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Calls for councillor to step down after using neighbour's water pipe to supply his holiday home

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A councillor is facing calls to resign over allegations he used a neighbour's water pipe to supply a holiday home.

Councillor David Price

Councillor David Price, who represents Llanafanfawr near Builth Wells, is accused of using water from a neighbour's supply for a converted barn, which was turned into a holiday let.

The matter came to light when neighbours became aware of a drop in water pressure. Welsh Water and Dyfed-Powys Police are now looking into the matter.

However, councillor Price, who chairs Powys County Council's planning committee, has insisted the situation is a result of a mistake by the builder and that he does not need to resign.

He said: "Mains water was introduced to this area probably during the 1950s. I always understood from my late father that there was an agreement that our farm was entitled to free water instead of wayleave payments.

"However, before I commenced building the holiday let, I wrote to Welsh Water to ask if this development would require a meter. They did not respond.

"There are two parallel water pipes which cross my land near the holiday let, one is mine, and the other services my neighbour’s property.

"When my builder connected my holiday-let to what he believed to be my mains pipe, he made an error and connected to my neighbour’s pipe. The builder admits he made this error.

"Since Welsh Water alerted me to this error, I have worked with them to correct this error to their satisfaction.

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"I have not been charged with any offence, and Dyfed-Powys Police have not contacted me, so I see no reason to consider resigning as planning committee chair."

A letter from Welsh Water to the neighbouring property said the unauthorised connection had come to their attention.

It stated: "The connection is being used to supply water to a nearby property, which is illegal."

The letter went on to say the company is taking the matter very seriously.

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A fellow councillor, Elwyn Vaughan, the Plaid Cymru and Green group leader has called for councillor Price to stand down while the investigation is carried out.

He added: "For the sake of public trust, transparency and to avoid any doubt he should step down as the chairman of planning while this investigation is ongoing.

“Many of us stood for election to the council only a few months ago specifically to change the culture of the authority.

“It is imperative that the correct thing is done and the member steps aside with immediate effect from any activities relating to planning.

“This would avoid any further doubt in the minds of the public.”

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police added: "Police have received a complaint which is currently being evaluated.”

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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