Posted: Thu 29th Jun 2023

Caerphilly Town Council found to have acted “unlawfully” by auditors

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 29th, 2023

Caerphilly Town Council has been found to have acted “unlawfully” by Audit Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During the 2021/22 financial year, the town council spent £39,778 on contracts for Christmas lights, flower displays, and floodlights. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Under financial regulations, the town council is expected to invite tenders from at least three companies, if a contract exceeds £2,000. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Because it failed to do so, its actions were seen as “unlawful” by Audit Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Audit Wales said the council had “failed to comply with its own regulations”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The town council has defended its actions, stating everything the council spends is accounted for. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Clerk at the town council, Phil Davey, said: “We have a duty to demonstrate value for money, and Audit Wales thinks there’s only one way to do that. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Going forward we will commit resources to going through the procurement process, [but] the consequence of this is that our local suppliers could lose out, which I hope doesn’t happen.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He added: “We have got to be careful going to tender, it’s not just about the cheapest cost, it’s about can the new contractor deliver. It’s not just a give us a quote, it’s about what are they going to give us for the price.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

What did the town council spend its money on? ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • £5,418.50 on plants for hanging baskets and displays. (Boverton Nurseries)
  • £2,051.85 for installation of AV equipment. (Drake AV Video Ltd)
  • £6,004 on Christmas lights. (Lite)
  • £7,898 to upgrade St Martins Church floodlights. (BPS Facilities Ltd)
  • £6,608 on watering and maintenance of plants. (J S Lee Ltd)
  • £1,930 to supply and install office door security. (CDS Ltd)
  • £4,758.20 to install, take down, and store Christmas lights. (Elsbury Access Platforms)

These costs do not include VAT. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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