A MEETING between protest group Abermule Communities Together (ACT) and Environment portfolio holder Cllr Heulwen Hulme and senior Powys County Council (PCC) staff set for, Friday, November 1, has been cancelled.

The group had set up a meeting to further discuss the concerns they have about the £4 million Bulk Recycling Facility which is set to be built on the outskirts of the village.

ACT member Wendy Ellis had been trying to set up the meeting, but has now been told that correspondence about the controversial facility will only be made through Abermule with Llandyssil Community Council and county councillor for the village Gareth Pugh (Conservative – Dolforwyn).

Mark Pearce, of ACT, said: “Since the Cabinet gave the ‘go ahead’ for the facility back in May, we have effectively ‘frozen’ out of any ongoing communications or meetings

“ACT attempted to set up some form of meeting, and wrote to Nigel Brinn, corporate director for economy and environment, and Cllr Heulwen Hulme,  the new cabinet member for Environment, inviting them to attend a meeting.”

Correspondences shown to the Local Democracy Reporting Service shows that there was enthusiasm to begin with for a meeting, however this was short lived.

ACT wastold by Mr Brinn that PCC would be meeting with the “community council and local member” soon but would not be meeting the protest group.

Environment portfolio holder Cllr Heulwen Hulme, said: “Following various council and cabinet meetings where the Abermule project was heavily scrutinised, a decision was made by Cabinet that officers would continue to liaise with the community council and the local member as the elected representatives in the area.”

“I have respectfully declined the invitation and advised the group that liaison should continue as per the agreed Cabinet recommendation.”

“A meeting is currently being arranged with officers working on the project and the appointed contractor for the works.

“Any questions or concerns should be passed to the either the community council or local member who will then be able to raise them at this meeting where the right officers will be present to answer them.

“This will be the first of a number of meetings as the project progresses so there should be ample opportunity for issues to be raised.”

In August 2018, planning permission was given for the £4 million scheme.

In May the PCC cabinet voted unanimously in favour of going ahead with the project.

PCC has stressed  that the facility is to help the authority deal with hitting the Welsh Government recycling targets of 70 per cent by 2024/25.

It believes the recycling bulking facility is “essential to maximise the efficiency” of the collection vehicles and is “ideally located between the two main population centres of North Powys.”