The way a council buys in goods and services is not working, a damning report has said.

A report before councillors on Denbighshire’s corporate governance committee today said the running of the council’s procurement programme had significant weaknesses.

In 2014, Denbighshire and Flintshire agreed to work together to buy in goods and services as a way of saving money. But the review of the scheme said there were failings with how it was being run.

Council officers found there was insufficient scrutiny and monitoring, little reporting to the relevant council committees to update members, delays in getting the two counties to work more closely, and inadequate arrangements for measuring and reporting savings and performance.

Problems with overseeing projects where the council works with other bodies have been raised as an issue of concern before.

Gwilym Bury, of the Wales Audit Office, told councillors: “This is a very good report. The problem is though that it is not a new problem.

“I can’t remember how many reports I have written over the last seven or eight years which have been going on about where you enter into partnerships with the private sector, you’ve got to get in place the scrutiny arrangements and then my colleagues come along and say it’s gone wrong.

“But the point is it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

He added: “This isn’t new and if it happens again then we’ll probably have to do a big expensive piece of work going through the entire accounts making sure you’ve done what you said in the past you were going to do.

“It’s not good enough to say you’ll put it right, you shouldn’t be getting into this situation.”

Martyn Holland, councillor for Llanarmon-yn-Ial, said there needed to be a change in attitudes to the scheme.

“I just want to say I think we have the wrong partner in this,” he said. “It’s a question of culture and we in Denbighshire have a very different corporate culture to Flintshire.”

Mabon ap Gwynfor, Llandrillo county councillor, said: “The report makes clear that we need a real change of culture in order to ensure that we benefit from this joint collaboration.

“That cultural change must come from the top. The blame lies with the lack of political leadership in this instance.

“There’s no point blaming staff. They’re under serious pressure to make savings across the board.

“The politicians at the top of the council need to step up and lead by example and show that we can work with other counties to provide value for money for our residents.”