PEOPLE power looks set to scupper council proposals to dump a successful household waste recycling centre.

Potential closure of the facility at Whitland – which has recorded recycling rates of over 80 per cent – was highlighted by Carmarthenshire County Council as part of the authority’s plans to save £16.5m over the next three years.

Out of the 14 money-saving proposals put forward by the council, the threat of the Whitland centre closure sparked the biggest response in the budget consultation survey.

Over 2,000 people shared their opinions, with the Whitland issue receiving ‘an overwhelming response’, the authority has now revealed.

This saw almost three-quarters of people saying they strongly disagreed with the centre closure, and one in 10 respondents saying they disagreed.

Only 14 per cent either agreed, or strongly agreed, with three per cent holding no opinion.

As a result of this feedback, the council’s executive board has confirmed it is likely to withdraw this proposal.

However, suggestions made during the consultation about changing the opening hours and days will be looked into.

Cllr David Jenkins, executive board member for resources, said: “We are very grateful to everyone for taking the time to have a say in our budget consultation.

“Having this feedback is hugely helpful to us as we look at ways of balancing the budget and making the savings we need over the next three years.

“We can now arrive at an informed decision based on responses we have received.

“We continue to face challenges and pressures on our resources, and it’s only right that we look at every area to see how we can better manage the resources we have available.

“Whilst we are still analysing the feedback, the proposal for Whitland HWRC in particular received a strong response from members of the public and as such we are likely to agree to withdraw it, possibly along with some others.

“We still have a lot of difficult decisions to make over the coming weeks, but I’m sure that those who felt strongly about the Whitland proposal will appreciate knowing how we are inclined to vote at executive board.”

The move has been welcomed by the town’s county councillor, Sue Allen, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to keep the centre, which she has described as ‘punching above its weight’.

Posting on Facebook, she commented: “Great news! Thank you to everyone who completed the budget consultation.”

The Save Whitland Recycling Centre meeting will go ahead as planned tomorrow (Friday).

Organisers described the council announcement as 'good news but not a cast iron assurance'

In a message to supporters, they added: "We will be keeping a close watch on the decision in March - and as such, we still need your voices at our meeting this Friday.

"We'll discuss what you think we can do to hold the council to their promise, and what you think about their proposals.

"It is one year since the council declared a climate emergency. On Friday we can talk about how saving Whitland Recycling Centre from closure is part of a wider programme the council needs to affect to keep Carmarthenshire clean and our future green - and what we can do to effect change."

The meeting takes place in Whitland Town Hall at 6.30pm on Friday February 14.