Town councillors in Welshpool have decided unanimously that they will not ask the public for their views on the further takeover of services, despite being asked to by the Welsh Government.

Instead, the council will just consult on their own policy, which is:

“The council wishes to protect and sustain the existing services run by the town council and does not wish to take on any further services which will effect increases in council tax or put at risk any of the existing services provided.”

Councillor David Senior was the first to speak out against the consultation. “I can’t agree with this,” he told full council. He said the statement put forward by the council is “contradictory” to the consultation; that it would be like “going to the public having decided we’re not going to do it”.

A six-point consultation was put froward to the full council, on Wednesday, May 29, by the Strategy and Policy Committee. The first point being to seek public support for the council’s statement on the takeover of services. Further points included identifying services the public may wish the council to consider.

Councillor Phil Pritchard said he “agreed entirely” with what Cllr Senior was saying. He said that it has been orchestrated by the Welsh Assembly. “They want us to say we’ll take over more services,” he said.

“We’ll be putting our neck in a massive noose.”

Councillor Richard Church said that the consultation, over what services the council should deliver, is about a “more fundamental restructuring of the two tiers of local government”.

Cllr Pritchard asked: “Shall we disband the Welsh Assembly Government?” He said this would give everyone more money. “That’s a consultation,” he said.

The Mayor, Cllr Steve Kaye, said: “It’s fine to say what we can do and what we can’t do, but how the heck are we going to do it?”

However Robert Robinson, town clerk, said: “We’re not promising the public anything. We’re not saying we’re taking them on. That’s the last thing we’re saying.”

But Cllr Kaye said that this is a “blueprint for the future” and “how to hang ourselves”.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the important role played by community and town councils and we are keen to create an environment for them to expand their activities where they want to, based on local need.”