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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 13:28 GMT
Council backs 4.9m service cuts
Powys Council's headquarters in Llandrindod Wells
Council departments are facing tough decisions, says officials
Cuts to council services totalling nearly 5m have been approved by councillors in Powys.

The decision could lead to teacher redundancies, while a swimming pool for child learners will close in Newtown.

Departmental cutbacks of 2.5% for the next financial year mean services such as public toilets will be affected too.

Powys Council said it was the most difficult budget it had worked on since local authority reorganisation 10 years ago.

The authority will save 1.53m by reducing the schools delegated budget. It pays for teachers' salaries and school trips, amongst other things.

Geraint Davies, secretary in Wales of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), said on Monday that just one teacher redundancy would be "one too many".

"I hope no teachers will be made redundant as a result of this decision
Geraint Davies, NASUWT

He added: "Some schools in Powys will have reserves and some may be able to deal with this, but some may not be in that position.

"I hope no teachers will be made redundant as a result of this decision."

Meanwhile, Hafren Primary School's swimming pool in Newtown will be closed.

Under health and safety grounds, it has been shut since November but it had been used by 300 children per week. The school's head teacher refused to comment about the council's decision at the moment.

But Powys Council said there was a pool at the town's Maldwyn sports centre that pupils could use.

As part of the other 4.9m savings made to the council's budget, 20 of the county's 60 public toilets will close.

School library
The delegated budget helps run schools


Responding to cuts to its education budget, a Powys Council spokesman said: "The authority has reduced the delegated budget so it is up schools and governing bodies to decide how they spend their delegated budget.

"All service departments have been asked to make very difficult decisions while trying to balance the needs of the public and service delivery.

"We are protecting and maintaining services while minimising the impact of council tax."

The spokesman added: "The authority is moving towards a budget delivery that is associated with its corporate objectives and while that means significant spending on things such as social care and particularly children's services, there will be areas where spending is reduced."

The council has also agreed to increase council tax by 4.95%.

School budget cuts loom
06 Jan 04 |  Wales

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