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Driver Theory Refresher workshops available for mature drivers

Driver Theory Refresher workshops available for mature drivers

22 September 2022

Image of someone driving a car

Are you aged over 65 and living in Powys? 

Mature drivers are being given the opportunity to revise and improve their road knowledge by taking advantage of a free, online driver theory course, organised by the county council. The newly updated course will cover the recent changes to the Highway Code and how these effect road users.

Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit will be holding its Driver Theory Refresher workshop on the following days:

Wednesday 19th October 2022
Wednesday 16th November 2022
Wednesday 14th December 2022

The course is a two-hour, online informal workshop designed to update your knowledge of the road in an ever-changing environment, thus helping improve your driving skills and keep you driving safely. 

As well as covering the changes to the Highway Code, the course also includes ‘The Fatal Five’; what to do when encountering vulnerable road users such as motor and pedal cyclists, and equestrians, eyesight requirements, medication and alcohol laws, what to do in the event of an accident, and much more.

Attendees will also be given information and contact details about going on one of the free, one hour ‘Drive-On’ assessments with a local Advanced Driving Instructor.

Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, said: “Ensuring that our roads and the people of Powys are safe is hugely important to us. I would urge mature drivers across Powys to take advantage of this fantastic scheme. These free workshops are so important because they will remind us of the recent Highway Code changes, refresh and update our essential driving skills and could ultimately help save lives.”

For more information and to book a place on our up-and-coming courses, please contact Miranda Capecchi, Road Safety Project Officer on:

Phone: 01597 82 6924
Email: [email protected]

Annual self-assessment report published – Powys County Council

Annual self-assessment report published – Powys County Council

22 September 2022

Image of the council's annual self-assessment report

Powys County Council’s first corporate self-assessment report is now available to view on its website.

Covering April 2021 to March 2022, the document collates information gathered from a variety of sources, demonstrating how the Council:

  • Exercises its functions effectively
  • Uses resources economically, efficiently, and effectively
  • Is underpinned by effective governance

The aim of the report is to present an honest, reflective assessment of how the Council has performed in the last 12 months; what has worked well, what needs to improve and what needs to be done differently for the people of Powys.

This report also details how the Council has delivered against the well-being objectives and measures which form Vision 2025, the current Corporate Improvement Plan, and the Strategic Equality Plan.

Cllr James Gibson-Watt, Leader and Cabinet Member for an Open and Transparent Powys, said: “Under the new legislation, the Council is expected to develop and publish a self-assessment report once in every financial period.

“This report indicates how the Council is delivering at a strategic level and how processes are reviewed to ensure they are working correctly.

“This is a reflective process, and both good practice and areas for improvement have been identified and will be used to improve how the Council works, and ultimately, supports the people of Powys.

“This is also a report for the people of Powys, and we would welcome everyone sharing their views on how effective they feel we are as your Council”.

The full report can be accessed using the following link: en.powys.gov.uk/article/13136/Vision-2025-Annual-Corporate-Self-Assessment-Report  

To share your views at any time, please use the following link: www.haveyoursaypowys.wales/powyscc-feedback

Cabinet to consider outline business case for new primary school

Cabinet to consider outline business case for new primary school

21 September 2022

Image of Sennybridge C.P. School

Exciting plans that could transform education for south Powys learners move a step closer if Cabinet give the go-ahead to submit plans to the Welsh Government.

Powys County Council is planning to build a new 150-place dual stream primary school to replace Sennybridge C.P. School’s current building.

The council’s strategic outline case for the new school was approved earlier this year by the Welsh Government.

As part of the next stage of the project, the council has prepared an outline business case, which will be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday, September 27.

The investment plans will help the council deliver its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys, which has been updated following the county council elections that took place in May.

Cabinet will be told that the funding required for the replacement school would be £11.1m with 65% of funding coming from the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme (formerly the 21st Century Schools Programme). The remaining 35% would be funded by the council.

If the Outline Business Case is approved by Cabinet, it will be submitted to the Welsh Government for their approval.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “Sennybridge C.P. School’s existing building is not suitable to meet the needs of a 21st Century curriculum or meet the well-being needs of pupils.

“The new school for Sennybridge would provide facilities that the children deserves and will enable the curriculum to be delivered in a continuous and coherent way from the Foundation Stage through to the end of Key Stage 2.

“It will allow the continuation of Welsh medium education in the area while early years childcare provision can be co-located onto one site.

“If the outline business case is approved by both Cabinet and Welsh Government, this would represent another huge investment in our school infrastructure.”

For more information about Transforming Education in Powys, visit Transforming Education.

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen – Powys County Council

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen – Powys County Council

21 September 2022

Image of Ysgol Bro Hyddgen

Revised plans to construct a replacement building for a north Powys all-through school are to be considered by Cabinet, the county council has announced.

Powys County Council has been planning to provide a replacement building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, an all-through school in Machynlleth, since 2017.

In November 2020, the council’s combined Strategic Outline Case and Outline Business Case for the learning and leisure campus, which was estimated to cost £48m, was approved by Welsh Government and this allowed the council to progress to the Full Business Case stage of the project.

