What you think of us Building for the future

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					Red Kite
Issue 1 Winter 2008 Powys County Council’s magazine for all residents

                                          A Greener Powys
                                          Residents and schools lead the way

                                             Building for the future
                                             School modernisation plans

   What you think of us
   Residents’ survey results
    the Future
    We need caring individuals and families who can
    offer anything from one weekend a month, to a
    longer term home for local young people. If you
    have energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to
    children, we’d like to hear from you.

    To find out how you can become a Powys Foster Carer
    contact the team on 01874 614030 or 01686 614014
    or email fostering@powys.gov.uk

2   Red Kite   www.powys.gov.uk
Welcome to the first edition of Red Kite - a magazine
giving news and information to residents about
services provided by Powys County Council.

This newsletter, which will be published quarterly, has been
launched in response to your requests for more information
                                                             Councillor Michael Jones
and news about the council’s activities.                     Chairman of the Board

A massive 75% of residents taking part in last spring’s
countywide survey said they wanted information straight from the council, with
demand for news about services and policies taking the highest priority.

We aim to bring you a mix of news, advice and information about services, local
issues and events. We will cover as wide a range of topics as possible to focus on
the issues that matter to you.

And, all this will be done with a keen eye on costs. By working with our partners
Red Kite will be brought to you for about 20p per household – outstanding value.

Inside this issue ....                                     For jobs with
                                                           Powys County
     4    Transport changes across the county             Council visit our
     5    Exciting joint health and social care             website at
          project in Builth Wells                        www.powys.gov.uk
     6    What the people think – residents’ survey

     8    Recycling - Powys leading the way                    If you need this
     9    Massive Schools investment planned              in large print, or in an
                                                            alternative version,
     10   Countryside Volunteers                                please contact
                                                           Powys County Council
     11   Improving Customer Services                     Communications unit on
                                                               01597 826000.
     12   What’s On

                                    Improving Your Quality of Life               3
 Transport Changes
 Transport in Mid Wales has been
 in the public eye over the past
 few months as changes to the bus
 network in the county have been

 A major review saw both public
 service and home to school/college
 routes scrutinised and
 re-tendered to improve the transport
 service across the county and
 achieve better value for money.

 The public service review resulted
 in a greater choice of destinations             significantly improved, with the majority
 on offer to passengers as well as a             of vehicles being less than five years old
 standard bus fare structure introduced          and disability compliant.
 throughout the county.
                                                 Better integration of home to school
 As a result of the re-tendering                 routes/college transport has reduced the
 process, the quality of vehicles                number of routes from 309 to 263. This
 travelling the routes has also                  means more money can be retained in
                                                 school budgets for education purposes,

 Transport Facts:                                rather than being spent on transport

 The council spends around £7.5million          The re-tendering process saw more than
  per year on home to school, and public         90% of the school routes and nearly
  transport in Powys                             60% of public routes awarded to a
                                                 number of different local companies.
 Public transport in Powys currently carries
  688,500 passenger journeys each year,
  equivalent to 2,265 passenger journeys
  every day                                          For bus, coach and rail
                                                    timetables in Wales visit
 Every day, Powys County Council provides
  free transport for 6,500 pupils to schools
                                                    or telephone 0871 200 22 33
  and further education colleges in the county

 4       Red Kite       www.powys.gov.uk
 New Facility                                            New
Powys is leading the way with an exciting ‘one-stop
shop’ health and social care facility in Builth Wells.   Homes
                                                         Progress on the building of 24
The plans, out for public consultation until the         new affordable homes for local
middle of February, could see new health, social         people is well under way in
care and community services facilities relocated         Crickhowell.

