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Due to the COVID 19 pandemic meetings of the Council are currently being held remotely via the video conferencing platform “Zoom”.  Members of the Public are welcome to attend to observe, however to speak need to apply under the Council’s  Public Speaking Policy.

Log-in details for the 18th January 2021 meeting can be obtained by clicking on the link below or contacting the Clerk

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Council Meetings

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The Council normally meets on the third Monday of the month rotating between each of the village halls.  Meetings start at 7.30pm.

Occasionally a change of date or venue may be necessary, so please check if you plan to attend.

The Public are welcome to attend but not permitted to address the Council without submitting a request to the Clerk to the Council at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.  All requests must comply with the Public Speaking Policy.

Information about COVID19 Vaccination in Powys

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Update for Stakeholders Issue 2, 15 January 2021

Dear Colleagues

Writing this second stakeholder bulletin provides me with an important opportunity to reflect on all that has already been achieved, as well as the tasks still ahead. Please do accept my apologies that this briefing is in the English language only. The fast pace of change on COVID-19 vaccination means that I did not want to delay
sending this update to you. Bilingual information was shared with households earlier this week and is available from the links later in this document.

Just two weeks into 2021 sees some important milestones already being reached. Over 7000 people have now been vaccinated through the Powys vaccination programme. Invitations to every registered patient aged 80 and over have now been sent – these have been sent first class so will arrive in the next few days if they have
not already done so.

Our third mass vaccination centre opened in Builth Wells this week, and arrangements are in place for the Newtown mass vaccination centre to relocate to its new location at Maldwyn Leisure Centre next week. Thank you to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and to Freedom Leisure for their support.

Our vaccination capacity is set to expand by the end of next week so that we can deliver up to 4000 doses a week already – although this remains dependent on the More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys is available from our website at: http://www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination supply we receive from national stocks. And, armed forces colleagues have joined the local COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Later next week will also see vaccine supplies delivered to all 16 GP practices, so that the network of GP practice-led vaccination clinics can open in the week beginning 25 January. This follows our first pathfinder service which began vaccinating Presteigne Medical Practice patients yesterday (14 January). We know that all our GP practices are keen join the programme – and with the “wholesale licence” process concluded
this means that all the necessary arrangements are in place for them to begin.

Each priority group is being invited in turn. We continue to ask everyone not to contact their GP, pharmacy, hospital, health board or local authority about an appointment – please do wait to be contacted as this is a very big task to put in place the biggest vaccination programme the country has ever seen.
Our vaccination programme is only possible because of the people who deliver it. It is perhaps easy to think of a vaccination programme in terms of vaccines, centres, clinics and letters. But all of this is only possible because of people. First and foremost, this is the people we are here to serve – you. But all of this work depends on a massive team effort by staff right across the health board and many different partner organisations, as well as an amazing team of volunteers. I think it is fair to say that many staff across the health and care system are very tired after nearly a year of responding to COVID-19. The prospect of the vaccine brings that glimmer of hope as well as new work challenges, so I remain truly grateful to all of you for your patience and support for our team whilst this programme is put in place. Vaccination is by appointment only, and we are following the guidance on priorities set by the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This means that vaccination is currently under way for the JCVI’s top priority groups:

• Residents of care homes for older adults – nearly all residents have now received their vaccination
• People aged 80 and over – all registered patients aged 80 and over will have received their invitation letter by early next week
• Frontline health and care workers – to help protect the vulnerable people in their care, who are most at risk of catching coronavirus and developing serious illnesses – information has been sent to employers across the county. By early next week, everyone in these groups will have received their invitation. By mid February our goal is to ensure vaccination for everyone in these groups, as well as:
• People aged 75 and over
• People aged 70 and over
• People who are “clinically extremely vulnerable” – remember that this is a smaller group than the people with underlying health conditions who receive the seasonal flu immunisation.

By the spring, our goal is to offer vaccination to everyone in the remaining national
priority groups:

• all those 65 years of age and over
• all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality – broadly this group includes those who receive the seasonal flu
vaccine, and it also includes “those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill”
• all those 60 years of age and over
• all those 55 years of age and over
• all those 50 years of age and over

The Welsh Government’s new national strategy also aims to offer vaccination by the autumn to the rest of the eligible adult population according to the further guidance that the JCVI will produce on priorities.
Whilst good progress is being made in so many areas, I do recognise that there are a number of challenges:
• There is no doubt that travel and transport is a big challenge in a county covering 2000 square miles. Even with three mass vaccination centres established – each needing to serve a large enough catchment to be able to use the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – this still means long journeys from the borders of the county. I would encourage everyone who can take up an appointment at a mass vaccination centre to do so – and there is more information about why this is so important later in our bulletin. But, I fully understand that for some people this is not an option, in which case please do get in touch with our booking team to let them know so that we can put alternative arrangements in place including for people whose clinical needs mean that they are housebound.

