TWO Swansea primary schools have gone under the hammer, but only one of them was sold on the day.
YGG Felindre was bought by an unknown buyer for £150,000 while bids for Craigcefnparc primary did not meet the reserve price at auction.
A council spokesman said: “We are in discussions with the auctioneers about the next steps regarding Craigcefnparc but we are keen to see the site brought back into use as soon as possible.”
Campaigners fought to save both Mawr schools, which had a declining pupil roll, but they were closed by the council last August following consultation.
Two months later a local businessman, Bryan Davies, offered to buy YGG Felindre for £150,000, which included a £12,500 contribution from villagers.
Mr Davies planned to create a privately-run education centre there, including pre-school and after-school clubs, and junior and adult learning.
But the council turned it down, saying the “most transparent way” of getting best value was to market the school via auction.
Claims have been made that the council has lost out because it would have had to pay a commission to the auction company, and a complaint has been made to this effect to the Wales Audit Office.
Council chiefs said these claims were factually incorrect because the buyer – not the seller – had paid a fee to the auction company.
Mr Davies, whose owns Felindre pub The Shepherd’s Inn, said he put in a £148,000 bid ahead of the auction but claimed the reserve price was raised upwards on the day to £150,000.
He said the highest auction bid was £149,000 but that the school was sold for £150,000 following discussions between the auction company and the bidder.
A council spokesman said: “We have a legal duty to obtain best value for the council tax payer and the most transparent way to achieve this is to market properties such as this via auction.
“We gave Mr Davies plenty of advance notice of the auction and we wished him well.”
The spokesman said Mr Davies could have secured YGG Felindre had he bid £150,000 on the day, and added: “There was a reserve price and it is factually wrong to say that this changed.”
Mr Davies, who did not submit the Wales Audit Office complaint, said his proposal for YGG Felindre was the will of the community, and that there would be serious opposition to any plans to redevelop the site.
“There will be massive objections from the village,” he said.
Pupils at YGG Felindre were offered places in Swansea’s YGG Tirdeunaw and YGG Tan-y-lan when it shut.