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Town and Community Councillors are dumped off Powys PSB

REPRESENTATIVES of Town and Community Councils have been dumped off Powys Public Service Board (PSB).

Just minutes before the PSB were due to meet on Monday, February 27, Ystradfellte community councillor, Hugh Pattrick who represented Brecon and Radnorshire and Trefeglwys community councillor Derrick Pugh who represented Montgomeryshire, were told that they were no longer board members and could not attend the meeting.

Cllr Hugh Pattrick said: “I am very annoyed, I think we’ve been dealt with very poorly indeed.

“We had an email to say that membership was being reviewed, but we thought we were going into the meeting to discuss that.”

According to the legislation that governs PSB membership, town and community councillors don’t have an automatic right to be board members.

Cllr Pattrick said: “The idea of the PSB is to involve all public authorities within the county – we are very much part of that.

“There are over 100 town and community councils in Powys who are very much into the wellbeing of their residents so we come within the umbrella of what the PSB should be doing.

“Many community councils didn’t know of the existence of the PSB before we became involved, and I would have thought it would be in their interests to encourage and promote us.”

At the meeting board members were told that the changes to the membership had been agreed at a PSB workshop held on January 26 to discuss the Powys wellbeing plan.

Powys county council leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt who chairs the PSB said that a letter had “gone out” to all those involved explaining the changes.

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Cllr Gibson-Watt said: “I have had representations from some sectors saying they’re a bit disappointed not to be included.

“I think it was right to review the membership and do what we’ve done.”

Town and community councillors were invited to become board members in 2019.

PSBs have been set up in Wales under the 2015 Well Being of Future Generations Act.

The statutory partners for the PSB in Powys are:

• Powys County Council.
• Powys Teaching Health Board.
• Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
• Natural Resources Wales.

Invited participants are:
• Dyfed Powys Police.
• Office of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.
• National Probation Service.
• Powys Association of Voluntary Association.
• Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

Under the terms of the Act town and community councils with a turnover of more than £200,000 per year must take all reasonable steps in their areas towards meeting the local objectives, including the wellbeing plan.

In Powys there are five community councils that meet this threshold: Brecon, Machynlleth, Newtown, Welshpool and Ystradgynlais