Posted: Wed 20th Sep 2023

Deal between English and Welsh councils to offer Welsh medium education in Powys for children from Welsh speaking families /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 20th, 2023

CHILDREN and young people in England but from Welsh speaking families could receive Welsh medium education in Powys under a deal between councils on both sides of the border.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, September 19 councillors went ahead to approve the Marches Strategic Forward Partnership.
A memorandum of understanding between Powys, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire will be agreed in November.
The authorities would work together in a number of areas including transport, skills, housing, energy, climate change and digital connectivity.
Education portfolio holder, Liberal Democrat, Cllr Pete Roberts said: “There are many families in and around Oswestry that come from Welsh speaking heritage.
“Oswestry has the only Cylch Meithrin (Welsh medium nursery setting) outside of Wales.
“So, I hope one of the opportunities this brings forward is the chance to work with our colleagues in Shropshire and along the border to extend the ability for those families to participate in Welsh Medium education and use this partnership to advance plans to enable cross border support for those families who would like to take up a fully Welsh Medium education.
Council leader, Cllr Gibson-Watt explained that the partnership agreement was a legacy from the previous Independent/Conservative administration.
Cllr Gibson-Watt said “It emanated from a Conservative party manifesto commitment in the 2019 general election that they would implement a Marches Growth Deal to match the City Deals delivered elsewhere and our own Mid Wales Growth Deal.
“The Marches Growth Deal has never emerged, and I suspect in these (economic) circumstances it is very unlikely to do so.
“Nevertheless, the partnership was formed in anticipation of that and has been taken forward.
“I am very happy to be involved, I think it’s a thoroughly good idea, it makes absolute sense because of the myriad links we have across the border.”
Cllr Gibson-Watt added that he lives in a house on the border which overlooks Herefordshire: “so I fully understand these links.”
Cllr Gibson-Watt said that Wrexham Council to the north of Powys, Telford, and Wrekin a unitary authority which is part of the historic Shropshire are also “taking an interest” in the work being done.
Cllr Gibson-Watt added that he lives in a house on the border which overlooks Herefordshire: “so I fully understand these links.”
Cllr Gibson-Watt stressed: “This is in no way a replication of the Mid Wales Partnership we have with Ceredigion that is a different animal altogether.”
Director of environment and economy, Nigel Brinn explained that as part of the arrangement Powys would be looking after the “health, housing and skills” work-streams. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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