In a bid to try and avoid flooding incidents and hefty road repair bills councillors have agreed that work needs to be done to clear drains and gullies in Powys.

At a Powys County Council meeting on Thursday, October 13 a motion was put forward by Cllr Amanda Jenner to “direct” managers of the highways teams, before winter, to collaborate with councillors to identify drains and gullies which need to be cleared in order to help prevent localised flooding.

Work to clearing and unblock these drains and gullies would then happen.

The cost analysis of the proposal had said that it would cost £400,000 to do the work all across Powys and that the council would need to double the number of jetter machines it has, to do the work.

Cllr Jenner wanted to stress that the motion was “not calling for money for new machines.”

Cllr Jenner explained that she and fellow Conservative, Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson who was seconding the proposal, were pursuing other avenues of funding through the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity/Levelling Up funds for a couple of jetter machines.

Cllr Jenner said: “We’re trying to be realistic; this motion is asking for the bare minimum in order to prevent localised flooding.”

Cllr Wilkinson said: “I have grave concerns about the long-term damage being done to our highways by blocked gullies causing water to run over the road surface.

“Then freezing and breaking up the road surface.”

Cllr Wilkinson added that in the “longer term” the council will face “significant” costs repairing damage to roads that “could have been avoided.”

Leader of the Independents for Powys group, Cllr Jeremy Pugh said: “I’d like to support the motion and there’s a lesson here for all of us.

“We made cuts for the sake of saving money with no understanding of the long-term effects.”

He feared that work on the roads would cost double the savings that had been made in cutting the drain and gulley maintenance down in the first place.

“I’m disappointed that we got to this position,” said Cllr Pugh.

Cabinet member for a greener Powys, Cllr Jackie Charlton said that she supported what the motion wanted to achieve.

Cllr Charlton said: “I’m working very hard to make sure we can do this, we can prioritise and that’s what’s important in this motion.”

Councillors unanimously backed the motion.