A decision by Swansea Council to spend nearly £7,000 to assess the effectiveness of a £20,549 grant to Swansea’s Credit Union, LASA has been described as barmy by the Welsh Liberal Democrats South Wales West Assembly Member, Peter Black
In a Freedom of Information response to Mr. Black, the Council have revealed that they have employed an outside consultancy company called Trelein to ensure that the annual grant to LASA is suitably targeted and is getting ‘the maximum benefit for the citizens of Swansea’. However, Mr. Black has questioned whether the contract itself is value for money when it is costing the council more than a third of the grant that is being paid out.
“I very much commend Swansea Council for supporting and promoting the local credit union,” said Mr. Black. “In fact they have done a great deal to make LASA more sustainable and to help it increase its membership. That has had a knock-on effect in helping to tackle poverty in the City and in helping local people manage their money better.
“However, the contract to evaluate that expenditure is out of all proportion to the sums involved. A grant of £20,549 is relatively small beer compared to the council’s £420 million budget. Surely the evaluation of this grant could have been carried out by a council officer at little or no cost.
“The decision to award a contract of this nature and this scale to evaluate such a small grant is barmy and the taxpayers of Swansea need an explanation as to why it happened.”