A Caerphilly primary school could be knocked down and rebuilt due to a growing demand for places.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet will consider plans next month to replace the current Plasyfelin Primary School building, near Churchill Park, with a larger school on the same site.
What is Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet?
A council’s cabinet is made up of councillors in charge of different policy areas – such as education, environment, local economy, etc – and a leader.
It is separate to the council’s corporate management structure, which is headed up by its chief executive and various directors. Cabinet is made up of councillors, who are elected and have the ultimate say.
Typically, cabinet members are councillors from the party with the most elected council members.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet is made up of:
- Cllr Philippa Marsden (Ynysddu) – Leader
- Cllr Sean Morgan (Nelson) – Deputy leader / Economy and enterprise
- Cllr Colin Gordon (Pontllanfraith) – Corporate services
- Cllr Eluned Stenner (New Tredegar) – Finance, performance and customer services
- Cllr Ross Whiting (Risca West) – Learning and achievement
- Cllr Shayne Cook (Morgan Jones) – Social care
- Cllr John Ridgewell (Ynysddu) – Environment and infrastructure
- Cllr Lisa Phipps (Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen) – Housing and property
- Cllr Nigel George (Risca East) – Waste and public protection
Corporate management is made up of unelected employees of the council and has responsibility for day-to-day management of services, such as making sure the bins are collected. Corporate directors work with cabinet members to come up with policy which is then agreed upon by the cabinet.
The new school would provide 420 places, as well as nursery provision.
The building would also include additional multi-use sporting and community facilities.
If given the go-ahead the new building is expected to cost around £9 million. The council would contribute £3.15 million of this (35%), while the Welsh Government would contribute £5.85 million (65%).
The new school building was included in the council’s Caerphilly Wellbeing and Place Shaping Framework, which set out a host of projects totalling £231m.
A report on the plans says only 30% of the classrooms at the school meet the size requirements set by the Welsh Government.
If the cabinet agrees to press ahead with the plans at its meeting on April 7, a business case will be prepared and submitted to the Welsh Government for review.
The council’s education scrutiny committee heard in a meeting on Thursday (March 25), that there is no requirement for a full consultation because the proposals are to increase the school’s capacity by less than 25%.
However, the council has decided to consult with scrutiny. The proposal, if it gets that far, would still be subject to a statutory notice and require planning permission.
Morgan Jones ward councillors Shayne Cook and Jamie Pritchard are both governors at Plasyfelin school and said they have been pushing for a new school.
Cllr Cook said he is “really pleased we’re seeing real progress towards delivering the new school”.
He added: “A lot of work is going on behind the scenes. I look forward to the next stage in the process”.
Cllr Pritchard described the plans as “another positive step on the journey towards ensuring the best facilities are secured for children and the local community”.
He continued: “We will continue to work hard to achieve the quickest possible progress”.
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