Lido meeting will be open to the public

20 September 2012

A THIRD meeting of the Afan Lido task and finish group will be open to the public, the council confirmed late yesterday.

The meeting will be held in the council chamber of the Civic Centre in Port Talbot

The meeting will take place on Monday (September 24) at 2.30pm in the council chamber, and will hear more evidence on the redevelopment of the Afan Lido leisure complex.

The task and finish group, which comprises seven local councillors from three political parties, has already held several meetings to investigate the issues surrounding the Lido redevelopment.

Most of the meetings are held in private, but two have been open to the public – with one hearing a report from finance chief Derek Davies and the other quizzing regeneration boss Gareth Nutt.

Mr Davies revealed detailed information about the way costs of the proposed development had been calculated. He confirmed that “robust” negotiations with the insurance company had seen the council receive a payout of £5.2 million following the fire that destroyed part of the building in 2009.

He also said that, in current calculations, the £13.6 million budget for the redevelopment would need to draw on £6.1 million of prudential borrowing, to be financed by the savings created by shutting the Morrison Road library, Dalton Road Community Centre, Aberavon Community Centre and Seaway Parade Youth Centre, and incorporating them into the new leisure complex.

There was also £2.1 million in the budget for the sale of the old Afan Lido site, a valuation made by council officers based on attracting a mix of developments. But Mr Davies recommended the task and finish group should get an independent valuation for the land before drawing conclusions.

But he stressed that finances were based on many variables, and that the budget could change in either direction depending on the recommendations of the task and finish group, and the final decision of the council.

Mr Nutt said that possible uses for the Afan Lido land, if it was sold, might include retail, including food retail, housing or even a hotel.

He also said that publicity surrounding the proposals for the Afan Lido had prompted “a number of organisations [to] enquire about the availability of land on the seafront, including the existing Afan Lido site”.

The task and finish group is due to run until the end of October. As well as hearing evidence and reports from officers and the local campaign group, members will make site visits to leisure centres in Haverfordwest and Merthyr Tydfil.

The councillors on the group are: Anthony Taylor (Labour – chair), Collin Crowley (Labour), Des Davies (Labour), James Evans (Labour), Paul Greenaway (Labour), Lella James (Independent), Rob Jones (Labour), Suzanne Paddison (Labour) and Linet Purcell (Plaid Cymru).

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