Ty Pawb merry go round (again)

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  • #168959

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    So, the Council Audit Team are now on Audit c in a period of 12 months with Councillors not provided with information on Audit A or B. The Auditor stated at last week’s Audit meeting that they had been called in – no mention of who called them in.

    There clearly are some significant issues with the running of Ty Pawb and the concerns raised by Cllr Dana Davies and Cllr Marc Jones are more than justified.

    There seemed some confusion over what was to be covered at the Audit meeting and what must be held over for two weeks for a Scrutiny Meeting.

    Since day one there seems to have been a game of ducking and diving and rarely giving straight answers.

    The one item everyone in Wrexham should pick up on was the £810,000 running costs mentioned at the Audit Meeting but no clarity yet again about how much has come as a subsidy from ratepayers. It was stated at the begging that there would be at least £100k a year for three years now we seem to have seen a potential huge hike in what ratepayers are now contributing when other key services such as Social Service and Schools are having major budget cuts.

    This project is fast heading in the direction of the desk of the Wales Audit Office as the level of transparency in Wrexham is fast becoming very opaque.

    There are more stalls and food units that are due to leave very soon due to footfall not meeting the original targets for spending.

    Rob can you not get a direct sound feed from the Council PA so that you are able to capture all the meeting.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  DerekJackson.
    #168973
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    My reading of the demise of the old Peoples Market is that there was a cultural problem within Wrexham Council at the time in terms of running things. Everyone who traded in that Market at the time saw it and understood it.

    Fast forward to Ty Pawb, and the tom-tom drums seem to be playing the same old tune. The left hand is disconnected from the right hand, financial oversight seems to be problematic and the numbers aren’t stacking up.

    Do we know at this stage what the Branding approach is in respect of Ty Pawb, what is the target audience, what strategies are actually in place to reconcile the two component elements of the entity…..and so on.

    I see some potential in the place, but the signs are disturbing

    #168976
    Rob
    Rob
    Keymaster

    The one item everyone in Wrexham should pick up on was the £810,000 running costs mentioned at the Audit Meeting but no clarity yet again about how much has come as a subsidy from ratepayers. It was stated at the begging that there would be at least £100k a year for three years now we seem to have seen a potential huge hike in what ratepayers are now contributing when other key services such as Social Service and Schools are having major budget cuts.

    That figure in the report was as direct quote from a councillor and was a new figure to me, so asked later, and it was clarified. It was on http://www.wrexham.com/news/scrutiny-committee-given-job-of-answering-how-has-this-happened-over-ty-pawb-management-issues-168880.html “(After the meeting Cllr Jones has been in touch – the £851k is in-fact capital, and is referenced in an earlier agenda item on budgets – page 6 on this PDF. The figure was not corrected by anyone in the meeting.)” etc

    Rob can you not get a direct sound feed from the Council PA so that you are able to capture all the meeting.

    There are a range of issues around capturing meetings audio and visual, and also from the storage and management standpoint. That meeting record was a very lightweight affair, iPhone set to ‘low’ 1080p capture with no external audio. That still created a several gig file to trim later and upload.

    It was also a test to see if there was going to be any objections in the meeting to recording, so whip out the cam and record, rather than hook in cables and the like. That could change in the future depending on what is recorded. The longer record was initially for own records however as it developed into a wider more interested agenda item I thought it worthwhile to whack up on Youtube.

    The other issue is I was making notes of the meeting, doing the odd tweet and sorting the recording, while juggling battery boosters at the same time, while trying to follow the track of what was going on. Adding in external audio means an extra faff, and possible mixer of some sort too.

    (Also https://twitter.com/wrexham/status/1134817643754643456 if anyone hasn’t seen it relating to this meeting – the audio has to be right or others can’t report!)

    (Wrexham.com'er - email us on news@wrexham.com)

    #168992

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    Rob tanks for clarity – it is actually worrying that this was not picked up by any of the Councillors present at the meeting considering it came up at the Audit meeting!
    The other concern is that if Cllr Jones has given you a correction has he also now given a figure for what the actual revenue costs are and how much have the Council sunk into the project to keep the doors open during the year.
    In respect to the £810k of capital the question to ask is was this all grant funding from the Arts Council caoital grant or how much of it came direct from Council reserves- eg all ratepayers in Wrexham.

    #168994

    jimbow
    Participant

    After reading the Audit Report on Ty Pawb I am not surprised at the goings on.

    When in December 2018 a report on the accounts were put before the Scrutiny Committee, I queried with the Council the amount of income received from the Service Charges, as none were showing.

    The reply I received from the Council by e mail explained ” Within the information provided to Scrutiny Committee, the projected service charge for this financial year is £19k (based on the traders in occupation). Within the financial ledger for Ty Pawb the service charge is allocated against an income code, however in the financial schedule presented to the committee it has been netted off against the projected overheads for the year”.

    What else is hidden in the figures? You just can’t make it up. How on earth would Scrutiny have known this?

    #169012

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    Projected income is one thiong but it is common knowledge that all of the rents have never been collected from all of the occupiers since the project opened.

    Jimbow you are correct the practice of netting figures gives a totally distorted view. Why can’t the Council just be transperent about their transactions.

    #169015

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    Just noticed that the Council seem to have pulled the plug on the public looking at payments over £500- this facility used to be on their website but it is totally disconected https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/council/financial/council_payments.htm
    Question to ask is WHY?

    #169216

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    Looks like Messrs Pritchard and Bancroft have both been to the same training school to spin stories-the article in Wrexham.com from the interviews gives the impression they will be feasting soon on their own words.

    Many people who have had dealings with Ty Pawb can give many instances of issues that have arisen in the past 15 months, yet it appears from the interview that these were teething problems. It appears from info currently available that there has been an open cheque book approach to funding ‘teething’ problems from central funds when both the Leader and Deputy Leader are on record two years ago about the reducing funds that would be required.

    The original business plan has been amended at least twice so why is the CE referring to an outdated plan – perhaps he needs to look very closely at the proposed income expected vs actual as indicted in the actual application to the Arts Council.

    Projects like these within Council control unfortauanly seem to be doomed- the concept may be good, but the actual implementation is full of flaws.

    This looks like another example of officers and Council Members needing to replace the batteries in their hearing aids as they are just not listening.

    We can all await the report going to Scrutiny next week.

    #169219

    jimbow
    Participant

    I hope the Scrutiny Committee Meeting will be web cast.

    #169299

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    Interestingly the Council have not published the TY Pawb report that is due to go to Scrutiny next Thurssday- reports are normally out late Wed/Thursday am the previous week.
    Ty Pawb is supposed to be a centre of creativity so we might see a masterpiece of creative writing being produced!!
    Someone must be burning the midnight oil!

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