A council political leader said a decision to hold a discussion on reducing social care cash handouts to voluntary organisations in secret didn’t “gel” with him.

Tuesday’s Conwy county council cabinet meeting discussed social care budget reductions to third sector providers for 2020-21 behind closed doors, after the cabinet voted to bar press and public.

It emerged in January the authority’s social services department pledged to cut £200,000 from its third sector budget during this financial year.

The item had been held over due to the Covid-19 crisis but Cllr Chris Hughes, Labour group leader within the authority, wanted to know why it was exempt from public scrutiny.

He said: “I just wondered why this was confidential because as far we understand it the decision has already been made, it was part of the budget process earlier this year.

“The groups themselves have already had the information articulated to them and they’re aware of the impact it will have on them.

“There seems to be no reason why this remains confidential because the community groups already know and if anyone decided to forensically examine our accounts, as some have in the past, it would be there for them.

“So it just doesn’t seem to gel that this would then be confidential at this stage.”

Conwy’s head of children and family services, Jenny Williams, said although it head been discussed before and third sector organisation were aware of the process, there was detail in the report which was sensitive.

She said: “I’m not sure every organisation would know our contributions and this is about our next step in the phase of consultation.

“So whilst providers are aware of our direction of travel they won’t be aware of this detail at this stage.

“The budgetary reports had a very high level of information when it went through earlier in the year.

“I think it’s just seeing the providers listed with amounts next to them we considered to be sensitive.”