NEW formal catchment areas for primary schools have been implemented despite a Labour councillor criticising a consultation on the issue.

Newport council, which has been run by a Labour-administration since May 2012, had already faced criticism for the plan to implement formal boundaries for where children can go to primary school.

Cabinet member for education Bob Poole has now decided to approve the primary school catchment area boundaries, which hadn’t before been formally set.

Council documents show backbench Rogerstone Councillor Sally Mlewa said the consultation, held from December 9, 2013 to January 31, 2014, was held during the busiest time for primaries.

“This is not a reasonable time to hold such a consultation in the name of fairness or transparency,” she wrote.

She said in many of the catchment area maps there is a proposal to cut streets in half, with students attending different schools. Cllr Mlewa urged a number of issues to be reconsidered, including the effect the proposals will have on secondary school admissions be taken into account, and said the matter should be put before a scrutiny committee.

The Argus previously reported worries the proposed catchment for Marshfield Primary School will exclude the villages of Coedkernew and St Brides Wentloog.

Tory councillor Richard White, from Marshfield, said the proposed alteration of the boundaries for Duffryn schools didn’t make practical sense.

Conservative Cllr David Atwell, for Langstone, said it was a “retrograde step” to change catchment areas where a new school hadn’t been built.

The head of service told Cllr Mlewa the consultation was considered reasonable and had been held in accordance with the statutory School Admissions Code.

Issues regarding Ffordd Camlus and Glasllwch View had been rectified, he indicated.