WELSH CHURCH ACT ESTATE COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 8th January, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor G.A. Cox (Chairman); Councillor A.C. Parker (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, A.D. Hampton, N. Moore and Mrs. M. Wright.

 

Also present: Councillor B.T. Gray.

 

 

566     MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held 11th October, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

567     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The Chairman, Councillor G.A. Cox, declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 7 – Applications for Financial Assistance 2017/18, advising that he would leave the room when the grant application for Llanblethian Church Hall was to be considered as his wife was the Church Warden.

 

 

568     LANE TO THE REAR OF CHURCH ROAD, CADOXTON (HOF) –

 

The Operational Manager for Property advised that the lane to the rear of Church Road, Cadoxton was owned by the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee and was located at the rear of houses along Church Road and abutted and in third party ownership at Bastian Close. 

 

In recent years residents had made a number of complaints to Council officers and the Committee via the previous Chairman in relation to the overgrown nature of the land and the fly tipped rubbish accumulating on the land.  The land had been cleared of rubbish on a number of occasions over past few years and also 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. 

 

However, a long term solution for the management and maintenance of the lane was required and at the last meeting the Committee agreed that, subject to full costings, the following proposals be sought and presented to Committee for final ratification. 

  • Option 1 – Raise the level of the wall to the rear car parking area (Bastian Close)
  • Option 2 – The installation of an access gate (Alley Gates were deemed an unviable option as the costs would be prohibitive) in order to prevent unauthorised access to the lane
  • Option 3 – A proposed footway construction for lane and rear access. 

The Committee also agreed at the last meeting that without doing all three options together the area would still be vulnerable.

 

The estimated costs of the proposed works were approximately £30,000 and would be funded from Welsh Church Act Estate reserves.  However, the Council’s Highway Engineer had recently informed the Operational Manager that due to unforeseen circumstances with the Vale Council itself receiving a considerable sum of money from Welsh Government to undertake a number of projects, this project for the lane to the rear of Church Road would have to be put on hold until after April 2018 in order that the other projects could be completed in order for the WG monies to be spent as soon as possible.

 

Councillor N. Moore, ( also a Local Ward Member), informed the Committee that it was important for the design options to be agreed as he had received a number of complaints over the years concerning the state of the land and fly tipped material continued to be a considerable problem.  Various options in the past had been considered but ultimately the responsibility rested with the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee to progress matters. 

 

Following consideration of the report, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Head of Finance be authorised to instruct the Council’s Highways Department to progress with all three recommended options as outlined below: 

  • Option 1 – Raise the level of the wall to the rear car parking area (Bastian Close)
  • Option 2 – The installation of an access gate (Alley Gates were deemed an unviable option as the costs would be prohibitive) in order to prevent unauthorised access to the lane
  • Option 3 – A proposed footway construction for lane and rear access.              

(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to a future meeting of the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee regarding an update on progress in relation to the works to be undertaken in due course.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In order that the relevant authority can be provided to the Head of Finance.

 

(2)       In order that the Committee can be updated on the likely date for the commencement of the works.

 

 

569     LAND ADJOINING KEZ HOUSE, SEA VIEW TERRACE, CADOXTON (HOF) –

 

Committee’s instructions were requested on whether to agree to the release of a restrictive covenant on land formerly owned by the Committee to enable a residential development to be constructed by the current owners of the land.

 

The Operational Manager for Property advised Committee that the land adjoining Kez House had formerly been in the ownership of the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee, having been disposed of on 26th July, 1993.  The disposal was subject to a restrictive covenant not to use the land for any purpose other than for building a garage for a single private motor vehicle on part of the land and not to use the remainder of the land other than as a garden.

 

Officers in the Estates Section had been approached by the current owners requesting that Committee consider releasing the covenant to allow the owner to build either two semi-detached or a single detached residential property on the land.  To date the applicant had not yet sought planning consent for either development as officers had been advised that the applicant did not wish to incur the cost of a planning application until an agreement from Committee in respect of the release of the covenant had been received.

 

In presenting the report, the officer further advised Committee to consider that if they were minded to agree to the release of the covenant, that a blanket release was not given but a release granted only for the development that planning consent was obtained i.e. the release would be subject to the actual planning approval received and for that purpose only.  The reason for this advice was to project the Trust should the applicant go on to apply for and receive a planning consent for a more valuable use of the land in the future.  It was further noted that if Committee were minded to agree to the release, then a valuation would be required to be undertaken to ensure that the Trust was obtaining best consideration for agreeing to the release and the applicant would be requested to undertake to pay all legal and estates valuation fees associated with such a release.

 

Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the request to release the restrictive covenant subject to an appropriate valuation being agreed for a specific planning consent at the appropriate time be agreed.

 

(2)       T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to complete any necessary paper work to effect the release subject to a planning consent for the intended development being obtained and subject to evaluation.

