Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Council Meeting - Bronllys Hospital, Communication and Toilets

There was a meeting at Talgarth Town Hall the other week about the future of Bronllys Hospital, and about sixty people turned up. There were lots of ideas about how to develop the site, but the stroke unit is still going to be moved to Brecon.
The B&R put the story on their front page (under the incomprehensible title "Charity bubble speak is burst" which seems to refer to the bubble diagram of different ideas which was shown at the meeting). One option that was not on the diagram was a community hospital, which is what everyone in the room wanted - one man pointed out that Builth Wells has lost the cottage hospital there, and the replacement services are not to anything like the same standard. At the moment it's a case of watching to see what the NHS do next.

The report of the communications sub-committee went through various options - a new notice board, for instance, and the possibility of paying for a website rather than the present situation where the Council's page is hosted on Giles' Hay-on-Wye website. A stand alone website would cost £109 for two years, and comes with several new email addresses. They greatly admired the Welshpool website, and hoped to get something similar together for Hay. It would, of course, be cheaper to stay with Giles, and they have had a meeting with him where the different options were discussed. Hay Council has been given a grant of £500 which must be spent on a website, so the money is there whatever they decide.
One thing they had decided against was tweeting.
A little later in the meeting, the chap sitting next to me on the public chairs showed me his mobile phone. It was displaying a tweet which said that the Council's refusal to tweet was "short sighted".

There's good news about the toilets though - well, two cheers rather than three, as the County Council have agreed to continue to keep them open for another year, after which time it's all up in the air again. Councillor Barry Thomas, the leader of Powys County Council, came to Hay to meet with local councillors and was talking about investigating the legality of putting a levy on the car parking charges to pay for them across Powys.
On 20th January there was a special meeting of the Hay Council to set the precept - the amount of money they could raise from the local council tax. At that time they didn't know whether they were going to be responsible for the toilets or not, so they decided on an increase of 10% on last year. Now that the County Council are retaining the management of the toilets, they have agreed that the local councils can look at their precepts again to see if they want to change anything, but it must be done by Friday. Steve Like suggested lowering the increase to 5%, which would raise a total of £1595 for Hay, which is very similar to last year's budget.
Looking further into the future, Steve suggested that it might be a good idea to approach Herefordshire County Council to buy four of their stainless steel multi-sex toilet cubicles, which they closed last year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re Bronllys hospital. No use talking to the NHS they just do whatever the Minister wants. And what the Minister wants is all community hospitals closed. Why, because they just provide nursing home level care. How can you have a hospital with no resident doctor? Builth is a good example of the future. The old hospital was a crumbling wreck serving six inpatient beds. The new centre (note it's deliberately not called a hospital) will provide excellent facilities for 12 inpatients - as soon as the BUPA nurses are employed there. What? O yes the staff will be BUPA. Why so that people can be charged for their care as soon as they are medically fit. This is the model for the future NHS to cover acute and emergency care and rehab and social care private