Motion to keep primary school open is heavily defeated

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Monday 25th July 2022 11:00 am
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Cllr Pete Roberts and Cllr Iain McIntosh, behind is Cradoc Primary School
Cllr Pete Roberts and Cllr Iain McIntosh, behind is Cradoc Primary School (PCC and Google Street View )

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A motion to stop the closure of Cradoc primary school near Brecon was heavily defeated at a Powys County Council meeting.

At the meeting on Friday, July 21, Cllr Iain McIntosh, who represents the ward that includes Cradoc asked the council to keep the school open and that no proposals to close it are made during this council’s five-year term.

The previous cabinet’s decision just before Christmas 2021 to close Cradoc, Mount Street Junior and Mount Street Infant and Nursery school is not due to be implemented until the summer of 2023.

The first phase will see all three schools merged by August 31 – 2023 under one governing body and teaching management team.

The second phase is to have a new 360 place school built on the former Brecon High School site by 2025/26.

Cllr McIntosh had hoped that the new Liberal Democrat/Labour administration would stop the closure.

But at a recent cabinet meeting it was confirmed that the reorganisation of primary schools in Brecon will go on as planned.

Cabinet member for a learning Powys, Cllr Pete Roberts: “The problem with this motion is it asks that the school is subject to any closure for five years.

“That means we can’t federate it or put it into a cluster arrangement.

“It places it in a unique position – what sensible organisation would fetter its hands in this way?

“It’s essential that we judge each individual school proposal and catchment review on its merits.”

He pointed out that the proposal had been through several cabinet and scrutiny meetings.

In his summing up Cllr McIntosh said: “Not one single parent has ever approached me and indicated any approval of the plans to close our school.

“Cradoc is an outstanding and very popular school with almost 100 pupils.

“It is the hub of our community.”

The vote saw 14 councillors in favour of the motion 41 against and 4 abstentions.

Following the meeting Cllr McIntosh said that he was “bitterly disappointed” with the result, but he was not giving up.

“I will continue to fight against this decision as hard as I can,” said Cllr McIntosh.

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