Top

Top

WELSH CHURCH ACT ESTATE COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 23rd January, 2017.

 

Present:  Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman); Councillor A.G. Powell (Vice-Chairman); G.A. Cox, C.P. Franks, H.C. Hamilton, K.P. Mahoney and R.P. Thomas.

 

 

699     MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th November, 2016 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

700     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor F.T. Johnson declared an interest in  

  • Agenda Item No. 6 - Applications for Financial Assistance 2016/17.  The nature of the interest was that an application for financial assistance had been received from the Civil Aid Volunteer Rescue Association (CAVRA) for a new roof at Sully Sports and Social Club and Councillor Johnson was employed as the Company Secretary/Director at Sully Sports and Social Club.  Councillor Johnson vacated the Chair and the room whilst this application was under consideration.
  • Agenda Item No. 6 - Applications for Financial Assistance 2016/17.  The nature of the interest was that an application for financial assistance had been received from the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Councillor Johnson was the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s nominated representative on the Vale of Glamorgan Festival Management Committee.  Councillor Johnson vacated the Chair and the room whilst this application was under consideration. 
  • Councillor A.G. Powell declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 6 - Applications for Financial Assistance 2016/17.  The nature of the interest was that an application for financial assistance had been received from the Civil Aid Volunteer Rescue Association (CAVRA) for a new roof at Sully Sports and Social Club and Councillor Powell was a Member of Sully Sports and Social Club.  Councillor Powell vacated the room whilst this application was under consideration.

 

 

701     LANE TO THE REAR OF CHURCH ROAD, CADOXTON (HOF) -

 

The Committee received a report to update it further to previous reports and discussions, in relation to the lane to the rear of Church Road, Cadoxton and to seek the Committee’s views on the options presented by the Council’s Highways Department for the future management and maintenance of the lane.  Furthermore, the Committee’s approval was sought to approve that the Head of Finance accept (in consultation with the Chairman) the most competitive quotation when obtained for the preferred option subject to a maximum budget of £20,000.

 

The lane to the rear of Church Road, Cadoxton was owned by the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee.  A plan of the lane was attached to the report at Appendix A.   

 

The lane is located to the rear of houses along Church Road and abuts land in third party ownership at Bastian Close.

 

In recent years residents had made complaints to Council Officers and the Committee, via the Chairman, in relation to the overgrown nature of the land and the fly tipped rubbish accumulating in the lane.  Previous reports had been considered by the Committee on 21st November, 2011, 26th March, 2012 and 25th July, 2012, in connection with this matter.  The lane had been cleared of rubbish on a number of occasions over the past few years and more recently, a new block wall had been erected on the boundary to Bastian Close in order to deter fly tipped material from being deposited from the Bastian Close side of the lane.

 

Whilst the wall had assisted in part, there had continued to be a number of complaints concerning the state of the lane, and fly tipped material continued to be a problem. 

 

The lane had recently been cleared of rubbish, and the vegetation cut back again, however a longer term solution for the management and maintenance of the lane was required, as previously reported to Committee.  The Council's Highway Design & Construction Manager has been consulted in respect of possible options for the Committee to consider and was in attendance at the meeting to present his report and options for consideration.

 

Indicative costs were attached to each option, however these were purely provided as a guide at this stage to enable discussion, and would need to be verified by Highways colleagues.  It was proposed that authority be given to the Head of Finance (in consultation with the Committee’s Chairman) to agree the final costs for the chosen option, subject to a maximum budget of £20,000 to conclude this matter.  A cost above £20,000 would be reported back to Committee for approval prior to any commitment to appoint contractors. Any approved works would be funded from the Welsh Church Act’s accumulated reserve which was £100,000 at 31st March 2016.

 

The Highway Design and Construction Manager present at the meeting informed the Committee as to three proposed design options, which were as follows:

 

Option 1- Raise the level of the wall to the rear car parking area (Bastian Close) 

 

The existing wall and crash barrier to the rear was still at a relatively low level and it was presumed that some of the fly tipping and misuse of the lane was from this access point.    

 

It was proposed that the wall could be raised to a height of 1.8 m to prevent access and fly tipping.  This could be done with either block work or wooden panels.  The estimated cost for this option to be confirmed on completion of design, was likely to be between £5,000 - £10,000.  A photograph of this area was included in Appendix B to the report.

 

Option 2 - The installation of Alley Gates in order to prevent unauthorised access to the lane 

 

The existing access from Church Road was totally uncontrolled and accessible by all.  The existing boundary fencing from the adjoining property was quite low for approximately the first 10 m from Church Road and it was proposed that a new set of Alley Gates be installed at a suitable location within the lane, which would only allow access to key holders.  To undertake this proposal the Council would need to ensure that the lane leading up to the location of the Alley Gates was suitably surfaced.  The estimated cost for this option, to be confirmed on completion of design, was likely to be between £5,000 and £10,000.  A photograph of this area was included in Appendix B to the report.

