Cash woes at Bedworth Civic Hall after almost £70,000 overspend

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Cash woes at Bedworth Civic Hall after almost £70,000 overspend

Postby dutchman » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:30 pm

Questions have been asked about why card payments cannot be made at the bar - and why it does not open after shows

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No card bar payments and not being able to get a drink after shows are some of the reasons why Bedworth's Civic Hall has lost thousands of pounds of tax payers' cash.

Finances at the entertainment's venue, often referred to as a jewel in the borough's crown, were brought into the spotlight during a full council meeting at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.

Opposing Conservatives were concerned that the budget for the Civic Hall had been overspent and asked for action to be taken to stop the loss of council tax payers' cash.

The £692,000 budget was over by £69,000, topping £761,000. Among the key spends were £19,000 increased cafe services and £8,000 reduction in bar takings.

Councillor Kris Wilson, leader of the Conservative group, spoke about changes made to the cafe including the £19,000 spending - when it had not been budgeted for and it was without any notice to other councillors.

"The Civic Hall budget revealed that there overspend compared to its pre-budget because the controlling group decided that they would go against their own budget recommendations about the offerings on the cafe, " Cllr Wilson said.

"Could the portfolio holder explain why she decided to allow an overspend, on this budge when it was a budget decision, made at budget setting in February, which was voted on by the whole council. If they (Labour) were going to go against it, then it was only right and proper to bring it back to full council, that is an democratic oversight.

"The bar takings are down, surprise, surprise when you put drinks up by 5 pence, the bar takings are down, that is killing the goose that lays the golden egg as that is one of the few areas that is making a profit., so will he review that decision and how to maximise bar takings and perhaps include in that to allow people, heaven forbid, to use credit card payment machine instead of having to pay cash, that should help generate revenue."

Cllr Damon Brown, continued to push the matter saying: "Why don't we allow credit card payments over the bar, why don't we allow the bar to be open after shows, like other theatres, which is revenue generating."

Cllr Lloyd responded: "We are continuously reviewing the Civic Hall, all the time. We have looked at keeping the bar open after time, we did at one stage and the amount of custom that stayed behind to use the bar was very, very little at that time. But can see no reason why we can't try it again. i was there last weekend, I stood by the doors and there was a mass exodus of people who just wanted to get back to their cars and go home but we will have a look at it, I will go away and ask officers to have a look at opening after time.

"On the credit cards at the bar, I will ask the question."

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