Flintshire councillor is attacked over Assembly grant

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

A SENIOR councillor has come under fire after he was awarded a grant of nearly £4,000 to carry out restoration work at his home.

Trelawnyd and Gwaenysgor councillor Nigel Steele-Mortimer lives in the Grade I listed Golden Grove in Llanasa.

Under the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic building grants scheme the Steele-Mortimer family has been awarded £3,703 for repair work on the chimneys and gables at the Elizabethan manor house.

Cllr Steele-Mortimer, who is Flintshire Council’s executive member for education and youth, lives at the house with his brother and their wives and they operate a bed and breakfast from the property.

The house is also open to the public.

But Connah’s Quay councillor Bernie Attridge says a county councillor should not be getting handouts from the government

He added: “If I want my chimney doing or my tiles repointing then I have to pay for it myself. Whether the building is listed or not it’s his own personal house.

“As an executive member he is earning more than £30,000 a year so I’m astounded that he would apply and get this money from the public purse. We are talking about council tax payers’ money here.”

Cllr Steele-Mortimer defended the grant.

He said: “We live in a Grade I listed house and when we do repairs they have to be done to a very high standard. If we didn’t have the grant then I would pay for them to be done to a less high standard.

“(Historic buildings guardian) Cadw insists we do it to a high standard and if we do that then we get a grant.

“The house is open to the public on request and it has to be maintained to a standard that the public would appreciate.”

An inspector from Cadw has insisted restoration work to the chimneys is carried out.

The work is expected to take place in October.

The historic building, which also has a smaller 17th Century house in its grounds, was built in 1580 by Sir Edward Morgan, whose family lived in the house until 1877.
It has been in the Steele-Mortimer family for about 100 years.

See full story in the Leader

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