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Booked an GP appointment during the pandemic?

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COVID-19 has changed the way appointments are conducted by the NHS.

Powys CHC would like to hear patients’ experience and feedback about appointments in their GP Practice during this pandemic and we have developed a survey to obtain people’s views.

We will share the feedback we receive with Welsh Government and with Powys Teaching Health Board.

The Online Survey is available at the following link: 

https://svy.at/aaung

Paper copies of the survey are available.  To request a copy, please telephone 01686 627632.

The closing date for the survey is 30 September 2020

Pontyspig Bridge is Open

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Locals, as well as those from further afield, can now delight in the knowledge that once again Pontyspig Bridge, Fforest Coal Pit (or Bishops Bridge as it is also known) is open.  Marine engineers have skilfully repaired the Grade II structure which was damaged by fallen timber and other debris forcibly travelling at speed down the River Grwyne in heavy storms earlier this year.

As can be seen from the photograph below the bridge took a battering with vital supporting stones becoming dislodged, putting the bridge in imminent damage of collapse.

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Dislodged stones

Urgent underpinning was required to support the arch and save the bridge

Whilst the undoubted attractiveness of this historic structure has always been appreciated, its true function of providing safe passage for residents and visitors to the area – Partrishow Church and the Black Mountains beyond, can now, once again, be truly appreciated.

The bridge is now fully repaired and operational

Notice of Electors’ Rights under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004

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Notice of Electors' Rights under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004
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Update on Test, Trace, Protect in Powys

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Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council are working in partnership with local communities, the armed forces, Public Health Wales, Welsh Government, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, NPTC Group and other partners to deliver our NHS Test Trace Protect Service here in the county.

This vital service plays a key role in Keeping Powys Safe by:

  • Testing people with coronavirus symptoms, asking them to isolate from wider family, friends and the community.
  • Tracing those who have been in close contact with people with coronavirus.
  • Providing advice and guidance, which is particularly important if the person with symptoms or their contacts are in the shielding group or have other risk factors.
  • Ensuring that if symptoms are not due to coronavirus that people can get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.

This has taken an enormous amount of work across the county, and will continue to do so for as long as coronavirus remains a major threat to public health. We would like to thank everyone involved in establishing and delivering this vital service.

 Progress So Far: Testing

In Powys we have a comprehensive testing programme in place. This includes a range of testing options in place to make this as convenient as possible:

  • A Home Testing Kit
  • A local test here in the county at our drive-through facilities in north, mid and south Powys
  • Drive-through testing in neighbouring counties
  • Testing in hospitals and closed settings such as care homes

More details are available from www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing including how to request a test if you have symptoms.

From next week, our testing facilities at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells and at NPTC Newtown / Theatr Hafren in Newtown will also be available for you to book direct:

The current testing programme is an “antigen test”. It uses a swab (normally in the throat and/or nose) to test whether you currently have the virus. The test works best between 2 and 7 days after your symptoms start.

Progress So Far: Contact Tracing

Our testing programme is supported by our new Contact Tracing service. This brings together colleagues from the Council and the Health Board.

If you have been in contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus you may be contacted by our Contact Tracing team. They may advise you to self-isolate, and to request a test if you show any symptoms of the virus. Your Contact Tracing advisor will talk you through this and support you. The team has already been in contact with 19 people from Powys who have tested positive for coronavirus, helping to stop the spread in the county.

Across the UK there have been some reports of scams in operation. We would like to reinforce that our contact tracers will:

  • Never ask you to dial a premium rate number.
  • Never ask for payment or bank details.
  • Never ask for password or PIN numbers, or ask you to set up passwords over the phone.
  • Never disclose your personal or medical information to your contacts.
  • Never ask you to download any software to your PC or phone, or ask you to hand over control of your device.

