A “careless” local authority preparing to again raise council tax by about 5% has been slammed for spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal fees over a historic pier.
Clwyd West MP David Jones, who claims Conwy council has spent £250,000 in fees overColwyn Bay pier, says the money could have been better spent on services like libraries or on keeping bin collections fortnightly instead of monthly.
He questioned why the council bought Victoria Pier in the first place, when it now wants to demolish it at an estimated cost of £1m.
In October, Mr Hunt failed in his High Court campaign to get the pier back.
Judge Mr Justice Morgan said the pier was unsafe, was in danger of collapsing into the sea at any moment, and had been valued between “minus” £600,000 and “minus” £1m.
He concluded that “it would not be appropriate...to make an order vesting in Mr Hunt the pier or any part of it”.
Mr Hunt has lodged an appeal against this decision and is waiting to hear if the Court of Appeal will consider it.
Mr Hunt’s spokesman said: “Conwy County Borough Council cannot consider delisting the pier or demolishing it as the Welsh Government have refused them permission.”
He said another issue is that no “contentious action in the public domain” can take place in the 10 weeks before the Welsh Assembly elections in May.
Council leader Dilwyn Roberts said: “There are lots of ways we would prefer to spend money rather than on legal fees, but Conwy Council’s objective has always been to solve the problem of a derelict pier in a key location within a town that we’re working hard to regenerate, and to do this it is essential that we defend our ownership.”