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Neuadd Maldwyn meeting ‘behind closed doors’

 
Created on 15/05/2019 @ 13:32
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

The future of Neuadd Maldwyn, the main Powys County Council (PCC) office in north Powys continues to be shrouded in secrecy.

The building was on the agenda for discussion at the health and care scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

But that part of the agenda, which also included an item on extra care housing was held in private session, with the press and public excluded.

PCC monitoring officer, Clive Pinney said: “To make this information public would disclose information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

“These factors outweigh the public interest in disclosing this information.”

PCC is considering converting Neuadd Maldwyn into an extra care facility for over 55s and this was discussed at a meeting held in public last month,

It is thought the committee was supposed to discuss the financial implications of the scheme.

There are issues with the building, and converting the Grade II listed building would cost millions of pounds.

Neuadd Maldwyn is part of a three-pronged approach to extra care being taken by PCC, to develop facilities in Welshpool, Ystradgynlais and Brecon at a cost of more than £13 million.

PCC believes that £7,738,500 can be found from the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund and Social Housing Grant programmes.

Extra Care housing offers more than the traditional sheltered accommodation and yet is not fully residential care and is now considered vital by PCC. It deals with how to accommodate Powys’ ageing population.

If older people move to extra care accommodation their homes are freed up to those waiting on the council housing list.

In Welshpool, closing Neuadd Maldwyn is part of an issue that has seen protest marches and petitions in a bid to stop the decision taken by PCC. This is because staff from Neuadd Maldwyn would be scattered around other offices including the library on Brook Street in Welshpool.

In turn the library would be moved to the Powysland Museum in the town.

Neuadd Maldwyn dates back to 1927 when it was built for the former Montgomeryshire County Council, extensions were added in the 1930s and 1950s.

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