We also have clear guidelines in place to protect personal and confidential information. You can read our privacy notice at www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/test-trace-protect-privacy

More information about Contact Tracing in Wales is available from the Welsh Government website at https://gov.wales/contact-tracing-your-questions

 Next Steps: Antibody Testing

Most recently, the Chief Medical Officer has also asked local health board’s in Wales to begin antibody testing. This tests whether someone has previously been exposed to coronavirus infection and developed antibodies.

The programme of testing will provide important information on the prevalence of coronavirus in different settings and help us better understand how the disease spreads.

Whilst a positive antibody test will show that someone has had the virus, but:

  • It does not mean that they have immunity
  • It does not mean that they cannot pass on to others, or
  • It does not mean that they cannot be re-infected.

Social distancing and hand washing and other control measures therefore remain essential for us all.

The Government has asked us to prioritise antibody testing for an initial sample of up to 200 teachers and other school staff who have supported vulnerable children and children of key workers since March of this year. This will begin from next week. This sample of teachers and other school staff from operating school hubs will therefore be the first group of key workers we will be offering the antibody test to.

Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board will be working together with schools to deliver this programme, and we will be contacting those teachers and other school staff who are included in this initial sample by telephone next week to offer them an appointment.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed that some healthcare workers and patients will be given priority for antibody testing. We expect more details soon to confirm the priority groups.

We are working at pace to put put antibody testing into operation in Powys and we will make further announcements as details are confirmed.

More background information on antibody tests can be found on the UK Government link below, but please note the roll out is different in England and Wales and further information from the Welsh Government will follow.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-tests/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-tests

 Impact of Coronavirus in Powys

Each week the Office for National Statistics publishes information about the number of people who have died with confirmed or suspected Coronavirus (based on death registrations).

Their latest report published on 9 June 2020 confirms that sadly 86 people from Powys have died with coronavirus. This includes 45 people who have died in care homes, 35 people in hospital, and 6 people in private homes.  It is clear that coronavirus has had a very real and tragic impact here in the county, and our thoughts are with everyone affected.

Thank you for your continued co-operation during these extraordinary times. We can only find a way to re-build our working and home lives if we work together to test, trace and protect ourselves, our families, our communities.

Thank you for the part you play in Keeping Powys Safe.

Useful Resources 

Coronavirus Testing Information from Powys Teaching Health Board: www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing

Coronavirus Information from Powys County Council: www.powys.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus Information from Welsh Government: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

Coronavirus Information from Public Health Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus

 

New COVID-19 testing centre launches at the Royal Welsh Showground

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Hundreds of people in Powys with COVID-19 symptoms can now be tested each day thanks to a new partnership between Powys Teaching Health Board, UK Armed Forces, Powys County Council, and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

Anyone with symptoms – new continuous cough, fever, or less of sense of taste or smell – can request a home testing kit via the Welsh Government website or by ringing 119 or 18001 119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties.

Alongside this, anyone with symptoms can book an appointment at drive-in testing units in the county. These are currently located at Bronllys Hospital, Theatr Hafren in Newtown and from later this week at a new location at the Royal Welsh Showground.

Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health for Powys Teaching Health Board, said:

“Our drive-in testing units offer a safe and local way for people with symptoms to get rapid access to a COVID-19 antigen test in the county.

“The units provide a quick and simple swab. People being tested do not even need to leave their car.

 “This ensures the safest experience for everyone involved – the people attending for testing, the staff at the unit, and the local community.”

 The new drive-in testing unit for Mid Powys is located at the Royal Welsh Showground.

Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting a drive-in testing unit at the Royal Welsh Showground and will continue to work with partners to support our local communities in tackling this pandemic. 

“COVID-19 is likely to be with us all for many months to come. With our large showground site we are able to provide a great facility for COVID-19 testing, whilst also continuing our careful planning for the safe resumption of other activities on the Showground site.

“We are proud to be playing our part in helping people to get a test, stop the spread and keep Powys safe.”

The drive-in testing units are available by appointment only.

When fully operational the units will normally accommodate around 10 to 15 tests per hour.

