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Live: Security tightened for Powys budget meeting

Mid Wales | News | Published:

Tighter security measures were today in place at a meeting of Powys County Council as it once against attempts to set a budget.

Last week's meeting, where councillors were attempting to reduce spending by £20 million, was adjourned after talks were interrupted by anti-cuts campaigners storming into the chamber.

In a bid to avoid a recurrence of last week's interruptions by campaigners fighting the cuts, increased security was today in place at County Hall, Llandrindod Wells.

John Evans, council spokesman, said: "Strengthened security arrangements were put in place to allow the meeting to take place without interruption and to ensure the safety of the public, council members and staff.

"This follows a disruptive incident involving protestors at last week's meeting.

"Public access to county hall was by ticket only and numbers were limited to a maximum of 55, with reduced numbers in the chamber and an overflow committee room."

One protester stopped the debate by staging a sit down protest in the heart of the chamber.

After six hours of talks last week, the county council failed to reach a decision and the Labour group proposed the meeting be adjourned for a week.

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Since then leaders of the groups on the council have been holding behind doors talks to try to reach an all party agreement on how the budget should be drawn up.

The Cabinet had put forward a raft of measures to save money but failed to get a vote on its package.

Conservatives on the county also suggested an alternative budget but this to failed to get cross party agreement at the meeting last week.

Some of the most controversial plans by the cabinet, the cutting of funds for the special units at primary schools, and a £36 a day charge for day centres have already been voted out.

However the cabinet says both still need to go through a review process.

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