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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  18 November, 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks and Culture and Sports Development

 

Lease of Club House - Jenner Park Stadium

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To update Cabinet on the current position relating to the Lease of the Club House at Jenner Park and to seek authority to consider options for the future use of the Club House.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the current position regarding the Surrender of the Lease of the Club House at Jenner Park by Barry Town AFC Ltd.

2.         That authority is granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing, in consultation with the Director of Resources, The Leader and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Cultural and Sports Development, to consider options for the future use of the Club House.

3.         That following full consideration of the possible options referred to in recommendation 2 above, a further report be produced for Cabinet outlining recommendations for the building's future.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that Cabinet are aware of recent events involving the lease for the Club House at Jenner Park.

2.         To ensure that any recommendations regarding the future use of the Club House have been fully considered.

3.         To enable Cabinet to take a decision on the future use of the property with the benefit of all relevant information.

Background

2.         Cabinet will recall the report of the 23rd September 2013 where the position in relation to the Changing Rooms and the Club House at Jenner Park Stadium was explained.  The lease agreement required (amongst other things) that the leaseholder ensured that the current changing facilities, which are integral to the Bar and Club house building, were available for use by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. Officers had become aware of an imminent threat to the provision of utility supplies for the bar, Club house and changing rooms.  The Utility supplies were the responsibility of the leaseholder. 

3.         The requirement for temporary changing facilities was outlined as a result of this.

4.         Matters have moved on significantly since the 23rd September. On the 27th September a letter was hand delivered to Civic offices reception by the Director of Barry Town AFC Ltd (the leaseholder of the Club House) giving notice that Barry Town AFC Ltd wished to surrender the lease for the Club House buildings with immediate effect.  The Keys for the Club House were enclosed with the letter.

5.         Following consultation with the Leader and Managing Director and based on advice from the Legal Department, the surrender of the lease was accepted (without prejudice to the Council's position in respect of any liability that had accrued in connection with possible past breaches of Lease by the Tenant). 

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         As outlined in the report of the 23rd September, temporary changing facilities were in the process of being organised to allow continued use of Jenner Park for certain sporting events (in particular higher league and International football matches).  The recent developments have however rendered the requirement for the temporary changing facilities unnecessary.

7.         Now that the Council has regained control and responsibility for the Club house, officers have been asked to carefully consider the options for the future use/management/running of the Club house building and associated facilities.  Senior Officers from Visible Services, Estates and Legal Services, in consultation with the Director of Visible Services, will be considering potential options for the buildings and will be presenting their findings to the Director in due course.  Following full consideration of the same, it is suggested that a further report to Cabinet outlining the considerations and recommendations arising out of the options appraisal, be presented.  The options appraisal will give consideration to what benefit existing users of Jenner Park will gain from possible future uses of the Clubhouse building (eg. Athletics / football users etc).

8.         Following the surrender of the Lease by the former tenant, an inspection of the Club House and Changing facilities took place. It was evident from that inspection that there are various condition issues that need to be addressed prior to any decision being made in relation to the future use of the buildings.  These condition issues are currently being considered along with other statutory compliance related requirements.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.         Any resource implications will be considered as part of the options appraisal which will need to be undertaken as a next step.

10.      An assessment of priority repair issues is on-going and any expenditure required as a result of these priority items will be reported to Cabinet in the update report referred to above and in recommendation 3 of this report.

11.      As stated below the Council's legal department have been instructed to pursue the former Tenant for all costs relating to breaches of his former Lease Agreement.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.      Jenner Park is the Council's premier stadium and any loss of facilities would have an impact on a wide sector of the football community.  Such issues will be taken into account when assessing the options for the future use of the Club House buildings.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      The Council's legal officers have been instructed to pursue a range of matters in respect of the former Lease provisions which related to the use of the Club House by the former Tenant.  The details of this are subject to disclosure rules, though Cabinet should note that any costs that the Council incurs as a result of possible breaches of the surrendered Lease are being pursued with vigour.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.      Immediate arrangements were put in place by the Council in order to secure the Club House upon surrender of the Lease by the outgoing Tenant.  The locks have been changed and a security alarm system has been installed.  Access is available only via the Councils Security Services.

15.      Empty buildings do however attract anti social behaviour and those wishing to gain access to vacant properties unlawfully.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      There are no direct equal opportunities implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Environment - Current and future generations of Vale residents and visitors enjoy the built and natural environments of the Vale of Glamorgan and actively protect and maintain them.

18.      To achieve the optimum use of the property assets.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.      This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      No ward Member consultation has been undertaken at this stage but local ward Members will be consulted as part of the options appraisal process and their views provided to Cabinet as part of this arrangement.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.      Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

Tel:  02920 673 101

 

Officers Consulted

Group Estates Officer

Operational Manager - Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Senior Lawyer

Accountant Visible Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

 

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