Hands off our school!


Shane Brennan

PARENTS and campaigners gathered at county hall in Ruthin to try and save their community school.
The group backing Ysgol Llanbedr were there to hand in their appeal to the council not to proceed with their decision to close the school.
Two lever arch folders of letters and 450 traced hand outlines with messages of support for the school were presented to the council on behalf of the campaign by Cllr Huw Williams who represents Llanbedr.
A large group of people gathered at the entrance to the county hall to show their support for the school.
They included Clwyd West AM Darren Millar.
Mr Millar said : “It would be a real tragedy if this school closes. It has served the local community for generations and the standards there are excellent, the wraparound care, the facilities which are available, the space which allows for expansion all of those point to this being a barmy decision to close the school.
“I have been hugely impressed by the local community spirit which has been shown in Llanbedr and by the tremendous work the parents, staff and governors have put in.
“I really hope the decision makers here in Denbighshire will listen to those concerns and revise this decision.
“I have written to the minister twice now about this, he is duty bound to await the decision of Denbighshire County Council before he can intervene if the decision is referred to him.
“I will be doing everything in my powers as an AM with my colleagues on a cross party basis to get him to make the right decision for Ysgol Llanbedr.”
Rev. Philip Chew, chairman of the school governors, said: “It is difficult to understand the decision to close the school but it is now up to the council to scrutinise all of these objections and open up their minds to truth and justice and really consider why people are objecting.
“Why close this school when it has excellent facilities? why close the school when it has an excellent record of education? why close the school its got such a long history?”
Parent and campaigner, Julie Baddock said: “We have handed our objection to the closure to the council now including two lever arch files of letters and 450 hand print campaign signs. It will go to the maintaining excellence in education team and will then be referred onto the cabinet to reconsider their decision. We would like them to overturn their decision but realise that this is unlikely so it would then be referred onto the minister down in Cardiff.”
In a statement the council said: “Today is the final day of the 28 day statutory notice period, all of the objections will be collated by the council and a report will be going to cabinet on the March 25.
“It will be a decision for cabinet to approve or reject the proposal at this stage.”
If the cabinet do not overturn their decision to close the school then it can be referred to the minister for education in Cardiff who will make the final decision.
The appeal to the minister can be made by the school governors, the diocese of St Asaph or other education bodies affected by the closure.

See full story in the Free Press

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