Aylesbury Vale District Council is poised to launch a consumer site, paid for with £50,000 of tax payers’ money.
The council says that the commercial venture is expected to ‘significantly contribute to, or replace the loss of the government grant’.
Called Limecart, the council run website offers online access to a range of home and garden services provided by third parties.
Members will register to access deals and offers.
But, despite the venture being paid for by the taxpayer, the council said it could not give details about what research was done into the viability of the scheme, or which firms have signed up for the March 7 launch, which includes an online magazine.
The council says Limecart’s £50,000 start-up ‘loan’ will be paid back within a year of trading.
Janet Blake, cabinet member for business transformation, who has overseen the venture, said: “Residents may wonder why we are venturing into the commercial market.
“And to find the answer they need look no further than the chancellor’s recent statement about increased austerity, as central government’s funding to local government is reducing yet further.
“Limecart has been created to generate funds to protect council services, but firstly we have to invest funds to get the wheels rolling.”
She added: “I’m a afraid that information on Limecart’s research and development, as well as which firms are on board is commercially sensitive, as is the case with any business.”
To see the site for yourself go to www.limecart.co.uk