Powys County CouncilPowys is a local government principal area and a preserved county in Wales. Powys covers the former administrative counties of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, most of Brecknockshire, and a small part of Denbighshire — an area of 5,196 km², making it the largest principal area in Wales by land area.

It is bounded the north by Gwynedd, Denbighshire and Wrexham; to the west by Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire; to the east by England (counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire); and to the south by Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly (county borough), Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.

Most of Powys is very mountainous with north-south transportation by car and rail being quite difficult.

Powys has a population of 126,354, of which 99.3% considers itself to have a white ethnic background (Census 2001).  With 226 community members, the largest ethnic minority group at the last census described itself as ‘Other Asian’.  There are 94,461 Christians in the area, and 20,897 people with no religious affiliation.  The largest minority religious group is Buddhist, comprising 351 local people, the next largest being Hindu (with 194), then Muslim (155), and Jewish (83).  At the time of the 2001 census, Powys was home to just 22 Sikhs.

The local council is currently run by Independents (seat distribution: Labour 4 / Liberal Democrat 17 / Independent 52).

In accordance with the Government’s Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Powys Council has developed a Race Equality Scheme, intended to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination from the local community, to ensure that all of the area’s residents have access to equal opportunities, and to create a sense of social cohesion through the promotion of good intercultural relations.  It the Scheme’s introduction, the council states:

“Powys has always been a county of contrast. We have areas that are predominantly English speaking, and areas that are predominantly Welsh speaking, with people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds as part of these communities. Although we have a low population of Black and Minority Ethnic people, we must still ensure their needs are taken very seriously”.

It adds: “A rural environment presents a different set of challenges that we must carefully consider. Whilst the principles of this scheme apply equally to all racial groups, the Council’s main aim, is to reach out and better serve those who form a small and sometimes isolated minority within the county”.

 

Powys County Council Charter

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