Merthyr Tydfil: Catholic school latest update
The council will consult again on the location of a new Catholic school in Merthyr Tydfil following calls from the public.
Cabinet agreed at a meeting on Wednesday, July 14 to extend the consultation on the site options for the planned 3-16 voluntary aided school to allow more opportunity for people in the Penydarren, Galon Uchaf and Gurnos areas to participate.
It follows concerns raised by residents on social media about the loss of The Greenie and what they saw as the lack of consultation on where the new school would be built.
On May 26, the local authority approved moving proposals to build the new 3-16 voluntary aided school on the Greenie to the next stages of design development.
The cabinet report for July 14 said: “Before considering the scheme for final approvals further consideration of a detailed traffic impact assessment was required as well as ensuring that the scheme meets the needs of local residents, the school community, Gurnos FC, and other users of the Greenie playing fields and facilities.
“In recognition of the public response expressed on social media that a large number of residents were not aware of the public consultation, this report outlines a way forward to address those concerns.”
The £28m plans involve closing St Aloysius Roman Catholic (RC) Primary, St Illtyd’s RC Primary and St Mary’s RC Primary schools and Bishop Hedley RC High School (BHHS) from September 2022, creating a new 3-16 all through Catholic school.
Following the consultation undertaken in April and May 2021 the preferred option of residents was to build on the Greenie playing fields and to relocate the playing fields to the southern end of the site on the Buttercup fields, ensuring a comprehensive drainage system and new pitch facilities are provided, the report said.
But discussions between officers and councillors recognised the strength of feeling within the community for further consultation to provide the opportunity for more people to take part.
Councillor Geraint Thomas said: “It just shows that we are a listening administration.”
Councillor Andrew Barry said: “The consultation coming back is an example that democracy is alive and kicking in this administration.”
Councillor David Hughes said: “People have got the opportunity now to have their say. Let’s hope they take that opportunity.
“It’s easy to complain after the event but they’ve got their opportunity now.
“They asked for us to listen. We’ve listened to them.
“All considerations will be taken.”
The consultation will be an extension to the second site consultation and take place from Thursday, July 15 to Monday, September 6.
After the consultation, a final report will go to full council setting out the outcome of the consultation together with proposals for the site of the new school, including the traffic impact assessment.
Words: Anthony Lewis, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV