Cardiff council’s cabinet member for finance and economy is to be grilled over a decision to scrap the city’s marketing body, Cardiff & Co.
Councillor Russell Goodway last month announced the company was to be replaced by a new agency focusing on attracting inward investment.
Cardiff and Co, set up by the previous Liberal Democrat/Plaid Cymru administration in 2007, operated at “arm’s length” from the council, but received £500,000 a year in funding.
The city’s business community is to be consulted over the make-up of a new “umbrella agency” over the next few months, with a view to launching in April.
But the decision has been “called in” for further scrutiny by Liberal Democrat councillor Joe Boyle to consider the merits of the decision and the process by which it was made.
Coun Craig Williams, Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee chairman, said: “(Coun Goodway) has made this decision without, as far as I can tell, any consultation.
“What worries me is that the council are saying they are going to replace Cardiff & Co but they don’t know what with yet.
“So while there may be some merit in winding up Cardiff & Co, they really should have thought of what they would replace it with before making that decision.”
In response to a written question at the last full council meeting, Coun Goodway said most of the £500,000 Cardiff & Co received had been spent on staff salaries, “rather than on effective cutting-edge marketing campaigns”.
Coun Goodway said he was not criticising staff, who he said had “done their best from a poor deal”, but there was “no merit in prolonging the current arrangement, especially if expectations remain unchanged”.
The former council leader went on to say that while there would be a consultation before any proposal is put forward, he was “not persuaded that an arm’s-length vehicle is necessarily the best solution”.
Coun Goodway and other witnesses will be questioned by members of the Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, November 29, at 3.30pm at County Hall.