Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 12:36 UK

Council makes tourist centre cuts

Tourist Information Centre sign
Powys council currently operates 10 tourist information centres

Plans are in place to off-load all 10 of a council's tourist information centres (TICs) to town councils and other organisations to save money.

Powys council has agreed in principle to place TICs in Welshpool and Machynlleth in councillors' hands.

But Machynlleth mayor Bob Dunn said it was by no means certain at the moment his town would run the TIC.

Town councils in partnership with other groups and not-for-profit organisations are being approached to run other TICs.

As well as Welshpool and Machynlleth, Powys council operates tourist centres in Brecon, Builth Wells, Rhayader, Llanidloes, Newtown, Knighton, Presteigne and Llandrindod Wells.

It is thought support packages will be offered to councils or groups to help them run the centres, which employ in the region of 20 people throughout the county.

Discussions

The council said deals had already been agreed with the Offa's Dyke Centre in Knighton and the Judge's Lodgings in Presteigne.

In Brecon, the council plans to ask Brecon Beacons National Park to contribute to the running costs of the TIC, which is one of the busiest in Wales with 110,000 visitors per year.

Discussions are being held with councils and organisations in other areas.

However, Machynlleth mayor Bob Dunn said it was not a "done deal" in his town.

"I think the council is jumping the gun somewhat," he added.

There is a deal available to help us run ours
Robert Robinson

He added he had held two meetings with officials from Powys council, but town councillors were yet to vote on the proposals.

"We are not as far along the road as reports indicate. It's uncertain whether we can even take the TIC over."

Welshpool town clerk Robert Robinson said the town council was "committed" to having a TIC.

"We will have to wait and see what exactly the terms are," he explained.

"It's costing Powys council a lot of money to run this, but there is a deal available to help us run ours. However, councillors will have to discuss the plan and vote on it."


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