Minutes of a meeting held on 21st July, 2014.


Present:  Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman); Councillors K.P. Mahoney and R.P. Thomas.





These were received from Councillors G.A. Cox, C.P. Franks and H.C. Hamilton.



273     MINUTES -


RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 7th April, 2014 be approved as a correct record.


Following a question from a Member, it was confirmed that the grazing land at Llangan had be re-let.





No declarations were received.





The Committee was requested to consider applications for financial assistance from the Welsh Church Act Estate.  Appendices attached to the report detailed the charitable purposes for which the Welsh Church Act fund may be applied, a summary of the applications to be considered and the fund’s revenue estimates for the current financial year.  The Committee was informed that application for funding assistance for St. Canna’s, Llangan had been reduced from £3,450 to £2,200 as the original amount applied for was no longer required.


Following a question, Committee were advised that the position with regards to any revenue surplus could be more accurately predicted towards the end of the 2014/15 financial year.  It was confirmed that the majority of the estimated monies available to the Trust for 2014/15 had been allocated.


Following consideration of the applications for financial assistance 2014/15 it was


RESOLVED - T H A T the applications for financial assistance as detailed below be approved:


Name of Organisation

Specific Purpose for Which Grant Requested

Grant Approved

St. Donat’s Church

Flood Protection Scheme


St. Paul’s Church (Merthyr Dyfan)

Repair of heating system


St. Illtyd’s Church (Llantrithyd)

Essential repairs to church


St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church

Restoration of floors of church and brick work on Presbytery


Crossway Methodist Church

Modify church interior


St. Canna’s, Llangan

Refurbish to meet Health and Safety (carpeting)


Albert Road Methodist Church

Restoration and repairs to basement


Trinity Methodist Church

Disability access works


Ewenny Priory Church

Restoration of West End


New Life Church

Kitchen installation / refurbishment


St. Paul’s Church

Refurbishing and extending community hall


Llandaff North Christian Centre

Renovating the whole of the church



Reason for decision


In furtherance of the objectives of the trust.





The Committee considered the Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14 as required by the Charities Act 2011 Section 162.


The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2014 were attached to the report at Appendix A.


The main features of the report, when compared to the previous year, were as follows:


  • Statement of Financial Activities


Compared with the previous year the revenue deficit of  £21k changed to a surplus of £10k mainly attributable to the following:


Additional Investment Income                               £13k.

Reduction in Investment Management costs      £20k


The unrestricted revenue surplus of the fund, increased by £10k as listed above and amounts to a total of £128k at year end.


  • Balance Sheet


Note 1.2 of the Accounts refer to the Trust’s investment in traded life policies in which dealings and payment of dividends continued to be suspended.


The value of the fund at year end was £4.5m, an increase of £0.8m over the previous year. This was mainly due to a net increase following a revaluation of the Fixed Asset investments.


Subject to approval, the document as above was to be forwarded to the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, for independent examination.


Following presentation of the report, the Committee was informed that there was an unrestricted revenue surplus of the fund, which amounted to a total of £128,000 at year end.  An audited copy of the accounts would be submitted to the Charity Commission in due course.


A Member queried the loss on investments and in response was informed that the Statement was a snapshot in time and could fluctuate up and down.  A request would be made for the Trusts’ Investment Advisors, Towry Limited, to attend a future meeting of the Committee to comment on the investment portfolio in more detail. 


Following consideration of the Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14 it was


RESOLVED - T H A T the Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14 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.





The Chairman confirmed that a site visit had taken place that afternoon to the Former Southerndown Home, prior to the meeting of the Committee.


The Committee received a report which outlined the options for the property known as the former Southerndown Home for the Blind in order to seek a resolution for the way forward.


The Committee was reminded that previous attempts to market and dispose of the property during the last few years had produced unacceptable offers or offers from parties who had not been able to proceed to complete the purchase.


In October 2012 following consideration of the Trusts options, Committee resolved to instruct Brinsons Fairfax to re-market the property.  Officers instructed Brinsons Fairfax in accordance with Committees resolution.


Since that time, Estates Officers had sought advice from the Local Planning Authority which resulted in the Planning Department providing a Planning statement which was attached to the report at Appendix 1, to assist marketing so to inform both the Trust and potential purchasers. The Chairman of the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee had been involved in these discussions and had been kept informed throughout the process.


The Committee was informed that as a result of the recently received planning advice, there were several options for the Committee to consider.  The options were:


  • to do nothing
  • the Trust re-markets the property for sale
  • that the Trust applied for consent to demolish the property itself and subsequently markets the cleared site following demolition.


The Committee was advised that it was not recommended to do nothing with the property as it was becoming a cause for concern for some local residents due to it being vacant and its state of disrepair.  Officers had been contacted by a member of the public who was concerned that the deteriorating condition of the property was now affecting the value of his mother’s home. 


The Committee was informed of thet potential resource implications in relation to demolition costs and a rough estimate had been obtained and provided to Committee.


Further representations had also been received, from another Member of the public who expressed the view that the County Treasure had been allowed to fall into disrepair.   


Following the discussion and consideration of the report and possible options it was


RESOLVED - T H A T the Director of Resources be authorised to apply for outline planning consent and demolition consent for the property with a view to re-marketing the site.


Reason for decision


To progress a way forward for the future of the former Southerndown Home and in order that the Director of Resources had the necessary authority to progress an appropriate action for the future of the building and act in the best interest of the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust.