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,Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 29 July 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Unit 4 Penarth Pier Tourist Information Centre, Penarth

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To gain Cabinet approval to declare the former Tourist Information Centre unit at Unit 4 Penarth Pier as surplus to requirements of the Development Services Directorate and seek Cabinet approval to dispose of the unit by lease.

Recommendations

1.         That unit 4, Penarth Pier, be declared surplus to the requirements of the Development Services Directorate.

2.         That the Director of Resources be authorised to negotiate terms and conditions for the disposal by lease of the building at the appropriate time in consultation with the the Leader and Head of Legal Services,

3.         That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the required legal documentation.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that the land and buildings have been declared surplus to the Council's requirements prior to disposal.

2.         To ensure that the Councils Statutory and Fiduciary obligations are met in the terms and conditions it grants for any lease

3.         To legally formalise the disposal of the unit.

 

Background

2.         Penarth Tourist Information Centre (TIC) has been managed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council since 1991.  Run on a seasonal basis between April and September visitor numbers to Penarth peaked in 1998 at 28,391.  However since then numbers have steadily decreased with 5,000 visitors recorded in the 2012 season. A number of possible reasons can be attributed to this including greater use of the internet and smart phones to access information plus the recent reduction in the number of sailings from the pier by the Waverley and Balmoral.  These trips attracted large numbers of passengers many of whom purchased tickets via the tourist information centre. 

3.         The type of information that day visitors and holidaymakers require will now be available from a variety of venues across the county including local attractions, activity providers, accommodation establishments, pubs, libraries and restaurants.

4.         The Council intends to keep abreast of all new marketing trends and maximise the use of web-based and social media marketing to its potential in the future to help raise the profile of the Vale of Glamorgan as a holiday destination.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The unit is now surplus to the requirements of this Department and it is recommended that the Council advertises the availability of a new 5 year internal and repairing lease which would be in line with the other leases on Penarth Pier and Barry Island.

6.         The property would be advertised to let on the Council's website and also in the local media.  In addition interested parties known to the Council will be provided with tender packs.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         It is expected that the leasing of the unit will generate an annual rental.

8.         Estates and Legal officers' costs will be incurred as a result of the disposal process.  It is anticipated that these costs will be met from any savings made from existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         The reuse of the building can attract a range of uses which would in turn reduce the need to travel elsewhere.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.      The Council has a statutory and fiduciary duty pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to secure the best consideration that can reasonably be expected to be obtained for leases granted in excess of 7 years 

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.      The longer the building remains vacant the greater chance of attracting vandals, graffiti and illegal occupiers of the property.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.      There are none attributed to this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.      Efficient management of the Council's property assets.  To dispose of redundant or under utilised Council assets is in accordance with the objectives of the Corporate Asset Management Plan.

Policy Framework and Budget

14.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.      All Ward Members have been consulted on this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Claire Evans - Tourism and Marketing Manager 01446 704868

 

Officers Consulted

Estates Officer

Principal Lawyer

Senior Accountant

 

Responsible Officer:

Director of Development Services