Agenda, decisions and minutes
Tuesday, 7th August, 2018 10.00 am
Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall
Contact: Jane Johnson Committee Manager
Webcast: View the webcast
(a) Public Questions/Statements
(b) Members’ Questions
In accordance with Standing Order 10 of the Council’s Constitution, five members of the public submitted questions relating to Ysgol Pontfadog.
The Lead Member for People – Education, the Interim Chief Executive and the Head of Education responded to the questions accordingly.
In accordance with Standing Order 10 of the Council’s Constitution, a Member submitted a question relating to the community playing field, play equipment and recycling facilities in Pontfadog.
The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport responded to the question accordingly.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors David Kelly and Mark Pritchard.
To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2018
RESOLVED – That, subject to the corrections identified at the Meeting, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2018 be signed as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2018 were submitted.
Councillor Graham Rogers declared a personal interest at the last meeting in respect of Agenda Item 10 – Capital Programme 2017/18 - 2021/22 (as a School Governor) but this was not recorded in the Minutes.
A Member referred to reports submitted by the Lead Member for People - Education at the last Meeting, and in order to provide clarification, the Minutes should reflect that the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance presented Agenda Items 6, 7 and 16 in the absence of the Lead Member for People – Education.
RESOLVED – That, subject to the aforementioned amendments, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2018 be signed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Lead Member for People - Education
(i) That the objections received during the Statutory Notice period, detailed within the Objection Report (Appendix 2 of report HEd/19/18) be noted.
(ii) That Officers be authorised to proceed with the proposal as published:
That Ysgol Pontfadog, Llangollen, Wrexham LL20 7AH be discontinued as of 31 August 2019.
(iii) That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43(1)(d) of the Council’s Standing Orders.
The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HEd/19/18) to provide Members with the outcomes of the recent statutory notice period relating to the proposal to discontinue Ysgol Pontfadog as of 31 August 2019.
The Lead Member presented the report and a debate ensued. The following points were highlighted:
· Acknowledgement that this had been a difficult process, but suggestion by the Lead Member that the recommendation to discontinue Ysgol Pontfadog would ensure sustainability in the immediate future, and provide the most effective and efficient education service to the pupils of the Ceiriog Valley.
· Confirmation that current records indicate that there would be 13 pupils attending Pontfadog in 2019.
· Clarification sought in relation to capacity at Cynddelw. It was noted that current figures suggested that there would be a total of 92 pupils on the roll in 2019 (assuming the 13 pupils transferred from Pontfadog), leaving a surplus of 34 spaces at Cynddelw.
· Further information requested regarding school transport. Officers advised that free school transport was provided to pupils under the provisions of the Learner Traveller (Wales) Measure which specified that free transport is provided for any pupil attending their nearest school which is above 2 miles away. If a route within 2 miles was deemed an unsafe walking route then free transport would also be provided. Based on these indicators, it was estimated that 7 pupils may qualify for free transport.
· Confirmation that improvements to any school drop off point could only be made if a school was beyond capacity.
· Indication by Officers that Ysgol Cynddelw was a dual stream school required to provide for Welsh Medium and English Medium pupils on an equal basis, and parents would choose which stream their child would follow.
· Disappointment expressed by the local Member, and the suggestion by residents that the consultation process was inconsistent.
· Confirmation by the Monitoring Officer that the consultation period and process adhered to the requirements of the School Organisation Code.
· Officers outlined the timescales to consider responses to the consultation, and confirmed that Executive Board Members are required to consider the objection report within 16 weeks, which was the reason for bringing it to Members in August rather than September.
· Confirmation that if there were any issues with regard to disability access, adaptations to buildings would be made under the Disability Discrimination Act.
· Clarification sought regarding Section 106 funding for capital works. Officers confirmed that a developer could only be requested to provide a contribution under Section 106 if the School would go beyond capacity as a result of any planning application.
At the conclusion of the discussions, the Monitoring Officer reminded Members that this was the second stage of the process embedded in the Statutory Code, and the decision made today would be based on the proposals that have been published, the objections received during the statutory objection period and the response drawn up by Officers.
(i) That the objections received during the Statutory Notice period, ... view the full minutes text for item 40.