Hay-on-Wye under attack

The Market Place in Hay-On-Wye.

The Market Place in Hay-On-Wye.

First published in News

HAY-ON-WYE is facing a “subtle, creeping attack” by budget cutters at the local authority, insists a spokesman for Hay Town Council.

And the town council has issued a public warning that funding for libraries and playing fields could soon follow the public toilet budget down the pan.

A decision over the future funding of the tourist town’s toilets has been deferred until April 2015 – and the town council are exploring possible options – however town clerk Nigel Lewis is calling on the community to stand up and protect the town’s amenities.

He said: “Although it may not be obvious to the casual visitor, the town is under attack – an attack of the subtle, creeping kind.

“Local services and facilities that were once taken for granted are now under rigorous scrutiny by the local authority.

“Nothing will escape the eye of those looking to balance the budget.

“Public toilets might be first on the list but other facilities are suitable cases for similar treatment; playing fields and play areas, the library etc.

“These are candidates for transfer to the town council, or they might disappear forever, and all this in a town which is lacking in many modern amenities already.”

One forum residents can voice their opinions is through the newly-formed Town Plan.

Having been selected as a pilot community, Hay’s town plan will give local organisations and individuals the chance to shape the future of their community by creating a document that can be referred to as part of all planning applications.

Similar schemes have been popular, and successful, across the border in Herefordshire.

The town plan will be produced in conjunction with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and has already received the support of the county council.

The town council want to use the plan to outline a vision around affordable housing, commercial opportunities and employment opportunities, alongside the future for facilities like public toilets.

Mr Lewis said: “The town council maintains that all these facilities are essential to the future development of Hay – not just as a tourist town, important though that is, but also to improve the town for the benefit of the residents.”

As part of the first stage in preparing the document, it is reaching out community organisations for feedback.

If you are involved in a community group and are interested in being involved, email haytownclerk@hotmail.co.uk .

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