It appears that the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council Emlyn Dole is travelling on a different trajectory to the people involved with protecting the interests of Parc Howard despite his claims that he has their full support following what he insists was consultation regarding the proposed car park.
At a full council meeting on Wednesday (Jul 19) Emlyn Dole claimed that he had consulted the organisations in Llanelli involved with Parc Howard including the Friends of the Museum, the Parc Howard Association and Llanelli Town Council and that they were supportive of plans for a car park on the site of the tennis court at the park.
Cllr John Jenkins asked the leader to name just one of the organisations who supported the plans for a car park. The response was a long ramble on a trajectory, which did not directly answer the question nor hit the target for Cllr Jenkins.
Instead the leader said that a plan was needed for all of the people of Llanelli to use the park not just the people who were near and could walk to it. He said. “When my children were small we were there every weekend but we had to find somewhere to park about half a mile away.
It should be noted that there has always been parking around the park up until recently when the council placed double yellow lines along the surrounding streets.
“That car park gives a viability to the possibility of some sort of income there that’s meaningful in the context of the finances needed to ensure that future.”
Large sums of money often millions of pounds have been earmarked for projects in Carmarthen towards their upkeep from the county council.
St Clears Craft Centre £97,000
Pendine School Camp £198,000
Laugharne Boathouse £64,000
Oriel Myrddin Gallery £199,000
Carmarthen Museum £1.5mil – £2mil
Carmarthens Guildhall bought for £225,000 – £105,000 on renovations and an upkeep estimated at £68k per year
Velodrome Carmarthen £285,000
Carmarthen Town FC £150,000
No figures of expected income generated from a car park are available nor details of what the commercial plans for the park are, i.e. how does one go about applying for a slice of the pie. Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths did acknowledge that they had received interest from one business. No open tendering process has been established as yet for any of the potential commercial aspects of the park.
We make no apologies for republishing the response from Llanelli Town Council when asked if they had been consulted and if they supported plans for a car park. They responded by saying: “The county council have met representatives of the various organisations involved at Parc Howard, including Town Council representatives, where issues like the car park were discussed, but whilst Cllr. Dole views this as consultation the others around the table don’t. The council have not considered anything discussed at those meetings.”
Llanelli Online contacted the Parc Howard Association (PHA). We asked them if they had been consulted and if they supported the County Council’s plans as was claimed by Emlyn Dole at the full council meeting of Wednesday (Jul 19).
The PHA issued the following response: “Having discussed your request with the officers and chair of PHA I can confirm that no record of minutes confirming support of the car park to county council have ever been produced
“Furthermore all our minutes are available for public viewing on our website www.parchoward.org.uk under our meetings section
“I would specifically like to draw your attention to the minutes of our open meeting on the 3rd June http://www.parchoward.org.uk/open-meeting-minutes.html and attached (below) letter which was acknowledged by the leader on the 6th June where he concluded he had no intention of abandoning the planning applications (S/35542 and S/35541)
We trust this answers your query