BRINGING back markets under the management of Powys County Council (PCC) is a proposal being considered in the draft budget.

If it were passed it could make PCC £22,500 in 2020/21 and a further £52,500 in 2020/21.

The proposal is one of several put forward by the Highways Transport and Recycling Service, who are looking to make £291,000 in savings in the next financial year.

They were questioned at the Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance Scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday, January 29.

Cllr David Selby, (Liberal Democrat – Newtown Central), had serious concerns over the proposal.

Cllr Selby, said: “To me this is going in the opposite direction that we want it to.

“We are in the process of transforming the council and one of the key elements is to simplify the council.

“When we find services that are best run elsewhere we should do that.

“We already have agreements with town councils and Powys takes a 12.5 per cent cut of the income.

“All of the responsibility, the marketing and all of that is down to a town council.

“In my view, yipee.

“To think there is some clever income grab we can have by bringing it back in house is giving the wrong message.

Cllr Selby added that in the case of Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council, they had set their precept with the costs of the market as part of it.

Cllr Selby added: “I can’t see there’s a £23,000 income to generate?

“To put it in as a potential income stream for next year is wrong and ridiculous.”

Adrian Jarvis, head of highways, transport and recycling service, said he thought Cllr Selby had made some valid points.

He added: “When you’re backed in the corner to make savings these are the sort of ideas that we come up with.

“We have a good track record of successfully achieving savings, £15 million over the last 10 years.

“We’re not saying that we can’t make more improvements, but they are getting more difficult to achieve, will be much less palatable and will have a greater impact on residents.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Mathew Dorrance (Labour Brecon St John), said: “Thank you for that honesty, we appreciate the challenges you have got.”

The impact assessment for the proposal indicates that transfer agreement with town council comes to an end soon.