DON’T CLOSE OUR SCHOOL
Plans to move care residents rejected
PLANS to shut a care home and move elderly residents to the site of a school threatened with closure have been narrowly rejected by councillors.
Anglesey council’s proposals would see residents moved from the Haulfre home on the outskirts of Llangoed to new flats at the site of Ysgol Beaumaris, which is currently the subject of a consultation over its future.
But, at a meeting of the council’s corporate scrutiny committee, members said the new extra care housing development should be built at Haulfre instead.
The council’s preference for Ysgol Beaumaris as the site of the £8m development, which would comprise at least 39 self-contained flats, had led to fears that the town would lose its only school, which has 50 pupils.
The authority has said that, even if the school remains open, there is enough surrounding land for the extra care facility.
However, at the meeting, the committee also passed an amendment that the allocated land surrounding Ysgol Beaumaris should instead be set aside for social housing.
Alwyn Jones, the council’s head of adult services, said Beaumaris would be more appropriate for the extra care development due to its proximity to shops and local services.
But local councillor Lewis Davies said Haulfre would be the “ideal” location for the new facility, and that the land in Beaumaris should be used for social housing, possibly alongside a smaller school.
“Sadly, the general feeling locally is that the council has already made up its mind to close the school and Haulfre,” said Cllr Davies.
“Whilst I agree with the principle of more independence for the elderly, losing the school would destroy the social fabric of Beaumaris.
“The town has an ageing population and too many second homes. At the moment, over 40% are aged over 65.”
Cllr Carwyn Jones, who also represents the Seiriol ward, said that, while the prospect of an £8m investment was “to be welcomed”, the community was eager to see Haulfre and its gardens remain open.
Cllr Alun Roberts, who represents the same ward, added that the Beaumaris school site, which is on a steep hill, posed its own problems for an extra care development.
A suggestion was made by Cllr Shaun Redmond that community transport could be provided from Haulfre, while Beaumaris mayor Jason Zalot said the town didn’t need such a development.
“I urge the council to keep the school open,” he said.
“This is being described as a community hub, but we have enough of those in Beaumaris already.
“Pupil numbers at the school are projected to grow over the coming years. I fear closing it now will be looked back upon as a grave mistake.”
Members voted by four votes to three to locate the extra care facility at Haulfre, also adopting the principle of social housing at the Beaumaris site.
Their recommendation will be passed on to the council’s executive, who will make the final decision.
The consultation over the future of Ysgol Beaumaris closed yesterday.
County councillors Alun Roberts, Carwyn Jones and Lewis Davies outside Haulfre residential home in Llangoed, Anglesey