LIBERAL Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has visited Powys ahead of the county’s crunch local elections next month.

During his visit he joined Welsh party leader Jane Dodds to take part in monitoring water pollution in the River Wye with citizen scientists and held a round table on the cost of living crisis.

At the end of the last council, the Liberal Democrats were the second largest group, following a number of defections and internal difficulties from the Conservative party over rural school closures and council tax increases introduced by the Independent and Conservative coalition.

The Lib Dems will be hoping to make gains at the expense of Conservative and Independent members of Powys County Council that they accuse of mismanaging resources over the last five years.

“From what I’ve seen on the ground this weekend there is a real buzz going around that Powys needs change,” said Mr Davey.

“Our candidates are fighting for a fair deal for communities that feel taken for granted.

“On a national level people are fed up of extortionate ambulance waiting times, or being unable to see a GP. Families and small businesses are also struggling to make ends meet due to the cost of living crisis.

“Regrettably, the Conservatives are increasing tax nationally and locally in Powys. We are arguing that VAT should be cut by 2.5 per cent. That would give the average family £600 a year in tax cuts.

“Communities want to see action on sewage dumping in rivers like the Wye, Usk and Severn. We are the only party with a laser-like focus on protecting Wales’ pristine natural environment.

“A vote for a Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate in May is a vote for someone who is embedded in their community, who will be accessible and accountable and who will be a voice for all in their community. There is a real opportunity for change in Powys this May and I know our candidates are giving it their all to make sure this happens.”

County Times:  Ed Davey and Jane Dodds visited a Powys bakery Ed Davey and Jane Dodds visited a Powys bakery

Liberal Democrat group leader on the council, James Gibson-Watt added: “We are going into this election with a commitment to shake up Powys County Council.

“The current Independent and Conservative administration has mismanaged the council for five long years. Whether it’s the extortionate 30 per cent rise in council tax we have seen, the fact our roads are full of potholes or the closure of rural schools that form the beating heart of many of our communities; the Conservatives and Independents are failing our communities.

“With more candidates than Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Greens combined, we are the only group who can take control of the council from the Conservatives. We want to make the council much more open and democratic and have a focus on getting the basics right.”