‘What about Cradoc?’ Councillor questions Cabinet over primary schools reorganisation

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Monday 4th July 2022 2:28 pm
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Cllr Iain McIntosh. Behind is Cradoc Primary School (Google Streetview )

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The reorganisation of primary schools in Brecon – will go on as planned as it fits the new vision for schools in Powys, an education chief has explained.

At a meeting of the Learning and Skills scrutiny committee on June 29, questions were asked on why delaying or stopping the closure of Cradoc primary school was not being considered by the new Liberal Democrat/Labour cabinet.

Conservative Cllr Iain Mcintosh has campaigned to stop the closure of Cradoc and even resigned from the previous Independent/Conservative cabinet in December 2021 – to fight against the closure.

Since the new Liberal Democrat/Labour regime took over in May he has hoped and pushed for the decision to close of not just Cradoc, but also Llanfihangel Rhydithon and Llanbedr to be stopped.

Cllr McIntosh pointed out that the decision to delay the closure of both Llanfihangel Rhydithon and Llanbedr were to allow catchment area reviews to take place.

Cllr McIntosh: “We’re looking at catchment reviews for two of the schools but not the third which is Cradoc which is also part of the Brecon catchment.

“Why is the Brecon catchment area not being reviewed particularly as much bigger schools are at stake.

“Overall, my feelings and I hope they are passed on to cabinet – is that we had an election in May, a new administration was elected on their commitment to stop the closure of these schools.

“They are not doing that, and they have obviously decided not to do that but rather than receiving public criticism they are kicking the can down the road.”

Cabinet member for a learning Powys, Liberal Democrat Cllr Pete Roberts said: “We’re here today to look at two particular proposals and I’m not looking to expand beyond that.

“It would be inappropriate of me to do so.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Gwynfor Thomas pressed Cllr Roberts for an answer.

Conservative Cllr Thomas said: said: “It’s a relevant question why aren’t you expanding this into all catchment areas.”

Cllr Roberts replied: “The outline we have put forward in terms of vision for education in Powys is for single schools on multiple sites and phase one of the Cradoc/Mount Street proposal is consistent with that vision.”

The previous cabinet’s decision 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.

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