Changes to community asset transfers (CATs) do not favour town and community councils a Pembrokeshire county council cabinet member has said in response to concerns raised by a Milford councillor.

Clr. Viv Stoddart asked if the new policy excluded community groups from eligibility for taking over a property or land using a community asset transfer process as the new policy was discussed at cabinet on Monday (June 28).

Cabinet member for finance Clr. Bob Kilmister said that “it does not exclude community groups from CAT” but it is more complicated, more expensive “so less attractive.”

Clr. Guy Woodham asked for clarification on whether “preference is going to be given to town and community councils over community groups” when it comes to applying for a CAT.

Cabinet heard that councils would not get “first choice” but there was and option to offer long term leases at a peppercorn rent which was not always available for community groups without legal difficulties.

Current CATs include an expression of interest from the Garth Steering Group to use Trafalgar Road family centre for community outreach activities which officers have said does not meet CAT criteria.

Town and community council interests have been expressed for Tenby museum and market, Jameston Village Hall, woodlands at Stepaside, Maes Meigan, Crymych, Glebelands play area, allotments in Solva and St Patricks platy area, a report to cabinet adds.

Properties identified for CAT include Dinas Cross allotments, grazing land at Rosemarket, open space and toilets at Gelliswick Bay, Haverfordwest and Milford Haven bowls and tennis clubs, Martello Tower and Penslade Park, Fishguard.

Discussions are underway regarding the transferral of Memorial Park, Pembroke Dock, Angle playground, land at Westgate, Narberth Town Moor, Summerhill play area and Broad Haven play area.

Cabinet approved the revised draft policy to incorporate Welsh Government recommendations, as well as the recommendation to offer long leases to town and community councils for open spaces, playgrounds, parks and public conveniences.

Individual CAT recommendations in the report were also signed off and it was agreed that quarterly updates on CATs be reported to cabinet.