• Putting in a booking & appointment system at this scale has been a monumental task for our small team here at the health board. I know that there are still teething problems with our phone lines, and with the information in some of the letters people that have been received. The team is working extremely hard to get the systems right so that you can have the booking experience you expect and deserve. I have been truly humbled by the passion and commitment they have brought to this work.

• Again, I need to reiterate this is all dependent on the continued supplies of the vaccine, which is outside our local control. We do have guaranteed supplies of good quantities of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but as this can only be used in our mass vaccination centres we do encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer of an appointment in Newtown, Builth Wells or Bronllys. There is more information later in this bulletin about our mass vaccination centre model.

So, the key messages for everyone are:

• Everyone in Powys aged 80 and over will have received their invitation for vaccination by early next week. These invitations are for vaccination at the mass vaccination centres. We encourage you to take up this appointment if you can, as it will be the quickest way to receive your COVID-19 vaccination. However, we recognise that travel to a mass vaccination centre isn’t the right option for everyone, and you can use the contact details in your letter to contact us so that we can make alternative arrangements.

• Vaccination of care home residents is nearly complete, which is a great milestone for the county.

• From next week, invitations will begin to people aged 75 and over, with their appointments likely to take place from 25 January.

• Please wait to be contacted, and thank you for your patience.

• Vaccinations are by appointment only, and please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible to help us give everyone the best possible experience at the vaccination centres.

• You will receive your invitation when you are due for your appointment, based on the priority order across the UK).

• Please don’t contact your GP, pharmacy, health board, hospital or local authority about an appointment.

Good progress continues to be made in Powys – we still have the highest levels of vaccination per head in Wales – and we will all see the vaccination programme continue to expand during January and beyond.

Thank you for everything you are doing to Keep Powys Safe – and please do feel free to share this information in your organisations, networks and communities.

Carol Shillabeer
Chief Executive, Powys Teaching Health Board

More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys is available from our website at:

What to expect at a Mass Vaccination Centre – a personal view from Susie. We think this post from Susie on Facebook gives a lovely glimpse into the experience of attending a mass vaccination centre with her 95-year-old mum

VACCINATED!!! Wonderful. WHAT a weight off my mind. I know a lot of local folk had a lot of questions. Hope the following will help.

RWAS in Llanelwedd. They’re using the Powys Pavilion [S.E. corner of main ring, next to Members Centre, opposite Principality]. The volunteers show you where to park, having asked for your time slot.
Wheelchairs ready for those – like my 95 year old Mum – who need help to whizz in. Hand sanitising just inside the door; up the ramp / stairs. Booth to check in on the right. Lots of delightful volunteers and some VERY charming R.A.F. chaps to help [the lad I was chatting to was raving about the Caer Beris, who are doing them proud]. Brilliantly organised – and everyone very upbeat. After all, they’re dispensing hope.
There are 9 ‘lanes’ set out the length of the building; dark blue curtains on frames. Bit like a row of wide racing stalls! Carefully distanced seats in front of them: called in to a large lane cubicle; curtains drawn: a few questions inc. have you had a reaction to any other injections before. Choose which arm you want it in [not the side you usually lie on]. Needle is extremely fine. PFIZER vaccine. Pin prick but honestly, didn’t feel anything else. Given precious bank-card sized card with two spaces for vaccination details. Pfizer;
date, batch number. Second one to be filled in when second vaccine given. Thank the nurse. Go out through another curtain at the back of the cubicle to waiting area. Seated and chatted to by R.A.F. lad / volunteers: wait 10 – 15 minutes to make sure there’s no reaction. Go – chairs wiped as soon as we stood up. Volunteer came with us: wheelchaired mum to car, loaded her up; volunteer took wheelchair away. Done and dusted. Home. Both fine.
Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences, Susie.

You can follow Powys Teaching Health Board on Facebook, and @PTHBhealth and @BIAPiechyd on Twitter
for the latest social media updates from the health board.