Cllr James Evans, Cabinet Member for Economy, Housing and Regulatory Services for Powys Council said:

“These are not drop-in facilities. Please do not arrive without an appointment as you will not be tested.

 “Booking your appointment means that the testing units have your full details when you arrive for your test. It also ensures that there is no disruption for nearby communities.

 “Please do follow the guidance on self-isolation when you attend for a test. You should travel direct to the test centre and return straight home. If you need help with self-isolation then please talk to family, friends and neighbours or contact one of the many community groups across Powys who have provided such amazing support during COVID-19.”

 “Here in Powys we have been one of the first pilot areas in Wales to prepare for the introduction of contact tracing. Expanded test facilities means that we can refer people quickly for a test, helping us to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The COVID-19 testing programme in Wales currently offers the antigen test, which identifies whether someone currently has the virus. Welsh Government is also working on plans to introduce antibody testing, which will let people know if they have previously had the virus.

Antigen testing is available in several different ways:

  • Members of the public and critical workers can request a home testing kit. This is available online at https://gov.wales/coronavirus, by ringing 119, or by ringing 18001 119 if you have speech or hearing difficulties. Through this link, Powys residents can also book at mass drive-through testing centres in neighbouring counties, which can offer a handy alternative for people living on the county’s borders.
  • Members of the public and critical workers can request an appointment at a drive-in testing unit – in Powys this can currently be booked by emailing powysresourcing@wales.nhs.uk or calling 01874 712600, or by visiting the Health Board website at www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing
  • Hospital inpatients and care home residents are tested in their hospital or care home

The current drive-in testing sites in Powys are:

  • Bronllys Hospital
  • Theatr Hafren in Newtown
  • Royal Welsh Showground (opening week beginning 1 June 2020)

The three sites will be staffed by teams from Powys Teaching Health Board, and from the UK Armed Forces mobile units deployed in Powys. The mobile units will also continue to visit locations across the county, including to support local testing in care homes.

Mr Bourne added:

“We will keep our testing programme under review, including to take account of the introduction of antibody testing when available. Our current programme of home testing and drive-in testing – along with our testing programme for hospital inpatients and care homes – has enough capacity to test everyone who needs a test, and to help us reach out to people right across the county.

“Our testing units have operated from a wide range of locations across the county and I would like to thank all the venues and everyone involved in this true collaborative effort to Keep Powys Safe.”

More information about coronavirus testing in Powys is available from www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing

 

Council Meetings

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In accordance with the Local Authorities (Coronavirus) (Meetings) (Wales) Regulations 2020 future meetings of the Vale of Grwyney Community Council will take place remotely using virtual technology.

Members of the public are welcome to observe however to speak must apply via the Council’s Public Speaking Policy.

Meetings will be held via “Zoom” (https://zoom.us/).  Please contact the Clerk for details.

Oranges and lemons says the bells of St Clements….

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Whilst our rainy Welsh climate scuppers any hope of growing citrus fruits… we hope (fingers crossed)…  to have an abundance of apples and pears in the not too distant future.

Thanks to the kind sponsorship of Wales & West Housing Association we now have two apple trees and two pear trees in the Community Nature Garden in St Peter’s Close, Llanbedr.  These were planted by Cllr John Morris and Cllr Keith Powell, and whilst they may take a little time to establish we hope to have crops aplenty.

Nature Garden - planting of pear and apple tree

The Community Nature Garden is growing in more ways than one.  If you have any ideas of how you would like to see it develop, please do get in touch.  It is there for the community to use and enjoy, and whilst we cannot guarantee quantity, quality is beyond reproach… after all… grown in the Vale of Grwyney – surrounded by the Black Mountains… who needs oranges and lemons……. time to go a’wassailing….

Need to renew a bus pass?

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Transport for Wales is currently managing the reissue of free bus passes across Wales

There are currently around 750,000 bus passes in Wales and the current green coloured cards will all expire on 31 December 2019 and not be accepted on buses. Since September Transport for Wales has received 450,000 applications however  the deadline is now fast approaching and we need to promote the changes as much as possible to ensure as many people as possible have time to re-apply and receive their new-style cards before the end of the year.

