Ty Pawb Report

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    Wrexham.com — the suspense is killing could you send out a link to the copy of the report you have as there is nothing on Council site



    My local councillor who is on the scrutiny committee has as of 4.00 pm not received the report.



    Well that’s it, onwards and upwards.

    Not being a financial accountant, I find it hard to come to terms with some figures and explanations.

    Page 5 4.8— Actual Total Expenditure 2021/22 £938k. Income £693k. This to me is a net loss of £245k of income over expenditure, yet factored in is a Budget of £133k, therefore reducing the In Year Deficit to £111k. To me the In Year Deficit should be £245k

    Page 59– A breakdown of those figures:- Shows Arts & Exhibitions, Learning and Engagement, Events, Venue Hire, Car Park showing a surplus of income over expenditure to the tune of £132k. The Markets, Food Hall, Shops, Studios however are showing a loss of income over expenditure of £377k.

    The nett loss between the two comes out at £245k, but given that the Report quotes the market food area at an occupancy level of nearly 100% yet are showing a deficit of £377k of income over expenditure defies logic.

    It comes across to me all the high costs of staffing, repairs etc are lumped onto the markets area. This does not give a true picture of what is going on.



    Whilst not a lover of the building design of Ty Pawb or the market before it, I do feel that the pandemic had to have had an impact on the markets as with numerous other town centre businesses.



    I don’t doubt that the pandemic had an impact on the markets. However, I do question the amount of the losses. The Council quote a loss of £112k, yet this has been governed by an opinion of somebody who budgeted in the factor of a loss of £133k. The actual loss in my opinion should be shown as £247k

    Imagine making a profit but then telling the taxman that due to budgeting for a loss I can’t pay any tax. Which figure would the taxman make an assessment on?



    How is the installation of a roof garden (which was part of the original plans for TY Pawb) going to generate extra income in excess of the parking income? Our climate restricts the use of such a space, so there will need to be some blue sky thinking to make it profitable !



    This Report is all about SPIN. For Cllr Hugh Jones, the presenter of this Report, Ty Pawb has always been his baby, often referring to it as the Jewel in the Crown.

    In the presentation, reference is made to the annual loss for 2021/22 being £111k, when in fact he fails to report that in reality Ty Pawb ended up being subsidised by £245k.

    The budget is essentially what the Council decide is acceptable at the beginning of the year, and they expect officers to deliver this.

    The actual results show two deficits. The first is the deficit compared to the budget and the second is the absolute deficit.

    What they are saying is that the Councillors were quite happy to subsidise Ty Pawb by £133k, but the actual result was £111k worse than that.

    In reality, Ty Pawb ended up being subsidised by £245k.

    Cllr Jones referred to a comparison of the Peoples Market/Oriel Gallery in 2016 showing they together cost the Council £266k and that Ty Pawb had improved on that performance by only losing (SPIN) figures of £112k (in reality £245K). He failed to present the facts that in 2016 the Peoples Market stood on its own feet.Ty Pawb were gifted income of around £150k from car parks and £50k from arcade shops rent. Had these gifts been given to the Peoples Market/Oriel Gallery a subsidy of around £50k would have been required not £266k. A far cry from the £245 subsidy required for Ty Pawb for year 2021/22. It suits the Councillor’s agenda to spin this information but is this really being transparent.



    Jimbow – spot on.
    The latest Ty Pawb meeting has unfortunately raised more questions over the way the Council are managing the facility-

    I wonder what answer Cllr Paul Roberts would give if asked directly “Did you ever have Ty Pawb in your portfolio?” “If/when/why did the Portfolio change take place?”

    Occupancy levels may be at an 85% level but how many are paying full rental, how many are charities on reduced rent and how many are free? In this instance occupancy does not relate to income. This can clearly be worked out by looking at the 100% expected income vs the 85% as reported – there is a shortfall of approx. 25 – 30%.

    Car park income- there clearly are projected miracles – there is so much competition – the original projects of use also included Council staff discounted car packing is – as the number staff in offices has dropped plus the ability to start work later so they use free car parking.

    Staffing costs — are all the staff costs attributed to Ty Pawb actually working 100% for Ty Pawb or what % of their time is on other activity?

    Car Park maintenance – prior to Ty Pawb opening the Council commissioned a report on refurbishment costs to bring it up to the level to gain the national Car Parking Quality Mark — a considerable amount of funding was required to deal with Health and Safety issues- has the necessary works been undertaken? If not how much has Try Pawb got to raise in the next 2 years to carry out this work? Will the costs come out of general Council budget and not Ty Pawb.

    Arts and Culture – it was stated that these had all cost had been 100% covered. Is it correct that unless there are grants and not self-generated?
    It is good that the Arts Council are still backing Ty Pawb with the £100k + for the roof top garden BUT and it is a big BUT it appears the annual revenue grant of approx. the same level of subsidy they were providing in line with their original statement when the capital Grant for refurbishment. What will happen at the end of this financial year is that the lack of the revenue subsidy will show through.
    The meeting raised more questions than answers- how much are the ratepayers of Wrexham prepared to pay as a subsidy.



    I have been looking at the Sustainability Report June 2022 on the Butchers and General Markets going before the Executive Board next Tuesday.

    If the Council believe they will attract new and expect the present clients to return on the completion of the refurbishment, I believe they should seriously think again if they intend on charging rent and services as outlined in the report.

    A present perimeter stall commands a Rent/Service charge of £2,748. After the refurbishment of the same size stall the Rent/Service Charge increases to £4680 an increase of 30%. There will be some discounts given in the early years, but for a sole trader, this 30% increase does not bode well for the future.

    According to the Report, the Service Charges quoted, I worked out as being £125.07 per square metre for the Butchers Market and a staggering £202.03 per square metre for the General Market. Something is amiss.



    It would be more cost effective for some of the traders to group together and take on when of the empty shops in a main trading position with greater footfall. Some really good deals around at the moment for empty retail units.
    They would have total control on costs (no hidden extras) , collective marketing and increased footfall.

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