February 27, 2021

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Impact of Covid-19 on Ceredigion economy discussed

THE impact of covid-19 on the economy of Ceredigion has been significant with the full effects “still emerging” a report to cabinet warns.

Chairman of the thriving communities overview and scrutiny committee Cllr Marc Davies gave his report on October’s meeting about covid and its economic impacts to cabinet on Tuesday (Dec,1).

Discussions had highlighted concerns about rising unemployment figures, furlough anxiety, connectivity issues and children living in poverty, Cllr Davies said.

The committee had heard “how there is little doubt the covid-19, and the consequential shutdown of parts of the economy and society since March, has had a significant impact on the economy of Ceredigion,” said Cllr Davies.

Adding the full impacts were still emerging as measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus also had an effect.

This would soon include the impact of Brexit, added council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, with the local authority’s economic strategy for the coming years due to go for public consultation.

“We will all have the opportunity to assess whether our economy is going the right way and whether our strategy is going about it the right way,” she said, highlighting the existing strategy to tackle hardship which would help those families pushed into poverty.

A budget report to cabinet notes that the net covid-19 financial impact for quarters one and two is around £1million, with a mid case scenario for the full year effect to the pandemic estimated to be £1.6million.

The scrutiny committee reported also noted concerns about accessing Job Centres, particularly from rural areas, the need for infrastructure improvements as well as more work to raise awareness of caring as a skilled profession.

It recommended preparing a strategy to look into council assets and the utilisation of empty properties, supporting young people to establish businesses, a greater emphasis on rural poverty and support for small towns.

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