BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 15:09 GMT
Protests ahead of school meetings
Protestors at Gwynedd council
Parents say councils face more protests over school closures
Parents campaigning to keep their primary schools open in two Welsh counties are stepping up protests.

Pupils from Ysgol y Clogau near Dolgellau, Gwynedd presented a petition to their MP, Elfyn Llwyd.

On Anglesey, Ysgol y Parc pupils in Holyhead took to the streets to highlight the journey they must make if their school shuts.

The issue of school closures is being discussed by both Gwynedd and Anglesey councils over the next few days.

Gwynedd's full council meets on Thursday to debate proposals which would see 29 junior, infant and primary schools shut.

If agreed, the plans would mean eight new area schools being built, leaving 48 schools across 85 different sites.

But there has already been widespread opposition from parents across the county, and large protests at meetings of the council cabinet.

The safety of our children must come first above everything
Stephen Young, Ysgol y Parc parent

Helen Newell Jones, head teacher at threatened Ysgol y Clogau at Bontddu near Dolgellau, which has 40 pupils, said she believed their school was being treated "unfairly".

"Gwynedd council says we haven't got a school hall or a playing field. That's true - but neither have five of the schools that compare to us," she said.

A petition containing 1,500 names is being presented to local MP, Elfyn Llwyd, and Mrs Newell Jones insisted that they will continue to oppose the school's closure.

"We have no empty places at the school, we are in fact 125% full at the moment.

"The children are very worried for the future of their school, it is a place they are happy to come to."

Parents from across Gwynedd are pledging to protest again outside Thursday's council meeting in Caernarfon, which will be the first time the plans have been discussed by all members.

"Dangerous"

On Anglesey, parents spent Wednesday morning highlighting what they claim would be a "danger walk" to school, if Ysgol y Parc in Holyhead is shut.

It is one of two schools in the area which could face closure as part of reorganisation plans, along with two schools outside the town at Aberffraw and Llandduesant.

But Ysgol y Parc parent Stephen Young described any moves to close their school as "unwanted".

"This is the primary school with the largest number of pupils in Holyhead, why should it be shut? It doesn't make sense," he said.

"Eighty per cent of the children who attend Y Parc live in the catchment area and walk to school."

Mr Young argued closing the school would mean a long walk across Holyhead town to another school, involving crossing the busy port, and negotiating the traffic heading for the ferries.

"The safety of our children must come first above everything," he added.

Anglesey council's executive committee meets next Monday to discuss the consultations on school reorganisation and the possible closures.



SEE ALSO
Elis-Thomas backs school shake-up
25 Nov 07 |  North West Wales
Two island schools could close
07 Dec 07 |  North West Wales
Hundreds at school closures demo
25 Oct 07 |  North West Wales
29 schools 'to close' in shake-up
19 Oct 07 |  North West Wales

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific