I am writing to once again raise my concerns regarding Powys County Council’s proposals to close Llanfihangel Rhydithon County Primary School and Llanbister County Primary School.
First, I would like to say how pleased I am that the decision has now been taken to keep Gwernyfed and Brecon Schools open, but now is the time to ensure that education in Radnorshire has parity with Brecknockshire. It is so essential that educational standards remain high across the whole of our county, and I believe that it is only by keeping these superb local schools open that we can achieve those standards.
In speaking with residents, many share with me their concerns that Powys County Council appears to treat Radnorshire differently to other areas of Powys due to its small population. Because of this, many feel the area faces disproportionate cutbacks in funding, and the proposals to close these two wonderful Schools only amplifies this feeling.
Many are greatly concerned about the impact this will have not only on the local area but on their children and grandchildren too. As I am sure you are aware, each school offers something unique to their community and their talented teachers and support staff offer the highest standards of education to our children. To lose these fantastic schools would be catastrophic to the future of our communities.
However, it is not just socially that these proposals are opposed, but economically too. Many local businesses are greatly concerned over the future of their staffing needs should they not be able to attract pupils from a local school. I have held many discussions with business leaders over the past months and this issue has come up again, and again, and again.
As elected members, it is our duty to stand up for our constituents and do what is in their best interest. With the strength of feeling that has been shown by the local community across Radnorshire, it is clear to me that it is in the best interest of the people of our area to keep our schools open. I therefore request that Powys County Council Cabinet, listen to not only to their elected Councillors but most importantly their communities, and hear that call and keep Llanfihangel Rhydithon CP School and Llanbister CP Schools open long into the future.
Chris Davies MP
Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire