Deadline ends for Torfaen school closure objections
7:00am Saturday 16th March 2013 in News
THE statutory objection period for proposals to close three schools in Torfaen as part of a £257.6 million transformation has ended.
Torfaen council published statutory notices on February 1 to notify people about plans to shut Two Locks Nursery School and Kemys Fawr Infants School in Sebastopol, along with Pontymoile Primary School in Pontypool at the end of August.
Objections had to be received by March 1, and these will now be sent to the Welsh Government by March 15.
Executive member for children and young people, Cllr Mary Barnett said: “Now that the statutory objection period has ended, the objections received and Torfaen’s responses to them will be sent toWelsh Government by March 15 – two weeks after the end of the objection period.
“The Welsh ministers normally look to issue a decision within six to seven months of the date on which the proposal is published. A decision letter giving the Welsh Ministers’ reasons for the decision is then sent to the council and it is also copied to each of the statutory objectors.
“All correspondence received by the council, (including petitions) during the consultation period November/December 2012 have also been sent to Welsh Government as part of the process.”
Cabinet members agreed to proceed with the publication of statutory notices on January 22, following a sixweek consultation period, which took place towards the end of last year.
The proposal would also see Pontymoile’s autistic special needs resource base close with pupils moving to Nant Celyn Primary in Cwmbran.
Pupils from Two Locks Nursery School would be moved to Nant Celyn Primary School, which would have its age range expanded, while Pontymoile pupils would be split between George Street Primary and New Inn Primary.
Children at Kemys Fawr Infants would move to Griffithstown Primary.
These proposals came about as a way to reduce surplus school places and Torfaen council say the changes will also improve the use of school resources and raise pupil attainment.
The plans are the first step in the council’s multi-million pound 21st Century schools programme and would see pupils starting at their new schools from September 1.
The council came up with the proposals after the Welsh Government requested all councils to submit plans in 2010 to tackle issues of ageing school buildings and surplus places.