Wales

Glynneath council: Brass band legal claim over uniforms

The uniforms Image copyright Heather Byrd
Image caption The Glynneath Silver Band uniforms were left in the Bethania Community Centre

A full-blown legal row has erupted between a former brass band and a town council in Neath Port Talbot over lost uniforms.

Glynneath and District Silver Band trustees are suing Glynneath council, claiming it "dumped" uniforms worth £14,000.

The trustees said they were told the uniforms were "rotten", but the council had "no right" to ditch them.

Glynneath council said the case was now with insurers.

The band, which was formed in 1888, won numerous championships before finally folding in 2005.

At the time, instruments and uniforms were put into the Bethania Community Centre, a former Methodist chapel, for safekeeping.

But the band's former trustees, who had plans to reform, said they were shocked to discover in November 2018 that 27 gold-braided and hand-stitched jackets with epaulettes, waistcoats and bowties had disappeared.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Billy Shulver, Ray Jones and John Evans say they are worried about instruments in the chapel

John Evans, an independent town councillor and the former band manager, made the discovery during a visit to the old chapel to collect some of the instruments to take to local schools.

He said: "It wasn't their property, they had no right to throw them away whatsoever.

"We had a letter saying they would be safe in the chapel. The uniforms were dusty but they could have been dry-cleaned."

The trustees said it would cost £14,000 to replace the uniforms and have made a claim against the town council for compensation to buy new ones, and for legal costs.

The town council's Independent mayor, Simon Knoyle, said: "All I can say at this stage is there is an ongoing case with regards to the Silver Band uniforms and it is with Glynneath Town Council's insurance company."

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