Posted: Sat 13th Apr 2024

No response from trust on future of Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre, council says /

There has not yet been a response from the trust that runs Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre about the continuation of services, the council has said.
In a statement Merthyr Tydfil council said a number of formal requests had been made by the council to Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust (Wellbeing Merthyr) in relation to Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre.
This request is to allow the council to provide a leisure provision from the centre from May 1, 2024, but to date no response has been received from the trust.
The council said: “As part of any potential legal transfer a due diligence exercise is required. This is to ascertain the state of the company and will allow us to understand the legal and financial liabilities, for example understanding existing contract and debts.
“Until a request is made by the trustees to the council in relation to the transfer of trusteeship – and the relevant information is shared with us by the trust – this due diligence exercise cannot begin.”
In the meantime the council said it continues its discussions with an alternative experienced leisure provider to operate services at Merthyr Tydfil leisure centre from May 1.
These conversations include the reopening of the pools at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre. At this point the council said it cannot name the provider because it has not yet awarded the contract.
The council said: “Council officers will continue to pursue the trust in relation to Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre. We must, however, reiterate that the responsibility of service provision at the centre sits firmly with the trust.
“We will provide a further update as things progress.”
In March fake signs were put up saying that the centre was closing and at a full council meeting councillors made emotional pleas for the trust to get round the table and safeguard the future of the centre.
The council is working with Wellbeing Merthyr on ending its contract to run leisure services in the county borough with the original deadline of March 31 now extended to April 30.
Council officers made it clear at a meeting last month that if councillors did become trustees they would do so as individual councillors and the building would not be an asset of the council itself.
Between 1988 and March 30, 2015, Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre was managed by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council as trustees for the Aberfan Disaster Fund and Centre but it wasn’t a council asset and the council has never owned the building
Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust Ltd – now known as Wellbeing Merthyr – was created from the council’s former leisure services department and took over leisure services in Merthyr Tydfil on April 1, 2015, and after Charity Commission approval in October 2015 the trust became the trustees of The Aberfan Disaster Fund and centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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