 

(3)       T H A T a further update report be presented to the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee on progress in due course.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       Having considered the officer’s information provided in the meeting and in view of the report.

 

(2)       To allow matters to progress.

 

(3)       To update Committee.

 

 

570     ANNUAL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS 2016/17 FOLLOWING THE INDEPENDENT EXAMINATION (MD) –

 

The Principal Accountant informed the Committee that the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2017 as attached at Appendix A to the report and the Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2017 had been put before the Committee for approval on 11th October, 2017 prior to the independent examination commencing.

 

The Principal Accountant advised that the independent examination of the accounts had now been completed and a number of minor amendments to the accounts had been made as set out below: 

  • Amendment to a number of small roundings in the statements;
  • Separate presentation of short term investments of £8,000 on the balance sheet (previously included in the cash balance) and a corresponding amendment to the cash flow statement;
  • Adjustment to list of grants paid to include £1,000 paid to St. Paul's Church, Merthyr Dyfan which had been excluded in error;
  • Inclusion of two additional paragraphs detailing the basis of preparation of the accounts (page 7);
  • The inclusion of some clarifying information regarding the trustees of the Welsh Church Act Estate i.e. stating that they are Councillors of the Vale of Glamorgan Council (page 4);
  • Other small amendments which were largely presentational. 

A copy of the Independent Examiner’s report to the Trustees of the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh Church Act Estate Fund was tabled at the meeting for Members’ information which advised that he had no concerns, had come across no other matters in connection with the examination to which attention should be drawn in the report in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17 following the completion of the independent examination by the appointed external auditor Wales Audit Office, as set out in 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.

 

 

571     APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCE ASSISTANCE 2017/18 (MD) –

 

The Committee was requested to consider applications for financial assistance funded from the Welsh Church Act Estate and for Trustees to consider an amendment requested to a previous award.

 

The applications for grant assistance were set out at Appendix A to the report and Appendix B set out the criteria for the charitable purposes for which the Fund may be applied.  Appendix C to the report set out the Fund’s revenue estimates for the current financial year.

 

Paragraph 8 of the report referred to the amendment requested to the grant award for limewashing at St. Curig’s Church, Porthkerry, which had been awarded in 2016/17.  The Church had advised the Department that due to the high cost of delivering the scheme, work had been undertaken by volunteers of the Church which had resulted in a reduction of costs associated with the project.  A revised request for funding had been received on the basis of the cost of materials used, which had been evidenced by supporting invoices.  It was therefore proposed that the 2061/7 award be amended to £512 and that a refund on £988 be requested from the Parish.  The sum of £1,500 having been awarded to the Parish on 23rd January, 2017. 

 

In considering the applications for grant assistance, the Principal Accountant advised that the reference to St. Cadoc’s Parish Church, Holton Road, Barry, should read as St. Cadoc’s Parish Church, Coldbrook Road, Barry.  The reference to Glebe Field for the 2017/18 financial year at Appendix C should also read £2,761 for the full year estimate and that the balance remaining be noted as £6,348 on the accounts.

 

In accepting the amendments, it was subsequently

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following applications be agreed:

 

Applications

Name of Organisation

Specific Purpose for which   Grant requested

Grant

Approved

Llantwit Major Tennis   Courts

Restoration of Llantwit   Major Tennis Courts

£5,000

The Rectorial Benefice of   Cowbridge

St. Cadoc’s Parish Church Coldbrook   Road Barry– installation of toilet and repairs to pathways

£5,000

Cadoxton Methodist Church

Modification to Cadoxton   Methodist Chapel entrance to incorporate permanent disabled access

£5,000

Llanblethian Church Hall

Replacement floor for hall   at Llanblethian Church

£2,500

 

(2)       T H A T the grant award for limewashing at St. Curig’s Church, Porthkerry, awarded in 2016/17 be amended to £512 as follows:

 

Awards

 

 

Scheme Cost

Award

Original Award

Limewashing St. Curig's Church Porthkerry

£1,701

£1,500

Amended Award

Limewashing St. Curig's Church Porthkerry

£682

£512

Variance

 

£1,019

£988

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In furtherance of the objectives of the Trust and in noting that the form had now been signed in relation to Cadoxton Methodist Church and the confirmation of other grant fund applications had now been received in respect of Llanblethian Church Hall.

 

(2)       In furtherance of the objectives of the Trust and in noting the quotes that had been received in respect of St. Curig’s Church.

 

N.B. Councillor G.A. Cox vacated the room when the application in relation to Llanblethian Church Hall was considered and Councillor A. Parker took the Chair at that time.

 

 

572     ANNOUNCEMENT: DATE OF FUTURE MEETINGS –

 

The Chairman advised that dates of future meetings would be e-mailed to all Members of the Committee in due course.