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Are you listening to local councils?

Created on 11/07/2019 @ 10:34
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Representatives of town and community councils in Montgomeryshire have met Powys County Council’s (PCC) new chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner.

She had been invited to a Montgomeryshire One Voice Wales area meeting which took place in Machynlleth and was quizzed over a number of issues, including the shambolic new schools for Welshpool affair.

She was also asked whether the cabinet took any notice of other councillors views or the villagers of Abermule when the decided to back the bulking recycle facility at the village?

Dr Turner said that there were now four scrutiny panels at PCC which looked into issues as well as advising the cabinet on future decisions.

She also explained that there were some tough financial times ahead.

Trefeglwys Community Councillor Derrick Pugh, a member of the One Voice Wales executive board, said: “This year, the council tax increase was one of the highest on record at 9.5 per cent.

“I respect the financial position of PCC but the public cannot sustain these increases year on year.

“If the council puts up its Council Tax by the same amount next year, that’s an increase of 19-20% in two years.

“These increases are creating poverty and unrest within families who are trying to meet their monthly bills.”

Dr Turner stated that she and the Cabinet were aware of this and she did not envisage another hike like this next year.

One Voice Wales, Montgomeryshire area chairman Cllr Gareth Davies from Castle Caereinion said there could be a mass protest outside the Welsh Assembly unless more funding was made available for rural county councils.

Following the meeting Cllr Pugh added: “We thanked Dr Turner for accepting the invitation to meet members. She feels Town & Community Councillors have an important role to play, as we are the first tier in local Government.”

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