Dear Editor

I refer to the open letter, from Steve Jones Tai Ceredigion's Chief Executive to Wynford Jones Clerk of Cardigan Town Council, published in last week's edition of Tivy Side, and to comments made on BBC Radio Morning Call by Steve Jones.

The statement that 70 tenants {referred to as the lowest paid in the community}are paying charges through their rent for the maintenance of Maesglas play area requires further clarification. The land was transferred to Tai Ceredigion from Ceredigion County Council as part of the bulk transfer of social housing stock in 2009. We need to establish whether the land was gifted to, or purchased by, Tai Ceredigion based on a valuation undertaken by the District Valuer. The statement suggests that Tai Ceredigion have "ring-fenced" rental income from 70 properties to ensure that it is used for a specific purpose and that information relating to maintenance costs at Maesglas is available for public inspection in their audited accounts.

We also now need to establish whether Tai Ceredigion have ring-fenced rental income from their tenants to fund speculative property development on sites located at Maesglas, Bro Teifi, Maes yr Haf and Tenby Road Cardigan and whether their tenants are now expected to fund the abortive costs that Tai Ceredigion have incurred to date in their protracted efforts to develop these sites. I refer to abortive costs on topographical surveys, architect fees, planning consultant fees, traffic surveys, planning appeal costs, CDM consultant fees, design and construct consultant fees etc. Alternatively, are these abortive costs to be funded by the taxpayer through the dowry of £48 million to be provided to Tai Ceredigion by Welsh Government, with the funding to be released at a rate of £1.6 million per year over a 30 year period from stock transfer date. I regard the activity as speculative as none of the sites are allocated for development in the Council's adopted Local Development Plan.

Tai Ceredigion have a sum of £136 million available to fund their 30 year business plan, comprising private investment by Barclays Bank, taxpayer funding of £48 million from Welsh Government together rental income from 2229 properties in Ceredigion. With this substantial financial resource at their disposal it is surprising that they are unable to adapt a single property at Cardigan to provide wheelchair access for the disabled without having to demolish 20 garages at Maesglas to build in a flood risk area {as acknowledged by the Planning Inspectorate in their recent report} and on land not allocated for development in the Council's adopted development plan. Any proposal to lease the land to Cardigan Town Council would need to address the issue of liability for future flood damage to residential property as the land is drained to a subterranean watercourse conveyed through third party land not under the ownership or control of Tai Ceredigion.

A clear and unambiguous response from Steve Jones, outlining how public funds are being used by Tai Ceredigion, would be appreciated in next week's edition of the Tivy-Side. This will avoid the need to request an investigation by the Wales Audit Office to establish whether public funds are now being used by Tai Ceredigion for the intended purpose: the upgrade of transferred housing stock to Welsh Housing Quality Standard, or whether public funds are now being used for speculative property development.

Yours sincerely

Wynne Jones

Min yr Afon