Cardholders can either reapply online at www.tfw.wales/travelcards or by paper, which can be downloaded from the website or pick up a copy from your local council. You can also request a copy in the post by calling the helpline 0300 303 4240.

The new cards offer the same travel benefits for 60s and over and eligible disabled persons.

 

For further information click here

VE DAY 75 CELEBRATIONS

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Town and Community/Parish Councils throughout England and Wales are taking the lead in the organisation of local celebrations marking the 75th Anniversary of the end of the war in Europe on the 8th – 10th May 2020. After six years of fighting, the end of hostilities were officially announced on the 8th May 1945 by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. That date has since become enshrined in history as VE Day.

VE Day 75, on the weekend of 8th – 10th May 2020, will be an international celebration of peace – a time to remember, reflect and pay tribute to the millions who played such a vital part in achieving it. This includes the Armed Forces personnel from many countries who gave their lives or were physically and mentally injured; the hard-working women and men who kept the factories, mines, shipyards and farms operating throughout the years of turmoil; the ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, firemen, local defence volunteers and many others safeguarded the home front.

SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity – which has been supporting service personnel, veterans and their families since 1885 – are the charity partner for this series of VE Day 75 commemorative events.

Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said “It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations – this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again. It is our hope that the nation takes a moment to reflect on the significance of this date, as a milestone that changed the course of history for the whole world.”

We would like to encourage you to engage with your local SSAFA branch to ensure community collaboration. To find out the location and contact details of your local SSAFA branch visit: www.ssafa.org.uk/get-help/find-local-branch/

The planned activities over the weekend are as follows, please go to the VE Day 75 website – www.veday75.org to see the complete overview for this anniversary:

  • The Playing of Battle’s O’er & VE 75 Years
  • The ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’
  • The ‘Cry for Peace, around the World’
  • Churches & cathedrals ‘Ringing out for Peace’
  • Street parties and parties in pubs, clubs, Hotels, on town and village greens and in halls etc
  • Services of commemoration and celebration in churches, including the reading of the ‘Tribute to the Millions’ and the playing of the Last Post

FRIDAY 8TH MAY 2020 has been designated a bank holiday by HM Government so all can partake).

Farm Diversification Event – 23rd October 2019

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Did you know BT intends removing the payphone in Llanbedr?

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The Community Council believes it’s important to retain a payphone service in Llanbedr and whilst intending to oppose BT’s removal of this phone it would first like to know what the community wants.

  • Do you think the phone should remain?
  • Do you think the phone should be removed?
  • Do you think the kiosk should be adopted and used as a community facility?

Please let us know what you want

Email:                        valeofgrwyneycc@gmail.com
or write to:                The Vale of Grwyney Community Council
                                   Pleasant View
                                   Fforest Coal Pit
                                   NP7 7LH

by Sunday 15th September 2019

Oh, what a day…

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The sun shone brightly…. and whilst there was no sand… or sea…  elderflower pressé flowed aplenty….. and, after 10 years (or so) we are able to officially declare the affordable housing, community allotments and nature garden OPEN

How better to celebrate than invite Llanbedr School to design signs for the nature garden, and WOW….. what a success.  They did us, and them, proud…. albeit presenting our Councillors with a bit of a quandary…. BUT someone has to win, so…   after careful deliberation….the winners of each of the three categories were revealed to be Daisy Deeble, Ryan Griffiths and Eleri Smith.

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Kirsty Williams AM and Ann Hinchey of Wales & West Housing Association, both went beyond the call of duty…  distributing goody bags, as well as cutting, and savouring cake…. kindly donated (and made) by our skilful residents …. again WOW… what community spirit….

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Thank you Llanbedr, thank you Kirsty, thank you Ann, not forgetting Wales & West Housing Association for contributing towards the success of this event… and David James, Rural Housing Enabler, whose involvement started way back in 2008.  It was a day enjoyed by all…  but now, it’s up to YOU, the community….

