Following the revelation that Powys County Council’s public consultation document on the potential closure of Llanbedr Church in Wales Primary School contained significantly inaccurate figures on the availability of places at the nearest Church in Wales School in Llangattock, local Welsh Lib Dem County Councillor John Morris has challenged the Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Phyl Davies, to at the very least re-issue the consultation document with accurate figures.
The Council’s original consultation document stated that the capacity of Llangattock Primary School is 141 but this has now been changed to 121 in the documentation. The true figure is actually 117, including 16 pre-school places.
Commenting on the error, Cllr Morris said:-
“This type of serious flaw brings the whole consultation process into question. The ability of a potential alternative or ‘receiving’ school to absorb the pupils from a school that is facing closure is a fundamental issue of importance. If the Council cannot provide the correct figures how can we have any confidence in the ability of the Council to carry out the process properly? Which of the other schools under threat have been subjected to similar errors?”
“The fact that the nearest Church in Wales primary school clearly has much less capacity to accept the pupils from Llanbedr School than was first indicated is a clear indication that the proposal to close Llanbedr School is unsound and should be rejected.”
Further concerns about the ability of Llangattock to absorb the extra numbers were raised by local Lib Dem councillor Jackie Charlton
“Any increase in pupil numbers in Llangattock could impact on staffing, this has not been costed. The school capacity in the building has been reached, no mention of costing for extra classrooms and toilets. Then you need to factor in the news that building starts later this year on 72 new houses in the Llanbedr catchment.”