Powys Lib Dems call for open air consultations on school closures
Powys Lib Dems today have called for the Powys County Council to organise open air consultation events for all schools planned for closure.
“Today (7th June) the Welsh Government have announced changes that allow the organised outdoor gatherings of up to 4000 people in standing and 10000 seated events to take place. Powys CC should take advantage of this change to enable direct face to face consultation with parents and pupils affected by their closure plans “ commented former Senedd Candidates Cllr William Powell and Alison Alexander.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats on Powys County Council have criticised Conservative-Independent plans to shutter four primary schools.
The Tory-Independent Council Cabinet conducted consultations on the closure of Castle Caereinon Church in Wales School, Churchstoke County Primary School, Llanbedr Church in Wales School and Llanfihangel Rhydithon County Primary School this Spring, whilst the effected communities were still under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and without the involvement of the children who would be most impacted.
Questions have also been raised about whether the planned closures are compatible with the ‘presumption against closure for rural schools’ policy introduced into the School Organisation Code by former Welsh Liberal Democrat MS for Brecon & Radnorshire and Education Minister Kirsty Williams
The Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have criticised NHS England’s imminent rollout of changes to the way that the identifiable personal and health data of patients registered with GP surgeries in England is shared with third parties.
Local Lib Dem Councillors Pete Roberts (Llandrindod South) and Jake Berriman (Llandrindod North) have expressed their anger at the decision by Barclays to close their Llandrindod branch in August.
“The decision to pull out of town is a major concern for residents and traders alike” commented Cllr Pete Roberts. “For many residents, the suggestion that they should go to Builth Wells or Newtown is not realistic. Having looked at the banks 'Consultation' document it raised more questions than answers and having undertaken further research we will be writing to the bank seeking clarification on a number of issues”
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 refusal of Powys County Council’s Education Service to allow online consultation events with the parents and pupils of the schools currently under threat of closure has been condemned by the Council’s Welsh Liberal Democrat – Green Group.