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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Vote to close three Powys schools
School protest
Campaigners have held several demonstrations
Councillors in Powys have backed controversial plans to close three primary schools.

They voted to shut Llangurig, Howey, near Llandrindod Wells, and Thomas Stephens School in Pontneddfechan.

A decision about Carno, near Newtown, Llanfihangel Yng Gwynfa and Ysgol Efyrnwy schools, near Llanfyllin, has been deferred.

Some campaigners intend to lodge an objection with Education Minister Jane Hutt, who will make the final decision.

The six schools were earmarked for closure after a review found that there were more than 4,000 surplus places.

The council hopes to save 4m if it shuts the six schools.

There are several flaws in the council's plan
Campaigner Sarah Millington

But Carno, Llanfihangel Yng Gwynfa and Ysgol Efyrnwy schools have received a temporary reprieve, so that more research can be carried out into their future.

Sarah Millington, of Howey village school action group, said campaigners intended to lodge an objection with the assembly government.

"There are several flaws in the council's plan," she said.

"I think they have a lack of respect for staff and pupils at the schools, but our next step is to lodge an objection to the decision with the assembly government."

Campaigners in Pontneddfechan also intend to object, but Llangurig school has accepted the council's decision.

An assembly government spokesman said "interested parties" had two months to register their objections. The matter will then be referred "to the minister for determination".

Powys Council's David Jones, who is responsible for schools, said last week that "doing nothing was never an option" with surplus capacities in schools running at 27%.

He said it was costing an estimated 4m a year, leading to a disproportionate spend per pupil across schools and the council facing a 100m backlog in repairs and maintenance.

The three schools are set to close in August 2008.



SEE ALSO
Mixed fortunes for small schools
03 Oct 07 |  Mid Wales
Under threat school stages demo
04 Sep 07 |  Mid Wales
Row over plans to axe six schools
30 Jul 07 |  Mid Wales
Under threat school talks staged
13 Jul 07 |  Mid Wales

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