Venue: Via Microsoft Teams
Appointment of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson
It was agreed that Councillor S.Hunt be appointed Chairperson and that Councillor S.Rahaman be appointed Vice Chairperson for this joint meeting.
Declarations of Interests
The following members made a declaration of interest at the start of the meeting:
Councillor Sian Harris Re: Cefn Coed Museum Update as she was a member of the previous steering group for Cefn Coed Colliery Museum which was set up by NPTCBC and is currently a member of the Friends of Cefn Coed Colliery
Councillor Steve Hunt Re: Cefn Coed Museum Update as he was a member of the previous steering group for Cefn Coed Colliery Museum which was set up by NPTCBC
Cefn Coed Museum Update (enclosed within Cabinet Papers)
The Committee was provided with an update on the proposed scheme of works and the emerging health and safety issues at the Cefn Coed museum site; the report also provided information on the Cefn Coed Working Group that was going to be set up to help shape future plans for the site.
Members were informed that a grant application was made to Welsh Government for around £1.8 million, which had been approved; the Council was then obliged to put in the reminder of the money required to put a scheme together (£800,400 as detailed in the circulated report).
It was stated that the original scheme that was created sought to deliver on a number of elements including a new visitor centre, external works and an outdoor play area. An initial due diligence was undertaken on the site which raised a number of key questions and necessitated a more detailed due diligence exercise; this included further investigation on a number of issues, including consultation with CADW, and as a result of this work, it became clear that it was not possible to process with the original scheme and an alternative proposal was therefore put forward. It was highlighted that the revised scheme was unable to be progressed due to the time elements involved; it would have taken around 18 months to develop, however the Council had to spend the money within 4-5 months (by March 2021). As a result of this, it was agreed with Welsh Government that the Council would complete survey work instead, in order to understand the issues on the site and to ensure that the Council was in a good position to bid for money, should another round of grant funding become available.
Officers confirmed that the survey work had been completed and it highlighted a number of issues; one of which was the existing health and safety concerns for the site. It was mentioned that it would cost the Council over £1 million to deal with the health and safety concerns. In relation to the works that Officers were proposing as part of the revised scheme, it was noted that the initial suggestions were that this would come in excess of £8 million.
The local Member for Crynant, who was in attendance at the meeting, shared concerns in regards to elements of the circulated report and reiterated the value of the site for the local community and beyond. The local Member also shared information on the history of the site and personal thoughts and experiences including those of which had been highlighted by visitors of the museum.
The circulated report stated that the Council leased around 1.6 acres of land and buildings, comprising Cefn Coed Colliery Museum, from Welsh Government which was due to expire in 2077; under the terms of the lease, the Council was responsible for all repair and maintenance issues. Members raised a number of queries in relation to the repair work that needed to be undertaken at the museum site; it was ... view the full minutes text for item 3.