Wales

Roof repairs at threatened Llangain school

Llangain school
Image caption The council said the roof had to be repaired "as a matter of urgency"

A council has defended spending tens of thousands of pounds on a school it has now earmarked for closure.

Carmarthenshire council repaired the roof of Llangain Primary School, near Carmarthen, weeks before announcing the closure plans.

Plaid AM Nerys Evans released figures showing £68,000 went on school improvements, and has criticised the council's "complete lack of logic".

The council said the roof had to be repaired "as a matter of urgency".

The local authority last month began consultation on whether to close Llangain as part of its Modernising Education Programme.

Workers went in over the summer after fears that a leak in the roof might affect the electrics.

Former Llangain pupil Ms Evans, Plaid AM for Mid and West Wales, said the roof had been in the same state for the past four years and did not need money spent on it if the school was to close.

She said the recent expenditure was part of £120,000 spent on the school over the past five years.

She said: "It raises serious questions about the ability of the education department in the council to plan strategically in order to provide education for the children across Carmarthenshire.

"I also have serious concerns about the council's judgement when making spending commitments."

The school's chairman of governors, Terry Griffiths, said the school had been given a good report by Wales' school inspection body Estyn, and pupil numbers had nearly doubled, from 14 to 27, since the possible closure announcement.

He said: "I say we at Llangain school have more than enough evidence to keep the school open which vary from the very positive Estyn report, the increase in pupil numbers, excellent facilities and, last but not least, outstanding teachers and staff."

A Carmarthenshire council spokesperson said: "It became necessary for building services to spend a significant sum of money at the school over the summer as a leak had occurred in the roof which was threatening the electrical services in the building.

"If this had not been repaired as a matter of urgency the school building would have had to be closed.

"All work carried out has been essential repairs and maintenance.

'Bonkers'

"The future of the school will be considered through the Modernising Education Programme, however it is necessary to maintain the building and keep it open until such time as that decision has been reached."

In August, Education Minister Leighton Andrews said it was "bonkers" that a Carmarthenshire school was staying open even though it had no pupils.

The local authority said assembly government rules meant is was obliged to give Capel Iwan primary, near Newcastle Emlyn, a £110,000 budget while it consulted over its closure.

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