THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 29 JUNE 2015
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 21 APRIL 2015
“1152 RHOOSE POINT – MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE UPDATE (DVSH) –
The above matter had been part of the Scrutiny Committee work programme and the matter had been raised as far back as October 2013 whereupon at that time the Committee had requested a further report on the liabilities associated with the maintenance and management of land at Rhoose Point.
A number of reports had previously been considered by Committees and Cabinet, most recently by the Cabinet at its meeting in July 2014, when the Cabinet resolved to progress an application to Welsh Government (WG) for the introduction of a range of bye-laws at the site aimed at reducing antisocial behaviour. Whilst an application had been submitted to WG for consideration, WG had indicated that new legislation was shortly to come into force in Wales which would permit Local Authorities to impose their own bye-laws and to control bye-law breaches by means of a fixed penalty. Consequently, the Local Government Bye-laws (Wales) Act 2012 was now due to come into force at the end of March 2015 and, therefore, officers were now seeking to progress the introduction of bye-laws for the public open space areas at Rhoose Point and a further report to Cabinet on the matter would follow.
The report in itself sought to deal with the various liabilities affecting Rhoose Point which fell into three categories, public open space, cliffs and coastline and foul and surface water drainage. The Operational Manager for Parks and Grounds Maintenance referred to the various points set out in the report and in particular to matters relating to foul and surface water drainage and updated the Committee in regard to the proposed transfer of the sewage pumping station at Rhoose Point which was currently in the control of the Council. He indicated that the planned transfer of the pump station by 25th March 2015 had not progressed due to technical issues. A joint inspection with representatives of Dwr Cymru was now planned for 29th June and subject to matters being satisfactory, it was now anticipated that the pumping station would transfer to Dwr Cymru by 1st July 2015.
The Operational Manager’s attention then turned to the financial implications since 2009 associated with the sewage pumping station and these totalled £107,764. Details of the exact spend were set out in paragraph 23 of the report.
A Member, in referring to the report, indicated that the area was very attractive and well patronaged with the nature reserve in itself linking well with the Wales Coast Path network. He compared the site to that of Cosmeston Country Park albeit he acknowledged that it was on a smaller scale and considered that the site should receive appropriate funding to maintain ongoing obligations / maintenance however a previous request by the Committee to the Cabinet for specific funding had not been supported. He also welcomed the proposed introduction of bye-laws to assist with antisocial behaviour at the site, whilst these would help he considered that ongoing support would still be required by the Police and by the local community. He considered that if the Council had any real desire to further develop tourist attractions in the Vale of Glamorgan, the decision not to provide funding was a lost opportunity and further efforts should be made to identify possible funding streams to support and develop the area.
The Committee generally supported the views expressed and it was felt that the Cabinet should be approached again regarding the possibility of identifying grant funding and also to ascertain income generation opportunities which would assist and support the management of the site.
A Member specifically referred to the lack of parking facilities at the site and the Operational Manager reminded the Committee that car parking had been provided on land south of the Rhoose Railway Station which he considered was currently under used. The Member, in response, indicated that there was no signage apparent to direct the public to this area and suggested that this needed to be further investigated and requested the Officer liaise with the Council’s Highway Division to identify suitable signage.
Discussion ensued regarding the progression of bye-laws for the site and the potential opportunity for Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy funding to be made available to support the management and maintenance of the site.
The Chairman felt that these matters were worth exploring and accordingly it was
(1) T H A T the Cabinet be requested
(i) To investigate income generation / commercial opportunities at the above site, including the provision of a visitor centre, with a view to assisting the management / maintenance of the site.
(ii) To investigate the possibility of Section 106 / Community Infrastructure Levy funding associated with the planning application “Land North of the Railway Line, Rhoose” to support the future maintenance / management of the site.
(2) T H A T the Operational Manager for Parks and Grounds Maintenance in liaison with the Council’s Highways Department investigate signage, signposting the public to the car park south of the railway station at Rhoose.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To explore funding opportunities to support the maintenance and management of Rhoose Point.
(2) To ensure that the public were assisted in accessing appropriate car parking at the location.”
Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 21 April 2015