POWYS County Council’s budget for 2024/2025 – which includes a 7.5 per cent council tax rise has been approved – by a slim majority.

At a stormy full council meeting on Thursday, February 22 councillors spent three hours locked in talks over the budget for 2024/2025.

The budget is set to rise to £341.2 million after the council were told they would receive a 2.8 per cent increase in funding from the Welsh Government just before Christmas.

Earlier this month the Welsh Government announced that Powys will receive a further $570,000.

To balance next year’s budget a funding gap of £18.458 million needs to be plugged, with £10.652 million of cuts, savings, and income generation, and £7.805 million from extra council tax income.

One key bone of contention was the plan to take black bin waste to the North Powys Bulking Facility in Abermule, with a contract with Potters in Welshpool which currently deals with residual waste ending.

Councillors had been told at a scrutiny meeting that past assurances to the villagers that black bin waste would not be taken to Abermule should not tie the hands of the council years later.

Cllr Pugh whose Dolforwyn ward includes Abermule said: “Residents feel very betrayed by this proposal.

“Black bag waste is a very odorous product, still carries food waste, pet waste and nappies.”

He claimed that businesses that are based in the “prestigious” business units next to the facility would leave the site if black bin waste were brought to Abermule and causes a smell.

County Times: The bulking site at AbermuleThe bulking site at Abermule

Cllr Pugh said that the council could end up having empty units and an “embarrassing white elephant” – all for the sake of £50,000.

Cllr Pugh said:  “I would like to remove the saving from the budget, and the £50,000 found from elsewhere in the budget, from the risk fund or reserves.”


Fellow Tory Cllr Karl Lewis backed his proposal, but after an extended lunch break understood to include discussions between senior council officers and councillors to find the £50,000, the amendment failed, meaning black bin waste will go to Abermule.

On the resumption of the meeting Council chair Cllr Beverley Baynham said: “I have also had an opportunity to discuss it with the monitoring officer (Clive Pinney) and have come to a conclusion that it is not an amendment that can be accepted as it doesn’t balance the budget.

County Times: Cllr Beverley BaynhamCllr Beverley Baynham

“Therefore, it is rejected on that basis.”

Following another hour’s debate, cabinet member for a safer Powys, Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Church proposed moving the draft budget to a vote.

Cllr Church said: “There have been a huge number of people saying we should be spending more on some things, sometimes the very same people complaining about council tax.

“None of those people have come up with an alternative proposal, there is only one proposal on the table and it’s this one.

“I propose we move to a vote now.”

All nine elements of the budget which include setting the council tax, the council’s medium term financial strategy, setting fees and charges and capital budget strategy were all voted on together.

It was announced that 34 councillors had voted in favour of the budget and 32 against.

The Council Tax increase will see £114.33 added to the annual bill for a Band D dwelling.

Dyfed Powys Police and Town and Community Council precepts need to be added to the final bill.