 

Option 3 - A proposed footway construction for lane and rear access 

 

The existing lane to the rear of the properties was all in verge material, and therefore there was no formal access points and walkway available.  It was proposed that a new footway access be constructed from Church Road and along the rear of the properties to a minimum width of 1.2m to allow for suitable access for all to the rear of the properties to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).  The estimated cost for this option, to be confirmed on completion of design, was likely to be between £10,000 and £20,000.  A photograph of this area was included in Appendix B to the report.

 

The Chairman queried the best location for Alley Gates, and the Highway Design and Construction Manager advised that it would be possible to install them adjacent to the carriageway, which would require some negotiation with the landowner to the side of the lane. 

 

A Member asked whether raising the height of the fence would cause issues in terms of reduction of light to adjacent properties and the officer advised that they didn’t think this would be the case, but this would be considered in at design stage.

 

A Member expressed concern that even if the height of the wall increased, fly tipping would still continue.  The Highway Design and Construction Manager advised that the purpose of the proposed works was to minimise fly tipping, however, they were aware that it could continue if certain vehicles were used.   

 

A Member asked whether the height of the wall would need to be increased if Alley Gates were installed.  The officer advised that the wall would need to be built up but these works would be carried out within the parameters of the site.  Furthermore the officer advised that they strongly recommended that the wall be built up to a level that would prevent grass and debris accumulating.  The aim was to ensure that the area was desirable and fly tipping was reduced. 

 

A Member asked whether any grants were available for the works and whether the costs for each option took account of any grant funding.  The officer confirmed that the estimated costs for the works did not include grant funding as it was no longer available and were solely for work carried out by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. 

 

The Chairman expressed the view that without doing all three options together, it would leave the area vulnerable.  The Highways Design and Construction Manager advised that the estimated cost to carry out all works was approximately £40,000 and whichever options were agreed, the detailed designs would be formulated and reported back to the Committee. 

 

A Member expressed concern in regard to the cost of carrying out all three options and queried where the monies would come from.  It was confirmed that there was a separate fund for the works which would not affect the allocation of any grants for financial assistance.  The Chairman expressed concern that the Committee had spent a lot of money, trying to rectify the situation in the past few years and the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust had an obligation to maintain its land. 

 

Following consideration of the report and the options presented by the Highways Design and Construction Manager, the Committee

 

RESOLVED - T H A T all three proposals be approved subject to full costings of the proposals being formulated by the Design and Construction Team and presented to a future meeting of the Committee.

 

Reason for decision

 

In order to ensure the future management and maintenance of the lane to the rear of Church Road, Cadoxton. 

 

 

702     REVIEW OF PROCESS FOR APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR 2017/18 (MD) -

 

The Committee received a report to consider the application process for organisations seeking financial assistance.

 

The purposes for which the Welsh Church Act fund may award grants was set out in summary at Appendix A attached to the report.

 

Historically, the majority of applications received had been for financial assistance regarding religious premises. However, in line with the charitable purposes of the Trust the scope of eligibility had widened and applications had increased significantly during 2016/17. As a result, it was now considered appropriate to fully review the criteria used to allocate funding in 2017/18.

 

Dependent on market conditions the Trust aimed to accrue approximately £40,000 investment income each year plus a further £20,000 in rental income. Allowing for £5,000 incidental and governance expenses the trust should seek to realise   approximately £55,000 each year which would be available for grant awards.

 

To ensure all applications were given fair and consistent consideration, two deadlines for the submission of applications were proposed. It was suggested that the deadlines would be 15th June and 15th September each year, with reports being taken to the Committee in the following month.  This would allow adequate time for the successful grant recipients to ensure their schemes were progressed and completed in year.

 

Given the maximum funding available each year was predicted to be in the region of £55,000, and given the geographical area covered is Cardiff and The Vale of Glamorgan, it was proposed to set the maximum award at £5,000. This would ensure that the awards were not concentrated on a small number of organisations. In addition, it was proposed to set a minimum award at £100 to ensure that smaller organisations would be able to benefit from the grants.

 

The Welsh Church Act stated that income from the fund should be devoted to charitable or alms giving purposes and as such applications were proposed to only be accepted from places of public worship, community organisations and charities.

 

The fund had traditionally only supported expenditure of a capital nature but given the wide ranging charitable purposes of the Trust it was proposed that it would be more appropriate to award grants for both capital and revenue expenditure. The fund could be used to fund retrospective applications.

