Wales

Anglesey primary school closures could be put on hold

Protest against the closure of Ysgol Gymuned Bodffordd, Anglesey Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Campaigners fear school closures will threaten the future of Welsh-speaking communities

Plans to close a number of primary schools on Anglesey could be put on hold after concerns were raised about the decision-making process.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams is considering a complaint about closure plans for Ysgol Gymuned Bodffordd.

Senior officers are recommending council leaders cancel two other school closures and reconsider the decisions.

Ysgol Gynradd Beaumaris and Ysgol Talwrn would then be subject to new rules protecting rural schools.

Council bosses have insisted they followed the proper procedure in deciding to close the school in Bodffordd, and merge it with Ysgol Corn Hir in brand new premises.

But all three projects are now on hold pending a decision by senior councillors later this month on whether to re-run the process.

'Very challenging'

A spokesman for Anglesey council said: "The recommendation comes after a recent internal review of the statutory consultation process highlighted concerns regarding compliance with the School Organisation Code (Welsh Government) 2013.

"If executive members agree to rescind their previous decisions, any new statutory consultation process relating to the Llangefni and Seiriol areas would follow the requirements of the new School Organisation Code, published in November 2018."

The spokesman added that school reorganisation to cut costs and empty places had been "very challenging", with "difficult decisions" having to be taken.

He said three new primary schools had so far been built and opened at Holyhead, Llanfaethlu and Newborough, with more being planned.

Heulwen Roberts, a member of a campaign to keep Ysgol Talwrn open, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was "embarrassing" for the council to go back to the drawing board.

She added: "We now face months of having to go through this process again and the hurt it will cause for everyone concerned, but we will continue to fight."

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