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Pembrokeshire council officers to focus on recovery areas post Covid

PEMBROKESHIRE Council groups of senior councillors and officers will focus on specific areas in the recovery of the county from the pandemic over coming months.

There was a move to bring more backbench councillors into the discussion at these ‘subgroups’ which will feed into a Strategic Recovery Coordination Group (SRCG) which will plan and implement the authority’s response to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Cllr Joshua Beynon’s amendment to have the chair and vice-chair of scrutiny committees sitting on the subgroups was not passed but it was agreed that minutes of the SRCG and subgroups would be circulated to all members and scrutiny committees.

“Bog-standard backbenchers” are not involved, said Cllr Mike Stoddart while Cllr Alison Tudor highlighted that certain members would have specific skills which would be of benefit to discussions of recovery.

Council leader Cllr David Simpson said that any councillor with input to make could request to be involved and the “membership is flexible and likely to change at different stages” as determined by himself as chairman.

Increasing the membership of the groups would make them “cumbersome” said Cllr Michael John when they should be a “dynamic way of responding to the pandemic.”

Cabinet members and senior officers involved in five sub/task and finish groups that have been formed.

Organisational recovery includes director of finance Jon Haswell and Cllr Bob Kilmister; Business and economic recovery with Cllr Paul Miller and director of communities Steven Jones; Social care, housing and community recovery includes director of social services Jon Griffiths and Cllr Tessa Hodgson; Education, children, young people and schools with the interim director of schools Steven Richard-Downes and Cllr Guy Woodham and communications and infrastructure with Cllr Neil Prior and director of the infrastructure Darren Thomas.

There will also be a technical, advisory and support cell with a head of public protection Richard Brown.

The recovery work’s main objectives include ensuring the long term safety and well-being of communities, developing resilience, building on social capital, restoring life to as normal as possible, restore education and support the rebuilding of the Pembrokeshire economy.

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