onto one new site in the town - a model that could
                                                         The development, by local
be the blueprint for future county services.
                                                         housing association Melin
                                                         Homes, in partnership with
Health and social care services have changed in          Powys County Council, is off
recent years with new demands and will continue to       Llanbedr Road and consists of
change for the foreseeable future. The Builth project    four, three and two bedroom
is attempting to adapt to those demands and              houses and one bedroom
provide the most efficient                               apartments. They are due to be
                                                         completed early next summer.
services possible.
                                                         Most will be available to rent
                                                         with up to six being available to
Consultation started in mid
November and will end on
February 19. If approved the                             The new development comes
new project could provide:                               at a time when rural housing
                                                         has become less affordable for
   • A care home with                                    young people and families. In
                                                         a recent property study Powys
     nursing and residential beds
                                                         was found to be the least
   • GP beds
                                                         affordable of all the rural Welsh
   • Doctor’s Surgery
                                                         local authorities with average
   • Day hospital/Day centre                             house prices 7.5 times the local
   • Reablement Service                                  annual earnings.
   • Community Support
   • Other community services such as dentistry          Applicants for the homes will
                                                         be selected by the council and
                                                         Melin Homes and must be able
Full details of final consultation events and
                                                         to prove a local connection.
information about the project are available by
contacting Mr Chris Evans, Builth Project Manager,
                                                         For further details please
Powys County Council, Library HQ, Llandrindod            call Melin Homes on 01873
Wells, Powys LD1 5PD. Telephone 01597 826822.            735676, e-mail crickhowell@
                                                         melinhomes.co.uk or
                                                         visit www.melinhomes.co.uk

                                         Improving Your Quality of Life                   5
Residents Survey
In April               last year we carried
                                                     There was an
out two detailed telephone surveys with
over 1,400 residents from across Powys.
                                                     desire from you to
Owner occupiers, housing tenants, Welsh
                                                     see more money
speakers, Polish residents, young people
                                                     spent on helping
and old were asked for their views so we
                                                     children with special
could get a clear picture of how you feel
                                                     education needs and
living in Powys, which Council services you
                                                     providing care for
rate and which need to improve.
                                                     older people.

Chief Executive, Mark Kerr said: “If you
took part in either survey we’d like to                 Services
express our sincere thanks. Your time
                  and honesty will help us to
                                                       Residents were asked to
                      improve future services          comment on 26 services
                        no end. We have no             including:
                         room for complacency          • Education
                         and our budget is             • Housing
                         going to be tight again       • Recycling
                         this year, but I am           • Refuse Collection
                                                       • Leisure and Sports Centres
                       heartened that nearly
                                                       • Libraries
                    two thirds of you (63%) say
                                                       • Planning
that overall you are either very or fairly             • Care Services for Children and
satisfied with the services we currently                   Older People
provide.”                                              • And much much more!
This is what you told us.

                                                     Most Valued
Quality of Life
•   91% of you think Powys is a safe place to live   The services which residents felt
•   90% believe we have a great environment          were the most important to them
•   75% rate Powys for its community spirit
                                                     were refuse collection and disposal,
•   72% think the county is generally good on
                                                     maintenance of local roads, recycling,
  However…..                                         road safety and street cleaning – all
• Only 19% felt Powys provided good work             these services were considered to be
    opportunities and less than a third (29%)        fairly or very important by 90% of the
    thought transport in the county was good         population.

6        Red Kite          www.powys.gov.uk
Rubbish Satisfies                                  Go to www.powys.gov.uk and click on
                                                   Have Your Say, Residents Survey
Refuse collection and disposal topped              to view the full report or visit your
the satisfaction stakes with 88%                   local library.
of you saying you feel this is the
best service and equally the most                  Copies are
important one we provide. The                      available in large
results for the top five services in               print, or tape on
terms of satisfaction were:                        request.
Refuse Collection and Disposal       88%           Contact Sue
Recycling                            76%           Glenn at Powys
Libraries                            75%           County Council
Parks and Open Spaces                73%           on 01597
Street Cleaning                      70%           826043.

Could Do Better
Public transport, toilets, car parking, council housing and maintenance of local roads were
all areas where you feel we need to do better. Some plans are in place:-
  • In conjunction with Ceredigion and Gwynedd, we’ll produce the first Regional
     Transport Plan this year which will identify areas for future investment to road, rail
     and cycle provision across Mid Wales.
  • A £1.2 million Welsh Assembly Government grant is being spent on resurfacing
     Class ‘B’ roads across the county and we hope to get more money this year too!
  • See the article on Page 5 to find out how one housing project will make a difference to
     people living in Crickhowell.
  • The closure of public toilets has proved very unpopular with you and a working party
     has been established to consider how best to provide this convenience in the future.

