STRENGTHENING OUR COMMUNITY
Timeline of Events - 2022
Here you will find a summary of events as they develop. The LBSA will strive to remain open, honest and transparent with all their actions, as will be seen in this section.
Within this summary you will find links to letters and documents that have helped shape and forge the route to where we are now. (Just click on the underlined sections to open relevant PDF reference documents).
Jan 11 - Companies invited to tender for the potential MUGA / Tennis Court refurbishment project.
Jan 12-17 - Llangennech Community Council Surveyor suggests working directly with LBSA to produce a progress report on potential funding routes and research. Subsequent email surrounding a nearing deadline for FAW funding is discussed in emails.
Jan 17 - Lightmain return a Quote of £72.6k - a 47% increase on the previous quote provided in 2019. It was agreed that the likelihood of securing this level of funding from the FAW pot was improbable, therefore the application was not pursued. This was communicated to councillors, however getting the council to acknowledge the issue and commit to some funding plan means this is the start, not the end!
Jan 21 - The Lawn Tennis Association have a £30m fund for UK tennis court refurbishments, but the LBSA is palmed off to seek funding via the Sport Wales Be Active Fund in a series of emails to the Tennis Wales. They said they'd know more about funding in a couple more months.
Feb 14 - Update given to Council regarding LTA, Sport Wales contact and the need for a License to be drafted in readiness (as agreed with the Surveyor).
Feb 25 - Surveyor provides draft license to the LBSA for any MUGA agreement to replace the court.
Mar 13 - Council are updated on the latest developments / funding talks with Sport Wales and posed some questions in return regarding the council's view on alternative approaches to facility improvement and their interest in speaking to an expert on S106 funding applications to improve their understanding of that process.
Mar 14 - LBSA follow up with Tennis Wales who state that "whilst we don’t have a final position from the LTA, I can confirm unfortunately due to economies of scale they are not looking to invest in single court sites currently".
Mar 16 - The Surveyor forwarded a spate of email trails to the LBSA. These were emails between him and Sport Wales / Coal Field Regeneration Fund in May 2021. He has often referred to these discussions and we requested any correspondence he has for some context and clarity, especially surrounding the his claim that there is a need for the LBSA to appoint a Consultant via Sport Wales prior to any grant application process taking place.
Mar 22 - The Surveyor emails a suggested letter of approach that the LBSA might issue Sport Wales as a start point.
Apr 5 - Surveyor writes to the Agent he believes is still representing the Dinefwr Estate (Llan Park land owners), to ask permission to issue any potential Lease required to be issued to LBSA for a Sport Wales grant.
Lightmain provides a 2nd quote for a MUGA on the tennis court to include in fence goal aeas (additional £14k).
Apr 8 - Telephone meeting held with Sport Wales Phil Clarke, whereby he rejected some of the points made up by the Surveyor, and agreed the next step in the process was to canvas opinions of the community regarding the potential use of a tennis court-sized MUGA. It was agreed a community engagement survey would be set up.
Apr 11 - update sent to council for meeting, including confirmation from Sport Wales that no Consultancy process is provided by them.
Apr 12-13 - The Surveyor continues to query the Sport Wales process in a series of emails, particularly querying the Consultancy issue and attaining "official guidance notes" since the information on their site is insufficient to proceed. These were put directly to Phil Clarke so that we might get closure on the matters in writing direct from Sport Wales.
This response was eventually received on May 4, stating "...there isn’t any other official writing I can provide other than what’s on the Sport Wales website I’m afraid. As for providing a consultant, this is something Sport Wales will not fund/support/offer. All funding for the Be Active Wales Fund revolves around increasing sport participation – we do not fund any sort of planning fees. It is the organisations responsibility to source quotations for works prior to submitting an application."
Apr 24 - Western Power Distribution Community Matters Fund application made for £7150, specifically for storage and equipment to support a Sports and Social Sessions For All project, to help promote a scheme for over 45s to take part in weekly activities in order to reduce loneliness, improve mental health and well being through exercise.
Apr 26 - Community Survey is launched, with potential users of the MUGA facility invited to feedback their thoughts. The general consensus was that investment of this type is very much welcomed but the reality is that the proposal (as set out for a 36m x 18m footprint) would not be big enough, and the £100k or so required would be better invested in other ways.
May 2022 - Local Elections see an overhaul in Llangennech Community Councillors, with some Councillors standing down and 5 new councillors elected, with 7 others re-elected.
May 4 - Western Power Community Matters Fund confirm that out project had not been selected for funding on this occasion.