More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys is available from our website at:

Our Mass Vaccination Centre model
Mass vaccination centres are a critical part of the vaccination model in the UK, including here in Powys.

The main reason for this is that we have good levels of guaranteed supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. But, this vaccine has very stringent requirements for storage, transport and supply. It arrives with us in trays of 975 doses which cannot be split, and is stored at very cold temperatures. When we bring it to a usable temperature it needs to be used within five days.

The second vaccine to receive licensing – AstraZeneca – is not yet available in such reliable quantities. It is much easier to store and transport, which means that we have been able to vaccinate care home residents, and supplies will soon be shipped to GP practices across the county. But, until supplies are ramped up we remain heavily reliant on Pfizer/BioNTech.

You may also have heard that a third vaccine has been licensed for use – Moderna – but this will not be widely available in the UK until the spring.

The specific requirements of Pfizer BioNTech mean that mass vaccination centres need to be located where they can draw on a very large catchment – to deliver nearly 1000 vaccination doses in a short space of time.

We receive very good supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which we can only deliver from mass vaccination centres. The centres themselves also need to provide an environment that offers safe storage of the vaccine to avoid waste. They must also ensure social distancing for everyone involved – not just when you receive the vaccination, but also to wait safely after the vaccine to check there is no reaction. This reduces the options for where and how these centres are established. Susie’s description above really brings this to life.

Here in Powys we have been able to quickly set up three vaccination centres in the county – Bronllys, Builth Wells, and Newtown – each serving around 40,000 people in the south, mid and north of the county.

We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of our staff and partners to get three vaccination centres set up so quickly, providing guaranteed COVID-19 vaccination appointments for our residents as soon as possible. As a result, over 7000 people have already been vaccinated through the PTHB vaccination programme, and we are on schedule to offer COVID-19 vaccination to Priority Groups 1 to 4 by mid February in line with the national strategy.

But Powys is very large and very sparsely populated, which means that delivering this vaccination programme is challenging for us and for our communities. Even with three mass vaccination centres, this still means that some residents have some distance to travel to get there.

We fully recognise this, which is why we will make sure that our approach is as flexible as possible.

On the one hand we do need as many people as possible to take up the invitation to a mass vaccination centre if they are able to do so. This will be best way to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

But we do absolutely recognise that travel and transport may be an issue for you, particularly in our large county. If you are not able to travel to the mass vaccination centre, then please contact our booking centre to let them know. They will be able to cancel your appointment at our mass vaccination centres and put alternative arrangements in place – although you may need to wait a little longer for a local appointment (this is due to the supply of AstraZeneca, as mentioned above). Rest assured that even if you are unable to contact the booking centre to cancel your appointment, you will still be re-contacted. We do kindly ask you to be patient and wait to be contacted about your alternative appointment.

Your mass vaccination centre appointment will be your quickest opportunity to get the vaccine, so we would encourage you to go ahead if you can, but please do contact the booking centre if this is not the right option for you. A reminder that we all need to follow Hands Face Space whilst the vaccine programme progresses
As the vaccine is rolled out, we all need to follow the safety rules and keep ourselves and our families safe. This is particularly important as there is a new variant of coronavirus that spreads more easily and is circulating in every part of Wales – including here in Powys.

To do this, we all need to meet as few people as possible; wash our hands regularly, wear a face covering and keep our distance from others. We also need to continue to follow the Coronavirus Alert Level 4 guidance in Wales.

By taking these important steps for ourselves, and for those around us, we can all play our part to Keep Powys Safe.

Alongside this, you must self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms These are: high temperature; a new continuous cough; a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste.

If you have symptoms then get a test. Local testing units are available across the county – our mobile testing units move this weekend as part of their programme to bring local testing to each part of the county. Home testing kits are available if you cannot travel.

You can book a test online at http://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You can book a test by telephone by calling 119 between the hours of 7am and 11pm. Calls are free. If you have hearing or speech difficulties call 18001 119.
If you do test positive then please help our local contact tracing team to stop coronavirus in its tracks. Our local Powys contact tracing team is here to protect your health and the health of others, and is part of our Test Trace Protect partnership between Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council.

We all hope the vaccine will lead to a better and brighter 2021 and an end to this pandemic.

New National Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination
Welsh Government has published their COVID-19 Vaccination strategy. This sets out the national priorities, infrastructure and timetable for delivering vaccination to the people of Wales.

You can read the strategy on the Welsh Government website: http://www.gov.wales/covid-19-vaccination-strategy

The national priority group milestones are:
• Milestone 1 – by mid February – cohorts 1 – 4. Subject to supply, our aim is to offer vaccination to all care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; those 70 years of age and over; and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
• Milestone 2 – by the Spring – priority cohorts 5 – 9. Subject to supply, which becomes more uncertain further into the future, our aim is to offer vaccination to all Phase 1 priority cohorts (i.e. 50+s and clinically vulnerable/at risk).

It is estimated that taken together, these at risk groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from Covid-19.

• Milestone 3 – by the autumn. Our ambition is to offer vaccination to the rest of the eligible adult population according to the further JVCI guidance that will be produced on priorities. We do not yet know supply for this phase, so there is further planning to do on this milestone that will take account of supply and the further JVCI guidance.

Local delivery in Powys is on target to deliver milestone 1. However, we do recognise that many factors that may affect delivery – such as supply of vaccine – are outside of our control. Our local vaccination plan is due to be discussed at a meeting of our Board later this month, and once published we will ensure it is shared with you via this bulletin.

COVID-19 Vaccination Online Q&A Event with Carol Shillabeer Thank you to everyone who joined our online Q&A event with Carol Shillabeer on 12 January. If you were not able to join at the time, you can watch it back by using this link

They have been helping in a wide range of areas, from logistics and supporting people when they come for vaccination to answering phones and booking people in. In addition to the six personnel working with us in Powys, there are currently another 64 RAF personnel and 14 Army Combat Medical Technicians, under Joint Military Command Wales, deployed as part of the vaccination support force supporting other health boards in Wales and further troops deployed with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust on driver duties and decontamination tasks. http://www.pthb.nhs.wales/news/health-board-news/vaccination-heroes-military-support

Update on Vaccination of Care Home Residents
Just two weeks into January we have provided vaccination for nearly every resident of a care home for older adults in Powys.

The Immunisation Team visits Plas Cae Crwn in Newtown
Our outreach team has been out and about across the county to vaccinate residents of care homes for older adults. With nearly 1000 older adults living in care homes in the county, this has been a big task and we are very grateful to the residents, care home staff, and our outreach team.

We will need to make some further visits – for example, residents are not able to receive the vaccine within 28 days of onset of COVID infection. So, if someone has recently had the infection we will arrange for vaccination at an appropriate time. Residents of care homes for older adults, alongside care home workers, are the top
priority group for COVID-19 vaccination based on advice from the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. So, delivering this many vaccines by mid-January is a really important milestone for the county.

Following the licensing of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 30 December – and with some supplies now beginning to reach the county – we quickly implemented our plan to take the vaccine out to care homes from last week. The AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to store and transport than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but is not yet available in such good and guaranteed supplies. This does mean that alongside outreach programmes like these, we do need as many people as possible to attend our mass vaccination centres so that we can offer vaccination to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

Plans are also being put in place for other patients who are unable to leave their homes, and we will share more details soon.


Vaccination Heroes: Our Partnership with RWAS
Wednesday this week saw the opening of the new Mass Vaccination Centre at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells. In its first few days of operation it will see almost 1,000 Powys residents aged 80 and over receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Vaccination under way at the Royal Welsh Showground
Husband and wife Alec and Elizabeth Tompkins both received their vaccines at the centre and expressed how glad they were to have had it and how they hoped that it would help bring things back to normal soon.

The showground at Llanelwedd provides a great central location in Powys for the vaccination centre and has excellent facilities available to make the vaccination process as easy as possible.

As well as the fantastic support from the showground staff in getting set up, health board staff are supported by an army of volunteers as well as by members of the Royal Air Force to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Carol Shillabeer, Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health Board said “This really goes to show the benefits of partnership working in Powys. We have been working together with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society on testing and now we are doing COVID vaccinations. I would like to thank Steve and his whole team for the help and support they have given us over the past year.”

Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society explained that “There have been huge difficulties right across the events sector since COVID struck. We were not able to hold our regular events at the showground last year and there remain huge challenges still ahead. Despite these challenges, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is proud to be able to work with Powys Teaching Health Board and to support the work they are doing to combat the virus.

