The CONFLICT in Ukraine, archaeology and the death of the Queen have all helped “push back” the date for the merger of two Anglesey council schools.
Anglesey County Council’s Executive was discussing the “increase of capacity” of Ysgol Y Graig in Llangefni, following the planned closure of Ysgol Talwrn.
The Executive had been asked to submit a report by the director of education, skills and young people, on Tuesday, March 23.
It was entitled “Modernising Schools on Anglesey – Moving the statutory notice implementation date for Ysgol y Graig and Ysgol Talwrn.”
The Executive agreed that the original implementation date of the statutory notice of September 1, 2023, should now be extended for 12 months.
They accepted a new implementation date for the proposal, which would:
“Increase the capacity of Ysgol y Graig, to take pupils from Ysgol Talwrn, to close Ysgol Talwrn, and review the catchment areas of Ysgol y Graig and Ysgol Talwrn” to September 1, 2024.”
Ysgol Talwrn pupils would be moved to Ysgol Y Graig, a Welsh medium community school, for children aged 3 – 11, where an extension is being built.
To comply with the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code, the authority had published a Statutory Notice of intention to ‘discontinue’ Ysgol Talwrn.
The report explained that the Statutory Notice was published on January 18, 2021, a period of 28 days to oppose the proposals had followed.
The objection period ended on February 15, 2021, with objections received by the council.
A report on the objections was prepared and the executive resolved at its meeting on March 15, 2021, to approve its original proposal. Then the Executive had agreed the date for the statutory notice as September 1, 2023.
Deputy leader Cllr Ieuan Williams, holder of the the portfolio for education and Welsh language, explained to the meeting a number of factors had since “pushed” matters back.
They included the land purchase for the school extension “taking longer than expected”, he said.
The planning process had taken longer than anticipated, and planning permission had also not been received until July 6, 2022.
The Anglesey County Council’s election on May 5, 2022, had also added a further “six weeks to the process because of the pre-election period,” Cllr Williams said.
The report also noted the impact of the conflict in Ukraine.
“After the prospective project went out to tender in February 2022, bids were withdrawn because the costs of goods were increasing due to the War in Ukraine,” Cllr WIlliams said.
The Council had had to go out to tender again, following the end of the election period for the Isle of Anglesey County Council election
The situation was further stymied by a condition of the planning permission obtained from the Planning and Orders Committee.
In its meeting on July 6, 2022, it noted that archaeological work was required at the site.
“This was added to the timeline, and then the start date of the archaeological work, was then pushed back almost two weeks, due to the Queen’s death.”
The report also noted officers will notify the ‘relevant parties,’ of the decision to defer the implementation date of the proposal for Ysgol y Graig.”