FSEG Update October 2014

I thought it was time, as we cancelled our last meeting, to keep everybody fully informed of the progress to date with our journey to acquire the site.

Men’s Sheds, Ferryside Village Forum, and Ferryside Sports, along with Broadside films are temporary tenants of the County Council and are using the site, breathing life into all their projects.

FSEG did have a meeting with the County scheduled for the 9th October; however this was cancelled by the County on the 6th. The new date for the meeting is now on the 28th October at 10am at Property Services offices in Carmarthen.

We have drawn up a list of the questions that we want to put to them. Amongst the queries are break clauses in the lease agreement in the event of FSEG wishing to hand back the site, business rate relief, business users of the site and what is the position about rates for them. We have also asked the County to clear up the main building of the dust that has appeared on the floor. If you have questions you feel ought to be asked, then please let Les know so it can be added to the list.

The next hurdle we must jump is the problem of the partnership of the local surgery being dissolved on the 31st December. The local health board have stated in a letter to all patients of the surgery that they intend to carry out the running of the practise. To date they have not been in touch with the County Council with regard to leasing the existing surgery, and this is also one of the questions that we will be discussing with Property Services at our meeting, to ensure that we, as potential landlords are involved at an early stage in the negotiations.

At the last St Ishmaels Community Council meeting, I addressed the Council in the Public Participation time. Members asked questions and so they fully understand our plans. In the formal meeting, the Council resolved, in principle, to cover the cost of site insurance. (Currently estimated at £3.7k pa.) This, with the revenue expected from the surgery, will ensure that the project is financially sustainable.

Following a meeting with the Head Teacher of Ferryside School, a specification was draw up for building work, aimed primarily at converting one of the classrooms into a child-friendly area for use by preschool children, this being the first phase of a progressive site development. Price quotations were obtained from local builders, which were used as the basis for a £50k grant application from the Cwm Environmental fund. A decision on this grant is expected in December. This grant requires approximately 11% match funding so Les is making an application to the Police and Crime Commissioners Fund for a £5k grant.

There are two or three people who are interested in renting space on the site to run small Businesses, but until we have a lease, there is little point going into detailed discussions.

Colin Butters has successfully negotiated Charitable Status for FSEG. Thank you very much Colin for that. (The Charity Commissioners’ are a law unto themselves.) This will improve our chances of getting grants and will ensure that we get business rate relief.

All though it would appear at times that there is little progress, there is a lot of paddling going on out of sight by many people.

As soon as there is something to report back then naturally there will be a meeting. As Delme would say, keep fighting and keep tell people of what FSEG is doing.

Philip Johnes

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