Community devastated as closure of rural school is confirmed
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Groups opposing plans to shut Llanbedr Church in Wales School near Crickhowell say they are “devastated” that Powys County Council’s Cabinet has decided to forge ahead with the process of closing the school later this year.
Councillors at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, January 17 voted in favour of going ahead with the closure.
This followed a proposal by Brecon and Swansea diocese director of education, John Meredith that the closure should be paused.
This extra delay would allow time to explore setting up an all through three to 18 years old school of a religious nature for the whole Crickhowell catchment area.
This would using multiple sites including Llanbedr.
Llanbedr chair of governors, Elaine Lusted said: “As a school, parents and staff and governors are devastated.
“They have worked tirelessly to jump through all the hoops the council have placed in their way whilst coping with the challenges of Covid-19 and all that that entailed.
“We are a thriving small rural school whose numbers were increasing year on year with happy children and dedicated staff delivering an excellent standard of education.
“The Liberal Democrats took control of Powys council on the back of manifesto promises to halt the closure of small schools but have now reneged on those promises.”
Ms Lusted also warned the majority Liberal Democrat administration that they were supported at last May’s local government elections in the belief that the school closure process would be stopped.
She pointed out that the former leader of the council, Rosemarie Harris had paid the price at the ballot box and had said that losing her seat, had “something to do with the closure of a local school.”
Ms Lusted said: “The Liberal Democrats did not take that on board.
“Why would any of us bother to vote if we did not believe the party we were voting for could change anything?
“The people of Powys deserve a cabinet voted in by them who want to work for them and not against them.”
It is expected that Llanbedr will now close at the end of August.
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