COUNCILLORS have branded changes to the ward boundaries in Powys as “bonkers”.

At the next election the number of Powys County Councillors will drop from 73 to 68.

At a Full Council meeting councillors discussed the changes recommended by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales.

Members believe they would have come up with better proposals themselves.

Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, Glantwymyn, said: “In the original recommendations there was discussion that Llanbrynmair and Carno should be put together.

“By now the idiotic recommendation, and I believe there is a cross-party consensus on this, is to put Llanbrynmair and Trefeglwys together.

“Geographically the ward will extend from Brigands Inn (Mallwyd) to Dylife, over the mountain to Trefeglwys.

“It’s about 30miles from one end to the other and a big mountain in the middle and it’s bonkers on every level.

“If you had Carno and Llanbrynmair they have the same schools federation,  so it makes more sense.”

Cllr Diane Jones -Poston (Conservative),  who represents Llanbrynmair, added: “I’m disappointed we have not had the opportunity to come together to discuss the final recommendations until today (Friday – May 3)

“The deadline for feedback closed yesterday (Thursday – May 2). Why haven’t we had a meeting before today?

“I was really surprised when the final recommendations came out that Llanbrynmair is recommended to join Trefeglwys.

“It seems to me that they (Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales) are trying to stack up the figures.”

Cllr Jones-Poston added that both Llanbrynmair and Trefeglwys Community Councils would be opposing  the recommendation.

“I would have liked PCC to have opposed this ridiculous electoral boundary,” added Cllr Jones-Poston.

Council Solicitor Clive Pinney, said: “The reason we have not been able to discuss this is simply a matter of timing and council has found it historically difficult to agree with regards to these issues.”

Mr Pinney explained that he had written to all councillors on March 23 indicating that they could make individual comments.

“I was hoping that members would have done that and it was open to groups to put in submissions,” added Mr Pinney.

Education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Dyffryn Banw), wished councillors could have come up with their own map.

“This is a desktop exercise, we could have come up with something that was acceptable and meet the criteria, said Cllr Alexander.

She continued: “Everyone might have stood up for their own interests but I do think there’s enough sensible people in this room to have come up with a sensible solution.

“Or at least tried before we had someone from Cardiff carving up our communities in this way.”

Council chairman, Cllr David Meredith (Labour – Brecon St.David Within), urged councillors who wanted to to send their comments to the commission as soon as possible.

The commission said: “It is now for Welsh Government and its Ministers to decide how to proceed.”

The proposals are:

68 members down from 73

Average of 1,569 voters per councillor

60 electoral wards (down from 73)

Eight two councillor multi-member wards

There would be some two-member wards: Aber-craf and Ystradgynlais, Knighton and Beguildy, Crickhowell with Cwmdu and Tretower, Llandrindod South, Llanidloes with Llangurig, Newtown Central and South, Brecon East and Brecon West.

By 2022 the number of voters is set to fall from 106,664 to 103,021.

The Office of National Statistics estimates that 1,048 people who could vote are not registered.

According to the commission, the average number of electors at the moment is 1,461.

The numbers can range down to 790 voters in Llanbrynmair. And up to 2,658 voters in Brecon St John.

By bringing the number of councillors down to 68 the ratio of voters per councillor comes to 1,569 and the ward boundaries have been re-jigged to get as close to that figure as possible.