THE poor turnout at a public meeting in Tenby which was called to discuss gardening and maintenance issues in the town has disappointed the mayor, Councillor Sue Lane.

Only six members of the public were present at the meeting in the De Valence Pavilion, which had been arranged to look at ways the town could help maintain the standards expected of the resort in the face of continued budget cuts by Pembrokeshire County Council.

"Many people think that Tenby Town Council is responsible for grounds maintenance and street cleaning," explained Cllr Mrs Lane. "This is not the case - it is the responsibility of Pembrokeshire County Council and, sadly, as these are not statutory services, these budgets are the ones that have be subjected to the deepest cuts."

The mayor said that she had called the meeting last Wednesday to look at ways local people and organisations could join forces with Tenby Town Council and Tenby in Bloom to work with the county council to offset these cuts.

"Unfortunately, the number of people who turned up were outnumbered by council representatives," said Cllr Lane.

"These people are already helping us in their own small way, weeding and litter picking, so we were preaching to the converted, as they say.

"It was very disappointing, considering how vocal about the town so many people are on social media. We all know there are problems, we hoped they would come forward and help to be part of the solution."

Cllr Lane said that the town council were already providing some financial assistance for purchase of bedding plants and additional watering but were looking solutions that did not require further hikes in local council tax.

"Town councillors are not paid," Cllr Lane continued. "We volunteer our free time for the benefit of the town too and have even rejected the Wales Remuneration Panel’s suggestion that we be given £150 a year. We know people are being squeezed financially and we don’t want to increase that burden, so more help is needed."

Undeterred by the poor turnout, those present at the public meeting agreed to establish a new Tenby Town Team to meet monthly to look at ways of tackling ‘cleaning and greening' issues.

Added the mayor: "The county council said that they will try and do their best with the resources they have, but sadly we could be looking at what they term ‘managed decline’.

"That is just not good enough for Tenby but unless people come forward, that is what we may be facing."