A DISCUSSION about multi-million-pound proposals to rebuild a Prestatyn secondary school will be rescheduled for a future council meeting.
Denbighshire county councillors were set to consider proposals to rebuild or renovate Prestatyn High School in Denbighshire, following a motion being submitted by Cllr Paul Penlington.
Cllr Penlington put forward the motion to discuss applying for a new funding pot for the rebuild, following claims the school was in disrepair.
If funding were to be granted, Cllr Penlington said the Welsh Government’s Mutual Investment Model could enable Denbighshire to seek as much as £25m to rebuild or renovate the school, which educates over 1,400 pupils.
But Cllr Penlington withdrew the motion at the last-minute during Tuesday’s council meeting, claiming a busy agenda didn’t give councillors enough time to discuss the matter thoroughly.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “Due to DCC rules only allowing thirty minutes to discuss all motions, the fact three (other motions) had been submitted – and mine was third on the list for some reason – I was left with only ten minutes to present and defend a complex argument on accessing tens of millions of pounds of funding.
“Clearly that would be very difficult to do in a rushed ten minutes and would not do justice to the 20% of Denbighshire pupils attending Prestatyn High School, so I withdrew my motion.
“I have instead now asked for this to be a full agenda item as soon as possible at a future Denbighshire County Council (DCC) modernising education meeting, which will enable a proper detailed debate for as long as it takes.”
He added: “So I have managed to put a re-build for Prestatyn High School back on DCC’s agenda. I had submitted this agenda item as there were no plans to pursue funding for a new high school, so although I’m disappointed it’s taking so long, I’ve been pursuing this for many years. I am happy it is definitely back on the agenda and hope other councillors can now work with me to ensure our children get the school they deserve as soon as possible.”
The motion follows councillor and parent claims the school buildings are leaking, crumbling and lacking basic amenities such as lifts. One school visitor even complained a disabled person had resorted to ‘bum shuffling’ down the school’s stairs.
The claims sparked a row between Cllr Penlington and cabinet member for education Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, who said Cllr Penlington hadn’t visited the school in years.
Denbighshire County Council says it is currently working with the Welsh Government’s 21st Century School programme, which has already secured around £95m towards improving schools in the county. But while that funding is set to continue up to 2024, Prestatyn High is yet to be included in any certain plans, casting doubt in the minds of some about available funds.
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