A proposed £150,000 kitchen fit-out at the offices of Aylesbury District Council appears to have created a storm, with local councillors arguing over whether the public should be able to benefit from the facilities.
The new kitchen will serve the main private cafe at the council’s new HQ but some politicians believes it should be opened to the public as the project is being funded by taxpayers’ money.
It was revealed earlier this month that the council had still not found a contractor to run the cafe due mainly to financial viability.
The council will now have to install the kitchen at its own cost before the new office opens next month.
Critics say council leaders has been left embarrassed after agreeing to allocate to £150,000 from its reserves to design and fit the cafe.
Councillor Chris Adams, UKIP, told The Bucks Herald: “It’s a shambles, they’ve all been left with egg on their face. It should have been sorted out many, many months ago. They should know why people aren’t taking this off them – how many businesses are going to be able to afford £150,000 for catering equipment when people are cutting back?”
According to the newspaper, the council intends to pay for the cafe to be fitted before trying to negotiate a contract, which ‘could aim’ to recover the costs.
It reported that debate over whether the public should be able to use the cafe had left councillors divided. Some argue that it could discourage people from using cafes and restaurants in town while others claim people should be free to come in and talk to members of the council.