Council boss hits back over grant payment criticism
Business, News | Richard Gurner | Published: 21:05, Monday April 6th, 2020.
Last updated: 10:02, Tuesday April 7th, 2020
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s chief executive has hit back at criticism from business owners over claims the authority has been slow to pay out emergency grants.
Forty-five business owners published the open letter as a result of their “desperation”.
The letter claims that while the council has received £36 million from Welsh Government to pass on to businesses, only a fraction of claims have been processed – and, as of April 6, none have been paid.
In response, the council’s chief executive Christina Harrhy has published her own open letter defending her organisation.
In the letter she says: “I find it distasteful that at a time when we are doing everything we can to meet the significant needs of so many that you think it appropriate to call into question the council’s governance and financial arrangements.
“I consider these references and the open nature of your letter to be nothing more than an ill-judged and divisive attempt to build anti-council sentiment as a means of getting your own way at a time when we should be working together to get things done.
“As these are highly anxious times for so many, I think there is little merit in directing any further energy to dealing with your negative perceptions of the council. If you have applied and have been successful in your application, your funding will be with you imminently.
“In the meantime, I would appreciate it if any further points you wish to raise are made directly to me rather than played out unhelpfully in an open letter to the public, and more recently on social media.”
In an earlier response to the business owners’ letter, Caerphilly County Borough Council said it was processing applications as quickly as it can and that payments would be made shortly.