Sunday, 11 October 2009

Call for rethink on school sale proceeds

Carmarthenshire County Council's Executive Board have been urged to think again after they refused to make any contribution from the proceeds of selling Llanarthne's former school to the local Community Association. The school has been closed under the council's Modernising Education Porgramme, and the county gave the local community an opportunity to put together a business plan for community use. The response from the local community has been that they already have a hall, but would like to extend it further rather than take on the additional building, so they asked instead for a contribution from the sale proceeds. This was unanimously refused by the Council's Executive Board - one of whose members is the local Independent Party councillor, Wyn Evans.

Plaid Cymru's group leader, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths has called for a rethink. Cllr Hughes Griffiths said, "I believe that the request from the Community Association should have received more sympathetic consideration from the council. Far too many villages have lost their schools under the council's programme, and this can often be a serious blow to the community. It is right and proper that the community should have some direct benefit from the sale of former schools, to help the community to recover form the loss and to find other ways of strengthening community activity. The executive board decided to help the community find alternative sources of finance, and this is a reasonable first step, but I believe that the council should be prepared to reconsider the application if necessary to make up any deficit in funding from those other sources."

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