MONMOUTHSHIRE council’s community interest company is expected to record a £140,000 loss by September.

But a senior councillor said he is optimistic about it being of use in the future despite the disappointing figure.

The authority’s deputy leader Cllr Bob Greenland said the figures represented a “steep learning curve” for CMC2, established in July 2011.

Since then it has been involved in several projects, including the council’s social care app, FLO, which it is hoping will be sold to other authorities in the future. That has saved it an annual £130,000 in licence fees for the authority.

Cllr Greenland said: “What we have learned is software development is certainly an area where you can make a good income for the council but it isn’t something that a small income company can properly run itself.”

He added: “Nevertheless even taking into account all the costs we have accrued on that we still have a piece of software which is used by social care and previously the piece of software they were using cost them £130,000 in licence fees.

“We have now designed for them a software application exactly what they want it to do and will have paid for itself within three years but in so doing CMC2 has got a £140,000 loss on its books.

“We have to look at it in the round.”

But the leader of the council’s opposition group said it should be cautious about spending money in straightened times.

Cllr Dimitri Batrouni told the cabinet meeting at County Hall in Usk last week: “We were assured [last year] we would make money next year and the year after that. Here we are, next year, £140,000 being picked up by the taxpayer."

He added: “Where are with this company? We cannot keep doing this. We’re in times of austerity...and now we’ve got £140,000 funding coming from the taxpayer. This cannot continue, surely?”

The cabinet member for social care and health Cllr Geoff Burrows said the Welsh Government’s minister for social services Mark Drakeford has already shown interest in FLO’s success on a recent visit to the county.