CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a Gwent primary school blasted council proposals to close it and unveiled their own plans for its expansion.

More than 200 people, including Lynne Neagle AM, and the leader of the Liberal Democrats at the Assembly, Michael German AM, attended a public consultation on Torfaen council's proposal to close Brookfield Primary School in Cwmbran by 2006.

There was a dramatic start to the evening, when an ambulance had to be called after chairman of governors John Crump collapsed before the meeting.

He was tended by paramedics but recovered well, and stayed for the meeting.

Campaign leaders Paul Underwood and Martin Williams accused the council of overlooking the school's academic achievements and earmarking the site for lucrative redevelopment before a final decision has been made on its future.

Parent governor Mr Underwood said a plan to regenerate Cwmbran, which includes options on the school site "brings the validation of the whole consultation process in to question".

Earlier, Torfaen's chief executive, Alison Ward, said the final decision belonged to Wales education minister Jane Davidson.

"The only way the minister will consider the closure of Brookfield school is on educational grounds," she said.

Mr Underwood and Mr Williams challenged the council's capital expenditure projection for the school of over £486,000 - higher than other schools in the same cluster.

He claimed that surveys commissioned by campaigners showed council figures of £180,000 needing to be spent on a new roof were wrong. And he unveiled plans, drawn up by architects, to enlarge the school in a scheme costing £411,000, allowing it to accommodate more than 300 pupils.

Campaigners propose closing Oakfield Primary School - within the same cluster - and moving staff and pupils from there to an expanded Brookfield site.

Torfaen's education director Mike de Val called the plans "very interesting", but said: "At some stage something has to give. I have to think about 17,000 pupils, not just 140."

Councillors will vote in May on whether to close the school. A final decision would be made by the minister early in 2006.