CALLS have been made for more promotion of paths and rights of way in Powys for tourists.

But the budget to promote tourism is set to be slashed by the cabinet.

Council Leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris (Independent -Llangynidr) made the suggestion as the cabinet discussed the Draft Right of Way Improvement Plan.

Every local authority is obliged to prepare and implement a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) which shows how it will be managed and improved in the future

The draft document has been the subject of a three month public consultation.

Council officers told the cabinet that the document is unique as in Powys it covers the largest network of public rights of way anywhere in the UK.

It is unique in that it covers a quarter of a country.

They believed that promoting the network and major trails would be a key part of boosting tourism and the economy of Powys.

Council Leader Cllr Harris said: “Having the largest rights of way network in the UK ought to be part of our tourism promotion really as it does make us quite unique.”

Cllr Rachel Powell, portfolio member for Children’s Services and Culture, said: “The importance of the network to the economy and tourism has been mentioned, but for me it offers so much more for the well being agenda, mental health and it’s wider links and I support this document.”

In the budget for next year as part of nearly £12 million in cuts, PCC’s tourism budget has been hacked back.

Tourism Development Marketing Budget has lost £58,000 a 50 per-cent reduction.

Tourism Research budget has lost £15,000 which is 100 per-cent reduction

Tourism Development Fund has lost £25,000 which is a 100 per-cent reduction

The cabinet supported the draft ROWIP which will now go in front of Full Council for final approval.

Work on an implementation plan for the ROWIP will now be started.