Connect with us


Rural schools to be protected from closure



RURAL SCHOOLS in Carmarthenshire are set to receive a boost after the Education Secretary announced new rules which will protect them from closure.

Between 2006-07 and 2015-16, seventeen state schools in the county were closed due to financial pressures or surplus places.

The Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams has said that closure will now be considered as a last resort, only once all other options have been considered.

She went on to say that federations with other schools should also be considered.

Carmarthenshire County Council has announced plans to close Primary Schools in Bancffosfelen and Llanedi and pupils will be forced to travel elsewhere.

It is also proposed to close schools in Llanmiloe, Tremoilet and Laugharne and set up a brand new one but supporters are fighting to save them.

Under the rules, authorities must now consider the impact of closure on a child’s education, the wider community and travel arrangements.

Ysgol Mynyddcerrig was closed in 2007 but one pupil said she was left ‘devastated’ by the closure.

They will also have to explain why closure would be seen as the best option.

Speaking in 2016, Kirsty Williams said: “Small and rural schools play an important role in our national mission in raising standards and extending opportunities for all our young people.

“Pupils in rural schools deserve the same opportunities as children in other areas of Wales. However, they face particular challenges including small pupil numbers, budget and resource pressures and greater difficulty in recruiting head teachers and teaching staff.

“Let me be clear – this isn’t simply about keeping all schools open. This is about raising standards in all of our schools, no matter where they are based, and ensuring all schools get a fair hearing when their future is being considered.

“These changes set out a presumption against closing rural schools and new incentives for rural schools to link up and work together for the benefit of both teachers and pupils. I want to see rural schools working more formally together and across the country, forming federations and looking into the possibility of sharing buildings with other services to ensure school buildings remain viable.”

Responding to the new rules, Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru shadow education secretary, said: “I welcome the commitment by the government to consider all options and consult fully before closing any school. The change of direction should mean less pressure on councils to close rural school. Previously the emphasis was on dealing with ’empty places’, which meant that councils were forced to close rural schools. There was no flexibility to cope with variations in population that happen in rural communities periodically. That is the nature of rural communities.

“But, if the government wants to assert keep small schools open, it must also recognise the additional cost for councils at a time of hardship and cuts. I will be seeking assurances that the new Code here means money will not be lost for our more urban schools. The £2.5m funding promised amounts to just £110,000 for every county in Wales – that will not go very far.

“The new code offers an opportunity to ensure the community has a greater voice and, if local people want to keep the school open or federate, then the Welsh Government should respect that opinion wherever possible to ensure the best education for our children.

“That said, the new Code does not mean that rural schools will not be closed and each must be considered individually. I really hope that we see a situation where thriving rural schools are never closed again. Full details of the plan will need to be scrutinise of course before reaching a final judgement about what is being offered.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened



ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

Continue Reading


Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities



WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

Continue Reading


Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands



OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at:, by emailing or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

Continue Reading