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'Shambolic' school closure plans must be put on hold, AM urges

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A politician has described a local authority as 'shambolic' and has urged plans to close a village school be put on hold.

Ysgol Pontfadog

Wrexham Council leaders voted to shut Ysgol Pontfadog near Chirk last week and issued a statutory notice of closure.

The school has just 18 pupils, and the council took the decision following a consultation on the future of three schools in the area.

However since the decision, the authority has admitted it did not look at all responses to a public consultation programme, which campaigners described as a 'whitewash.'

Ken Skates had previously urged parents to make their voices heard during the consultation period, and now insists said the whole process must now be questioned.

The Clwyd South AM said: "If Wrexham Council is admitting it didn’t take into account all the views put forward then the whole exercise and the subsequent decision is flawed. It’s shambolic.

“People need to have faith in the democratic process, not more reason to think the whole process was a charade and the decision to close Ysgol Pontfadog had already been made.

"Let’s not forget that only six per cent of people who responded said they wanted the school to shut.”

Glyntraian Community Council have demanded the decision to close the school be rescinded and the matter be revisited.

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Mr Skates has backed the call, and added: "A number of people contacted me about this issue and there’s understandable concern. When you close schools, you change communities.

"The council had a very tough decision on its hands. But, above all, the process has to be fair and transparent.”

MP for Clwyd South Susan Elan Jones has also attacked the council, insisting it is unacceptable that the authority has not take its own process seriously.

She added: "As I made very clear in my submission to the Wrexham Council consultation, Ysgol Pontfadog should stay open.

"It is not acceptable that the council has not even taken its own consultation seriously.

“I totally support Glyntraian Community Council’s call to rescind the decision. Wrexham Council needs to listen to families across the Ceiriog Valley and re-think their damaging decision.”

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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