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School’s £200k grant secure, for now

 
Created on 16/10/2020 @ 11:23
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Assurances have been given that a £200,000 grant from the Welsh Government to a local nursery is being protected, until a decision on school reorganisation is made.

Cylch Meithrin Pen-y-Bont Fawr, which is attached to Ysgol Pennant, was given the funding to improve it’s facilities, but the school is part of the Llanfyllin catchment area school reorganisation.

Earlier this month Education portfolio holder, Cllr Phyl Davies, said it would be “unwise” to commit public funding to the nursery when the school could close.

Now, chairman of school governors and Llanwddyn county councillor, Bryn Davies, said that he has received assurances from the Welsh Government that the funding will not be taken away from the nursery.

Cllr Davies said: “I am delighted with this firm and swift response to our concerns and the manner in which it reflects common sense and natural justice.

“Whilst nothing is yet certain about the medium and long term future arrangements for the schools in our area, it is very reassuring to know that the money allocated to this essential project cannot be diluted and spent elsewhere without the specific permission of Welsh Government.

“Furthermore, they have stated that such permission will not be granted without a formal application procedure that cannot take place until after the full consultation and decision making process with respect to schools transformation has been carried out.”

Correspondences from the Welsh Government to Cllr Davies states that they have met council officials to explain that a fresh grant application would be needed, if the school reorganisation sees Ysgol Pennant close.

A spokesman for Powys County Council, said: “Officers are in discussions with the Welsh Government to establish whether the funding earmarked for Cylch Meithrin Pen-y-Bont Fawr can be ring-fenced.”

The preferred option for reorganisation proposals for Ysgol Pennant would see it close, with the expectation that pupils would go to a Welsh Medium primary school in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant.

Cllr (Phyl) Davies has stressed that “no decision have been made” yet and further detailed proposals will be brought back to Cabinet in December.


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