Council officials are to introduce tighter guidelines in an effort to avoid a repeat of last year’s collapse of Clwyd Leisure.
Three venues – including Rhyl’s Sun Centre and the Nova in Prestatyn – were closed following a dispute over management and funding of the facilities, which employed around 120 staff.
Clwyd Leisure was set up by the local authority in 2001 as an ‘arms length’ non-profit firm, but lost £200,000 of annual funding amid claims it had failed to properly maintain the centres. The company claimed the council had cut its grants drastically.
A new report, due to be discussed next week, proposes tougher and more robust controls to ensure funding is used properly and the role of board members is carried out more effectively. The new guidelines would also protect the council should an arms length firm run into similar problems.
Ivan Butler, the head of internal audit at Denbighshire County Council, said: “Having robust business cases for approval of CFSP (Council Funded Service Providers) arrangements means that it can ensure that CFSPs share DCC’s values and should not bring the council into disrepute through its behaviour. Overall, the framework means that DCC should not suffer significant damage to its reputation due to failure of a CFSP.”
Rhyl’s Sun Centre has remained dormant since its closure, despite an aborted attempt by businessman Mo Chaudry to reopen the site as a wet tourist attraction. In Prestatyn, the North Wales Indoor Bowls Centre has been reopen since last September with work continuing on a £4.2 million revamp of the Nova Centre, which is due to be completed by the autumn.