Posted: Thu 12th Oct 2023

Fears Raised Over Delays to North Powys Wellbeing Programme Impacting School Mergers and Building Projects in Newtown /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 12th, 2023

FEARS have been raised that delays to the North Powys Wellbeing Programme could affect school mergers and building projects in Newtown.
At a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, October 10 senior councillors of the Liberal Democrat/Labour administration received a report on the council’s Strategic Risk Register from April to the end of June.
Items that are seen as risks to the council are moved up from departmental to the all council register depending on the gravity of the problem..
Finance portfolio holder, Labour’s Cllr David Thomas said that the item would need to be discussed in two parts as one of the risks that needed to be discussed would have to be done in confidential session.
Cllr Thomas explained that there are 15 risks on the register and in every quarter the “owners” of those risks need to explain what action is being taken to deal with them.
One of these items being considered to be upgraded to the council’s main register is that proposals to merge and build new primary schools in Newtown could be delayed.
The council has already proposed a new school building for Ysgol Calon y Dderwen which was created from the merger of Ladywell Green Infants School and Hafren Junior School in 2021,
In June, the council revealed their intention of looking for more funding to construct a bigger school building – which would also take pupils from Maesyrhandir and Treowen primary schools and eventually lead to their closure.
Cllr Thomas said: “Regarding the transformation programme for 21st Century schools in the Newtown area.
“There is an impact of delay to the school projects and the North Powys Wellbeing Programme plans for an integrated health campus.
“We’re waiting for (council) Programme and Transformation board decisions on this particular risk.”
Another risk under discussion is that the Public Protection Service is failing to: “deliver statutory workplans/recovery plans due to staffing levels and competing priorities.”
Cllr Thomas said, “The proposal is that this is not escalated and the reasoning behind that is that it is being managed on the service risk register.”
A risk falling off the main register is one from the Children’s Social Services department that they have “insufficient capacity to respond to the longer-term demand in Children Services in timely manner.”
Cllr Thomas said: “The was a deep dive into this with the Governance and Audit committee and the service feels that the risk is being managed successfully.”
As the meeting ended – monitoring officer Clive Pinney explained that due to “sensitive information” the other risk that needed to be discussed should be in confidential session.
Interim chief executive Jack Straw added that this was due to “commercial confidentiality.”
Cabinet noted and approved the changes to the risk register and voted to go into confidential session to deal with the secret risk. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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