Spending on Angus youth projects is to come under scrutiny after questions were raised about cost differences across the county.
The disparity around the Friday night projects was brought up during approval of a £52,000 grant agreement to Voluntary Action Angus for the range of services it provides.
The third sector body, now based in former council offices at The Cross in Forfar, will receive £13,440 for the Kirriemuir Friday Nite project as part of the 2021/22 payment.
However, Montrose SNP councillor Bill Duff said he was concerned Kirrie was more expensive than similar youth diversion initiatives operated in other Angus towns.
“I always thought the Kirrie Friday Nite Project seems a very expensive project.
“It does seem a lot more than we’re spending on similar ventures elsewhere.”
The policy and resources committee report did not provide a detailed breakdown of other project costs, but council strategic policy director Vivien Smith said venue hire costs are among the factors which come into play.
“Most of the Friday night projects, and there are a number across Angus, have been funded for a number of years.
“The anomaly with this being funded through Voluntary Action Angus is in relation to them doing a lot of the volunteering work there,” she added.
“In relation to the transactional cost, that goes from VAA to Angus Alive for the hire of the premises.
“That’s where the main costs are incurred for Friday night projects, which circle round for the hire of premises that Angus Alive are running on the council’s behalf.”
Arbroath SNP councillor Alex King said: “It seems that the Friday night projects are extremely fragmented in the way they are being funded.
“I wonder if we could get a report on where they are, what they are doing and how they are being funded.
“It would be useful just to see a total picture of who is doing what where, and who is actually paying for it.”
Officials said an overview report will be brought to a future committee, but members agreed the VAA grant of £52,980 after a pandemic year which saw the body at the frontline of the local response.
Ms Smith added: “The growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic over the last financial year has created unavoidable challenges in VAA progressing towards the outcomes identified within our agreement.
“Their continued assistance in co-ordinating support efforts to the public in partnership with the council and other partners throughout the pandemic has, however, been crucial in supporting the overall community response.
“It’s understood the impact this had on undertaking business as normal activity during this period.
“In light of the impacts of Covid over the last year and the hopeful trajectory of our communities out of the pandemic, VAA have undertaken a review of the agreement ahead of entering into a second year.
“Their review includes how they intend to approach reaching the agreed outcomes under the current developing circumstances, with fall back options to be implemented if necessary.”