Muni Deal Called In

As part of cost-cutting plans Labour-controlled RCT council decided to close Pontypridd’s Muni Arts Centre (even though it was losing the least money when compared to the Park & Dare and the Coliseum) and a private group setup by Pontypridd’s Labour MP Owen Smith, calling itself ‘The Muni Working Group’, which includes representatives from Pontypridd Town Council, Cylch Cymreig, Artis Community, Coalfields Regeneration and the YMCA, put in an application to run the centre.

These plans, however, have been criticised by Councillor Mike Powell, who has asked for them to be called in for further scrutiny by the council.

He said: “After the recent publication of the cabinet’s decision to give the Muni lease to a not for profit organisation, a private applicant contacted me to look at his application.

“When I saw the detail that was in that private application, I then compared it with the detail in the confidential report that went to the cabinet.

“I was astounded by the lack of financial information and proposed job creation that was not given to members.

“I could not believe they were asked to decide on such an important decision based on what I didn’t see included in the report.

“The private applicant indicated that there would be substantial sums being invested and income generated rather than the alternative that the council wish to proceed with.

“Therefore, in view of the information I have seen, I asked for it to be called in for further scrutiny and to look at what reasoning the officers had for not providing the in depth detail that this decision for the people of Pontypridd and RCT really needs to ensure it is sustainable for more than a couple of years.”

More here.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. admin says:

    RCT Cabinet voted against calling in the plans.

    Cllr. Mike Powell said:

    “In the future we may need to seek this same approach to protect valued services in our communities. Our funding is being so significantly squeezed by the austerity measures of the UK government that we must seek alternative operating models and deliver services through other models to ensure valued community buildings and facilities have a future. It is disappointing that for party political purposes this process has been frustrated.”

    Following the meeting, Coun Powell expressed his disappointment that the business plans will not be looked into in more detail.

    He said: “It could well be the community group has a better business plan than the private applicant, but I just want to make sure we have made the correct decision. The cabinet members should read the full business plans instead of just relying on officers to summarise the plans for them.

    “I want the Muni to reopen and to thrive, but there is a need to ensure that any bid from whatever source is sustainable. I very much hope that the community group bid will turn out to be sustainable and that it does not run into problems when grant funding dries up.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *