Judicial review applications to stop school closures have been made

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Wednesday 25th May 2022 3:34 pm
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Llanbedr Church in Wales Primary School (Google Streetview) inset above is Llanfihangel Rhydithon Primary School (Google StreetView) and below that is Cllr Iain McIntosh at Cradoc Primary School (screenshot from Microsoft Teams meeting)
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Legal challenges are set to be made as applications for a Judicial Review of decisions by Powys County Council to close two primary schools, have been lodged.

The new ruling administration which is expected to be confirmed at tomorrow’s annual general meeting (Thursday – May 26) have been urged to reverse their decisions to close Cradoc, Llanfihangel Rhydithon (also known as Dolau) primary schools and Llanbedr Church in Wales primary school as soon as possible.

Cllr Iain McIntosh who has campaigned to keep Cradoc open wanted to bring a motion before the council meeting to discuss stopping the closures but was thwarted due to procedural rules.

Iain McIntosh speaking from outside Cradoc Primary School

He was told that his motion could be debated at the next council meeting in July.

Since then, he has written to council leader in waiting, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, asking for the matter to be dealt with at the first cabinet meeting of the new administration.

This meeting is pencilled into the counci’s calendar for June 14.

Cllr McIntosh said: “Currently, there are three primary schools facing closure, I believe there is still a chance they can be saved.

“I ask you and your new cabinet to wait no longer and halt the closure of the three schools immediately, please.”

Cllr McIntosh explains that by acting quickly, the schools will be able to make staffing decisions and it would also allow parents to keep their children there rather than look around for another school for them to attend from September.

Cllr James Gibson-Watt
Cllr James Gibson-Watt (Photo supplied )

Council leader in waiting and Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt said: “The JR (Judicial Review) on Llanbedr and Dolau schools has just been submitted to court.

“I am awaiting advice about the legal and practical position of the schools subject to closure decisions by the previous cabinet, before deciding what to do next.

“That advice is expected in the next day or so.”

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “It would be inappropriate for the council to comment on judicial challenges.

“If the court gives permission to proceed to Judicial Review hearings , the implications of any judgment will be taken into account by the county council.”

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