Walsall Council in repairs dispute

Trustees at Bryntysilio outdoor education centre are pleading with Walsall council chiefs to pay their ‘fair share’ towards repairs and prevent unwanted legal action.

Bryntysilio outdoor education centreThe board of the much loved centre which has educated youngsters from the borough since 1968 is facing a £500,000 plus repair bill resulting from the time when the local authority leased its buildings and facilities.

‘Despite an initial refusal  to meet with trustees, the board  are still hoping the leader of Walsall Council, Mike Bird, will personally step in and negotiate a realistic offer, thereby avoiding costly court action for both sides.

The board has taken the unusual step of a public plea after it learnt that council officers are preparing an offer which is a fraction of the authority’s own estimate of over £400,000.

Jim Crabtree, Chairman of the Trust, said: “It is with the utmost regret and reluctance that we are discussing court proceedings against Walsall MBC. As former tenants of Bryntysilio Hall, the council is legally obliged to pay dilapidations to cover necessary repairs outstanding from their decades-long tenure, both to buildings and grounds, all which are Grade II listed.

“Court action is the last thing we want to do. Instead we want to concentrate on our work with Walsall schools which has been praised by head teachers, parents and pupils alike.

“Despite Walsall Council ending its partnership with Bryntysilio in 2011 and the subsequent loss of our major source of income, we have been able to keep going and continue to provide exciting and challenging education to youngsters, regardless of their family income.”

The trustees have since agreed a partnership with the charity Wide Horizons to continue its work but a fair settlement is necessary to secure its long term future. Repairs are need to the main building, bedrooms, class rooms and the grade II listed grounds

Mr Crabtree added: “A realistic settlement by Walsall council is essential otherwise cash that should be spent on providing services to schools, youngsters and other community users will have to be used to repair dilapidations dating from when the council leased the centre.

“The last thing we want to do is go to court, so we are asking the council leader Mike Bird to step in, meet with us and help us resolve the situation so we can continue to serve the youngsters and people of Walsall.”

Walsall Council had originally estimated its share of dilapidations costs at £400,000. This information was present to councillors at a meeting on Thursday 24th February 2011.  see link


On page 19, under the heading DRAFT CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2011/12 there is listed mainstream schemes: Dilapidations at Bryntysilio  £400,000