The Vale of Glamorgan Council is proposing to build a new 210 place primary school in Rhoose and relocate Llancarfan Primary School – meaning closure of a School that has existed in the village since 1875, negatively impacting upon two communities within the Vale, and setting a dangerous precedent that could impact all rural schools in Wales.
18TH MARCH 2019
As expected, at their meeting today Cabinet voted 5-1 to proceed with their proposals and now passes to Welsh Assembly Government.
However, following the meeting, Leader John Thomas asked Gordon Kemp to leave the Cabinet. Cllr Kemp was the only one to vote against the school proposals. He has issued this statement to us:
“I was this afternoon informed by Cllr John Thomas that I was being ‘removed’ from the Vale’s Cabinet, as a result of my abstaining on the setting of the Council’s budget on 8th March. As I am sure you are aware 4 members of the Conservative Group voted against the budget on 27th February over the closure of Llancarfan School. No attempt was made to resolve the issue with them but the Leader came to a deal with Labour to ensure that a budget was passed. Together with 10 Conservative colleagues, I did not feel able to support a Labour influenced budget and we all abstained. With Labour support the budget was passed.
Fundamentally, it was the opposition to the school’s closure that led to this action and my ‘removal’. I would wish to assure everyone that I will continue to do my best to save the school. I remain a councillor and will as always endeavour to represent your interests.”
CLLR GORDON KEMP
Please be aware the process is not over, and can still be challenged/overturned with support of our elected local councillors and is being taken up with Welsh Assembly Government.
Update 14th November – The Action Committee has received an anonymous donation kindly given for half of the costs of pursuing judicial review (i.e. £30k of the £60k required) if the community would be willing to pledge the rest. Thank you to those who have already pledged their support.
BBC Wales Today (Evening News) – Friday 7th September 2018
(Click the Speaker symbol in the bottom right of video to enable audio)
Footage © BBC MMXVIII
– Samantha Campbell for Rhoose from 18 mins 35 secs
– Andrew RT Davies from 28 mins 55 secs
All candidates were asked for their opinions on the Llancarfan School proposals made by Vale of Glamorgan Council, and all rejected the proposals to transfer the School and pledged their support for the campaign to save it. You can hear more about their plans to try to save it in their interviews.
– Samantha Campbell (Independent)
– Andrew RT Davies (Welsh Conservative Party)
– John Hartland (Welsh Labour)
Please click here to view.
The Council will vote on the School’s future at 2pm on Monday 17th September at the Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry. Public can attend (but not contribute).
– The Council received 536 responses online and by post, email correspondence is still being compiled.
– 45 were in favour , 490 against and 1 offered no opinion either way.
– 160 parents, 10 members of staff, 26 pupils, 266 local residents, 6 governors and 68 others responded
Llancarfan Primary is the only school in the Vale of Glamorgan to appear in the list of Rural Schools that will be safeguarded by the new ‘presumption against closure of rural schools’ when the revised Code comes into force later this year.
This is highly significant and needs to be highlighted in letters to the councillors and AMs (see below). Although the new Code won’t be in force just yet, the Minister has said she expects Local Authorities to observe the spirit of the new changes as the Welsh Government has clearly signalled its policy intentions and direction of travel. As Llancarfan is the only school in the VoG to appear in the new list, it is reasonable to expect the Council to observe the new requirements in respect of it.
The new School Organisation Code will help safeguard Llancarfan well into the future if we can win this battle over ‘transfer’. The Welsh Government makes clear that surplus places will no longer be sufficient grounds for closing rural schools, and that schools should look to reduce excess places by “rationalising school space”. “We also accept”, the report goes on, “that some schools in rural areas may operate with a higher percentage of empty places than schools in urban areas.”
Click here to view the School Organisation Code consultation document (listing Llancarfan Primary as a rural school – Annex A page 29)
The survey is robust, has been completed anonymously by parents, has a very good response rate and was conducted with scrupulous fairness to ensure the result are an unbiased reflection of parents’ views. The findings speak for themselves in terms of counteracting the council’s arguments that all current children at Llancarfan Primary will transfer to the new school and that the only reason for parents choosing the school is the Cowbridge catchment area.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vEViv5BaW8&feature=youtu.be&t=1h17m53s(A reminder that he stated he couldn’t answer questions before as the consultation was open – but seems he still can’t now it’s closed!)
