Success of stronger Powys communities’ rests on county council’s vision

Hughes Architects managing director, Doug Hughes, has praised the work of a partnership between the public, third and private sector that he says has helped develop and drive forward the economic and social growth of the county.

The Powys Stronger Communities Board, which held its final meeting last month, oversaw a range of projects that developed partnerships to drive forward projects involving housing and planning, community and economic regeneration, employment and sustainability.

Newtown-based architect Doug Hughes, who represented the private sector on the Powys County Council led Board, and its predecessor the PCC Regeneration Board, said it was imperative projects instigated by it should continue under the council Cabinet’s Vision 2025, which was launched earlier in 2017.

“The Board brought together the public, third and private sectors to deliver growth and economic cohesion and growth that has seen a number of projects completed that are making a difference to our community.

“From affordable housing to a cultural hub, transport to community WiFi and, in many cases, local authority assets being transferred to communities who can develop them for the future; the work has impacted on most people in the community in some way or another, even if they haven’t realised it,” said Mr Hughes.

“We have seen the development of local social and affordable housing policy and projects, development of community spaces, cohesive planning guidance and policies such as the use of local timber being used in council housing developments all move forward for the benefit of local people and businesses.

“The council has already published its Vision 2025 plan that sets out where it wants the county, its people and businesses to be in the future through sustainable and strategic policy and implementation.

“It’s important that the work of the Board and the results it has achieved are not lost and the new vision takes forward all that is good; developing our county for our people and future generations,” he added.

The council’s Vision 2025: Open and Enterprising, sets out key areas of focus on the economy, health and care, learning and skills, residents and communities, and making it happen.

The Board’s work will fall into its remit with current and future policy and projects being taken on by it.

“Whether people are aware of what work has been done by the Board and the partners involved or not, it is the fact that results have been achieved that are making a real difference physically and in policy and these are driving our county forward positively both socially and economically,” said Mr Hughes.