We have hosted a COVID testing facility here on the showground for a number of months now and I am really proud to see the Mass Vaccination Centre opening here on the showground. We are delighted to have been able to play our part in helping the wider community in Powys at this time and we will continue to support in any way we can to help get back to normal and welcome people back to the showground for future agricultural events.”

Working Together Across County Borders
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is provided based on where you are registered with a GP. Some Powys residents are registered with GPs in neighbouring counties. If this applies to you, the health board (Wales) or clinical commissioning group (England) will ensure that arrangements are in place for you to receive your COVID19 vaccination. Health bodies are working together across county borders to make sure that no one misses out.

More information about vaccination programmes in neighbouring counties is available
from our website:

Further Information about COVID-19 vaccination:
More information about our COVID-19 vaccination programme here in Powys is available from the Powys Teaching Health Board website:
http://www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination/ More information about the national COVID-19 vaccination programme in Wales is available from the Public Health Wales website:
• Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru (CY) and Public Health Wales (EN)

The latest information about the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses delivered in Wales is available from the Public Health Wales dashboard – please remember that PTHB has the smallest population of all health boards, and is around a third of the size of the next health boards (Cwm Taf Morgannwg, Hywel Dda):
• Public Health Wales dashboard More information about the Welsh Government’s strategy for COVID-19 vaccination:
• Llywodraeth Cymru (CY) and Welsh Government (EN)

You will receive an invitation when you are due for your vaccination. You don’t need to apply for an appointment – please don’t contact your GP, pharmacy, health board, hospital or local authority about an appointment until you are contacted.

Home-Start Cymru

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Third Mass Vaccination Centre set to open in Powys

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A new mass vaccination centre is set to open in Powys next week, with the arrival of the appointment-only facility at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.

Later this month, the vaccination centre in Newtown is also set to relocate from its current location at the Park Street Day Centre to Maldwyn Leisure Centre to increase the number of appointments available for Powys residents.

This will mean that the county will have three mass vaccination centres – Bronllys, Newtown and Builth Wells – and plans are also well under way to establish primary care-led clinics later this month.

All three mass vaccination centres will be available by appointment only, with invitation letters being sent to residents in the national priority groups.

In line with national guidance, vaccination is current being prioritised for:

– Residents of care home for older adults
– People aged 80 and over
– Frontline Health and social care workers

Following this, invitation letters will be sent to each national priority group in turn beginning with people aged 75 and over.

People are asked not to phone their GP, pharmacy or hospital asking when they will get a vaccine. When someone is in one of the groups eligible for the vaccine, they will be invited to attend a dedicated clinic which will have been set up to ensure patient safety and that of the healthcare professionals.

Correspondence will come from local health boards and the vaccine is free of charge through the NHS. People are warned to be alert to scams asking for money or personal information.

The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for many months and the advice on keeping Wales safe remains the same for everyone; keep contacts with others to a minimum, keep a 2 metre distance from others, wash hands regularly, wear a face covering where required and avoid touching surfaces others have touched, wherever possible.

More information: https://pthb.nhs.wales/…/third-mass-vaccination-centre…/

Notice of Conclusion of Audit

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Powys Teaching Health Board Up-dates

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Please see message below from Powys Teaching Health Board:

Thank you for everything you have been doing during this challenging year to support communities across the county and to Keep Powys Safe. As the festive period fast approaches, we are encouraging everyone to please think carefully about what you ‘should do’ rather than what you ‘can do’.

Coronavirus is spreading faster and wider in Wales than at any other point in this pandemic. Our public services are under intense pressure as they work around the clock to care for people and keep Wales safe. Frontline workers are putting everyone’s health and care first, every day. But as the virus continues to spread, so too does the strain on our NHS and other public services. We must do everything we can to protect our NHS and save lives. The virus is also having a major impact on our emergency services. Over the coming days and weeks, we need to make sure they are there for those who really need them – for real emergencies. Thank you so much to all of you who continue to follow the rules.

Sadly, as coronavirus cases grow ever higher, our chances of catching and spreading this awful virus also increase. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe this Christmas, please avoid mixing wherever possible For most people the virus will cause a mild illness but there are many who are at risk of serious illness if they catch it. Too many families have already lost loved ones to this terrible virus – if we don’t act now, even more deaths will follow. And, these pressures also mean that public services are less able to respond to the many other needs that we all have. Our actions and decisions over the festive period, and in the coming weeks and months, will shape Wales for years to come.

