THE number of town councillors in Hay-on-Wye is dwindling due to an increased workload, according to the mayor.

Hay-on-Wye Town Council has seen just five volunteers apply for the 11 town council seats available for next term, leading to elections being scrapped.

The council can legitimately run with only four councillors.

Mayor Fiona Howard says that potential volunteers no longer have the time required to be a councillor due to the increased workloads caused by Powys County Council asking the council to take over more services.

“During the last election an awful lot of people applied as there were some controversial issues in the town with the school and supermarket plans,” said Cllr Howard.

“Now people feel like we are dealing with the controversial issues the best we can and they are quite happy with the way things are going.

"People are quite relaxed to let us carry on what we are doing. We are currently taking over a lot of services from the county council which is another reason why people aren’t applying because there is much work to be done.

“To volunteer is a big commitment as we have to spend a lot of time in meetings.

"We all have committee meetings so it’s not just one meeting a month.

"There is so much to do in council that I don’t think people appreciate the amount of work we do.”

Cllr Howard has been volunteering on the council for more than 20 years and says that the role of the council has now changed leading.

She added: “It used to be one meeting a month to discuss how we were going to spend our precept.

“Now it is more about ways we can get money in to run what we can, so it is very different.

"We need more people on the council but have to warn them that it is a commitment. These days people are having to work more themselves so have less time to volunteer.”

Nigel Lewis, Hay-on-Wye Town Clerk, said that it is likely the council will decide to advertise to co-opt councillors onto the council, in which case any person interested who qualifies will be invited to put themselves forward for co-option.