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Local parents tell Labour representatives they fear decision already made to close Mynyddygarreg school

PARENTS of Ysgol Mynyddygarreg have met with Llanelli MS Lee Waters, MP Nia Griffith and leader of the opposition Cllr. Rob James to discuss the County’s consultation to close the rural Welsh medium school.

Local parents, school governors and Cylch Meithrin users made the case that a consultation of such importance should at the very least be extended, or preferably shelved due to the ongoing disruption of lockdown.

Rob James confirmed a motion would be tabled a week Wednesday at Council, arguing it is ‘not appropriate for school consultations to be carried out during the pandemic’ and ‘calls on the Executive Board to halt all school consultations until the September term and to produce a report on the viability of Carmarthenshire schools, outlining any future school footprint changes’.

Llanelli MS Lee Waters said:

“We listened to what the parents and residents of Mynyddygarreg had to say, and we’ve offered our support in challenging the manner that this consultation is being carried out. The parents raised legitimate concerns about the figures being used by education officers to make decisions about school closures. Given that there is a presumption against closure in the updated Welsh Government guidance, we think it is only fair that the council be pushed harder to justify their reasoning for closing Mynyddygarreg.”

Nia Griffith MP said:

“Pupils, parents and staff are all under the cosh at the moment dealing with home learning and all the other disruption caused by the pandemic. Carmarthenshire Council really need to be more sympathetic to the circumstances and to all of the detailed concerns that their proposal raises.

The impetus is on the Plaid Cymru run Council to prove their case to the local community rather than the other way around. I agree with the clear feeling from campaigners that the consultation must be genuine and constructive so that all of the factors affecting the future of education in the area can be properly taken into account before any decisions are made.”

Rob James said: “We agree with parents and those connected with Mynyddygarreg that it is not appropriate to hold a public consultation during a pandemic, when we are all under tremendous pressure.

“The motion tabled by Carmarthenshire Labour seeks to delay the consultation until after summer and requires the Plaid Cymru administration to outline what other schools they are also close.

“We are not looking to delay the building of the new school for Gwenllian, we support a new school being built. This is an attempt to support parents engagement with a consultation that will have far reaching consequences and we believe it is difficult for parents do so during these unprecedented times.”

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