Have your say on closure plan for Pontnewynydd School

TORFAEN residents are being invited to have their say on the proposed closure of Pontnewynydd Primary School.

A public consultation is now open and will run until December 16 with people invited to attend a public meeting at the school on December 3, from 9.30am-11.30am.

Officers from the council will be at the meeting to answer any questions and ensure that all comments will be recorded and included in the consultation process. The proposals form part of Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools programme which aims to tackle the issues of ageing buildings and surplus places across the borough by creating schools that are of the right type and size in the right place.

The school building is now more than 100 years old and has been identified in an independent survey commissioned by the Welsh Government as a category C/D condition school, with A being good.

Approximately £746,000 is needed in terms of backlog maintenance, but the proposed closure will release revenue estimated to be £162,000 per annum. The proposal sets out that children will be accommodated at Penygarn School, with the closure taking effect from September, 2015.

Parent Sian Price, of Pontnewynydd, said that she is concerned about the proposal, saying: “They are stating they will save £162,000 per year if the school closes, this is a drop in the ocean for Torfaen’s education budget.”

She raises concerns about Pontnewynydd Primary School Consultation Document that shows what pupil numbers at the school are down.

She said: “This is what happens when there is talk of schools closing. Parents will not send their children to a school that is under threat of closure.”

Ms Price also said she has concerns about what could happen to the school's building and surrounding site if the closure goes ahead.

She said: “The report states that the site would be sold. If this happens what would replace the school, and will we lose another one of Pontypool’s old buildings?”

Further details and a copy of the Pontnewynydd Primary School Consultation Document are available by visiting https://mysay.torfaen.gov.uk

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