Tuesday 11 June 2013

Regenerating Carmarthenshire - Meryl and the Hot Tubs

Times may be tough, and council leader Kevin Madge recently warned that we face cuts of "biblical proportions", but it is good to see that there are some areas of the County Council's responsibilities where it is still business as usual.

Meryl Gravell and a group of council officers (numbers vary from four up to a dozen) meet once a month in private to dole out various grants to deserving projects. In March this year 11 officers and Meryl gathered to discuss various matters, including proposals to reorganise the county's museum services (see previous post). A report (not available for public inspection) was approved recommending that resources be "focused around one main museum site supported by satellite services and facilities".

What that means in plain language is not clear. Will the main site be the County Museum in Abergwili or Parc Howard in Llanelli? What is a satellite facility?

Having duly rubber stamped the recommendations, the meeting moved on to approve small grants for various community projects, although Burry Port Rugby Football Club struck lucky with a grant of £20,475, and Llansteffan Sports Association picked up £25,000.

The meeting then turned its attention to various applications for grants from private businesses, including £10,000 for a solar panel system to power a hot tub and a holiday cottage in Abergorlech, and £25,000 for two hot tubs and gazebos at holiday cottages near Newcastle Emlyn.

You can buy a pretty decent hot tub for around £6,000.

It seems that the Newcastle Emlyn hot tubs will for the time being run off the grid. No doubt a grant for solar panels will follow in due course.
Executive Member Decision Meetings can get crowded


Anonymous said...

This beggars belief - are you seriously suggesting that my council tax is being provided to private businesses to purchase hot tubs !!!

Jac o' the North, said...

It might be worth investigating just who is getting these grants, and what connections or influence they might have with those deciding on same.

Because if the council is being forced to implement cuts of "biblical proportions" then grants to private individuals for extravagences like hot tubs is at best a waste of money, at worst, something Plod and the Welsh Government might be interested in.