Citizens Panel have their say
If you are keen to have your say, and             Philip Glynn from Newtown joined the
express an opinion then why not join              panel in September 2001 and is still
the Council’s Citizens Panel.                     giving his views. He said “I feel very
                                                  strongly that people like me
Established in 2000, the panel currently
                                                  who have no influence
has 950 members from across the region
                                                  through being on the
and is keen to recruit new faces especially
                                                  council, should have
Welsh speakers and those under 40.
                                                  the opportunity to
To join online go to www.powys.gov.uk             express our views
click on Have Your Say, then ‘Become a            about matters
Voice’ link, or call Sue Glenn on
                                                  where the council
01597 826043 for an application form.
                                                  has control.”

                                             Improving Your Quality of Life                   7
                            A Greener Powys
                            Leading the Way
                            Congratulations! You recycled and composted 40
                            per cent of your waste during 2006 – 2007.

     Thanks to your efforts, Powys is one of the leading
     councils in Wales when it comes to recycling and
     composting and has been for over five years!
     Kerbside Collection
     77% of households in the county receive a kerbside recycling           tips!
     scheme. Our target is that all households have access to the
     scheme by 2009!
                                                                            Reduce rubbish – Only buy
                                                                            things you really need. Most of
     As part of the kerbside scheme, each household is given two            what we throw away could be
     types of bags; a clear bag with black writing for mixed paper          used again. Think twice before
     and envelopes, flattened cardboard, textiles, clothes and shoes,       you put something in the bin.
     and a clear bag with red writing for food and drinks cans and
     plastic bottles (all washed and squashed) and clean plastic bags.      Reuse products – Use
                                                                            rechargeable batteries,
                                                                            re-useable shopping bags,
     Unfortunately, we do not collect yoghurt pots, polystyrene,            real-nappies and washable
     butter/margarine and ice cream tubs as national recycling              kitchen cloths.
     sorting facilities currently find it difficult to separate these
     types of materials.                                                    Give away or sell – Charity
                                                                            shops, jumble sales and
                                                                            community schemes are
    In rural parts of Powys, recycling and black bags are collected
                                                                            good places to donate or sell
    in the same vehicle. The bags, which are placed on separate             second hand clothes, toys and
    sides of the vehicle, are tipped out slowly at the transfer station     furniture.
                    and the recycling bags are taken away. If a few
                        black bags are mixed with the recycling bags,       Repair or adapt – The best
                          the sorting facility is capable of sorting and    environmental choice is to
       For more                                                             repair, restore or adapt a
   information on           extracting recyclable materials from them.
                                                                            product you already have.
   recycling visit
www.powys.gov.uk              A separate vehicle for recycling will still   Recycle more – Recycle
    or telephone              be used in the larger towns in the county.    things yourself and buy
0845 607 6060 and                                                           recycled products. Use the
 ask to speak to the                                                        recycling schemes available in
                              Recyclables can also be taken to one of
  Recycling Team.                                                           your area.
                            70 bring sites in the county. Many of these
                          sites also accept glass and garden waste.         Compost more – Compost
                                                                            more if you are able
               Residents can also use one of the six Household Waste        to. Contact us for a free
     Recycling Centres, located in Brecon, Llandegley, Machynlleth,         “Composting for All” booklet.
     Newtown, Welshpool and Ystradgynlais, where larger household           Home Compost Bins are
                                                                            available for £10 if collected
     items can also be taken for recycling.
                                                                            or £15 if home delivered
                                                                            – telephone 0845 607 6060
     Front page picture - Newtown youngsters work in                        for details.
     their school’s eco-garden.

