CONSIDERING the controversial issue under discussion – and some of the volatile personalities involved – the fact last week’s meeting of Ammanford Town Council’s finance committee proved a somewhat ill-tempered affair, culminating in the walkout of mayor Irena Hopkins, is not perhaps surprising.

Neither was Cllr Hopkins’ clash with Cllr Emma Thomas – another firebrand on the opposite side of the political fence – entirely unpredictable.

But given the decisions the town council is having to make – whether to take on the town’s sporting and recreational areas and fixing the precept – no wonder matters became somewhat heated.

It is often said the passion has gone out of local politics – but there was a fair amount on display that night.

Deciding on the precept is a big call – whatever members decide will not please everyone. But most people will surely agree that – assuming the town’s parks and recreational area are safeguarded and go on to flourish – an additional £7.65 a year is a small price to pay (if that is indeed what councillors ultimately decide).

In a sense, however, the town council are architects of their own misfortune. The precept was kept down for so long that any rise was bound to provoke criticism, even outrage.