A council meeting to discuss budget proposals with Caerphilly businesses ended after 15 minutes because no one turned up.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s non-domestic ratepayers committee meets once a year and offers business representatives the chance to discuss the budget proposals.
However, since 2018 no business representatives have turned up to have their say on budget proposals.
Even in 2018, the only representatives were two from the Federation of Small Business.
Protocol for the council is to wait 15 minutes to see if any representatives do turn up, but no one did.
All three councillors on the committee attended the meeting, which was held on Wednesday, January 15, including chair Cllr Jamie Pritchard, vice chair Cllr Gez Kirby and cabinet member Cllr Eluned Stenner.
Cllr Pritchard said: “I am extremely disappointed the various business groups didn’t turn up again for this important meeting.
“It is important that the business community is involved in the decision-making process.”
Despite two years of no-show the council is required to hold such meetings in accordance with Section 65 of the Local Government Act 1992.
The council said that letters and reminder emails were sent out to local business groups and a press release was issued.
However, conflicting schedules meant many groups were unable to attend.
This meant that business representatives have missed out on having their say on key proposals, including a cut to business grants by 50%.
The consultation period allowed all relevant stakeholders, including business owners and members of the public, to have their say on the budget proposals before a final decision is made.
The council’s consultation period ended on January 13.