Please, let’s all think carefully before we act – and protect our public and emergency services so they’re there for when we really need them. And, ahead of the Christmas and New Year period I wanted to share with you a few updates on COVID-19 prevention and response in Powys Teaching Health Board.

1. Coronavirus Testing in Powys

It remains vitally important for everyone to get tested if they have Coronavirus symptoms – new continuous cough, fever (high temperature) or loss of change to sense of smell and taste.   Our Coronavirus testing options remain unchanged in the week ahead, with home testing kits available across the county as well as the option of visiting a testing centre in Brecon, Newtown, Llanidloes, Ystradgynlais and Builth Wells.   Full details of how to book a test in Powys are available from our website (link below) and updates are also shared regularly through our social media channels.   We continue to be grateful for your support in promoting the availability of Coronavirus testing to Powys communities.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

2. Travelling to Coronavirus Tests

We recognise that the issue of travel to and from testing centres can be a source of anxiety in our communities.   We continue to reinforce the importance of travelling safely to and from the test, and also promoting the option of home testing to reduce the need for travel and for people who are unable to travel to a testing centre.   Information about safe travel is available on our website (link below) and is being shared regularly through our social media channels.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

When you go for a Coronavirus test you MUST follow the self isolation rules: www.pthb.nhs.wales/news/health-board-news/travel-safely-for-coronavirus-tests Information about Coronavirus testing is available from the PTHB website: www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing

3. COVID-19 Immunisation in Powys

COVID-19 vaccination is under way in Powys, with the first vaccinations beginning last week for frontline health and care employees. More information about the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination to other groups will be available soon.   Due to the limited quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine presently available – as well as the very stringent requirements for temperature control and storage – our first vaccinations in Powys are focusing on frontline health and care employees.   We expect to receive more supplies of vaccine on a weekly basis, and there are good signs that more different types of vaccine will become available soon. This means that we are making plans for vaccination of other national priority groups, beginning with care home residents and people aged over 80. We expect this to begin in the New Year, and we will be contacting people direct to arrange an appointment.   We also currently expect that when priority groups are offered COVID-19 vaccination, this will also be offered to their unpaid carers.   Advice on national priority groups is provided by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.   The COVID-19 vaccination is currently only available through our vaccination hubs for frontline health and care employees. Please do not contact your GP Practice, pharmacist or hospital for an appointment.   We know this can be an anxious time, but we are working very hard to ensure that all those eligible receive their vaccine in turn as supplies are provided to us.   Understandably, there will be a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find answers to most frequently asked questions on the Public Health Wales COVID-19 vaccination information pages.   We have also added a new section to our own website about COVID-19 vaccination (link below) and information is also being shared through our social media channels.   The image and text below provide a short and simple message that you can share through your own channels if you wish.

Almost 3000 health and care staff will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Powys by Christmas. Vaccination for care home residents and people aged 80 and over will begin early in the new year. Information about COVID-19 vaccination in Powys is available from the PTHB website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination

Community Assembly Meeting

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Community Assembly Meeting – 2nd December 2020

Warning – Fake phone calls to residents pretending to be from the Police!

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Dyfed Powys Police inform us criminals pretending to be Police officers are calling residents in Powys and trying to carry out what is known as ‘Courier Fraud’… this could be happening in the rest of Wales too

They phone you to tell you about fraudulent activity on your bank card, but then start asking you for personal information or even your PIN to verify who you are.

They may try to offer you peace of mind by having someone pick up your bank card from you to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station (Courier).

  • These callers are criminals who will try gain your trust by making you think they are police officers.
  • Do not engage in conversation with them.
  • Do not allow them to arrange collection of bank cards.
  • Put the phone down. 
  • Block the number they called from.
  • Tell your friends and neighbours about this scam

Report it to your local police force by contacting them via their online webpage or 101

Interested in getting involved?

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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: 


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

Did you know BT want to remove the pay phone in Llanbedr?

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The Vale of Grwyney Community Council believes it’s important to retain a payphone service in Llanbedr however wants to know what the community wants. 

Alternatively contact the Clerk before Saturday 19th 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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is damage-to-bridge-march-2020.jpg
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

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.


 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.

Powys Coronavirus Bulletin – 20/04/20

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20 April 2020


A number of residential homes in Powys have now reported suspected Coronavirus cases.

