The condition of schools throughout Powys has hit an all-time low following council confirmation of a £77m maintenance backlog.

The figure has been described by senior councillors as ‘startling’.

The amount needed to bring the secondary schools up to an adequate standard of repair currently stands at £47m while an additional £30m is required for the primary sector.

The finger of blame is being pointed at the ‘successive cabinets’ who, according to Cabinet member Cllr Pete Roberts, have failed to address the deterioration of schools.


“It’s clear that successive cabinets haven’t taken the decisions needed to address the deterioration in the county’s school estate, particularly in the secondary sector,” he said.

“Some tough decisions lie ahead in dealing with this major problem.”

And council leader James Gibson-Watt agrees.

“This startling figure is going to provide the incoming administration with some major challenges,” he said.

“This accelerates the delivery of the Transformation Strategy that will provide a more sustainable future for all our schools and communities.”

Meanwhile cabinet members are holding their breath as they wait for further revelations concerning other departmental backlogs.

“The most concerning aspect is that this is just the schools’ backlog,” said cabinet member for finance, Cllr David Thomas.

“Figures on the other service areas are now being awaited and what the figures confirm is that the progressive partnership’s plan to review the council’s current capital programme is all the more urgently needed.”

One of the first actions will be to revisit key school decisions taken by the council's previous cabinet.

Earlier this year it was agreed to close Llanfihangel Rhydithon (Dolau) and Llanbedr primary schools.

"This decision was made right at the end of the previous council, in the teeth of opposition from not only pupils, parents and staff at the schools but also from some of the affected communities and indeed many members across the Council,” said Cllr James Gibson-Watt.

“The new Cabinet will revisit these matters as one of its first actions as part of that process.

"This may delay the process and cause some uncertainty, but we believe wider implications need to be carefully considered.”