Pupil protest can't save Pontypool school

Free Press Series: Children protesting against proposals to close Pontnewynydd School (6330226) Children protesting against proposals to close Pontnewynydd School (6330226)

TORFAEN council cabinet members have agreed to close Pontnewynydd Primary School next year at an extraordinary meeting of councillors.

Pupils from Pontnewynydd Primary School held a protest outside the Civic Centre yesterday to urge cabinet members to save their school.

A consultation on the proposals to close the school and to house the pupils at the Penygarn Primary School building ran from November to December last year.

But the council released an updated document in March following suggestions from parents that the documents were inaccurate.

The consultation threw up a number of concerns about the proposal that were addressed at the meeting.

Council officers reassured cabinet members that they are confident that with reconfiguration of the Penygarn Primary School building it can accommodate the pupils from September 2015.

But the deputy leader, Cllr Lewis Jones, said he had “serious doubts”.

There were no commitments made by the council on whether staff will all be offered posts following the closure.

Officers reported that traffic congestion in and around Penygarn Primary School was not expected to increase.

But Cllr Jones added: “There is a serious issue of congestion and a risk of injury outside of the school.”

The future of the TV studio equipment at Pontnewynydd is currently unknown, although officers said that the council wouldn’t want to lose such a facility.

Parents also questioned if the canteen had space as Penygarn school already operates three meal sittings.

Cllr Jones said that this resulted in some children “not receiving the hot food that they were entitled to”.

But officers are confident that with change it can be achieved.

Supporting the proposal, executive member for education, Cllr Brian Mawby, said: “We need to close schools that are unsustainable in order to invest in schools that are. We know there are issues around Penygarn but we can address these with the money recovered from the school closure.”

Following approval from cabinet members, statutory notices will be published to close Pontnewynydd Primary School and disperse pupils to neighbouring schools from September 1, 2015.

Members will receive a further report in September 2014 after the end of the statutory notice period with a view to making a recommendation on how to proceed.

Comments (1)

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5:26am Thu 22 May 14

kazzamezza says...

Is it me or was it just coincidence that, seeing as Brian Mawby has now stepped down from his "role", that the Pontnewynydd school closure went through 2 days before he stepped down???? I think not, well executed for his own gratification, possibly? I think the closure of this school from a document drawn up by said person, with a multitude of inaccuracies, fabricated figures & the disregard for health & safety & consideration for our children & their well being, will turn out to be a legacy that he has left behind for all the wrong reasons!!!!!
As for traffic congestion not a problem? don't know which Penygarn he's talking about, perhaps he will retract that statement when, something tragic happens as a result?
"the council wouldn't want to lose such a facility as a high tech TV studio at Pontnewynydd" well the answer is, don't close the school!!!!
How many meal sittings does a school have to have? With the amount of children they want educated @ Penygarn, the first lunch sitting will be @ breakfast time & the last @ supper time!
The answer from Brian Mawby is : - with change a lot of things can be achieved. The bit he missed out from that reply is :- the majority of them NEGATIVE!!!!
Is it me or was it just coincidence that, seeing as Brian Mawby has now stepped down from his "role", that the Pontnewynydd school closure went through 2 days before he stepped down???? I think not, well executed for his own gratification, possibly? I think the closure of this school from a document drawn up by said person, with a multitude of inaccuracies, fabricated figures & the disregard for health & safety & consideration for our children & their well being, will turn out to be a legacy that he has left behind for all the wrong reasons!!!!! As for traffic congestion not a problem? don't know which Penygarn he's talking about, perhaps he will retract that statement when, something tragic happens as a result? "the council wouldn't want to lose such a facility as a high tech TV studio at Pontnewynydd" well the answer is, don't close the school!!!! How many meal sittings does a school have to have? With the amount of children they want educated @ Penygarn, the first lunch sitting will be @ breakfast time & the last @ supper time! The answer from Brian Mawby is : - with change a lot of things can be achieved. The bit he missed out from that reply is :- the majority of them NEGATIVE!!!! kazzamezza
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