Venue: Council Chamber - Port Talbot Civic Centre. View directions
Appointment of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson
Agreed that Councillor A.L.Thomas be appointed Chairperson for the meeting.
Agreed that Councillor A.N.Woolcock be appointed Vice Chairperson for the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
The following Members made a declaration of interest at the commencement of the meeting:
The Committee chose to scrutinise the following Cabinet items:
3.1 Strategic School Improvement Programme - Future Of Secondary Education In The Upper Afan Valley
(Cllr.R.Mizen re-affirmed his interest at this point and withdrew from the meeting)
(Cllr.D.Whitelock re-affirmed his interest at this point and withdrew from the meeting)
Members received information on a proposal to make arrangements for pupils who would otherwise attend Cymer Afan Comprehensive School to receive their secondary education at a new build school in Margam, Ysgol Cwm Brombil, and to close Cymer Afan Comprehensive, as detailed in the circulated report.
The three Ward Members Cllr. S.Jones, Cllr. J.Jones and Cllr N.Davies were in attendance at the meeting and addressed the Committee.
They stated that there were many still unanswered questions. One question was what the future of the facilities used by the Community was, as they were attached to the School and there had been no discussion on the relocation of these or if they would continue.Officers highlighted that one option would be to apply for grant funding to continue with these activities and Officers were happy to discuss this with Local Members.
They also asked what the cost was for the demolition of the building and the removal of asbestos.Officers explained that once declared surplus to requirements, the demolition would go out to tender. This would be in consultation with the Local Members.
It was asked what was being done in relation to the backlog on the maintenance costs for feeder schools of approximately £3 million. It was noted that the School maintenance falls under the responsibility of the Environment department. It was explained that when buildings are in need of maintenance they are managed on priority basis depending on which building is in need of repair the most.
The Ward Members asked what measures were in place to ensure that roads A4106 and A463 were safe for the children to commute to the new schools as there were 62 accidents and 2 deaths recorded on those roads in the past. Officers highlighted that all roads had risks, however, the Council has a robust procedure in place to minimise those risks and to ensure children’s safety.
The Ward Members also raised concern on the Health and wellbeing of the children as there would be a reduction of family and study time, as their travel time would be greater than other school children. Officers highlighted that many children travel this amount of time to and from school; it was noted that some children like it as they have time with their friends.
They raised concern around Key stage 4 pupils and the disruption the move would cause them. Officers highlighted that they would ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.
The Ward Members asked whether there would be free transport to Maesteg Comprehensive School. Officers highlighted that under the transport policy free transport would be provided to Maesteg Comprehensive as it would be the nearest suitable school for pupils. Transport would ... view the full minutes text for item 3.