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Sunday
21  July

Newtown to be one of four Powys service centres

 
06/07/2024 @ 09:41

 

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Future Powys County Council (PCC) services will be centred on four towns as the authority outlines a radical shake up of provision.

At a meeting of the council’s Liberal Democrat/Labour Cabinet next Tuesday, senior councillors are expected to agree the principles of “Sustainable Powys”.

This is the first step in explaining how the council will provide its services in the future and will see the county divided into four quadrants called “core areas” which will be centred on Brecon, Llandrindod Wells, Newtown, and Welshpool.

Residents living an hour away, including children, will be expected to travel to these towns to access council services.

Work on the project has already been on going 18 months and the report will be presented to Cabinet by finance and corporate services portfolio holder, Labour’s Cllr David Thomas.

The report said: “Growing financial and workforce pressures are having an impact on the ability of public services to meet the needs of the population.

“A transformation of PCC is needed: making use of reduced assets across the county; breaking down silos between services and maximising coordination with external providers and partners.

“We must become more connected to the population we serve. We need to redesign PCC and the type and volume of services that we can offer to put the organisation on a more sustainable footing, moving away from year-on-year service cuts.”

The report explains that “place-based planning” helps the council divide the county into “manageable areas for services” and for collaborating with communities and partners.

The model is already used with the council having split the county into 13 “localities” based on its market towns. These 13 localities will be now fit into the quadrants.

The report said: “We will provide a hub in each of the four core areas – anything else will only be provided if there is an approved business case to support it.

“We will utilise schools and other community assets wherever we can for community-based solutions and services. Travel times can be up to one hour to your nearest hub even if you are a child.”

The principles explain that service provision must be “digitally supported” and public and community transport must “align” in each locality to the hub.

If senior councillors agree in principle, details of the changes will be worked on and impact assessments will be written to understand the full impact of the changes.