PLANS to cut a community farm's funding by £200,000 have been put back until the summer following a public backlash.

A petition to save Greenmeadow Community Farm from the drastic cash reduction collected more than 3,000 signatures in its first three days.

But councillors on Torfaen council's cleaner communities committee gave assurances on Thursday that "nobody should be frightened" about the farm's future.

The committee made final recommendations on how the Cwmbran farm could be run with the proposed 66 per cent reduction of its subsidy.

A final decision was due to be made by the council's executive on April 9, but the meeting heard that council leader, Cllr Anthony Hunt, has called for a further seminar meeting before then to consider the issue.

This means the final vote on the matter will not be held until June.

The news came as councillors made a plea for a public consultation on the future of the farm.

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Cllr Peter Jones, chairman of the committee, said the views of the public needed to be "clearly heard" before any decision is made.

Councillors also recommended that the council looks at working with charities and other organisations to develop facilities in the longer term.

Cllr Jones said having charitable status could open up new funding opportunities which are not currently available to the farm.

He also made it clear that councillors have aimed to protect the farm in making proposals for its future.

"We want to retain the offering," he said.

"It may have to be scaled down a bit but we want a clear message to go forward that this scrutiny committee wants to see an offering retained."

The proposed £200,000 of cuts include changes to staffing which could see redundancies, having a vending and snack only option in the café and changes to opening hours for the general public, though not for community groups.

Cllr Stuart Ashley said that the changes would still see the future of the farm protected.

"It's a wonderful asset and nobody should be frightened," he said.

"Everybody has said we want to retain it."

A petition to 'save' the farm has now attracted around 3,400 signatures.