Tuesday 6 December 2011

Pantycelyn Update

With yesterday's announcement by the Welsh Government that funding will now be available for the (re-prioritised) school building programme it has brought mixed blessings. For some it will mean welcome essential repairs and refurbishment but for the people of Llandovery it will mean the closure of the town's secondary school, Pantycelyn. (please search this blog for background)
I am therefore posting this update on behalf of the Ysgol Pantycelyn Action Group;

December 2011 Update
The YPAG has been very fortunate in gaining the pro-bono services of an excellent barrister.
He has examined the material we have gathered regarding the tri-level consultation process and proposed closure of Ysgol Pantycelyn and in his opinion we have a 65% chance of ‘winning’ the review which would then require Carmarthenshire County Council to run the consultation process again. A successful judgement would raise the profile in the media of this ill-thought through strategy, and delay the school closure, thus giving the opportunity for the newly elected Welsh Assembly to re-visit their policy on small schools such as Pantycelyn.
We are already have personal experience of visitors to Llandovery looking to buy homes in the area opting to buy nearer Llandeilo when they hear of the impending school closure, and you will need no explanation of how detrimental this will be to our businesses and community and tourism in the long term.
You will already have heard all the arguments against the closure including added burdens on both school children and parents regarding both time and expense.
The barrister we have working for us lives in the locality, although his work base is London. He has already put in many hours work for us for free and because of his commitment the costs we would have to find in the unlikely event of losing would now be as low as £12,000 which we feel is achievable. They could well be even less as costs are often not awarded to the losers in such cases. It is within the courts discretion.
YPAG members have also committed many hours to meeting, collating the evidence and keeping our profile in the media. Whilst some members are also able to commit financially, others are not in a position to do so, however, they would be held equally responsible by the court and we cannot place that burden of anxiety on them. Therefore we are making this one last effort to raise a pledged contingency fund from the businesses and people in and around Llandovery.
This contingency fund needs to be in place by the beginning of January. We therefore hope you have an excellent Christmas period that helps you decide that you can make a pledge to this crucial action.
If the school goes – so does Llandovery!
Thank you,

Further information can be found on the YPAG Facebook page here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that Pantycelyn school needs to be saved, but it is an utter disgrace that there is no Welsh medium secondary school in the Dinefwr area. Llandeilo/Llandovery and Ammanford, a huge area of Carmarthenshire has no Welsh medium secondary school. We need to campaign for a Welsh medium secondary school in the area.