Arbitrators could step in to solve Pater Hall problem
2:20pm Sunday 24th February 2013 in News
Arbitrators could be called in to resolve an ongoing dispute between the Pater Hall Trust and Pembroke Dock Town Council.
At a town council meeting on February 4th, Councillor Alison Lee suggested calling in arbitrators during a discussion about the absence of an asbestos risk register for Pater Hall.
Last month, the Western Telegraph reported concerns raised by the town clerk, Moira Jenkins, about the absence of an asbestos risk register, ahead of building work which is now underway.
At a meeting on January 10th, it was decided written confirmation on the asbestos situation would be sought from architect firm Pembroke Design.
Pembroke Design stated it could not “unequivocally guarantee” there was no asbestos in the original building materials used, but the potential risk had been identified and the contractor was legally obliged to take appropriate action if any asbestos was found.
Councillor Phil Gwyther, who is also a Pater Hall trustee, raised a number of points from the last meeting, which he felt pointed towards the hall being safe from asbestos.
Cllr Gwyther said the town council paid a professional asbestos firm to remove asbestos from the boiler room and accepted a past report by a previous town clerk that there was no asbestos in the building, other than an insignificant amount in the cellar.
Cllr Gwyther added that a lot of work had been done to the building, during which no asbestos was found, and architects had told him they did not expect to find any asbestos.
“Demolition has been going on and to date not a trace of asbestos has been found,” he added.
A discussion took place about whether the trust or the town council was responsible for carrying out, and therefore paying for, an asbestos risk register.
Cllr Gwyther said: “The trust is on a knife edge as regards to finances.
“While this work is going on we will be in deficit, we will owe the builders money.”
He added: “The trust should not have to pay when its finances are on a knife edge.”
Cllr Alison Lee said: “A full inspection should have been done a long time ago, before the building work, and it seems to me, that instead of every time arguing about it, get the institute of arbitrators to come in and sort this out.
“I think that’s the next step because everyone will know where they stand.”