A TOWN council’s ‘ambitious targets’ would result in ‘failure’, a councillor has said.

At the Connah’s Quay annual budget meeting, Cllr Bernie Attridge said he was ‘concerned’ over the ambitious income targets regarding the Civic Hall.

The bar takings income for 2019/20 was budgeted at £40,000, however on month nine has taken just under £24,000.

Cllr Attridge said he was concerned over the 2020/21 budget for £45,000.

He added: “All I can see here is month after month we’re setting ourselves up to fail. Surely no-one in here thinks that we're going to overnight take another £14,000. At the end of the day we can say leave it and I’ll remind you every meeting I told you so, as we get nearer to budget day.

“That to me is excessive, it needs taking out or some of it.”

Cllr Attridge added that the first ‘massive injection of cash’ into the Civic Hall proved to be a success but the popularity ‘sloped off’.

He said: “To bring that amount of money in when we haven’t before is a massive achievement, very optimistic. In my 25 years on council I’ve never seen us taking an extra £14,000 a year.”

Clerk Steven Goodrum informed members that the council has ‘never really marketed the Civic Hall to demonstrate what it can and should deliver’.

He said there is ‘potential there’ if they can ‘target the right events’ which can be ‘more than achievable’.

Cllr Andy Dunbobbin said it is a ‘highly ambitious target to achieve’ but there would be a meeting to discuss how they can further promote the Civic Hall, adding: “That dance floor, you won’t see a dance floor like that for miles around.”

Members voted in favour of reducing the 2020/21 budget to £40,000.

Concerns were also raised over the income of the hall’s food hall.

The 2019 budget sat at £15,000 but on month nine figures show they only received £4,260. The 2020 budget had a recommended target income of £16,500.

Cllr Bernie Attridge said there is ‘a lot of profit in food’, but the only menu he has seen is ‘sausage and chips’.

He said they need to market the place but added: “It’s going to take more than 12 months to get catering in the Civic Hall up to that amount. It’s just not realistic."

Clerk Steven Goodrum added that the figures were ambitious, and they would not happen overnight.

However, Cllr Attridge said he wanted to get the 17 per cent council tax rise down for the residents of Connah’s Quay.

He told members: “We have had to squeeze reserves (at County Council). As a town council that should have been part of the equation. It’s there for rainy day, I believe it's pouring. We’ve got people in terrible states, using the foodbanks.

“These are people we represent. All I’m trying to do is get this precept as low as we can, if we can shave a little bit here and there and save a few bob. It’s not about troublemaking.”

Members voted in favour of reducing the food hall income to £10,000 which would then in turn reduce the amount needed to be spent on catering supplies and equipment purchases.

Figures show that the Quay cafe has become 'more popular' as from the £31,000 income on month nine, a further £51,100 has been forecasted.

Cllr Alan Roberts said: "The Café is doing better, there's no doubt about it."