CONCERNS have been raised that the North Powys Wellbeing Programme is in danger of becoming too ‘Newtown-centric.’

At the Health and Care scrutiny committee on Monday, February 24, councillors were given an update on the programme following a four month period of 'engagement' with residents

The project is supposed to bring health and social services and possibly even education, together under one roof.

It is a joint Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB)  and Powys County Council (PCC) scheme.

In May 2019 The Welsh Government announced that £2.5 million of funding has been made available to start the project.

The Park area, in Newtown is earmarked for the building.

Cllr Stephen Hayes (Independent – Montgomery) was cabinet member for Adult Social Services when the proposals were first made public in Spring 2019.

Cllr Hayes, said: “I was very closely involved with this for a time, I am concerned about the medicalisation of the model.

“The wellbeing side is not on an equal basis as the health aspect, this project is about the way we deliver services.

“We can’t afford this to be seen as new medical facilities for Newtown.

“It was never about a campus in Newtown it’s about service delivery.

“If we get this right it will transform peoples lives.

“I’m not worried about the money, if we put the right case to the Welsh Government they will come up with the goods, I’m sure.”

Cllr Hayes added: “The third sector is also crucial in this and have to be recognised otherwise it just looks like the health board and county council trying to save money by doing things together.”

Cllr Jackie Charlton, (Liberal Democrat – Llangattock) said: “There’s a huge reliance on a citizen responsibility approach they are often reliant on financial support,

“Sometimes very small amounts either from the Health Board, from the Welsh Government or from ourselves and over the past 10 years of austerity that is being reduced over and over again.

“It’s a big issue because a lot of this is so heavily reliant on good will and activity that it actually beyond our control.”

Corporate director of Adults and Children’s Social Services Ali Bulman said the details of the scheme would be worked on once formal backing had been given to it by both PCC cabinet and PTHB board.

“You are asking the right questions but they are for the next stage of the design, said Ms Bulman.

The care model – which will go to cabinet next month for a decision with recommendations from the committee.

Between June and October 2019, drop in sessions were held in towns in the area and the aspiration was discussed with school pupils,  Syrian refugees as well as an online survey to find out what 'Wellbeing' meant to people.

It was found that in some areas, such as Llanidloes great store was placed in the cottage hospital there.

But in other areas such as Llanfyllin more importance was placed or arts, crafts and mindfulness.