SCHOOL SHUT BUT HOPES FOR COMMUNITY CENTRE
A VILLAGE has been given hope that its community centre could stay open, despite the closure of its primary school being rubber stamped by councillors.
Yesterday morning, Anglesey Council’s Executive confirmed the closure of Ysgol Gymuned Bodffordd, despite the statutory notice receiving 111 letters of objection.
As a result, both Bodffordd and Corn Hir schools will now shut when a 360-pupil “super school” opens its doors in Llangefni.
With construction set to begin as early as May 2019, the site of the school will be near the junction of Cildwrn Road B5109 & B4422, not far from the existing Ysgol Corn Hir.
But, while the plans have been broadly welcomed within Llangefni, due to the cramped and dated conditions at Ysgol Corn Hir, the same cannot be said for Bodffordd.
There, the community has battled hard to keep its village school open, which, with over 80 pupils and close to capacity, also houses the community centre known as ‘Y Ganolfan’.
But councillors confirmed that discussions are under way which could see the village take over the Ganolfan.
Cllr Bob Parry, a local member for Canolbarth Môn, said: “The Ganolfan is the heart of the village and I know there’s a lot of concern regarding what will happen to it. I’ve attended the last two community council meetings and it’s been decided to hold a public meeting in the new year to find out if it’s possible to purchase the building.
“Losing the school will be a blow, of course, but I’m confident that the new school will also be a natural Welshspeaking one.”
Cllr Alun Mummery, added: “I’m pleased that efforts are under way to keep the Ganolfan open.
“It’s vital when we’re talking about any school closures, like Penmynydd and Llanddona, that some legacy is left.”
Education portfolio holder, Cllr Meirion Jones, sought to reassure parents that there were positives to be had from a new school and that, while closure was “never an easy decision”, it was not one the authority had taken lightly.
But language pressure group, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, has urged the Welsh Government to intervene, despite Anglesey Council being adamant that it has taken into consideration the new Schools Organisation Code which recently came into force.
Ffred Ffransis urged education minister, Kirsty Williams, to intervene “to save the credibility” of her strategy to give new hope for rural schools.
“If it is possible for a local authority to blatantly ignore all statutory guidelines and close a Welsh-medium village school which is full, and, in the process, risk the closure of the only community centre which is part of the building, then no rural schools in Wales are safe,” he said.