£2,000

St. Canna’s Church (Llangan)

Electrical improvements (estimated cost £1.25k.)

£1,250

Elfed Av. United Church (Penarth)

Replacement organ (estimated cost £12k.)

£500

Holy Nativity Church, Penarth (Windsor Rd.)

Structural repairs (estimated cost £6k.)

£3,000

Eglwys Dewi Sant

Reroofing of lower roofs of church (estimated cost £189k., Lottery £84k., other grants and fundraising £86k., shortfall £19k.)

£5,000

St. Helen’s Church (Wyndham St. Barry)

Internal and external refurbishment works (estimated cost £30k.+)

£10,000

St. John’s Church, Penllyn (Rectoral Benefice of Cowbridge)

Internal and external structural refurbishment works (estimated cost £45k., current shortfall in funding c£10k.)

£5,000

Barry Elim Church

Internal and external structural refurbishment works to remaining church building (estimated cost £22k.)

£5,000

 

Reason for decision

 

In furtherance of the objectives of the Trust.

 

 

218     GRAZING LAND OPPOSITE ST. PETER’S CHURCH, OLD COGAN HALL, PENARTH (DR) –

 

Committee were advised of a request from a local farmer to be granted a long lease of the land opposite St. Peter’s Church, Old Cogan Hall, for grazing purposes. 

 

Officers were recently made aware of an approach by a local farmer in respect of a request to be granted a lease of the land owned by the Welsh Church Act Estate at Cogan Hall, Penarth.  The farmer had also requested consent to take a hay / grass crop from the field.

 

Committee recalled that it had recently resolved to grant consent to lease a portion of land to St. Peter’s Church to enable them to use that land as a car park to serve the Church patrons. 

 

The land in question had traditionally been let for grazing / cutting on an annual basis with the land being tendered every year for a 10 month period. 

 

It had recently been requested by the local farmer that Committee consider offering the land on a long lease instead of offering the land annually.

 

As authority had already been granted for a lease of a small section of this field to St. Paul’s Church, this would leave the remainder of the field as being suitable for grazing.

 

Committee had a duty to manage lands held by them in accordance with the Scheme of the Trust and with Charity Law, there being a requirement to ensure that the Committee obtained best consideration for any land whether offered for sale or lease.  It was usual practice where there may be more than one interested party, that any land that was available be advertised openly to the general public and thus ensuring that best consideration was achieved. 

 

The Estates Section was aware that others had expressed an interest in land for grazing recently. 

 

Committee were also advised that the farmer had requested consent from the Trust to take a grass / hay cut from the field.  Committee was advised that should it be minded to allow this, a suitable licence would be required to be granted to allow the applicant’s access onto the land for this purpose. 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the land in question be let to the applicant farmer to enable a one off cut, with the decision as to a longer lease arrangement to be deferred pending clarification of Security of Tenure issues by the legal officer.

 

(2)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Legal Services to draft, execute and complete the necessary cutting licence on terms and conditions to be agreed with the Director of Resources.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  The view of Committee was that the granting of a long term lease was inappropriate at this time, however it was happy to grant a one off cutting licence to the applicant to enable a hay crop to be taken.

 

 

219     CHAIRMAN –

 

Councillor F.T. Johnson, Chairman of the Committee, entered the room and took the Chair.

 

 

220     ANNUAL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS 2012/13 (MD) –

 

Committee considered the Annual Report and Accounts as required by the Charities Act 2011, Section 162.

 

The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2013 were attached to the report at Appendix A.

 

The main features of the report, when compared to the previous year, were as follows:

 

·         Statement of Financial Activities

 

Compared with the previous year, the revenue surplus fell from £7,000 to a deficit of £21,000 mainly attributable to unanticipated expenditure as follows:

          -      asbestos removal works at the former Southerndown Home £9,500.

          -      clearance / wall / barrier works at Bastion Close, Barry £10,000

          -      grants awarded £10,000

          -      the unrestricted revenue surplus of the fund, reduced by £21,000 as above, amounted to a total of £118,000 at year end.

 

·         Balance Sheet

 

Note 1.2 of the accounts refers to the Trust’s investment in traded life policies in which dealings and payment of dividends continued to be suspended.

 

The value of the fund at year end was £3,700,000, little changed from the previous year.

 

Subject to approval, the document was to be forwarded to the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, for independent examination.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Annual Report and Accounts 2012/13, as set out at Appendix A to the report, be approved and that the Chairman be authorised to sign the same on behalf of the Trustees.

 

Reason for decision

 

In accordance with the requirements of the Charities Act 2011, and the Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008.

 

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