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“I may as well be on the dole”

Created on 30/04/2021 @ 10:39


Welshpool’s former Mayor, Cllr Steve Kaye, has made an impassioned rant criticising Powys County Council’s (PCC) council tax rise and saying “I may as well be on the dole”.

Speaking at Wednesday night’s full council meeting, Cllr Kaye (pictured) claimed that the 2.9% rise imposed by Powys this year has “wiped out” his 2% pay rise for his job at a Welshpool factory.

“We have just negotiated a 2% rise but a lot of colleagues have come up to me upset because Powys County Council have upped their rates by 2.9% which has wiped that out!” he said at Wednesday’s night’s full council meeting.

“It feels like when we do get a wage rise in Welshpool it is swallowed up by Powys County Council again. 

“How the hell do they think that we are going to work all of our lives and keep paying this money out?”

We revealed last month that Welshpool residents pay the highest rates of council tax in Powys, that is largely down to the town council setting the highest precept following sharp rises in recent years, many of which, ironically, happened when Cllr Kaye was Mayor from 2016 until earlier this year.

However this year, the town council agreed to readdress the situation by freezing their rates at last year’s level, whilst PCC added 2.9% to their slice.

And it is the state of the road at Henfaes Lane, where Cllr Kaye works, that is behind the reason for his latest no-holds-barred outburst.

“I would say that 50% of the working population of Welshpool go down Henfaes Lane and I asked about the roads three years ago with Cllr Phil Pritchard (a Welshpool town and county councillor).

“The turning for Henfaes Lane was redone with some special tar. What a fantastic job, but the rest of the road you may as well drive down a ploughed field and people are concerned as they are losing tyres, wheels, springs are breaking and they keep asking me if anything is going to be done.”

Cllr Kaye appreciated that road matters are referred to PCC through the town clerk but said “things don’t seem to be resolved”. 

“And what really annoys me is that Powys County Council use Henfaes Lane more than anybody because where’s our local dump at the present time? It’s down there, which is Potters,” he said.

Cllr Kaye went on to criticise the state of other roads in the town and also added “where the hell do they get their manholes from?” after highlighting issues with them.

“What is going on? We need one of our committees to keep raising this and going on at Powys County Council all of the time until they get this right. We seem to be sending money out all the time and nothing coming back with our services disappearing. 

“I just give up on it all. I go to work but I don’t understand why. I may as well be on the dole. It’s just a waste of bloomin’ time!”

Cllr Kaye’s views were widely supported by fellow councillors, with Cllr Shane Squibb pointing out that “it’s not just in the place where he works, but everywhere” people were complaining. “Powys County Council needs to be told,” she said.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Alison Davies, who was chairing the meeting, suggested that the town clerk, Anne Wilson, raise the issue at the next meeting of the One Voice Wales large local councils meeting as they “have the direct ear of Welsh Government and, also, along with the other local councils, they could have more influence with Powys County Council”. 

It was agreed that councillors would also feed back to the town clerk with a list of outstanding issues in their wards that can be compiled into one document and submitted to PCC.


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