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Confusion surrounds role of Keighley civic centre auditor
9:00am Friday 27th September 2013 in Keighley
A proposal auditors should look into the finances of Keighley Town Council’s troubled civic centre has been welcomed by Keighley’s MP.
Kris Hopkins was speaking following a resolution thath featured in the minutes of a council finance committee meeting.
But town clerk Miggy Bailey said the measure was only designed to examine the viability of the civic centre’s cafe and other catering provision.
Mr Hopkins said: “I said publicly some months ago an auditor should be brought in, so I strongly welcome this development.
“I hope it signals the beginning of a new era of openness in which the council’s spending decisions and accounts are fully transparent and available for public scrutiny.”
However, Mrs Bailey said: “The council has decided to open the cafe and employ a catering manager to run it and the catering for functions in the banqueting hall, bar and restaurant.
“It was agreed the internal auditors would be asked for their views, having regard to the fact the books have an internal audit every three months.
“Having been given details of the situation, they agreed the council should give it a go for six months. At the end of this period, a decision could then be made regarding the cafe’s future and whether the council should look for someone to take a franchise.”
The civic centre project has been dogged by controversy.
Town councillors approved a 72.6 per cent hike in the council tax precept in February, partly to prop up the centre’s finances. And it was revealed three months later the centre was more than £162,000 in the red.
The organisation running the property’s cafe, bar and restaurant announced it had pulled out in July.
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