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IT is difficult to plan how best to serve Powys and its residents in “very troubled and uncertain times” a health chief has said.

At a meeting of the Powys Public Service Board on Thursday, March 17 members looked at draft Wellbeing and Population Needs assessments.

These documents provide the data that will shape future policy making for the county and they are bow a legal requirement.

Powys council’s head of transformation and communications, Emma Palmer said: “It’s proposed that the Wellbeing Assessment is received as a key evidence base on which the statutory Wellbeing Plan is developed.

“The Population Assessment will provide the evidence to develop the statutory regional joint action plan.

“Both assessments provide and honest account of what we know and don’t know.”

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the face-to-face focus groups, street surveys, and public events were done online.

Professor Vivienne Harpwood who chairs Powys Teaching Health Board, said: “Both documents are amazing, not only because there’s so much work gone into them but the fact there’s so much information in them.”

“But my concern is in these very troubled and uncertain times it’s very difficult to look at trends with any certainty for the future.

“These are wonderful snapshots of what’s been achieved, we just don’t know what were in for: the economy is in a mess, there won’t be as much money around and we won’t be able to provide for people in the same way we have possibly.

“There will be more poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor will increase.”

Prof Harpwood ended her comments on an optimistic note by hoping that things will be “alright.”

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, deputy chief fire officer Iwan Cray said: “It’s important for us as individual organisations to use these documents to shape internal plans.”

Powys council leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris, who chaired the meeting said: “It’s important that we disseminate as much information as we can to the residents.”

Cllr Harris added that the assessments should be given to councillors elected in May as the information contained in them are “very comprehensive”

The assessments were agreed by the board.

PSBs have been set up in Wales under the 2015 Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

They are made up of representatives from the local authority, health board, and the fire and rescue authority, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the department of work and pensions, as well as town and community councillors.

Representatives of the Police, Welsh Government and volunteer organisations can also be invited to be part of meetings.

The idea is that PSBs are supposed to improve joint working across all public services in each local authority area in Wales.

The Wellbeing assessment looks at four topics which are:

Culture and Community.

While the Population needs assessment looks at eight topics and they are:

Children and young people
Older people
Physical disability and sensory impairment
Learning disability and autism
Mental health
Carers who need support
Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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