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Findings of investigation into Powys council development to be published in autumn

THE findings of a probe into why a flagship Powys County Council (PCC) project, Y Gaer in Brecon was delivered late and £5 million over budget, will be known soon.

In June 2020 it was revealed that Powys County Council’s internal auditors, SWAP would look into the issues surrounding the project.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the council focussed on business-critical services, and work on the investigation has been delayed.

At  meeting of Governance and Audit committee, on Friday, July 30, chairman,  Cllr John Morris told members to “watch this space” for when a date to discuss the report will be announced.

It had originally been pencilled in to be discussed at Friday’s meeting.

Cllr John Morris said: “We’re still waiting for Y Gaer and I’m trying to arrange a special meeting.”

According to SWAP the report is currently “in development” and being looked at by the council’s Housing and Community Development service.

SWAP have been looking at the process of governance and financial control to find out if they were effective and the time and whether any lessons can be learned for future projects.

Calls for an investigation to find out the causes of the problems were originally made back in 2019 by Cllr Karen Laurie-Parry.

She wanted an independent review set up as “no-one appeared concerned” about the spiralling cost.

In December 2019, Brecon’s new cultural hub and library, Y Gaer (Welsh for Fortress) finally opened.

It is the redevelopment of the Grade II* listed Shire Hall and construction of a new modern library at the former Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery which saw the project costs rise, from £9million to £14million.

The Welsh Government and National Heritage Lottery Fund have provided almost £4 million in grant funding for the project.

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