At Llanfyllin Town Council meeting last Wednesday Councillors overwhelmingly voted to support the legal challenge against Powys County Council’s decision to forcibly stop Llanfyllin High School subsidising school transport for out of catchment pupils .
The new Mayor of Llanfyllin Cllr David Goodman said,
“Llanfyllin Town Council unequivocally supports the High School and parents in their bid to get to the truth of this matter. We’ve put our ‘money where our mouth is’ and given a sum of £500 from our emergency reserve to the Friends of Llanfyllin High School towards the cost of their action.
“As well as jeopardising the education of individual students themselves, this policy will have knock-on effects felt throughout the community, as well as on transport and trade in the area. Powys have not thought this through and we are all very much looking forward to the outcome of the investigation on the 26th. I hope it will bring some fairness to the situation and I am anxious to see what steps Powys cabinet will take to put this unreasonable and frankly worrying set of circumstances behind us.
“I want to make it clear that we will do all we can to protect our children’s education and the future well-being of Llanfyllin from irresponsible management by the county.”
‘Friends of Llanfyllin High School’ has been helped free of charge by Mr Richard Lloyd a Solicitor and past Head Boy of the school, who is now a Senior Partner at GHP Legal, Oswestry to lead the Legal Challenge. He has had to instruct a barrister who has given expert advice essential to the case but will cost about £2,000.
Chairman of Friends of Llanfyllin High School said,
This is a massive boost from Llanfyllin Town Council in the fight by parents and pupils at Llanfyllin High School against the attack on their education by Powys County Council. Llanfyllin Councillors realise that if our school suffers a funding cut, then businesses in the town suffer too. The school is an enormous part of the economy of Llanfyllin. It is telling that Llanfyllin Council are generously giving money to a cause that benefits people both within and beyond Llanfyllin. It is a pity Powys County Council do not act the same way.
County Councillor Peter Lewis said,
“It is terrific that the Town Council is supporting the fight against this decision. The Town Council realises what a terrible impact full implementation of the regulation will have not Just on the out of catchment pupils but the whole school and local community. Not least, it will do irreparable damage to Welsh language learning and not just for those who are not able to access it in England but for all our surrounding communities in NE Powys. It was a pity the Cabinet didn’t recognise this at the cabinet meeting on 22nd March . Some member’s statements that day were very misleading and betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons behind the subsidy.
“It is quite interesting now that Llanidloes High School has been named as another school subsidising transport and there are rumours of another school doing the same. I wonder, will the County councillors who are Governors at these schools be treated the same as I was? Some Cabinet members said all of us LEA governors should be sacked and the Leader Councillor Barry Thomas, who ironically is a local member who has out-of-catchment and in catchment Pupils from his ward attending the School, did nothing to stop these threats.”
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