However, given the current economic climate, plans for the campus are no longer affordable.

The council’s preferred option now is to build a new 540-place all-age school at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen’s secondary school site to replace the current primary and secondary school buildings.

It has prepared a new Strategic Outline Case/Outline Business Case to develop a new all-age school building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, which will be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday, October 11.

The preferred option incorporates early years facilities, a community room, an additional learning needs centre, wellbeing areas as well as external areas and a 3G pitch.

The design could also include a space for a public library if required. This would be subject to public engagement.

The building will have excellent environmental credentials and will be the council’s first all-through Passivhaus building, with the aim of achieving Net Zero in operation and with a target of <800kg/CO2m2 of embodied carbon.

The preferred option does not include leisure facilities, which will continue to be provided from Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre.  However, it is being recommended to Cabinet that the council seeks additional funding from alternative sources to support leisure centres across the county, including Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “We are committed to providing a new building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen but the previous plans for a learning and campus are no longer affordable.

“We have carried out a cost review of the original learning and leisure campus, which has now reached an estimated £66m. This has meant that the proposed scheme is no longer affordable within the council’s Sustainable Communities for Learning (formerly the 21st Century Schools Programme) funding envelop.

“We believe that the preferred option will provide excellent education facilities for the next generation of learners. This option remains affordable within the current available funding envelope and protects the planned investment in other school sites elsewhere in the county.”

The council’s Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee will be considering the Ysgol Bro Hyddgen Capital Project report on Wednesday, 28 September.

Have your say on public participation

Have your say on public participation

21 September 2022

Image of the council's draft Public Participation Strategy

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 requires all local authorities to prepare a Public Participation Strategy setting out how they will encourage local people to participate in decision-making.

Powys County Council believes all stakeholders, including residents, partners, and businesses should have opportunities to participate and engage, so their voices influence future decisions and service provision across Powys.

The drafted strategy, which has been prepared in accordance with Welsh Government guidance, sets out the vision for public participation in Powys.

As part of the development process of preparing the public participation strategy, the Council is asking for feedback.

Cllr James Gibson-Watt, Leader and Cabinet Member for an Open and Transparent Powys, said: “We want to work in the best interests of Powys and put residents and communities at the heart of all we do. This strategy will guide both council staff and elected members towards a more collaborative culture of participation and engagement with our local communities.

“I encourage as many people as possible to have their say on the draft document and help us ensure the final document meets the everyone’s needs.”

To view a copy of the draft strategy and provide your feedback, please visit: www.haveyoursaypowys.wales/public-participation-strategy

Feedback can be submitted online, or a feedback form is available to download and can be returned by email to [email protected] or handed in at any Powys Library.

The closing date to submit any feedback is Sunday 11 December 2022.

Secondary school applications now open

Secondary school applications now open

20 September 2022

Image of secondary school pupils in uniform running

Applications are now open for children starting secondary school in September 2023, Powys County Council has said.

Parents or carers of children who are now in Year Six have until Friday 11 November 2022 to complete their application.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “All parents/carers are encouraged to complete this application as soon as possible for a place in a secondary school in September 2023.

“If it is not completed in time, then this has the potential to jeopardise their child’s place at their preferred school.”

Parents/Carers need to complete an online application at Applying for a School Place by Friday 11 November 2022.

If you are unable to apply online please contact [email protected]

If you don’t live near a school, your children may be eligible for free transport. The criteria are different for different types of school, so please check carefully to see if you qualify by checking the Home to School Transport Policy which is available on the following webpage:  Apply for school transport

Town centres in mid-Wales to benefit from additional Placemaking funding

Town centres in mid-Wales to benefit from additional Placemaking funding

20 September 2022

Image of Newtown high street

The Welsh Government’s Placemaking Grant funding for the mid-Wales region will see an investment of £5.08 million to help revitalise Powys and Ceredigion town centres over the next three years.

As part of the wider Transforming Towns regeneration programme, the Placemaking Grant is designed to offer broad and flexible support for a wide range of projects aimed at rejuvenating town centres across mid-Wales.

Projects that may be eligible for grant support can range from developing commercial and residential properties, developing town centre markets, improving the public shared outdoor spaces, and the installation and exploitation of digital infrastructure. Projects will need to demonstrate links to town plans and show how they benefit the town centre.

“The placemaking funding received last year has already been put to good use making improvements” explains Cllr David Selby, Powys County Council Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys “Grants were awarded to many businesses and organisations to help them make changes to aid the town centre’s post-covid recovery.

“Our attention is firmly on supporting our town centres, ensuring that they remain safe and resilient, now and into the future. This new injection of investment will go even further to ensuring our beautiful mid-Wales towns are revitalised and remain a thriving place to live, work and visit.”

Cllr Clive Davies, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said: “The Placemaking Grant is an excellent opportunity for private and public stakeholders to access funds to be a catalyst for change in our town centres across mid-Wales, to make improvements in their unique sense of place and create social and economically sustainable communities.”

Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said: “We are committed to making our towns and cities even better places to live, work and visit. The Transforming Towns Placemaking Grant is helping to revitalise the hearts of these local communities.

“Town centres face many challenges which have only been made worse by the pandemic, and it is our priority to make sure they thrive and protect them against the effects of climate change.

“We have been able to support a number of excellent projects in mid-Wales, including the refurbishment of a town centre property in Aberystwyth and the conversion of a former bank in Welshpool.”

The Placemaking Grant is available to private businesses, including developers, third sector businesses, and the public sector. For more information and details of how to apply, please visit:

www.growinpowys.com/transforming-towns

www.ceredigion.gov.uk/business/funding-grants/transforming-towns-place-making-grant

No planned waste or recycling collections on Monday 19 September

No planned waste or recycling collections on Monday 19 September

13 September 2022

Image of bins and recycling boxes in black and white

As a mark of respect for the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Powys County Council has confirmed that there will be no planned waste or recycling collections on this coming bank holiday, Monday 19 September.

“Normally the crews always plan to work over the bank holidays to avoid causing undue disruption to collections.” Explains Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys. “But the significance of this bank holiday is not lost on us. We believe, that as a mark of respect for the Queen and the royal family, we should not be asking our crew to work next Monday.”

The waste and recycling collections next week, including garden waste will all move on a day, with the crews working on Saturday 24 September to complete the weeks rounds.

Normal Day             Planned collection day

Mon 19 Sept             Tue 20 Sept
Tue 20 Sept              Wed 21 Sept
Wed 21 Sept             Thur 22 Sept
Thur 22 Sept             Fri 23 Sept
Fri 23 Sept                 Sat 24 Sept

“Our crews are always so hard working, especially in the recent difficult circumstances faced by the waste and recycling service due to staff shortages. Often working long hours or even double shifts to try and ensure rounds are completed, and bins are emptied. It is only fair and respectful that we allow them to take this extraordinary bank holiday off work.” Added Cllr Charlton.

All Household Waste Recycling Centres will be closed on Monday 19 September.

To confirm your changes to your collection day for the week commencing 19 September, or in the event of a missed collection, please visit: Bin collection day

Council services – 19/9/22 – Powys County Council

Council services – 19/9/22 – Powys County Council

13 September 2022

Following the announcement of the bank holiday for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral on Monday (19 September), Powys County Council will be making the following service changes:

Waste & Recycling
There will be no planned waste or recycling collections on 19 September.
The waste and recycling collections next week, including garden waste will all move on a day, with the crews working on Saturday 24 September to complete the weeks rounds:

Normal Day              Planned collection day

Mon 19 Sept             Tue 20 Sept
Tue 20 Sept              Wed 21 Sept
Wed 21 Sept             Thur 22 Sept
Thur 22 Sept             Fri 23 Sept
Fri 23 Sept                Sat 24 Sept

All Household Waste & Recycling Centres will also be closed for the day on 19 September.
To confirm your changes to your collection day for the week commencing 19 September, or in the event of a missed collection, please visit: Bin collection day

Public buildings
The Council’s public buildings – including libraries, public reception points at The Gwalia Llandrindod Wells, Y Lanfa in Welshpool and Y Gaer in Brecon – will be closed.

Schools
Schools in Powys will be closed on 19 September will re-open the following day.

Leisure Centres
Freedom Leisure sports and leisure centres will be closed.

Books of condolence
The Council’s books of condolence are available in Brecon, Llandrindod Wells and Newtown. The buildings will close on 19 September but will re-open on the 20th for one final day for residents to pay their respects. For full details visit the Council’s website.

Emergencies
The Council will still be providing an out of hours service for emergencies as normal on 19 September. For details visit Out of hours contacts

Cost of living crisis and warm spaces

Cost of living crisis and warm spaces

13 September 2022

A man adjusting his home thermostat while reading his energy bill

As the cost of living crisis worsens and with winter approaching, Powys County Council intends to do everything it can to support its residents during these difficult times.

However, the council will need help and support from its partners as well as community groups and organisations across the county and work together to support vulnerable individuals and families through the cost of living crisis.

The council is looking to provide a network of warm spaces to support anyone struggling with the cost of living this winter.  We are keen to work with any community group or organisation that would be able to provide warm spaces within their community.

Cllr Matthew Dorrance, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Fairer Powys, said: “The cost of living crisis that the UK is experiencing is putting unprecedented pressures on people, who will be forced to make tough decisions about when and what they eat, what they can do in life, and when they can afford to heat their home.

“We want to do more to help Powys residents during the cold months, but we can’t do it alone.

“We’re keen to work with community groups and organisations, building on the great work carried out during the pandemic, to create a network of warm spaces where people can come together, get warm, stay warm and enjoy some company and hot refreshments.

“If any organisation or community group are able to provide a warm space this winter, we want to hear from you.  They would be making a positive difference to our communities and will be helping residents during this crisis.”

Any group or organisation willing to provide a warm space this winter can fill in an Expression of Interest form by visiting Creating Warm Spaces for Powys

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