The last few months has been a busy period for the county council, writes cllr Matthew Dorrance.

Our new Corporate and Strategic Equality Plan 2023-2027 was approved by full council last month. This important five-year plan, which supports our ambition to build a ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener Powys’, focuses on areas that we can improve or develop to make people’s lives better, both as individuals and as communities.

Another milestone saw the council approve a balanced budget that will deliver investment for key council services.

Despite unprecedented economic conditions, spending plans of more than £326m for 2023-24 were approved and these plans will be financed by a combination of funding from the Welsh Government and a below inflation increase in Council Tax.

This has been the most difficult budget-setting process the council has ever experienced, despite the increased funding. Our priority throughout the budget-setting process was to protect services.


Every budget includes a mix of essential growth to fund services and savings.

Despite an overall increase in this year’s budget, we have identified more than £16m in savings by delivering services more efficiently or at reduced cost.

However rising inflation, price rises and increased costs of delivery means that to continue delivering local services like schools, bin collections and social care we have needed to increase Council Tax.

We have tried to limit the impact on the people of Powys by keeping the increase significantly below inflation as everyone is feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis.

As part of our work to build a Stronger, Fairer, Greener Powys, we are determined to tackle child poverty. Our efforts have taken a huge leap forward after an action plan, co-produced by the council and our partners, was officially launched at the Child Poverty Task Force Conference.

The action plan reaffirms our commitment to working with communities, partners and colleagues across the county to tackle child poverty and improve opportunities for children and families here in Powys.

Another of our ambitions is to tackle the housing emergency the council is facing. This week, Cabinet approved a five-year investment plan worth more than £159m that will see new council homes built and improvements made to existing council homes.

Our new At Home in Powys plan will see us build council homes and puts in place the money needed to make our homes more energy efficient for our tenants – tackling fuel poverty and ensuring council homes are doing their bit to tackle climate change.

This plan will help build a stronger, fairer, Powys.

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