Unemployment, foodbank use, and homelessness are all set to spike in Powys in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, a key figure in the county council has warned.

The county could be faced with years of consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak, with further redundancies yet to come, according to Emma Palmer, Powys County Council's head of transformation and communications.

In a presentation to members of the county's Public Service Board in an online meeting, Ms Palmer provided a warning over the long-term impact of the virus lockdown.

Ms Palmer said: “We wanted to understand the situation and what has changed in the county as we look ahead.

“One of the important things for us to consider is the likelihood of further redundancies of those staff furloughed and the impact of that come October, November, as we see the shift in respect of UK Government support.”

Powys saw 23 per cent of its workforce – more than 13,000 people – put on furlough leave by their employers during the pandemic, and between March and May unemployment claims rose by 156 per cent, meaning an extra 2,000-plus people were signing on.

Ms Palmer said the accommodation and food sector in the county had taken a 92 per cent hit, and she predicted that in five years' time the county's overall economic output would have fallen by 4.4 per cent.

Ms Palmer said: “Even if we look back to 2018. In five years time we still won’t be in as good a position as we were then.

“We believe we will see an increase in the number of food banks.

“We believe most people are going to be financially stretched with unemployment claims rising.

“We believe we will see and increase in homelessness more than we’ve seen already.

“We believe it will be families in the future and we think that will also result in an increase of referrals to our statutory services.”

She also said that the impact of closing formal schooling during the lockdown would have an impact on a generation of children that will be unclear for a time.

After the pandemic, there would need to be a concerted campaign to entice visitors back to the county.

Ms Palmer added:  “We need to tell people far and wide when the time is right that Powys is open and do what we can in terms of promotion.”

Powys Teaching Health Board, (PTHB ) director of primary, community care and mental health, Jamie Marchant, said: “What were priorities six months ago, may well not be the priorities in the next six, nine to 12 months or longer us as we adapt to what the new world is bringing us.

“We have to have that question in our head every day now, are we focussing on the right areas?"

Dyfed-Powys Police superintendent, Steve Davies added: “The data is pretty sobering.

“The socio economic position will impact on policing.”

The report will be published soon.