How Powys County Council interacts, engages, and consults with the public needs to “improve” a senior council chief has said.

It followed discussion by councillors of figures that show a drop off in “positive feedback” from people who have given their views on a range of topics that involve council services.

The discussion took place at a joint meeting of all three of Powys County Council’s scrutiny committees on Wednesday, 28 February.

At the meeting members went through the quarter three performance report of the Corporate Strategic and Equality Strategic Plan, which covers the period from the end of September to the end of December.

A section in the report looks at how people interacted with the council’s “engagement” activities.

During this period, the council held 13 “engagement activities” and data shows 6,064 people visited the engagement hub and that 1,943 people gave their opinions to the council.

In feedback to the council only 13 per cent of respondents said they would “speak positively” about the council which compares to 25 per cent from quarter one.

Cllr Adrian Jones said: “I was a bit concerned with the 13 per cent positive feedback and it’s dropped from 25 per cent.

“That’s quite significant.”

Head of transformation and corporate services Catherine James explained that it was down to the number of people who had completed feedback forms after giving their views.

Ms James said: “In quarter one we had 105 people respond and in quarter three only 36 people actually responded.

“The figure is based on 36 people which is not representative of the county, and this is why we are encouraging people to participate so we can actually understand what people are thinking.”

“As an organisation we know we need to do more to improve the engagement responses we are getting.”

Head of the legal department, Clive Pinney believed it is difficult to gain insight from “such a very low number of responses.”

The joint scrutiny committee was chaired by Liberal Democrat, Cllr Angela Davies who is the chairwoman of the Economy, Residents and Communities (ERC) scrutiny committee.

Cllr Davies said: “The way the council overall interacts with the public would be for the ERC scrutiny committee to investigate more thoroughly.

“What’s going on, what are we doing well and what are we doing not so well.”

“There’s a bit more work to do behind those numbers.”