We hope you will use the garden – enjoy the solitude, appreciate the wildlife, bugs and all, and  remember, if you have any ideas on how you wish to see the garden progress, let us know… email the Clerk… after all this is your space….

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And of course, without blowing our own trumpets…. thanks to the Councillors, without whom this would not have happened…

Things like this make us realise what a truly special place the Vale of Grwyney is.

 

Hip Hip Hip Hooray… the sun has got its hat on…

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so.… why not join us tomorrow (28th June 2019) for the Grand Opening of Llanbedr Nature Garden.

Kirsty Williams AM will open the garden accompanied by Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive Officer of Wales & West Housing Association and children from Llanbedr Primary School, who have competed in a competition to design signs for the garden.   The winners, and winning entries will be revealed on the day!

Bark Park with bug hotel

Join us at 2:00pm in the nature garden, at the end of St Peter’s Close, to celebrate, with cake, the creation not just of the nature garden, but also the community allotments and affordable housing.

We hope you can make it!

 

 

 

 

 

WOW… we have a nature garden….

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So, the secret’s out….. the Community Council, in conjunction with Wales & West Housing Association is holding a grand “Opening Event” to celebrate not only the creation of a nature garden….


but also community allotments and affordable housing.

Kirsty Williams AM has kindly agreed to open the garden , accompanied by Anne Hinchey, the Chief Executive of Wales & West Housing Association.

The Community Council asked Llanbedr School to design signs for the garden – the signs, and the winners, will be revealed on the day!

Please join us in the celebrations on Friday, 28th June at 2:00pm in the nature garden, at the end of St Peter’s Close.  

Notice of appointment of the date for the exercise of electors’ rights

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Notice of Appt to exercise electors rights

The secret unfolds…..

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Over the last few days, in between downpours, residents and visitors to St Peter’s Close, should have noticed a hive of activity around the nature garden.

We now have a wooden seat:Table - close up

a log for children to play on:Log - close up

and furniture for the Bug Hotel, in the form of cones and twigs:Bug Hotel and fillings

Your Councillors have been very busy.

 

Please keep an eye on this web site for news of a very special event…

 

Shhh…… do you wanna hear a secret……?  

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If you happen to live in Llanbedr, near St Peter’s Close, you could be wondering “what’s occurring”?   And yes, you may have spied not one, but two tractors, a log and some pallets masquerading as a hotel (…quite salubrious, for a bug).   If you look extremely carefully you may even see some discreetly concealed nesting boxes….

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To explain, your hardworking councillors are proving their dedication to duty by helping create a nature garden for the community to use and enjoy.  We have crab apple trees, a log to scramble over and a bench on which to sit and ponder.   A place to savour quietness and appreciate nature’s beauty, while fathoming what species of bird is flying overhead.

 

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It is a work in progress, but we have many ideas, which we hope, to bring to life over the coming months, and years.  Most importantly this is an area for the community to use, enjoy and nurture.  If you would like to be involved in the development of what is intended to become a wildlife haven, please contact the Council, either by speaking to your elected representative or the clerk.

So… what is the secret?  Well, that would be telling  – to find out more keep checking this web site (and the village noticeboard) for further posts… and posters.

 

 

 

 

NHS 111 Wales Access – for those who cannot speak or hear on the phone

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Police & Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund

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The Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Dafydd Llywelyn is launching his funding programme where grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are available to groups and organisations across the Force.

The Commissioner is inviting applications from voluntary and community organisations, as well as the public and private sectors, for projects which will have a positive impact on the security and safety of local communities and is also encouraging organisations to work collaboratively on this.

The closing date for applications is 24th May 2019.

For further information on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund please click here:

 

http://www.dyfedpowys-pcc.org.uk/en/the-commissioner/commissioners-community-funding/

 

Need a Blue Badge? Now you can apply online.

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Blue Badge Poster

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