- ‘Vale council cabinet shake-up sees former leader sacked’ – Barry & District News, 18th March 2019
- ‘Llancarfan village school campaigners vow to fight move’ – BBC Wales News, 18th March 2019
- ‘Vale Council confirms its plans to ‘move’ village school in Llancarfan’ – Bridgend & Porthcawl GEM, 18th March 2019
- ‘Vale council Rhoose ward seat win for AM in recent by-election’ – Barry & District News, 21st February 2019
- ‘Ex-Tory assembly leader Andrew RT Davies wins council seat’ – BBC News, 15th February 2019
- ‘Llancarfan school row prompts Tory AM to stand for council’ – BBC News, 17th January 2019
- ‘Former Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies stands for election as a councillor – to fight a school closure3’ – WalesOnline, 17th January 2019
- ‘Llancarfan school row sees councillor quit Vale of Glamorgan council’ – BBC News, 15th January 2019
- ‘The future of Llancarfan School – two GEM readers’ views’ – Cowbridge GEM, 14th January 2019
- ‘Llancarfan school row continues’ – Glamorgan GEM, 31st October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan School move ‘shambolic and hugely divisive’ – a letter to Glamorgan GEM, 23rd October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan School faces closure as Vale council’s ruling body backs move’ – Wales Online, 15th October 2018
- ‘Council to move ahead with its plans for Llancarfan village school’ – Glamorgan GEM, 15th October 2018
- ‘Decision day for Llancarfan School on Monday’ – Bridgend and Porthcawl GEM, 12th October 2018
- ‘Parents fear school ‘closure’ will ‘rip the heart out of community” – Wales Online, 9th October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan school row moves on to a new stage’ – Glamorgan GEM, 2nd October 2018
- ‘Llancarfan school row rumbles on’ – Barry GEM, 26th September 2018
- ‘Campaigners say they could take council to court if they decide to move rural Llancarfan Primary School’ – WalesOnline, 18th September 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents and residents oppose council’s plans for village school’ – Barry GEM, 14th September 2018
- ‘Parents fear Welsh school closures being rushed’ – Educational Executive, 10th September 2018
- ‘Wales’ rural school closures being ‘rushed through’ fear’ – BBC Wales, 7th September 2018
- ‘IT glitch angers Llancarfan school campaigners’ – Barry GEM, 20th August 2018
- ‘Security called and man escorted out as campaigners ‘disrupted’ council meeting’ – WalesOnline, 20th July 2018
- ‘Campaigners step up efforts to save Llancarfan School’ – Llantwit Major GEM, 9th July 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents not impressed with second council consultation plan’ – Llantwit Major GEM, 15th June 2018
- ‘Council begins a second consultation on Llancarfan School’ – Bridgend & Porthcawl GEM, 23rd May 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents step up opposition to school closure’ – Barry GEM, 19th April 2018
- ‘Protests over plans to move Llancarfan Primary School’ – WalesOnline, 16th April 2018
- ‘Parents ready to fight to keep their village school’ – Barry GEM, 6th April 2018
- ‘Llancarfan parents protest over school closure plans’ – Glamorgan GEM, 29th March 2018
- ‘School set to move in £4m shake-up plan’ – Barry & District News, 29th March 2018
- ‘Vale primary school could be on the move’ – Barry GEM, 17th January 2018
YOU CAN CONTINUE TO PUT THE PRESSURE ON THE COUNCIL BY:
- Writing individual letters/emails to all Vale of Glamorgan Cabinet members:
- Cllr Andrew Parker AParker@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
- Cllr Gordon Kemp email@example.com
- Cllr Geoff Cox firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr John Thomas email@example.com
- Cllr Hunter Jarvie firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr Bob Penrose BPenrose@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
- Cllr Jonathan Bird email@example.com
(NB: all are Conservative except Bob Penrose who is Independent)
- Signing the online petition at https://chn.ge/2uJXQ02
- Joining the community Facebook group for the latest updates and documents
You can find out more about the proposals via the link below.
Thank you for your support.
A big 'thank you' to local resident and former pupil Dylan Williams for creating our campaign video.