Nia Griffith MP said:
“We encourage everyone who will be affected by this proposal put forward by the Plaid Cymru Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet to make their voice heard during the consultation.
Pupils, parents and staff at the schools, as well as everyone living nearby, have an important role to play in the future of education provision in the area and their input will be vital when any decision is made.
This is the sort of far-reaching decision which needs proper community consultation, and a realistic appraisal of the needs in years to come. There has been a very large number of new houses built relatively recently on the Mynyddygarrreg side of the by-pass, and full account needs to be taken of the impact of these new developments on future school numbers. Even in a couple of years the situation could have changed significantly.
Every child deserves the best education and the best start in life that can be provided. This proposal will impact on many future generations as well and needs to be considered very carefully by everyone involved. This consultation needs to be the start of a conversation about what’s best for children in the area and I hope that the Council will listen to what local people have to say about it.”
Lee Waters MS added:
“I know this is an issue which the school Governors have wrestled with for some time and there is clearly a delicate balance to be struck between maintaining a strong sense of community with a school at its heart, and allowing children access to the best facilities and a teaching body with enough capacity to give them the best education.
“It’s important the Council don’t rush into making any decisions here. I’m particularly concerned about the impact closing Mynyddygarreg will have on travel patterns. Just at the moment when we’re trying to help people leave their cars at home more often, the relocation of educational facilities could have the opposite effect.
The issue of small rural schools and their future viability is a really difficult one. I think the case of Mynyddygarreg is far from settled, so I hope the Council do their upmost to listen to residents.”
The proposal under consideration is:
- Discontinue Mynyddygarreg primary at the end of August 2021.
- From September, all pupils to be registered at Gwenllian primary, which would operate on both sites and increase its capacity.
- Alter Gwenllian primary’s catchment area to include that of the Mynyddygarreg area.
- Relocate Gwenllian primary to a new site and increase its capacity to 210 pupil and 30 nursery places, with the new school ready in 2023.
The consultation process on the proposal is due to commence on 11th January 2021 for a period of six weeks.