£600,000 Cardigan car park bought ‘behind councillors’ backs’
Katy Jenkins, Local Democracy Reporter
A report detailing a decision to buy a Cardigan car park which a number of councillors said they new nothing about until they read about it in the newspaper is to be prepared.
Ceredigion County Council bought a car park next to the town swimming pool for £600,000 earlier this year, it was revealed last week, with the decision questioned by members of the corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee on Monday, October 3.
Cllrs Elaine Evans, Euros Davies and Elizabeth Evans all raised concerns about the decision – taken during the pre-election purdah period – and called for greater transparency into the matter.
Russell Hughes-Pickering, corporate lead officer economy and regeneration, said the decision was taken following decision with the then leader and chief executive in March and the council had a lease on the car park but was at risk of losing the facility as the owner was looking to sell.
Cllr Davies said “it should have been a democratic decision,” adding no agreements should have been made “for that amount of money” during purdah.
“This was done behind our backs,” he said.
Cllr Elizabeth Evans also questioned where the “pot of money” had come from and Cllr Elaine Evans said she was “as surprised as everybody” to read about the purchase.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.