 8         Red Kite          www.powys.gov.uk
Massive Schools
Investment Planned
A massive investment            special schools - all
programme is planned            of varying age, size
in the county’s schools         and condition.
over the next decade
making them among               All Welsh Councils
the best in Wales.              are required by
                                the Assembly
The programme, which            Government to
will run until 2019, is         have all their
designed to provide             schools ‘fit for
a network of schools            purpose’ by 2020.
to deliver the highest          Powys is aiming
education standards – a         to have 60% of
network fit for the 21st        schools meeting the
century.                        target by 2011 and
                                all schools by 2019.
The County Council
has already started a           Almost all of the
modernisation programme         Council’s capital
that will see the closure       allocation will go on the
of some small schools,          schools programme over
the re-development of           the next three financial
                                                             Did you know:
others along with a major       years, that’s at least       The council’s net
building initiative.            £25million.                  budget for 2007-8 is
It aims to have the right       Money saved by reducing      Only a small proportion of this
size school in the right        surplus places along with    is raised through Council Tax,
                                                             just 21%. The remaining funds
location with facilities that   funds generated by the
                                                             come from grants from various
enable excellent teaching       sale of surplus schools
                                                             bodies, including the Welsh
and learning for all the        and other buildings,
                                                             Assembly Government and
county’s youngsters.            coupled with prudential      Central Government.
                                borrowing will provide the
Currently the county has        bulk of the investment       See our next issue to find out
106 primary schools, 13         programme.                   more about how this money is
high schools and three                                       spent.

                                           Improving Your Quality of Life                  9
Opening Up the
Experiencing the joys of the        We plan to improve our
countryside is a great way to       network over the next
get fresh air into your lungs       10 years so that walkers,
and there is no better place to     cyclists, equestrians and
start than here in Powys.           people with mobility
                                    problems can enjoy the
We have an area of tremendous       breathtaking views of
variation with dramatic             Powys. Improvements
mountains, rolling hills, fertile   have been made over               build a bridge on the Glyndwr’s
valleys and three of Britain’s      the last five years thanks to a   Way National Trail.
most spectacular rivers – the       dedicated group of volunteers.
Severn, Wye and Usk. Powys                                            “As keen walkers it can be
                                                                      frustrating when you come
also boasts one of Wales’ three     Powys Countryside
National Parks, the Brecon                                            across a blocked path. Instead
                                    Volunteers have made
Beacons National Park.                                                of moaning we decided to do
                                    a huge contribution in helping
                                                                      something about it,” explained
                                    us improve our rights of way
And by using the county’s                                             Shelia.
                                    network, including opening
extensive rights of way             around 300 kilometres of path.
network you can enjoy this                                            “Being a volunteer is extremely
beautiful scenery. Powys has                                          satisfying and rewarding – we
                                    Over the last year, the
almost 9,250 kilometres of                                            visit wonderful parts of the
                                    140-strong group of volunteers
public rights of way and we                                           county that we have never
                                    have replaced 25 foot and
are responsible for more than                                         been to before and know that
                                    bridleway bridges, repaired
8,150 kilometres.                                                     our work will enable others to
                                    30 bridges and cleaned and
                                                                      access and enjoy the rights of
                                    maintained another 70 bridges.
                                                                      way network for many years to
                                    Sheila Turner and husband
                                    Stanley from Llanidloes have
                                    been working on rights of way
                                    for five years. As two of our               Did you
                                    volunteers, they donate on
                                    average one day a week to help
                                    improve the network.                Our public rights of
                                                                       way network is further
                                    They have been involved in           than the distance
                                    projects across the county
                                                                        across the Atlantic
                                    including a trickier project
                                    where materials were taken by
                                    boat across Llyn Clywedog to

10       Red Kite          www.powys.gov.uk
Improving Customer
Services for You
You might have noticed a few
changes recently if you’ve called    If you live in Llanidloes, or
Powys County Council. That’s         have visited there since last
because we’ve set up a brand         March, you’ll have had a
new service to answer your           preview of what this means.
calls.                               We used to have separate
                                     buildings offering housing,
We’ve got Customer Service           tourism and library services.
staff in Welshpool, Newtown,         Now they are all and more are
Llandrindod Wells and Brecon         available at the former library.
using the latest telephone           We offer a better service,
technology to take your calls,       longer opening times and have
offering information on a wide       saved money.
range of services.                                                      as services from partners.
                                     We are also moving into new
This is part of an on going          premises in Builth Wells,          We’ll be doing something similar
revolution taking place at the       Crickhowell and Machynlleth.       in Ystradgynlais and Brecon
council; a revolution which aims                                        libraries and in the Gwalia
to make it so much easier for        We’ve called this revolution       building in Llandrindod Wells.
you to get the service you need.     Access to Services and one         There will also be improvements
                                     of the next steps will be the      to our service in Welshpool and
And it’s not just the phone          opening of a new Customer          Hay on Wye too.
service we are developing; we        Service Centre in Newtown
are also setting up a network        in the spring. We’ll be setting    Red Kite will bring you news on
of one-stop-shops in the bigger      up in the tourist information      all of these developments and
towns. In these you’ll be able to    centre on Back Lane and when       more but keep an eye on your
call in to pay your council bills,   we open, we’ll be offering         local press for information on
get specialist information, ask      tourism, housing, benefit and      how your community is going to
for a service and much, much         other council services – as well   benefit.

