A former cabinet member who was at the heart of Powys County Council when it became subject to new controls from the Welsh Government has praised councillors for pulling together during a challenging time.

At a full council meeting on Thursday, July 30, councillors were given a briefing on the changes that will take place when the work of the Improvement and Assurance Board comes to an end this autumn.

It was established after a highly critical report by the Care Inspectorate Wales into Powys children’s services which was published in October 2017.

Following a critical Estyn inspection in September 2019, the education service was added to the board’s remit.

Now the council is setting up its own monitoring, after seeing enough improvements to remove the regulations.

Cllr Stephen Hayes (Montgomery – Independent) said: “It’s just about three years since the report on Children’s Services hit our desks, and we spent a little time floundering around trying to talk about scapegoats.

“It was a while before we pulled together, and from my part the leaders of the opposition groups have played a mature and sensible part in enabling to get us where we are today.”

The former adult services portfolio holder added: “Maybe we have learnt when to unleash the political differences and when it’s appropriate to work together.

“There were times when Welsh Government ministers could have been much more interventionist, and they took the decision with some political risk to themselves to give us space to get out of our difficulties.

“It’s pleasing to move into a new phase.

“But it’s actually not about the journey but services being better and we have a greater confidence we can provide social care and education that are going to be comparable to the best in Wales.”

Later this year the improvement and assurance board which reports to the Welsh Government will end it’s work.

It be replaced by four internal improvement boards at service level that will feed up to the main Corporate Improvement Board.