PEOPLE POWER looks to have won as Powys County Council (PCC) has taken a U-turn on plans to close two recycling centres.
A decision to close Potter’s Recycling Centres at both Welshpool and Newtown last year was met with fierce opposition from councillors and the public.
More than 800 residents responded to the consultation, with 70 letters and a petition with 5,300 signatures opposing the closure.
John Powell, Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling, has put forward a recommendation for plans to be shelved and cabinet members will vote at next Tuesday’s meeting.
Welshpool county councillor Graham Breeze said the new plans were right for everyone, but insisted his campaign to retain the centres in the future will continue.
He said: “There have to be savings but to close sites completely would have been reckless and simply the wrong decision.
“This compromise gives everyone the chance to reassess the situation.
“When I called for a public meeting the people of the Welshpool area packed out the town hall and sent PCC portfolio holder John Powell home in little doubt that we would not accept site closures. We have to keep our household waste recycling centres and I will continue to campaign for their retention.”
The plans to close the centres were in a bid to save £700,000.
Now the plans are set to be halted, however Cllr John Powell said savings will have be made in other areas throughout the coming year.
“The public have made their views very clear and I am recommending that we shelve plans to close centres for at least 12 months. However, savings have to be made and I will be recommending that we reduce the number of days the centres open as an alternative to outright closure,” said Cllr Powell.
He said charges for trade waste permits will increase and restrict the type of vehicles that can use them.
He added: “Following the feedback the cabinet provided an additional £200,000 to the service, reducing the savings demand to £500,000 for 2017/18.
“The cabinet will consider plans to reduce opening days at all HWRC sites to three days per week including one weekend day and ensure there is one site open each day of the week throughout the county.
“This will deliver £200,000 savings, leaving a shortfall of £300,000 for the year.
“The cabinet is being asked to fund the shortfall for 12 months to give the service time to plan additional savings,” he added.