Thursday, July 31, 2014

Colwyn Bay - The Skip ( Porth Eirias) Cost for bistro refit of £3.7m complex hidden from public view

Porth Eirias: Cost for bistro refit of £3.7m complex hidden from public view

Conwy Council make scrutiny report into Bryn Williams's bistro exempt from press and public

Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias
Pressure is continuing to mount on Conwy County Council over the ongoing Bryn Williams bistro saga at Porth Eirias in Colwyn Bay.
A report due this week into the cost of refitting the complex for the celebrity chef's bistro has been made exempt from the eyes of press and public, citing a “commercial interest”.
It means the report will not be discussed in public unless a councillor on the principal overview and scrutiny committee challenges the decision.
The Daily Post understands the cost for the refit work at the watersports facility will be between £300,000 and £400,000.
The report will be made public when it is presented to cabinet later in August.
On Wednesday, Conwy Council also admitted to a £5,000 overspend at the £3.7m complex in the last financial year.
The authority had a budget for Porth Eirias of £83,000 but spent £104,000 on it.
Income was just £16,000 – including £3,400 from Conwy tourism department.
The figures, made public after a Freedom of Information request, appear to show Colwyn Bay Watersports, the only tenant in the facility, paid just £1,500 of rent to Conwy Council.
The statement also reveals Conwy Council paid Crown Estates 10% of the gross income (£13,000) and £5,000 in rent.
Clwyd West MP David Jones, who has been a frequent critic of the ongoing saga,  has questioned the decision to make Monday's report exempt.
He said: “It isn’t at all clear why the council wants Monday’s discussion to be held in private.
“The word is that the cost of alterations is likely to be between £300,000 and £400,000. That is a very large sum of money, and council tax payers have a right to know why it is needed to be spent only a year or so after the building was completed.
“Everyone wants to see Porth Eirias fully operational, but that shouldn’t be achieved regardless of the cost. People need to be assured that the money is being wisely spent, which is why the council discussions should take place in public.”
He has also sent a 10-point Freedom of Information request to Conwy Council regarding Bryn Williams's lease agreement.
Questions include:
  • What is the term or proposed term of the lease or proposed lease?
  • What is the rent reserved by the lease or (if it has not yet been granted) proposed to be reserved?
  • Does the lease or proposed lease contain provisions for a service charge to be paid by the tenant?
  • Are fitting-out works required to be carried out to the the premises or any other part of the building under the terms of the lease or agreement for lease, or under the terms of any subsequent agreement or discussion? If so, specify in full the nature of such works and whether the council or the tenant is to be responsible for their cost.
  • Does the lease or proposed lease contain a break clause? If so, can the clause be triggered by the council, the tenant or either?

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