ASSURANCES have been given that the push to reorganise Powys County Council’s (PCC) schools will not affect the current school building projects.

At the learning and skills scrutiny committee meeting, Cllr Bryn Davies (Plaid Cymru -Llanwddyn) asked if the “transformation” of schools would see the building schemes come to a halt.

Up to 2025 and beyond to 2030 PCC is committed to spending £158 million on building new schools as well as major refurbishments of existing schools.

Cllr Davies said  “There is a commitment here to spend £158 million on improving our schools using 21st Century Schools funding.

“As I understand, it would be impossible to forge ahead with the building programme until all the decisions on the schools’ futures are settled.

“We will be waiting for the results of this review to finish, proposals to be brought in front of cabinet and decided.

“Or is it possible to spend this money without any implications?”

Portfolio Holder for Education and Property, Cllr Phyl Davies (Conservative – Blaen Hafren), answered that the “transformation” programme could use capital funding from another funding pot.

He added: “It would not be coming out of the education budget and it would not have anything to do with the capital build project.

“We should not be bringing anything forward unless the decision for the long term future of the schools estate has been made.”

PCC chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner, explained: “The capital programme continues and we have plans that have been agreed in recent years that continue under the 21st Centuries.

“The schools in Welshpool and Bro Hyddgen (Machynlleth) will continue, they won’t be affected.

Committee chair Cllr Pete Roberts, (Liberal Democrat – Llandrindod South) added: “We have a chicken and egg situation, would some of these new builds skew the consultation on transformation?”

Cllr Phyl Davies said: “It’s a positive that we’re investing in our estate,  we are trying to progress the transformation at pace and will bring a paper to cabinet in early April and that we will have a clear vision for our estate.”

Head of finance Jane Thomas added that in the 10 year programme there was “flexibility” in future years.

The schools building programme has been split into two Bands A and B.

Band A has been mostly completed while B are the developments planned up to 2024.

Band A is:

  • Brecon High School
  • Gwernyfed Catchment Primary
  • Carno, Glantwymyn Federation
  • Welshpool C in W School
  • Gwernyfed High School
  • Ysgol Calon Cymru – merged Llandrindod and Builth Wells High Schools

Band B is:

  • Ysgol Bro Hyddgen – Machynlleth
  • Ysgol Brynllywarch – special school near Kerry
  • Developments in Newtown – Cedewain Special School, new Welsh medium high school, new school building for the merged Ladywell Green Infants and Hafren Junior Schools
  • Welshpool High School refurbishment
  • Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng (Welshpool Welsh medium school)