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Powys pound is being diluted and spent with other counties

Created on 06/11/2019 @ 07:32
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The Powys Pound is set to be diluted and will include spending with companies in neighbouring counties.

Data shows that the proportion of Powys County Council spending with county based suppliers and providers has dropped by two per-cent on the previous quarter, from 29 per-cent to 27 per-cent.

And it is three per-cent down on the same time last year which was 30 per-cent.

The changes were brought up as part of the PCC cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 5 November, when the performance report for quarter two which is the period from July to the end of September was discussed.

But finance portfolio holder, Cllr Aled Davies, said: “We have the target of 31 per-cent and actually achieved 27 per-cent.

“Our actual spend with local contractors was actually greater in the quarter, it’s just the proportion.

“We have huge capital projects during the first two quarters, £5.5 million was spent on building a new school (Brecon HS) there’s also a £1.8 million spend on surface dressing on council roads, but that contractor happens to be outside of Powys.

“These sums come in lumps and can distort the figures and some of our suppliers are just across the border, for example, Paveways (Oswestry) who have a £1 million contract.

Cllr Davies said that a review was taking place of the spend against suppliers.

This is to find if there is any patterns can be identified of opportunities for where local suppliers could fit into the chain.

There would  also be a review of how the data is collected to change how the key performance indicator is calculated.

Cllr Davies also said that some suppliers can move their offices outside of Powys, but the “spend is the same”.

Cllr Davies explained that instead of being seen as money spent locally it could potentially be picked up as an out of Powys expenditure.

Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, said that a contractor she knew from just outside of Powys did a lot of work on the county roads.

“It’s very important to say that most of his staff live within Powys,” said Cllr Harris.

Cllr Harris added: “It’s important that we do review this and the way we look at it as we happen to have 13 neighbours right around Powys.”

The Powys Pound is an initiative that has received praise from the future generations commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe.

Ms Howe described it as one of the few examples of local authorities changing their policies to try to boost the local economy.

The Powys Pound is a key part of the  PCC cabinet’s Vision 2025 strategy. 

Every £1 PCC spends with local companies generates additional investment and local job opportunities.

A survey claimed that every £1 is worth £6 and so every £1 million is worth £6 million.

In June, the cabinet revealed that they have spent  £15 million in Powys which equates to an extra £90 million to the local economy since May 2017.


By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service


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