                                     Need to call us?
                                Council Tax and Business Rates 0845 058 1879
Contact Red Kite
Write to us at:                 Benefits 0845 055 1355, Payments 01938 551 288,
Communications Unit,            Housing repairs (for Council tenants) – 0845 055 1655
Powys County Council,           Highways, refuse and Powys buildings – 0845 607 6060
County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Careline (Emergency out of hours cover and
Powys, LD1 5LG.                 Tunstall alarm service) 0845 054 4847
Email: red.kite@powys.gov.uk
                                Anything else?
                                Call 01597 826000 or email customer@powys.gov.uk

                                                  Improving Your Quality of Life                      11
What’s On
Brecknock       Powysland
Museum & Art Museum,
Gallery, Brecon Welshpool
----------------------------------   ----------------------------------
Until Saturday 1 March               Until Saturday 23 February
‘The Welsh Group: 60 years – A       ‘Return / Yn Ôl’ – an exhibition
Celebration’ – Wales’ foremost       of photographs by the
association of professional          Gwynedd-born, Italian-based
artists is celebrating its 60th      Rhodri Jones. The exhibition
anniversary this year and            is a poignant but uplifting
current members of the group
will be showing a selection of
                                     reflection on contemporary life
                                     in Wales from a Welshman who
their latest work.                   has spent most of his life away
                                     from his spiritual home.
Until Saturday 8 March
‘The Railways of Breconshire’        March – April
                                                                          Llandrindod Wells
exhibition traces the history of     ‘BC: Before Computers’ – An          ----------------------------------
railways in Breconshire from         exhibition of office equipment
their arrival in Brecon in around    before computers took                Until Saturday 15 March
1862 to their closure in 1962        over. The exhibition comes           A selling exhibition of Edward
and will also look at Brecon &       from Ceredigion Museum in            Ardizzone’s illustrations for
Merthyr, Neath & Brecon and          Aberystwyth but includes some        Walter de la Mare’s ‘Old
the Cambrian & Midland railway       of Powysland Museum’s own            Testament Stories for Children’.
companies.                           items.
                                                                          Friday 21 March to May
Saturday 8 March                                                          Bank Holiday
to Sunday 20 April                                                        Bronte Woodruffe’s ‘Wayfaring’
‘Ian Phillips, Source to Stream:                                          is a selling exhibition of
Water through the Brecon                                                  Radnorshire landscapes by a
Beacons’ exhibition will show                                             local artist.
a series of link-cut prints
produced by the artist from his                                           For more information on
sketches made while walking                                               these exhibitions, telephone
the landscape.                                                            01597 824513.

Saturday 15 March
to Sunday 27 April
‘Angharad Whitfield: Stained         Picture courtesy of
Glass’ exhibition by the             Ceredigion Museum
award-winning artist in
stained glass, who combines          For more information on
contemporary techniques with         these exhibitions, telephone
traditional painting mediums         01938 554656.
while drawing on her love of
traditions of Welsh culture,
mythology and storytelling.           This is just a small selection of
                                      events that are taking place in
For more information on                                                   Illustrations of Eden
                                     Powys over the coming months.
these exhibitions,                                                        and Samson by Edward
telephone 01874 624121.              To see a complete list then visit
                                         the What’s On section at         Ardizzone will be on display
                                                                          at Radnorshire Museum until
                                                                          Saturday 15 March.

12      Red Kite          www.powys.gov.uk