Powys Council will be a "laughing stock" if its climate change declaration is overturned because of an error in counting votes, the councillor who proposed the motion has said.

The authority is taking legal advice over how to proceed after errors were found in the counting of votes at a meeting in July, which had the vote been counted correctly would have meant the main vote on the declaration never would never have gone ahead.

Now Jake Berriman, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Llandrindod North who proposed the motion, has said that declaring the motion null and void would not reflect well on the council.

“Obviously, this is very disappointing," he said.

“Powys will be a laughing stock if it becomes the first county council to have a climate emergency ‘undeclared’.

“We are facing a climate crisis and, the stalling vote aside, the decision by Powys to finally declare a climate emergency, is monumental.

“The substantive vote clearly won.

“So let’s simply have another vote, come together in common cause and have a unanimous declaration of a climate emergency next time round.”

Cllr Jackie Charlton who seconded the motion at the council meeting added: “This year we’ve seen extreme flooding wreck homes, livelihoods and critical infrastructure in my own area of Crickhowell and Llangattock, but also in the Upper Swansea Valley, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire and communities across Powys.

“These problems are only going to get worse unless all levels of government take the climate emergency seriously.”

She said that there were concerns why the error only came to light several weeks after the meeting.

“We hope that common sense prevails,” she added.

The incident came about after the first full meeting of the authority since lockdown was held online in late July.

On the day the online voting system caused confusion with councillors having to check that they had voted as they intended.

The vote for the initial motion, to postpone the vote on whether to declare a climate emergency, was tied at 28 votes apiece, before being voted down by the chairman's additional vote.

But afterwards an extra vote was found that would have meant that motion would have won by 29 votes to 27 – meaning the vote to declare a climate emergency would never have gone ahead.

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “We can confirm that an error was made during the counting of votes for this motion at the Council meeting on the 30th July.  We have sought legal advice and will discuss the way forward with the Chair of Council as soon as we’re able to.

“We have reviewed our processes and will implement improvements to the voting system to ensure that this does not happen again.”

It is hoped that the council will receive the legal advice before the next full council meeting which will take place on September 24.

The declaration called on the council to take urgent action to address its environmental impact, including setting a net carbon zero target for 2030.

It included creating a cabinet portfolio with responsibility for climate change mitigation and creating a Powys-wide climate change assembly bringing climate action campaigners and farming representatives together.