May 16 - Thirteen months on from the offer of community benefit (£2400, 8/4/21) from the Blaenhiraeth Solar Farm Development, the council's minutes from the meeting states as follows: "The Community Council had stated it's dissatisfaction at the community benefits offered by the developer. Letters were sent to the Planning Inspector, Solicitors acting on behalf of the developer, and to the local AM asking for reconsideration of the sums being offered.
A response was received from the solicitors acting on behalf of the developer which stated that due to costings and viability issues of the project the amounts offered would not be amended."
... That was all it said.
Jun 13 - LBSA present the new council with the outcome of the community survey. On the back of the survey a newer proposal was put to the councillors for the relocation of the playground to the area where the tennis court is now to make space for a larger MUGA located between the two pavilions. It was agreed that this was a proposal worthy of looking into and the council Chairman asks the LBSA pursue some quotes for such work.
Jun 20 - The Surveyor emails LBSA to state there is clearly insufficient support for the facility and confirms he will advise the council to withdraw from the MUGA proposal. We respond on the contrary and confirm we are already at work looking into the alternative MUGA proposal, as directed by the councillors. The minutes of the June 13th meeting were never published.
Jul 7 - Letter sent to council to report the condition and safety concerns of the access gate at the station end.
Jul 11 - Council meeting attended where it was agreed that the gate would be replaced and the council would pay.
Jul 27 - FAW Trust contact LBSA to confirm the Portable Floodlight grant funding has been approved. This was initially part of the funding for the pre-covid Dogpark project in 2019; a case was since made that the LBSA would still be able to utilise the lighting on the newly maintained field which had since seen huge winter improvement since the LBSA had taken over maintenance from the community council. Updated quotes to be sought and evidence of a License Agreement for the field is required from the council. The council were contacted and asked to act swiftly. All that is needed is to amend a License previously drafted by the Surveyor for the Dogpark. The LBSA provide this to the council for amending, along with a new location plan.
Also on this day, South Wales Sports Grounds were invited to tender for the proposed MUGA project.
Jul 28 - The Surveyor sends a series of emails querying the request for the license.
Aug 3 - Wording of a Draft License is issued within an email for review.
Aug 24 - Rob Jones, Director of SWSG visits the site to provide a report and costs of MUGA. Councillors and LBSA members Ian Williams, Lynda Morgan, Emyr Williams and Kate Mcauley attended.
Further delays with the FAWT funding held up the purchase of the new floodlights through September, however the LBSA had satisfied the requirements with 3 updated quotes and a council letter of acknowledgement while the license was to finalised.
Sep 15 - SWSG issue costs and advice on a tarmac and artificial grass surface MUGAs.
Following a series of emails throughout the month, the floodlights were purchased with a grant of £7775.86 from the FAW Trust.
Oct 3 - LBSA attend council meeting to request permission to install some combination goals in the area behind the hedge (the dogpark) as a preventative measure for vandalism of football club equipment which is stored outside and recently being taken out and left strewn across the park areas. CCTV is also suggested again, and a reminder in the meeting that the LBSA has previously sought quotes for an appropriate system which we would happily provide the council with. The Clerk suggested the LBSA provide the proposal in writing for council to consider in next month's meeting; this was done immediately after. Also at the meeting, the council is updated on the MUGA progress, including the quote provided by SWSG and potential avenues for funding, should the council still wish to support such a scheme. The Surveyor was very much against the idea of moving the playground, as was evident from a report he'd provided with his own 4 year plan for where the expenditure should go in the coming years.
Council was also advised that following review, the license changes would be proposed in due course.
Oct 31 - LBSA provide the Clerk and Surveyor with a re-worded License for agreement. The main amendments requested were to take out reference to the field remaining in an "un-fenced state", while there were some issues with the wording surrounding liability for the surface condition and the public suffering personal injury (minor amendments to sections 4 and 5). This was lifted from the initial email and drafted accordingly in a Word document for the convenience of the Clerk and Surveyor to finalise in a timely manner.
Nov 1 - The Surveyor agrees to make the requested changes to the 10 Year Field License Agreement suggested by the LBSA.
Nov 17 - Clerk communicates that at the Nov 7 meeting, it was agreed that the installation of a goal behind the hedge would be allowed, as per the request on Oct 3. Also, the Surveyor's final License was forwarded for signatures. This was a print out of an email and scanned twice to ensure 2 copies would be signed. It was however noted that the agreed amendments had not been done to section 4. This was communicated immediately to the Clerk.
Nov 18 - The Surveyor provided an amendment to the relevant page which is forwarded to the LBSA for signatures.
Nov 27 - Upon return from work travel commitments, LBSA Chairman and Secretary sign the License agreement.
Nov 30 - Quotes are sought both online and from Dyfed Steel for the Dogpark combination goalposts.
Dec 1 - New vehicle access gate installed at station end of the Park, as was agreed in July meeting.