Fight to save Ysgol Pantycelyn can go no further
2:00pm Friday 3rd August 2012 in News
CAMPAIGNERS’ fight to save Llandovery’s Ysgol Pantycelyn from closure ended ended last week when a top judge kicked out their Court of Appeal case in London.
The Ysgol Pantycelyn Action Group has been fighting since September last year to get Carmarthenshire County Council to reverse its decision to close the school.
The authority is planning to merge Pantycelyn with Llandeilo’s Ysgol Tre-Gib, and to build a so-called ‘superschool’ at Ffairfach.
It now looks like those plans will go ahead, after appeal judge Lord Justice Maurice Kay refused the group permission to take their case any further.
The group’s legal team had argued that a previous High Court decision by Judge Anthony Seys-Llewellyn QC to refuse permission for a judicial reviewwas wrong.
Barrister Matthew Paul claimed the council had “fiddled and fixed” the consultation process to funnel public opinion in favour of its preferred option.
He pointed to documents which, he claimed, showed that the merger decision was “pre-determined” so the group did not have a chance of influencing the decisionmakers.
The plans to close the school were based on a “wholly flawed projection” of falling pupil numbers in an area where several housing projects are in the pipeline and the population is growing, he continued.
But Lord Justice Maurice Kay said it was clear that the action group was able to “have its say” through the consultation into school reform in the county.
Refusing the application, he continued: “I am entirely satisfied that, if this matter were to proceed to a substantive hearing, the application for judicial review would fail.”
The school’s closure is part of a £50m project to reorganise secondary education in the area and the plans are currently under consideration by the Welsh ministers.