IMPACT assessments for cost reductions and cuts to Powys County Council (PCC) services need to be filled in properly so that councillors can understand the decision.

At PCC’s health and care scrutiny committee on Monday, January 27, Cllr Jackie Charlton (Liberal Democrat – Llangattock) brought the issue up for discussion.

The committee was taking an in depth look at the budget for both Adult’s and Children’s Social Services.

Cllr Charlton said: “I was very keen to go through the impact assessments as I think they are integral and fundamental to the budget.

“I was disappointed with some.

“You have two columns on the left side it says what you are going to do and the right hand side it tells you what the impact will be.

“So many of those were blank.

“It wasn’t telling me either a negative or a good impact.

“I found it incredibly difficult to come to a decision whether they are the right or wrong saving, whether it will have an impact in services. I felt completely lost.

“Can we have some clarity why so many of these columns were left blank?”

Head of Adult Services, Michael Gray, answered: “I appreciate the overall comment but there are 10 separate impact assessments that we have drawn up and have worked very hard to populate.

“None of these should be blank and I would be more than happy to go into further detail with any in particular that you want more detail.”

Cllr Charlton chose the Direct Payments impact assessment which is supposed to save PCC £300,000 in 2020/21 and a total of £700,000 over three years.

Cllr Charlton said: “When I understand direct payments, it’s going to put much more responsibility on the individual to decide how to use the money they have allocated to them and the appropriate care for them.

“Which I think will have an enormous impact on the third (voluntary) sector, but there’s no consultation with them here.”

Cllr Charlton believed the only way the savings could be achieved was to have the third sector delivering care.

“I feel that we  haven’t got the information or this is not the best way of delivering the savings,” said Cllr Charlton

Mr Gray added: “The proposal here is to be more flexible in how we deliver care and direct payments do that.

“We want to make direct payments as attractive as possible to residents.

“We’re also working very closely with the third sector to try and determine how we can build more micro-enterprises in the community as well.”

Cllr Charlton said: “All that is missing, and it will take a long time to embed.”

Corporate Director for both Adult’s and Children’s Social Services, Ali Bulman, said: “We  will go away and make sure we have actually reflected all the positive impacts in the proposals.”