SOLVA COMMUNITY COUNCIL RESPONSE TO CAR PARK LOSS

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Solva Community Council Cyngor Cymuned Solfach

Tegryn Jones
Chief Executive
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Llanion Park
Pembroke Dock
Pembrokeshire
SA72 6DY

23rd March 2015

Dear Tegryn,

Solva Car Park

Reference:
A. PCNPA E62-3/GM dated 5 March 2015 – Solva Car Park Operation 2015
Solva Community Council notes the best and final offer set out in Reference A and wishes to convey the following response overwhelmingly supported by the Elected Members for Solva, Whitchurch and Middle Mill.

Elected Members note the PCNPA proposal and strongly believe its consequences will undermine Welsh Governments stated commitment to Reforming Local Government and giving Power to Local People. Their recent White Paper sets out proposals for reform in a number of fields including local democracy and community rights. The White Paper also sets out how Community Councils such as Solva would act in their communities’ financial interest and secure value for money outcomes when dealing with organisations such as PCNPA. Elected Members firmly believe the White Paper will benefit Solva and provide greater power to influence decisions on how facilities such as the car park can be effectively operated for the benefit of the community it serves.

Elected Members note with dismay that the PCNPA car park proposal does not support the White Paper and other Welsh Government devolution policies. As a result, Elected Members have grave concerns for Solva and fear the PCNPA proposal challenges the long and proud tradition of local democracy.

Devolution is about empowering communities not institutions.

Solva members call on the Elected Members representing PCNPA to fully support devolution and the Welsh Governments White Paper and promote further negotiations to avoid handing over the car park to PCC for reasons motivated by financial necessity rather than innovation and opportunity. All Elected Members have a crucial role as agents of change ensuring they fully embrace their position as community leaders and create better outcomes for the people they serve.

Elected Members in this community remind you that “Pay and Display” is not wanted in Solva either next year or at any time in the future. Elected Members will therefore engage Welsh Government to ensure the people’s voice regarding this important issue is heard and acted upon.

Elected Members note your proposal to provide £15,000 in monthly instalments of £1,875 for incurred costs. Car park attendant’s wages for a thirty one day month would be £1,897.20. Your figure does not take account of other incurred costs such as grass cutting, Employers National Insurance contributions, stationery, clothing, removal of abandoned vehicles/boats and the cost of overall management. Elected Members assume you require SCC to balance the season’s deficit of circa £5,000 from precept funds. Elected Members have received professional advice on this key point and any such transaction could be seen by the Welsh Audit Office as a misappropriation of SCC precept funds.

Elected Members note your offer to provide SCC with 25% of the gross income net of VAT and of the net £15,000. This will be paid after auditing only at the end of the session. Elected Members further note the impact this would have on the management of SCC precept funds, and condemns such practice.
Therefore the decision of Elected Members is that unless PCNPA is prepared to consider the SCC counter proposal which offers a fair, balanced and value for money outcome, SCC will reject the PCNPA proposal.

This decision is based on sound business and financial principles. Your proposal is considered short-sighted, fails to provide SCC with a value for money operation and furthermore, fails to support local businesses and the local people.
Finally, Elected Members now question how seriously PCNPA takes its commitment to foster the economic and social wellbeing of local communities within the National Park.
Yours sincerely,
Jenny Davies (Chair)
Josh Phillips (Vice Chair)
Mollie Roach
Sandra Young
Jean Reed
Jono Voyce
John Price
Joe Griffin
Distribution:

Action Information
Cllr Paul Harries Dave Taylor SBOA
Cllr Stanley T Hudson Bella Prickett, Solva Business Group
Cllr Owen W James Will Candler
Cllr Mike James Billy Young
Cllr Lyn Jenkins Alan Hare PCNPA
Cllr Bob Kilmister Gary Meopham PCNPA
Cllr Robert M Lewis
Cllr Peter Morgan
Cllr Reg Owens
Cllr David WM Rees
Cllr Anthony Wilcox
Cllr Michael Williams
Mr Allan G Archer
Mr David Ellis
Ms Chris Gwyther
Mrs Gwyneth Hayward
Mr Ted Sangster
Mrs Melinda Thomas