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CALLS have been made to halt the school merger consultation in Brecon.

Last week a consultation started on proposals to merge Mount Streets Infants School, Mount Street Junior School and Cradoc County Primary School.

A Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and a community swimming pool would also be part of the scheme.

If it goes ahead, the new primary school will operate from the three current sites from September 2022, before moving to a new 360-place English-medium primary school on the site of the old Brecon High School in the future.

But, there are concerns that holding a consultation during the coronavirus pandemic will not be fair to the community, and people will be unable to make their views known.

Cllr Liz Rijnenberg (Brecon St Mary) said: “This is the wrong time to be asking people to engage in a meaningful way with the consultation.

“People are exhausted and struggling to get by with home schooling, financial worries, job losses, care responsibilities and health concerns.

“We all know that in the last 12 months teachers have been doing a fantastic job supporting our children, parents, and key workers in our community schools.”

She added that the fear of losing their hobs were putting increased worries on the shoulders of teachers and support staff.

Cllr Rijnenberg, added: “Changes to our community schools will impact on generations to come.

“Communities usually network outside the school gates, in the local supermarkets, in churches, playparks, leisure facilities, support groups and in the homes and gardens of friends and neighbours – all of which are ruled out during Covid-19.”

“I urge PCC leaders to place this consultation on hold until we are out of lockdown.”

Portfolio holder for education Cllr Phyl Davies, said: “I believe that our plans for the Brecon catchment area will help us deliver our strategy and improve the education entitlement and experience for future learners.

“It is important that the people of these three school communities as well as the wider area have their say on these proposals.

“I would urge them to send their views to us so that they can be considered.”

To respond to the consultation visit https://en.powys.gov.uk/transformingeducation and follow the links to give your views online.

You can respond in writing by emailing school.consultation@powys.gov.uk or by posting a letter to Transforming Education Team, Powys County Council, County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5LG.

The consultation will close on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

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