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Why didn’t Owen warn staff and public of Muni problems?

December 24, 2018 9:30 AM

The Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd closed its doors for the second time on 22nd December when the management board called in the receivers. Pontypridd MP Owen Smith, who was involved in putting the original takeover bid together when the Council closed the theatre four years ago, was quick to respond. However, his comments raise some significant questions.

Shortly after the closure announcement he tweeted that 'there are good reasons why it has had to close and a plan to secure its future.'

He followed that up with a statement on his Facebook page which then appeared in the press:

"I want to reassure you all that this will be temporary and plans are already in hand to reopen at the earliest possible opportunity.

"The company that was running the Muni has had longstanding problems, with poor governance at their heart. I have been liaising with the council over recent months about the situation, which I feared would result in this crisis and closure."

The Council said apparently that it had been "actively monitoring the situation at the Muni."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell says this begs the questions

"If Owen and indeed the Council have been aware of these problems why was no warning given to the staff who have been laid off just before Christmas, and to the public who have been paying for advance tickets for events that will not now take place. Will they get their money back?

"Why did they sit back and say nothing whilst companies invested in putting on shows at the venue only to have the plug pulled with no warning? Didn't it cross their minds that they had a responsibility to all of these people?