MEMBERS of Kidwelly Town Council have voted unanimously to urge Carmarthenshire County Council to reverse their decision to close Ysgol Mynyddygarreg. In a statement the council said:
“Small rural schools are an important part of the community, particularly in villages such as Mynyddygarreg, which has seen a slow and steady decline in facilities. The village has no shop, garage, pub or post office – all of which having closed in recent years. The closure of the school would decimate the community in Mynydygarreg.
“Mynyddygarreg is a growing community. Indeed, there is a prospective LDP site for housing opposite the school, and another under construction just a few hundred yards down the road at the bottom of the hill.
“The last time Carmarthenshire Council tried to close the school in 2009, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg joined the community, led by Ray Gravell in campaigning to keep the school open. Concerns were also raised about the impact the closure of the school would have on the Welsh language. These concerns remain.
“A community impact assessment written as part of the school closure bid does not seem to mention the impact to the community of Mynyddygarreg.
“The proposals to close do not mention the fact that the school has been green rated by Estyn – the highest rate for excellence for the last four consecutive years.
“Governors of the school are unhappy by decisions by the County Council and feel that this current situation has been forced upon them.
“Parents, many of whom specifically chose a small school like Mynyddygarreg for their child’s education, are unhappy at the decision to close the school. The new build for Ysgol Gwenllian being 2 miles away, across a busy bypass which has no safe crossing, active travel links or even pavements.
“Parents have indicated that should the school be closed, they are not minded to send their children to the new Ysgol Gwenllian. As they would have to take their children by car in any case, they would be looking for another small school in the vicinity.
“In a recent Senedd debate, the First Minister when speaking directly to Llanelli Online about the planned closure of Ysgol Mynyddygarreg said the council does not have a level playing field. It positively has to make arguments as to why the school should close. The presumption is that it should stay open.
“As a community council, representing the community of Kidwelly and Mynyddygarreg, we feel that Carmarthenshire County Council has not made sufficient argument that the school should be closed.
“Parents, governors and the community are calling on Carmarthenshire County Council to change their mind and resolve to keep Ysgol Mynyddygarreg open.”