DON’T CLOSE OUR SCHOOL

Plans to move care res­i­dents re­jected

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Gareth Wyn Wil­liams

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

Ys­gol Beau­maris

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