February 26, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

MP reiterates concerns over council steamrolling community with plans for closure of small schools amid pandemic

LLANELLI MP Nia Griffith has called for the council to extend the consultation on the closure of Ysgol Mynydd-y-Garreg and has called for more transparency and communication with the community.

Speaking to Llanelli Online today, Tuesday (Jan 26) the MP said that she had concerns that the consultation was particularly stressful to parents who were already dealing with issues relating to the pandemic.

The MP said: “Carmarthenshire County Council needs to take notice of Welsh Government legislation which tells them very clearly they need to make a very clear case if they do want to go ahead and close the school.”

A drawing by one of the pupils, Martha; asking to stop the school closure.

Leader of the Labour Group on the council, Cllr Rob James labelled the plans as ‘a secret strategy’ on the part of the Plaid Cymru led administration.

In response executive board member for education and children, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “Let me make it clear. Plaid Cymru has no ‘secret’ strategy to close rural schools in Carmarthenshire.

“Cllr Rob James’s allegation that such a strategy exists is fantasy.

“He should know the Labour Welsh Government’s definition of a small school is one with less than 91 pupils. In Carmarthenshire, of course, that would be considered to be quite a large and thriving primary school.”

Cllr Davies said the authority had to consider all options when a school’s position appeared to be untenable, including federalisation – sharing of resources – closure, or a new area school.

He added that small schools were closing in many council areas, including Labour-controlled ones.

Last time the school was threatened with closure campaigners including the late great Ray Gravell and his family successfully halted those plans.

 

Nia Griffith MP said: “They do need to look very carefully at what they are suggesting. The big concern I have at the moment is that in the pandemic situation when the school is closed and when many parents are under pressure because they are juggling with child care and jobs and perhaps dealing with elderly relatives as well as lots of worries they have got themselves about Covid-19 there hasn’t been the space.”

You can hear the full interview with Nia Griffith MP here:

Welsh language campaigner Ffred Ffransis has also criticised the plans to close the school.

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