A MOTION has been passed urging Highways cabinet member, Cllr Phyl Davies, to rule out any option that requires blue badge holders to pay when using a Powys County Council car park.

This option, which is one of four was put forward as part of the efforts to save £8.5million during the next year - and it is estimated that this would save £100,000.

Before the debate took place, several councillors left the chamber having declared an interest in the subject due to having a link to someone with a disabled badge.

This meant Council Solicitor, Clive Pinney, say that they would have to check the numbers to make sure that they had enough members there to make a valid decision.

Llandrindod South County Councillor Peter Roberts, put the motion forward and spoke of blue badge holders who had been in touch with him and explain the importance of the free parking had been in enhancing their quality of life.

Liberal Democrat, Cllr Roberts, said: "This is another example of a policy that seeks to bring in a small amount of revenue from a sector of society that is the most disadvantaged.

"I've been told that there is no reason for the cabinet member to follow the will of the council, I can only strongly urge him to listen to the voices of the people that have been coming to us. .

Machynlleth County Councillor, Michael Williams, said that he had also been inundated with complaints about the proposal but believed that the consultation should run it's course.

Cllr Williams, said: "I have huge confidence in members of the public, I have received many emails who have been forwarded to the department and accepted as part of the consultation process.

"I can't believe that the portfolio holder or cabinet will do otherwise than what the people direct them to do."

Labour group leader Cllr Mathew Dorrance (St John, Brecon) added: "Everytime Powys is struggling to balance the books it's the weakest and most vulnerable in society who are asked to pay the price, not the broadest shoulders or those who caused the problem.

"This is the most pernicious thing I have seen a cabinet bring forward in my time here."

Conservative councillors rallied around Cllr Phyl Davies and said that legal due process needed to be followed as the consultation was still ongoing.

Cllr Amanda Jenner, (Trewern) said: "This consultation is still live, it's inappropriate to urge a decision maker to take a decision without considering all the views that come out of the consultation.

"You need to let due process take it's course."

Cllr Jenner added that Cllr Roberts's motion was disrespecting those with a different view and accused him, of trying to predetermine the decision.

She added that a decision should be given "good scrutiny."

Leader of the Liberal Democcrsat Group Cllr James Gibson-Watt pointed out that the motion was before the full council as it had been expected that the consultation would have finished before the meeting.

"If it's not debated today then when? The consultation was extended," said Cllr Gibson-Watt

The motion was backed with 24 votes for, seven against and six abstentions.