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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting 29th November 2011

 

Report of the Leader

 

Grants to Community / Voluntary Organisations 2011/12 - Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd  

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek the approval of Cabinet on the award of a grant to Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd in respect of their continued operation of the Paddle Steamer Waverley.

Recommendations

That:

1.             Cabinet approve grant funding to Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., in the sum of £10,000 towards the over Winter refit of the PS Waverley.

2.             The above to be subject to receipt of satisfactory assurances from the company that sufficient funds have been pledged to ensure continued operation of the PS Waverley into Summer next year.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1-2    To provide funding towards the continued operation of the PS Waverley.

Background

2.             Waverley Steam Navigation Co.Ltd., is a Company Limited by Guarantee and is a registered charity, the purpose of which is to ensure the preservation and continued operation of the PS Waverley and MV Balmoral.

3.             The Waverley organisation which includes Waverley Excursions and the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, has operated the PS Waverley since 1975 and MV Balmoral since 1986.

4.             The ships have operated in this area for many years providing a much valued amenity for the local populace and tourist, and also an economic benefit arising from the passengers attracted to the sailings from Penarth pier and also occasionally Barry dock. 

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Waverley Excursions Ltd has written to this Council, and other Council's in areas where the ships operate, drawing attention to significant doubts as to the charity's ability to continue as a going concern. (Their letter dated of 12 September 2011 is reproduced at Appendix "A" to this report.)

6.             This situation arises out of the requirement to fund this year's over Winter refit of the PS Waverley estimated to cost £350,000. The organisations funds are substantially overdrawn and failure to raise that required would jeopardise the continued operation of the ship into Summer next year.

7.             Whilst for future years the organisation is seeking support from regional government this will not help resolve the funding of this years refit. The organisation is therefore requesting from this Council a one off grant of £10,000.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

8.             Funding will be found from within the corporate policy revenue budget.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.             EEC State Aid Rules apply and whilst the grant appears to fall under the Cultural Heritage Exemption the aggregate total from public funds could well exceed the de minimis limit of €200,000. There is therefore a risk to the Waverley organisation that any grant forthcoming from the Council could require to be repaid.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.        There are no direct crime and disorder implications arising out of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.        The organisation has confirmed that it actively promotes equal opportunities in its operations and service delivery.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.        The work of the organisation should contribute to the regeneration corporate priority "to work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement and environmental regeneration and protection".

Policy Framework and Budget

13.        This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.        No consultation has taken place as the subject matter of the report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Mr AD Williams

Accountant

Finance, ICT & Property

Tel: 01446 709250

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Leisure & Tourism, and Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects, (Department of Environmental & Economic Regeneration).

Lawyer, (Department of Legal Protection & Housing).

 

Responsible Officer:

Director of Finance, ICT & Property

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