DISCUSSIONS about the future of council offices in north Powys were held by Cabinet members behind closed doors.

A report was put in front of Powys County Council cabinet members at their meeting on Tuesday, December 18, to discuss closing offices and moving staff.

Before the report was discussed, council solicitor, Clive Pinney, ensured that the cabinet voted to exclude the press and public.

Only Welshpool County Councillors for Castle ward, Phil Pritchard and Cllr Graham Breeze, Llanerchyddol, allowed to stay.

Earlier the Local Democracy Service had requested that "in the public interest" discussion on this item should be held in an open and transparent forum.

But Council Solicitor, Clive Pinney told the LDS: "I am satisfied that it is appropriate for this item to be an exempt item and I confirm that  the Cabinet will vote under item 12 of the agenda whether or not item 13 (office review) should be treated as an exempt item ."

Under Exempt Items, Mr Pinney as Monitoring Officer believes that the exempt items are category three of the Access to Information Procedure Rules.

Mr Pinney believes that to make the information public: "would disclose information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person," outweigh the public interest."

The knock-on effects of office consolidation  has seen protests break out in Welshpool over the possible re-location of Welshpool Library.

It is understood that proposals under consideration include closing Neuadd Maldwyn in Welshpool. Staff would then be re-located to the library building on Brook Street.

The library would then be moved to the Powysland museum.

Save Welshpool Library campaigners had urged supporters to contact councillors ahead of the meeting.

Welshpool Town council has said that it wants to take over running the library but PCC will not consider this request.