AN investigation into a £145,000 grant for work at a former Ammanford bank has found that there was no wrongdoing.

The Wales Audit Office quashed concerns that public money had been mishandled by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The Auditor General for Wales confirmed he was satisfied with the council’s procedures and confirmed the Wales Audit Office would be taking no further action.

In a letter, he said: “We have found no evidence to suggest that the assessment of applications for grant funding under the scheme lacked objectivity or was undertaken outside the documented procedure.

“We are satisfied that decisions to progress applications beyond the initial assessment stage were taken on the professional advice of council officers.”

The investigation revolved around the decision to grant £145,000 of money from the Ammanford Regeneration Fund to assist with plans to develop the former Lloyd’s Bank building in Quay Street into office space and flats.

A complain about the decision was made to the Wales Audit Office by Councillor Rob James, leader of the Labour Party in Carmarthenshire.

Speaking following the decision a Plaid Cymru spokesman said: "We warmly welcome the findings of the Wales Audit Office. We were always confident that this conclusion would be reached, but it's pleasing to have the case closed.

"Our representatives are focusing their energy on the regeneration of our market towns and will continue to do the best we can for our communities.”

Responding to the announcement from the Wales Audit Office, Cllr James said: “I have written to Wales Audit Office to request further information on how they came to their judgement, as their letter is littered with inaccuracies.

“It is stated in their reply that some applications have progressed, yet the Council have not awarded any grant funding under the scheme. The reason that we wrote to the Audit Office was after the Council Leader, independently awarded a grant of £145,000 to a Council employee to convert the Lloyds bank into private accommodation and office space.

“It is also stated that the decision was taken on the professional advice of Council officers, despite us highlighting that the applicant is an employee in a key department connected to these applications.

“Every month, I am having to raise questions about the decision making in Carmarthenshire. After Plaid promised the earth to voters, including creating an open and transparent council, they have completely failed to keep their promises to voters and we now have serious questions that need answering."

The Labour Leader has now written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford, calling for a full investigation into both decisions.