February 24, 2021

Sir Gar Ar-Lein : Carmarthenshire Online

Newyddion gyda Sir Gar – News for Carmarthenshire

Welsh ‘Royalty’ lends support to village campaign to keep school open

THE Welsh actor Ioan Hefin has joined in on the call for the consultation over the closure of Ysgol Mynyddygarreg to be postponed. The family of Welsh rugby legend Ray Gravell have also lent their support. The First Minister Mark Drakeford told our news service that he was going to write to Carmarthenshire County Council to ensure the consultation was being held properly. Nia Griffith MP is organising meetings with the parents’ group as is Helen Mary Jones MS.

In a recent Senedd debate, the First Minister when speaking directly to Llanelli Online about the planned closure of Ysgol Mynyddygarreg said the council does not have a level playing field. It positively has to make arguments as to why the school should close. The presumption is that it should stay open.

The local council also commented saying: “As a community council, representing the community of Kidwelly and Mynyddygarreg, we feel that Carmarthenshire County Council has not made sufficient argument that the school should be closed.”

The actor Ioan Hefin has been involved with discussions around small school closures many times and protested along with Ray Gravell and others when the then Labour led council announced plans to close a large number of small schools across Carmarthenshire.

The last time Carmarthenshire Council tried to close the school was in 2009, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg joined the community, led by Ray Gravell in campaigning to keep the school open. Concerns were also raised about the impact the closure of the school would have on the Welsh language. These concerns remain. We interviewed Manon Gravell and this is what she had to say:

 

Both Ray and Mari Gravell’s daughters attended the school and have signed a petition to keep the school open. The petition is close to gathering 500 signatures.

Opposed to closure of the school: Mari Gravel (pictured) and her daughters Gwenan and Manon

An online group SOSMynyddygarreg has been created on Facebook and has drawn numerous comments in support of keeping the school open and a petition has been created online too.

We interviewed the actor Ioan Hefin recently and this is what he had to say:

 

When you open a consultation with the premise of closure it instantly negates any positive impact or discussion. It starts as a battle. Surely there is a way to start any consultation with looking at the future. Ioan Hefin

 

Ioan Hefin, the actor who featured in the drama documenting the Pembrokeshire Murders recently said that he believed that the consultation process should be postponed on moral grounds because of the turmoil created by the pandemic. He said:

“Does that school have a future within the community? A village that is still growing and developing a lack of consideration of the impact on the community and upon the welsh language.

“To try and embrace the consultation on a potential closure during a lockdown and during a pandemic does not instil the faith that this consultation is being carried with any integrity honesty or any potential support for the village and the community.

“I would like consideration about integrating the community and postponing the consultation until we have the full ability to meet in public and discuss and look at the options fully, openly honestly, constructively and in an inclusive way that embraces the community.”

Ioan Hefin has produced a video in which he says that he, his father, his Grandfather, his wife and his children had gone to the school and so he was quite personally linked to the school.

Carmarthenshire County Council are still in talks with the governors and parents at the school via a series of Zoom meetings. Parents have also been asked to fill in a survey on the council’s website and to send in letters setting out their views.

 

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