Posted: Wed 20th Mar 2024

Senior Councillor Stopped from Speaking on School Transition Proposal

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

A SENIOR councillor was stopped from giving his opinion on proposals to transition a school in Llanfair Caereinion into a Welsh medium one, as he does not represent the area.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, March 19 councillors were about to receive a summary of the proposal before going to a vote when Conservative group leader, Cllr Aled Davies interrupted the meeting.
Cllr Davies represents Llanrhaeadr yn Mochanant and Llansilin in the northern tip of Powys.
Schools from this area are part Powys are part of the Llanfyllin catchment area.
Cllr Davies said: “I requested to speak at this meeting, and I haven’t been called.”
In the absence of council leader Liberal Democrat Cllr James Gibson-Watt deputy council leader, Labour’s Cllr Matthew Dorrance chaired the cabinet meeting,
Cllr Dorrance said: “You’ve not been called Cllr Davies as I received the request just before the meeting.
“I took advice and you’re not a local member for the area and the constitution does not permit you to speak.”
Cllr Davies challenged this and argued that school pupils from “my part of the world” who want to go to a Welsh medium school attend Ysgol Bro Caereinion.
Cllr Dorrance brought in the council’s head of legal and monitoring officer
Clive Pinney to advise on whether Cllr Davies should be allowed to speak or not.
Mr Pinney said: “You’re not the local member for this area the constitution doesn’t allow you to speak.”
Cllr Davies stressed that children from his patch were educated in Llanfair Caereinion.
Mr Pinney said: “It may impact pupils from your area it doesn’t make you the local member and it’s the local member who can speak.”
Cllr Davies pointed out that his brother from a neighbouring ward, Plaid Cymru’s Cllr Bryn Davies had been allowed to speak.
It was pointed out that Cllr (Bryn) Davies’ ward includes Dyffryn Banw, and pupils go from this area to be taught in Llanfair Caereinion.
Cllr Dorrance said: “You may not like the chair’s ruling, but the chair has authority in this meeting.
“I’ve taken advice, and my job is to uphold the constitution.
“If members are unhappy with that ruling, I think they should request that the constitution is reviewed by Democratic Services.”
Cllr Dorrance said that comments from local members had already been heard, the proposal had been debated and he was going to ask the education portfolio holder, Liberal Democrat Cllr Pete Roberts to proceed with the recommendation.
Cllr Davies said: “This is frankly ridiculous.”
Cllr Davies was then told to mute or leave the meeting.
Cabinet then went on to the vote to turn Ysgol Bro Caereinion into a Welsh medium school with the transition starting in September 2026. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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