TOURISTS who have their tyres “shredded by potholes” won’t come back to Powys according to a cabinet member.
At Powys County Council’s (PCC) cabinet meeting on Tuesday, June 15, councillors rubber-stamped the £2 million Covid Recovery Fund.
The fund has been made possible by £1.8m given to PCC from the Welsh Government to help pay the cost of dealing with coronavirus.
An extra £200,000 from the council’s existing Community Grant Fund has been added to the fund to take it up to £2m which will be administered over two years.
This £1m a year, has been split with £400,000-a-year to go to the community and £600,000 to council services, with a minimum of £340,000 to a Highways Recovery Fund to fix potholes.
As part of the fund £100,000 has been earmarked for groups that run public conveniences in Powys.
During a scrutiny meeting last week councillors who probed the proposals had questioned the link between fixing potholes and Covid recovery.
Portfolio holder for Adult Social Care, Welsh and Communications, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander said: “As a representative of a ward (Banwy) where tourism is a very important part of the economy, I would like to say that this funding is extremely welcome.
“Because, if you go to stay somewhere and you have your tyres shredded in a pothole, you will not come back to that place again.”
Cllr Alexander pointed out that many businesses had turned to tourism to “keep their heads above water.”
She believed it was “essential” to the economic recovery of Powys that people can access facilities.
Cllr Alexander said: “I feel particularly strongly that people have invested their own capital, creating fantastic places for people to stay and if the people cannot reach those places to stay then we should have warned those people during the planning process.”
“We have a (road) network that we need to spend more on, and I really welcome this extra investment.”
Portfolio holder for economic development, planning and housing, Cllr Iain McIntosh, said: “Thank you everybody for the supportive comments, this is clearly an important step for us to take.
“We have a lot of tourism in this county, and we need to make sure people can get where they want to be.”
The fund was part of budget proposals that were narrowly agreed at a stormy council meeting at the end of February.
Councillors voted in favour of the budget without the details of the fund being available for them to look at.
It allowed the Independent/Conservative ruling coalition to drop this year’s council tax from 3.9 per cent to 2.9 per cent.