Connah's Quay Town Council 'illegally opened' cafe
A council-owned cafe which was illegally opened has resulted in a loss of £234,000, according to a new report.
The Auditor General for Wales said Connah's Quay Town Council did not give due consideration to what powers it had to open Quay Café in 2011.
The report said the decision to go ahead with the cafe was unlawful because there was a poorly prepared business plan.
The town council said it would consider the findings at a special meeting.
The report was issued to draw attention to the "significant deficit", the audit office said.
The study made three recommendations to the council, which has a month to respond:
- To undertake a full option appraisal for the operation of Quay Café, incorporating a full financial appraisal of each option;
- To ensure appropriate advice is received prior to making decisions on the provision of new services;
- To review the services it provides and ensure that it understands the statutory basis on which it provides those services.
The Auditor General for Wales, Adrian Crompton said: "When it opened the café, the council did not have the statutory authority to do so and its decision was not supported by a clear and coherent business plan.
"As a result the decision was, in my view, unlawful.
He added: "The public need to be assured that town and community councils have proper governance arrangements in place to manage the activities of the council both financially and administratively."
The council said it "noted the content" of the report but would not comment further.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales AM said the report was "a damning indictment of Connah's Quay Town Council's failure to manage public finances".
He added: "It's a quarter of a million pounds in one of Flintshire's poorest communities and people locally deserve some honest answers from their councillors."