 

To demonstrate commitment to a scheme it was proposed that all organisations applying for financial assistance should provide a minimum level of match funding. It was suggested that this level should be set at a minimum of 25% of the total cost of the scheme.

 

It was proposed that prior to submitting a claim, applicants must confirm that there was a legal right to proceed with a proposed scheme. In addition, in line with the previous approach, the latest copy of the organisations accounts and three quotes evidencing costs involved would be required for all claims. Organisations would be limited to one application per calendar year.

 

A final certificate would be introduced for all projects, to confirm the completion of a scheme and the associated project costs. Any organisation not submitting the certificate as required would in future be barred from making further applications until the required documentation had been submitted, and steps may be taken to reclaim the funds, subject to Committee agreement.

 

It was also proposed that application forms included in the proposals were made available to Members for consideration two weeks prior to each Committee meeting when applications for financial assistance were scheduled to be considered by Trustees.

 

Cardiff currently used their own application form for Welsh Church Act applications from the Cardiff area, and any applications put forward come with a recommendation from Cardiff to proceed with the award.  It was proposed to change the Vale of Glamorgan application to bring it more in line with the Cardiff application form and to reflect the proposed changes set out above.

 

A copy of the proposals had been shared with Cardiff Council and the Principal Accountant confirmed at the meeting that Cardiff had advised that they were happy with the proposals. 

 

The Chairman expressed concern that the proposal to require organisations to demonstrate that they could provide 25% match funding may delay organisations from receiving the grant, whilst they waited for this funding.  The Principal Accountant advised that applications for financial assistance could be approved in principle, subject to organisations being able to demonstrate that they had applied for the minimum match funding. 

 

A Member asked whether applications could be made for day to day running costs.  The Principal Accountant advised that as long as an organisation could demonstrate that the application for financial assistance was being made in line with the charitable purposes of the Trust, these applications would not be disregarded.  The officer advised that the requirement to demonstrate sustainability to ensure the longer term value of the schemes could be built into the application process.

 

A Member expressed the view that the current scheme worked well. In addressing this point the officer advised that the majority of what was proposed was already being done, they were simply trying to formalise the process with a couple of changes. 

 

Following consideration of the report the Committee

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed application process for grant assistance, as set out in the report, be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T it be noted that the report had been sent to Cardiff for consultation, and Cardiff was happy with the proposals.

 

Reason for decision

 

(1&2)  In furtherance of the objectives of the Trust.

 

 

703     APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 2016/17 (MD) -

 

The Committee received a report to consider applications for financial assistance funded from the Welsh Church Act Estate. 

 

The applications for financial assistance were set out in Appendix A to the report and the purposes for which the Welsh Church Act fund may make grants were set out, in summary, at Appendix B to the report.  The fund’s revenue estimates for the current financial year, were set out in Appendix C to the report. 

 

The Committee was informed that the sum of £49,450 had been provided for grants in the Trust’s revenue estimates for 2016/17.  Grants allocated in July 2016 totalled £17,750 and a further balance of £13,200 was allocated in October 2016 which left a balance of £18,500 to be allocated during 2016/17.  It was proposed that a further allocation of £18,500 was made for applications for grant assistance as set out in Appendix A.

 

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman vacated the room whilst the Committee considered the application for financial assistance from the Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA) as both Members had declared an interest on this item of business.  The Chairman also vacated the room whilst the Committee considered the application for financial assistance from the Vale of Glamorgan Festival as he had declared an interest on this item of business, the Vice-Chairman took the Chair for this item.

 

Councillor Cox was duly appointed Chairman for consideration of the application for financial assistance from CAVRA.  Both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were present for the consideration of the other applications for financial assistance.

 

In regard to the application from CAVRA, the Principal Account confirmed that the licence had now been received however, following the expiry of this licence ownership of the building would revert to Sully Sports and Social Club.

 

A Member queried why a cash grant had been declined for Ewenny Community Council, who had applied for funding for a defibrillator for the village.  The Principal Accountant advised that the amount of money requested fell below the threshold set which was 5% of the Town and Community Council precept, therefore, the cash grant had been declined, and they had subsequently approached the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee for funding. 

 

A Member expressed the view that defibrillator training should be provided and requested that letters be sent to request that assurances be given that defibrillator training would be provided.

