CONCERN was expressed that many blind and partially sighted people are unaware of the existence of the valuable service provided by the Powys Talking Newspaper.

The was at the well attended at the annual meeting of the Powys Talking Newspaper held at the Armoury, Brook Street, Welshpool.

Members expressed their concern that many blind and partially sighted people were unaware of the existence of the Powys Talking Newspaper and to that end Mark and Caroline Lloyd volunteered to work on proposals to publicise the organisation.

Following the adoption of the Minutes of the last annual meeting provided by Peter England the group received the reports, which had been circulated beforehand, from the chairperson, secretary, heads of technicians, editors and readers.

Treasurer Mrs Olwen Johns reported that the group was in a healthy state financially, and that we needed to appoint two new trustees.

Officers elected were: Mr Peter England, president, Mr Mark Kneale, vice-president.

It was proposed, seconded and carried unanimously that Mrs Ann Morgan, who had been a very committed and popular reader for many, many years should be invited to become a vice-president.

The chair, Helen Bennett, secretary Jill Jones, treasurer Olwen John and auditor Linda Turner were all re-elected unanimously as were the heads of the three sections, Gill Owen Bullock editors, Bethan Scotford readers and Lynda Morgan technicians.

In addition Mrs Wendy Beaven was voted in as vice-chairman and Dr Peter Barton and Mr Mark Lloyd as trustees.

The immediate priority of the members was to up-grade the sound system in the studio so that our listeners have a pleasant and enjoyable listening experience.

The technician sub-committee of Jenny Bracegirdle, Alison Wilding, Lynda Morgan, Gary Williams, Paul Harris and Steve Lunt was charged with taking the PTN forward into the digital era.

The chair reported that the PTN had contacts with several organisations, RNIB, Sensory Loss Group and Macular Degeneration Group. In fact two members, Gill Owen and Helen Bennett, had visited the latter group in Llandrindod Wells to talk to the group and explain the work of the PTN.

Visits had also been made to the West Shropshire Talking Newspaper and further plans are in the pipeline to visit the Backyard Studio of David Owen and also the Oswestry Talking Newspaper.

One of the highlights of the past year had been the afternoon tea party held at the Methodist Church. It had been a happy social occasion and to that end the committee has organised another tea party again at the Methodist Church in Welshpool on Tuesday, March 12, March from 3pm to 6pm to which everyone is invited – members, friends, listeners together with their carers, family members etc. Please come and join us for a cup of tea and a chat. All welcome.

If possible please phone the studio on 01938 552 085 and leave your name and numbers attending so that we have an idea how many to cater for.

In closing the meeting the chair Helen Bennett thanked everyone for the enormous amount of work, effort and commitment they had all put in to further the work of the Powys Talking Newspaper and to build on the work that the previous chairman Peter England had achieved over the years.