Protesters worried about the potential closure of Whitland household waste recycling centre left a Carmarthenshire Council meeting relieved that the idea has been binned.

The Plaid Cymru-Independent administration had proposed closing the site - the least used of the authority's four recycling centres - in 2021-2022 to save money.

But hundreds of people objected via the budget consultation, and the council said earlier this month that the proposal was likely to be withdrawn.

And Cllr David Jenkins, executive board meeting for resources, formally put it on the scrap heap at a meeting on February 24.

Speaking outside County Hall before the meeting took place, protester Jean Myers said keeping the Whitland site open was a "no-brainer".

"The whole area is very supportive of us," said Mrs Myers. "Farmers are worried about extra fly-tipping.

"And it would reduce the number of people coming to Whitland and its shops and cafes. They come up all the way from Laugharne."

She added: "The people who work at the recycling site are really helpful.

"They've got statues, little displays, a little pond, and in the summer they grow plants.

"We are proud of it."

Protester Jean Myers, outside County Hall

Mrs Myers said she and her fellow campaigners also objected to any cuts in opening times at the facility, which is open seven days a week - in winter from 8.30am to 4pm and in summer from 8.30am to 6pm.

"If they reduce the hours, fewer people will be able to use it, then it becomes more expensive to do the recycling there as you've got less throughput," she said.

"We are worried they could use that later as justification to close it."

While shelving the closure proposal, the administration will consider suggestions made during the consultation about the changing the opening hours and days.

Cllr Hazel Evans, executive board member for environment, said the reason for the proposal was that the Welsh Government had reduced a waste management grant and also "top-sliced" further funding in this area worth a total of £220,000 to the council.

She said the proposal "never sat comfortably with me".

"I live in the north of the county, and it's approximately 26 miles to Nantycaws (the nearest household waste recycling centre)," she said.

In a comment aimed at the Labour opposition, Cllr Philip Hughes, executive board member for public protection, apologised to protesters "for being dragged here" after "being misled by certain people".

Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths, who has the culture, sport and tourism portfolio, said Labour group leader Cllr Rob James should ask the Welsh Government about the waste grant reduction, and added: "Instead of running to Whitland, he should be running to Cardiff."

Then, addressing the public gallery, council leader Emlyn Dole said: "You have been led a merry dance by some people who should know better."

After the meeting, Labour group leader, Cllr Rob James, said he was thrilled the Whitland proposal had been dropped.

Cllr James said the recycling centre in Llangadog was closed three years ago and that his party was "determined that this didn’t happen again".

He added: "It’s fantastic that our campaign has been successful in saving this vitally important community facility."

Cllr James said the council was currently missing the Welsh Government's 64% recycling target for 2019-20, and claimed executive board members’ "attempt to blame others for their failure is becoming a common theme".

He also said he would continue to push for kerbside glass collection in Carmarthenshire.