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Town council opposes school’s move to Welsh-medium despite public support

11 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Machynlleth. Google

A town council is opposing plans for the transition of a Machynlleth school to Welsh-medium education.

Machynlleth Town Council has taken the stance after saying it had received ‘not a single letter of support’ for the Welsh language plans at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.

This is despite a public consultation having found the majority of respondents backing the phased transition from dual-stream to Welsh-medium schooling.

The consultation, involving 440 respondents, found that just over 61 per cent were in favour, 37.5 per cent were against and 1.3 per cent ‘didn’t know’.

But the town council says it has received an ‘unprecedented’ number of letters in opposition and none for. A recent extraordinary council vote on the matter found seven councillors against the changes and one in support.

Letters

The council has now written to Powys County Council saying: “We have received an unprecedented number of letters from our community all opposing the change. Not a single letter of support has been received.

“The town council recognises the importance of the promotion of the Welsh language, this should not be at the detriment of choice.”

A report by the Cambrian News says the letter acknowledges the public consultation had met the ‘minimum standards’ but says more efforts should have been made to reach a wider audience.

The concerns raised include a perceived ‘reduction in choice’ and that changes could result in people leaving the town and looking elsewhere for their education needs.

Powys County Council says the proposed changes would not affect any pupils currently taught at the school with the phased approach being introduced year by year, starting with the school’s reception class in September 2022.

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen has around 500 pupils and caters for an age range of 4-19.

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Quornby
Quornby
20 days ago

Mmm I wonder about the political breakdown of the council.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
20 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

This recent report on the council debate on the proposal is er…illuminating https://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/article.cfm?id=136382

Chris
Chris
20 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Yes I was just reading that one too. I found a picture of the Machynlleth town councillors elected in 2017. There was ONE who looked under the age of 70. And he was about 55.
I also looked at the Town Council website. It listed what they are responsible for. Bus stops, bins, some fields, yes. But no responsibility for schools whatsoever.
So despite Lord Mayor Turtleface calling an AGM of the Grey Council, they have no responsibility or authority as it relates to the school.

Erisian
Erisian
19 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Elrond, Galadriel and I assure you that the Grey Council heartily approve the change to Welsh Medium Education, obviously we would have prefered High Elvish, but fully understand that our time has passed so it is fitting that the next most beautiful language known to us should be taught instead.

Chris
Chris
20 days ago

Unprecedented amount of letters eh? No doubt facsimiles and telegraphs as well. NOBODY writes letters any more. It’s a dead medium. There is no verification of sender with a letter. You can write a hundred different letters as a hundred different people and nobody can or will ever check. And when numbers are “unprecedented” one should ALWAYS check. This is definitely a stitch up. No doubt in my mind. Assuming there were any letters at all (there weren’t) this suggests an old dodderer, not somebody with school age children. And as regards letters of support? People don’t write to support… Read more »

Aled
Aled
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris

A freedom of information request might be needed to ascertain what is the number of “unprecedented” letters.
Also how long was given for the public to write to the council?
How widely was a request for letters advertised?
Why was the consultation taken into account by the town council when forming its response to the County council?

Mark
Mark
20 days ago

is it even anything to do with the town council? I don’t believe education comes under their jurisdiction.

CJPh
CJPh
20 days ago

Imagine a new road is planned, a road that eleviates traffic through the town centre, reduces air pollution near homes and schools and allows commercial vehicles to have a quicker journey past the town. 60%+ are in favour. Who the hell then writes to the council to say “I am in favour of this proposal?” only nay sayers feel aggrieved enough to pen a letter. plus, the action itself tends to suggest an older demographic – more conservative, adverse to change and not a parent of young children. Many (speaking from experience in my area) have moved to the area… Read more »

Last edited 20 days ago by CJPh
j humphrys
j humphrys
20 days ago

Looks very Brexity to me. “Wales voted Leave”. Yeah, but what did the Welsh vote?!

Mochyn 69
Mochyn 69
20 days ago

A mere jumped up parish council. Who are the members???

Mochyn 69
Mochyn 69
20 days ago
Reply to  Mochyn 69

Aha, members of the bowling club and the British Legion. Well there’s a surprise!

http://www.machynlleth-tc.gov.uk/YourCouncillors.aspx

Gyda llaw, Machynlleth Parish Council, ble mae’r Gymraeg?

defaid
defaid
20 days ago
Reply to  Mochyn 69

Roeddwn i bron a postio’r un cwestiwn.

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
20 days ago
Reply to  Mochyn 69

Interestingly, no minutes are posted for their extra-ordinary meeting held on 1st June (nearly 6 weeks ago) re: this, the only item on the agenda. Also interesting to note that of the 12 councillors, 7 seem to have english surnames.

defaid
defaid
20 days ago
Reply to  Gill Jones

I’ll bet that MacGarry, Paige and Gaskell can’t pronounce Machynlleth.

Last edited 20 days ago by defaid
Erisian
Erisian
19 days ago
Reply to  Gill Jones

I find that offensive. It’s not about surnames it’s about commitment to Wales and Cymraeg

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Fi hefyd, ar ol yr holl flynyddoedd hyn, mae’n torri fy nghalon.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
20 days ago

Jesus wept 😢 in what other country in the world would a few malevolent letter writers be allowed to sabotage children being educated in that country’s own native language? 😡 Worse in making this appalling decision councillors have given credence to bigoted baseless claptrap that welsh medium education disadvantages children in some way.

Chris
Chris
20 days ago

So I skim read the report produced. There were 440 responses to the consultation. Of these the majority (61%) of respondents supported the move, with 39% oppose or no strong opinion either way.
But these – who followed due process – have all been ignored because some ancient ideologue who fears change has “written unprecedented amounts of letters” and now due process can be discarded.
Let’s all write an unprecedented number of letters to Macyntleth Council demanding that these old farts are sacked because apparently letter writing now supersedes democratic process.

Last edited 20 days ago by Chris
Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
20 days ago

Shame this is made into a single dimension problem.
For example, can’t see a Town Council claiming to get letters about the lack of engineering and computer science courses at GCSE and A level in schools in Mid Wales. I would argue it may have more impact on the future of the welsh language than if Welsh is the primary teaching language or not.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
20 days ago

This recent report on a council meeting on the proposal makes for interesting reading 🤔….no change that to makes for appaling reading ☹️ https://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/article.cfm?id=136382

defaid
defaid
20 days ago

I’d imagine that for Mach town council anything more than zero counts as an unprecedented number of letters.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
20 days ago

This sounds as if someone’s organised a letter-writing campaign involving his/her sympathisers in response to the result of the public consultation that produced a large majority in favour of a Welsh medium school. Hopefully Cyngor Powys will see what’s been done and will not be swayed by Mach Council’s spineless decision.

Last edited 20 days ago by Wrexhamian

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