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Council could face legal challenge over bid to close primary school

13 Apr 2022 2 minutes Read
Llanfihangel Rhydithon Primary School. Photo via Google

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

Preparations  are being made to legally challenge a decision to close a Powys primary school.

Dolau School Action Group revealed on Wednesday, April 13 that their legal team has now applied to review the decision taken by Powys County Council’s Independent/Conservative cabinet to go ahead and close Llanfihangel Rhydithon primary school.

Llanfihangel Rhydithon primary school is located in an area known as Dolau, which is between Llandrindod Wells and Knighton.

Dolau School Action Group said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve had any updates, but we have a very exciting one.

“Yesterday, (Tuesday, April 12) the legal team issued the Judicial Review application.

“This is us submitting our case in front of a judge who will then decide on what to do next.

“This is a huge milestone for our fight and our community – the legal team believe we have a strong case.

“Behind the scenes the governors and legal team have been working incredibly hard to get to this point.

“However, there is still a way to go, and we will continue our fight to keep education in Dolau, in the coming months.”

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “The council is not aware of the Judicial Review application.

“In any event it would be inappropriate to comment on judicial challenge.

“If Judicial Review proceedings are issued, the implications of a judgment will be taken into account by the county council.”

Consultation

Following a consultation last year, the Independent/Conservative cabinet had decided in September 2021  to go ahead and close the school.

And despite a 200-page official objections report, cabinet went ahead and rubber-stamped the decision sealing the fate of the school in February.

Closing the school which has 36 pupils, at the end of August, will save the council £76,000.

While the school is full, the decision is partly a bid to fill up  surplus school spaces across the wider catchment area.

Pupils currently attending Llanfihangel Rhydithon will have to attend an alternative school from September 1.


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