Sprouts and Council project management

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    Council Watcher

    I have witnessed what can only be described as a meeting with slippery officers and Council Members the way they have been debating the problems that led to the closure of Sprouts. There were more passes of respoisnsbaility than any rugby game you watch. No one taking responsibility, officers defending the success when the evidence of gross mismanagement was blindingly obvious and the quality identified in Inspection reports showed the failings towards looking after children.

    Those Council Members asking questions at time seemed to hold back on really pursuing some of the answers- at time it appeared to be a ‘gentlemanly conversation’ rather than probing Scrutiny which is what their role is.

    Officers made reference to their new Project Management Toolkit as they have learnt lessons — based on what is happening at Ty Pawb that does not look like the case and it won’t be long before Scrutiny are back having the same discussion but about Ty Pawb.

    To push the blame for the delay onto Scrutiny Chairs for not getting an earlier report is way below the belt as lots of requests for information had been made but frozen out. Even information supplied under FOIs now seems to be at odds with the report presented today.

    Come on Council Members and Officers do your job – the frightening thing is that both Sprouts and Ty Pawb started from within the same Council Department!!



    The lack of self awareness from the very top is astonishing.

    As you’ve said Watcher – this is the sign of what is to come for Ty Pawb and I had this in mind when Clr Pritchard gave out these 2 nuggets:



    I wonder if Cllr Pritchard deliberately made those comments in light of what might be to come for Ty Pawb, believe there is some anger on high about how things have gone so far.



    The merry go round between Ty Pawb and Sprouts goes round and round..

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by CarolThomas.

    Council Watcher

    The Ty Pawb interim report is due shortly, if it follows the Sprouts process there will be delays due to HR related matters that need investigating, Financial figures will be unavailable as the Finance Officer can’t produce them till after the end of the financial year (copying Sprouts), the project management hasn’t used the new Tool Kit because this has been produced before Ty Pawb started.

    You could almost write the entire report in advance by substituting Sprouts for Ty Pawb.

    The Leader Cllr Pritchard has now put a marker down about subsidy. I wonder what political fallout there will be when the Deputy Leader Hugh Jones insists that Ty Pawb is wonderful and art is worth a subsidy to the tune of many £100’s thousand pounds.

    Not that long ago when Plasmadoc Leisure Centre was due for closure and there was a split in the ranks in the Labour Party Members based on fund or don’t fund the centre. This resulted in 10 Labour Councillors moving to the Independents.
    How will the Conservatives vote on a similar issue this time round – can Hugh Jones keep them united or are his days as Leader of the Party and Deputy Leader now numbered -?

    Watch this space as the fighting behind closed doors starts that will inevitably lead to some casualties – with officers and Council Members.



    It’s like the money spent on the electronic car parking signs , which came via Taith. They were never needed, didn’t work properly and now stand forlorn and permanently switched off. They never served a proper purpose and presumably are too expensive to have mended. Perhaps they should just be sold for scrap, every penny counts as they say !


    Following on from Wrexview………the funniest waste of money that I’ve seen in the last 12 months was spent on those mobile yacht looking part-fabric signs that were dotted around Chester Street, Henblas Street and Hope Street for awhile. Because half the Universe pointed out that there was no visible evidence in Chester Street of where Ty Pawb is, some bright spark must have gone out and spent (wasted) precious cash on these waste-of-time things. It was like watching kites flying on the beach in Rhyl, and only occasionally did they point in the right direction


    Ioan y Ffin

    You can’t compare a child’s nursery/ child care business with a community arts and events centre. There are plenty of people earning a living running children’s nurseries (or just about as the government keep changing the rules) where the only privately run art galleries that make a profit are either in the centre of our big cities or in tourist hotspots and none of the latter actually host exhibitions, stage events, offer workshops and encourage people to get involved in the arts. Most council services don’t wash their face: schools, refuse collection, adult social care, social services for children, libraries, museums, parks etc etc. None of those services charge a commercial rate to their customers, they are paid for out of taxation and unless you are in the 40% tax bracket then you shouldn’t be complaining as you are getting a good deal.


    Council Watcher

    Ioan – the principles of both a nursery and arts facility are the same — they both need a budget. One expects to earn sufficient income through fees the other has income but needs a top up from grants or Council funds. The issue I have with Ty Pawb is that the level of subsidy going into Ty Pawb starts at one figure pre-opening of the building then as each fiasco unfolds there is more and more subsidy going to be required to keep the door open- surly as ratepayers and tax payers we cannot give a project such as this an open cheque book.

    If a Nursery was not making money in the private sector they would close – surely the same principle should apply to Ty Pawb.



    Wrexham ITEC has also been affected by the debacle at Sprouts, as it shared the same management. The HR difficulty that Cllr Wynn alludes to is a reference to a botched attempt by WCBC to dismiss the manager of Sprouts/ITEC which it is understood resulted in costs in excess of £100,000, to settle an unfair dismissal claim plus legal costs. This was not included in the Sprouts accounts as it was settled post-closure, so the cost was probably placed on Wrexham ITEC to be buried somewhere in their closure accounts, hence the reported shortfall for this year perhaps.

    Perhaps Cllr Wynn could clarify?

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