 

Following consideration of the applications it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the applications for financial assistance as detailed below be approved:

 

Name of   Organisation

Specific Purpose   for Which Grant Requested

Grant Awarded

All   Saints Parish, Penarth

Building   of car park at St. Peter’s Church

£5,000

Civil   Aid Voluntary Rescue Association

Repair   to equipment store at Sully Sports and Social Club

nil

Ewenny   Community Council

Defibrillator

£500

PCC   at St. David’s, Caerau, Cardiff

New   drain and drainage at St. David’s Church Ely

£1,500

PCC   of St. Timothy’s Church, Caerau

Replacement   of uPVC fascias at St. Timothy’s, Caerau

£1,500

Gathering   Place Church / Community Centre, St. Athan

Defibrillator   for the Gathering Place centre, based in Eglwys Brewis

£500

Music   in Hospitals (Registered Charity - 1051659)

4   concerts in care homes throughout the Vale of Glamorgan @ £280 per concert

£1,000

The   parish of St. Augustine, Rumney, Cardiff

Conservation   of church and buildings

£1,000

Parish   of Porthkerry and Rhoose

Limewash   exterior of St. Curig’s Church

£1,500

The   Vale of Glamorgan Festival

Professional   fees for artists and other running costs for concerts taking place in Penarth   and Ewenny

nil

Parish   of St. Andrews Major

Re-ordering   of the Lady Chapel and church all to provide community space

£4,000

All   Saints Church, Barry

Ally   Saints Church Roof Restoration Project

£2,000

  

(2)       T H A T letters be sent to Ewenny Community Council and the Gathering Place Church/Community Centre, St. Athan to ask that they provide assurances that defibrillator training would be provided.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In furtherance of the objectives of the Trust.

 

(2)       In order to provide assurances that defibrillator training will be provided.

 

 

704     MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WAS URGENT -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the following matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent for the reason given beneath the minute heading be considered.

 

 

705     APPLICATION FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 2016/17 (MD) -

(Urgent by reason of the need to enable the Welsh Church Act Financial Assistance Awards 2016/17 to be allocated within the financial year)

 

The Committee received a report to consider a proposal to amend the schemes for the grant award made to Bethany Baptist Church at the Committee Meeting on 4th July, 2016.

 

The Welsh Church Act Estate Committee has delegated authority to manage in accordance with "The Scheme", the Welsh Church Act Estate as vested in the Council.

 

An application was received from Bethany Baptist Church to upgrade, extend and improve toilet facilities at the Bethany Community Halls, endorsed by Cardiff Council.

 

The application was awarded £5,000 at the Welsh Church Act Committee held on the 4th July 2016 subject to approval of the other sources of grant funding listed in the application.

 

Bethany Baptist Church has since contacted the Welsh Church Act to advise that they were now unable to proceed with the original scheme and proposed to carry out works to install additional meters to serve the smaller side halls and a new gas boiler to run from the installation. The total quoted costs for these works was £6,607.

 

The completion of these works would supply new kitchen facilities in the two side halls enabling their greater use by the local community.

 

The Committee considered that, as the schemes were different to those previously proposed, for which the grant was awarded; it should be the subject of a new application for grant assistance.  The Principal Accountant advised that the original application had been endorsed by Cardiff Council, however, they would contact Cardiff in regard to this matter, to advise of the views of the Committee. 

 

Following consideration of the application, the Committee

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the proposal from Bethany Baptist Church to amend the schemes for the grant award made by the Committee on 4th July, 2016, be not approved and that a new application should be submitted to the Welsh Church Act Estate for the amended schemes.

 

Reason for decision

 

The proposed schemes were different to the original scheme, for which the grant was awarded, therefore the amended schemes should be the subject of a new application.

 

 

706     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 item of business on the grounds that it involves 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.

 

 

 

707     LAND AT GLEBE FIELDS, SULLY (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPHS 14 AND 16) (HLS) -

 

The Committee received a report to further advise Members of the progress made in relation to Resolution (3) of Committee Minute 390, made at the meeting on the 14th September, 2015, authorising the instituting of legal proceeding to forfeit the lease of the Glebe Field.

 

The Principal Lawyer informed the Committee that the rent was not a peppercorn rent.

 

Members expressed concern that a number of hay bales had been present on the land for some time.

 

Following the consideration of the report, the Committee

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the outcome of the legal proceedings be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to refund the rent paid in advance by the previous leaseholder.

 

(3)       T H A T the Principal Lawyer investigate options for the removal of the hay bales and the Operational Manager for Property investigate costings for the removal of the hay bales and options to secure the land.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the outcome of the legal proceedings.

 

(2)       To authorise the Head of Legal Services to act to refund the rent paid in advance in order to finally conclude all matters ancillary to the former occupation of the Glebe Field by the previous leaseholder.

 

(3)       To investigate the options and costings for the removal of the hay bales and securing the land.

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook