Gareth Ratcliffe, Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor for Hay, has criticised a lack of progress on promised development plans for Gwernyfed High School, after Cllr Phyl Davies, Portfolio Holder for Education and Property, said that officials working for the Conservative/Independent-run Powys County Council had to “re-prioritise.”



Many Hay-on-Wye pupils and families attend Gwernyfed High School or live in the catchment zone.


Plans to develop a new school building were first announced in September 2016 and the Council is also looking at potential sites for a new secondary school in the area.


However, progress has been slow and there have not been any public updates in recent months.


This week, Cllr Ratcliffe submitted a question to the Council on the issue.


In his response, Cllr Davies said: “Unfortunately, officers have had to re-prioritise their focus for now in order to deal with a number of projects that are further in development than Gwernyfed.”


Commenting, Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe said:


“Yet again it feels like Powys are trying to kick the Gwernyfed development into the long grass.


“I will keep fighting to get the school we were promised and deserve.


“I submitted the question as it seems that nothing is moving forward.


“The school, pupils, staff, and local community are working hard to ensure we get the best outcomes for our children. Now the County Council need to do their bit.


“I will be pushing for a further update in the Autumn.


“I understand that the pressures on the Local Education Authority and its’ resources during the pandemic have been immense, but the Conservative Portfolio Holder still made sure that consultations on closing Powys primary schools were pushed through.


“Maybe Gwernyfed is just not a priority.”



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