Powys' ruling Liberal Democrats have hit back at claims they were "celebrating" last week's 7,5% council tax rise.

Welsh Conservatives accused the county's Lib Dems Democrats of having an “appalling” attitude over a picture posted to social media after a vote of party members sharing a drink after the vote.

The post, which was subsequently deleted, showed Cllr Glyn Preston - who is also the prospective parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr in the next General Election, with several other Lib Dem councillors in a pub, all giving a thumbs up to the camera, with the caption: ‘Good day in the office for the Powys Lib Dems’.

Conservative politicians including Radnorshire MS James Evans, and MP Fay Jones, criticised the post, which followed a meeting at which a 7.5 per cent council tax rise was approved.

Mr Evans said: “For the Lib Dem Councillors in Powys County Council to describe a day where they voted to increase council tax, to start charging blue badge holders for parking, and to revert our roads back to stone as a “good day in the office” is an insult to the people living across Powys.

“It’s even more disgusting to see them all out celebrating this. This just shows how little the Lib Dem Councillors think of the very people they are meant to work for.”

At the meeting in which the 2024/2025 budget was voted on, 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, with 34 councillors voting in favour of the budget and 32 against.

READ MORE: Powys Council agrees 7.5 per cent rise in council tax

Speaking on the post to X, Fay Jones MP said: “Celebrating after imposing huge tax increases on residents show the disdain the Lib Dems have for the people of B&R. This attitude is appalling and together with their list of broken promises shows they cannot be trusted.”

In response, Cllr Glyn Preston said: "It's ridiculous to suggest I was celebrating a rise in council tax, I am extremely aware of the impact this rise is going to have on people across the County. 

"However, following months of hard work and negotiations during a difficult budget setting process I was pleased to pass a budget that protects front line services as best as possible despite the tough decisions central Government are forcing all local councils to make. 

"The Conservatives, the Independents and Plaid Cymru all refused to put forward alternative budgets or lower council tax rates during the entire budget setting process and all failed to take up an invitation to comment on the draft budget ahead of the vote. 

"Local Government funding needs fundamental reform. Everyone knows this, yet the Conservative Government has continued to force councils across the country to cut services and increase spending tax. The best way to fix local Government funding is to remove the Conservatives from office in Westminster."