Opposition Leader regrets ‘lost opportunity’ of Powys 2025 ‘vision’

The Leader of the Opposition on Powys County Council has described the Council Cabinet’s ‘Vision 2025’ strategy document, published this week, as a ‘great missed opportunity’ to ‘restore credibility to a local authority whose reputation has been battered by years of botched policy initiatives and a series of budgetary crises in its essential public services’.

Commenting on the document’s publication, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, who is Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Group, said:-

“I welcome and support the aim of improving the Powys economy as a top priority, as it is the decline of our local economy that has been the root cause of the Council’s difficulties over recent years. It has led to outward migration of the young and working-age people and a declining population, resulting in declining funding for the Council and severe problems sustaining its services. Fixing the economy will do much to help improve matters in the long term.”

“But the document gives us no indication of how the council’s Cabinet intends to deliver on these priorities, how it will stimulate economic activity, how it will improve education or care services; or most importantly how it sees this all being achieved within the context of Brexit and the massive uncertainties for the county and its residents and businesses that that process inevitably involves.”

“This was a moment to provide a really coherent vision for the future direction for Powys and the Council’s role in improving its residents’ standard of living and quality of public services. I fear that opportunity has been missed,” concluded Cllr Gibson-Watt

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