The Rhallt Care Home in Welshpool has informed us that sadly some of their residents have died. Our immediate thoughts are with the families who have lost a loved one. Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board are working closely with The Rhallt to ensure that residents and staff are supported at this difficult time. We ask everyone to respect the dignity and confidentiality of all concerned.

Information published by Public Health Wales today shows there are 334 new cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 7,208, with 121 cases in Powys although the true number of cases is likely to be higher. Sadly, there were a further 41 deaths of people who had tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number of deaths in Wales to 575.

Latest updates

  • Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the temporary suspension of competition laws to support the dairy sector during the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The temporary easing of the competition laws, which applies across the whole of the UK, will enable greater collaboration so the dairy sector, including farmers and processors, can work closer to solve the issues it is facing.

Powys County Council

Key actions already taken:

  • New internal resource. A new COVID-19 intranet portal is now available for staff and councillors. It brings together in one co-ordinated area a wealth of internal corporate announcements, information and resources about COVID-19.
  • Temporary mortuary facility set up on the Wyeside Industrial Estate, Llanelwedd, near Builth Wells. The temporary facilities will mean that the county can be confident that it has the capacity to provide dignity in death for the people of Powys
  • New bereavement support during the Covid-19 Pandemic launched
  • More than £26m paid out to 2,140 Powys business.
  • Reminder to Powys residents to follow national health guidelines when exercising in the county.
  • Additional £181k housing benefit allowance to 1,200 households
  • 483 volunteers recruited 
  • Testing for key roles within social services
  • Powys Community Sector Emergency Response Team register for volunteers
  • Financial support line – 01597 826345
  • Business support schemes launched
  • Emergency childcare hubs for school and early years opened for key workers in strategic locations
  • Council offices:
    • Limited opening hours at County Hall, Neuadd Maldwyn, Gwalia, Neuadd Brycheiniog & The Park – open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays only 8am-12pm.
    • Closed – Old College, Hendreladus and Antur Gwy.
  • Council and Police provide new advice on businesses requirements with Covid-19
  • Public bus service reduced to modified Sunday service  
  • Most council public rights of way open, areas in Brecon Beacons National Park closed 
  • The council is urgently seeking more staff recruiting in a wide range of roles.
  • The council has issued a warning to residents not to fall for scams amidst the pandemic. Staff supporting vulnerable clients in particular are urged to see full story.
  • The Council has stopped all non-essential business. Priority areas are work in response to Covid-19; keep our communities safe and resilient; and Corporate – running the Council
  • Council facilities/services closed – libraries, leisure centres, day centres, museums, playgrounds, Household Waste and Recycling Centres
  • Weddings/civil ceremonies cancelled
  • Parks remain open but crowds of more than two will be dispersed
  • All Council employees who can work from home or remotely should now be doing so
  • Employees should encourage residents/service users to contact council via email, website, apps or phone rather than face-to-face to reduce the risk of transmission
  • Meetings to be carried out using Skype/Teams where possible
  • We are working with partners to coordinate and support emergency response to people in our community who may be affected by COVID 19.  The team, called Community Services Emergency Response Team (C-SERT).  More information.

Current Advice to the Public

Stay Home

Protect The NHS

Save Lives


Stay at home:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Welsh Government has published detailed guidance for all people on staying home and staying away from others.

Current Advice to the Public: Shielding

Shielding is strongly advised for people with underlying health conditions who are extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Welsh Government has published guidance on shielding for people who are extremely vulnerable.

Current Advice to the Public: Symptoms

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature above 37.8 °C and/or new and continuous cough), seek clinical advice using the online coronavirus service at http://111.wales.nhs.uk/covid19  If you do not have access to the internet, call 111.
  • In an emergency, call 999 if you are seriously ill. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre, or a hospital.
  • To help the NHS provide you with the best care if you need to go to hospital as a result of catching coronavirus, please prepare a single hospital bag. This should include your emergency contact, a list of the medications you take (including dose and frequency), any information on your planned care appointments and things you would need for an overnight stay (snacks, pyjamas, toothbrush, your medication etc). If you have an advanced care plan, please include that.
  • After recovery, you should follow the Stay at Home guidance above.

More information available from https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus  

Welsh Government

More information from Welsh Government – https://gov.wales/coronavirus

Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

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Public Health Wales issues a daily statement on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It is issued at 2pm daily and can be found by clicking here


COVID 19 – Can we help?

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Covid 19 Poster

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….

Minimum Pricing for Alcohol in Wales

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Further Information can be found here

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