Galw ar Gynghorwyr Llafur i ymgynghori â phobl Sir Gâr

Cadwn Ein Hysgolion.JPG Mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith wedi gofyn i Gynghorwyr Llafur ar Gyngor Sir Caerfyrddin - i beidio a rhoi cefnogaeth i'r Strategaeth gontrofersial newydd a allai olygu cau dros 30 o ysgolion pentrefol Cymraeg hyd nes bod 6 mis o ymgynghori eang wedi bod trwy't sir ar egwyddorion y strategaeth.

Mae arweinydd y Grwp Llafur (Cyng Martin Morris) wedi dweud wrth y Gymdeithas mai "cynllun drafft yw hwn" ac y bydd ymgynghori cyn gweithredu. Yn ei ateb, dywed Cymdeithas yr Iaith na bydd unrhyw ymgynghori trwy'r sir ar egwyddorion sylfaenol y strategaeth ac y bydd ymgynghori'n gyfyngedig i fanylion lleol yn unol a gofynion statudol.Dywed Cadeirydd y Gymdeithas yng Nghaerfyrddin, Sioned Elin (sydd a phlant yn Ysgol Bancffosfelen sydd tan fygythiad),"Ni chaiff pobl Sir Gar fynegi barn ar yr egwyddor sylfaenol a ddylen ni ddatblygu'n hysgolion pentrefol neu ganoli plant i ychydig o adeiladau canolog newydd, ond byddant yn cael mynegi barn (pan ddaw cynigion manwl am eu hardal) ar y manylion yn unig - fel lleoliad yr ysgol newydd. Dyw hyn ddim yn ddigon da gan fod y Cyngor yn gwneud ond yr hyn sydd raid yn ol gofynion statudol ymgynghori. Ein galwad ar y Cyngor yn eu cyfarfod ar Ragfyr 8ed fydd i beidio a chymeradwyo'r strategaeth ar y diwrnod ond gyfarwyddo 6 mis o ymgynghori eang cyhoeddus gyda chyfarfodydd trwy'r sir ar egwyddorion sylfaenol y strategaeth ac wedyn cymryd penderfyniad ar sail hynny y flwyddyn nesaf"Gwelir isod y gohebiaeth rhyngom a'r Cyng Morris.SAFBWYNT Y BLAID LAFURThe report "Planning School Places - Primary Schools - The Way Forward" was presented to County Council at its meeting of 11/4/2001 when the Council agreed to "support the rationalisation principles outlined in the report".Minutes and supporting reports/attachments provide the full detail and these clearly demonstrate that the rationalisation principles referred to include the commitment to "radically review current provision and reassert locations, sizes and nature of community schools required in the longer term." The report also confirmed that "rationalisation as suggested would inevitably mean fewer schools".This report was accepted as you can see by the last council which as you know was a Plaid Cymru and Independent controlled with Labour as the opposition group. However, Labour Councillors including myself supported this without any reservations.I would therefore suggest that the policy as now embedded in the MEP Strategy document has already been approved by CC at its meeting of April 2001 and that the "new aspect", if that is the right phrase, is the publication of a draft plan for implementation of that policy.It is a draft plan and as such subject to consultation. It will require further discussion and a formal decision of Council before any particular school is designated for closure. There will be ample opportunity to discuss any particular issues at that time and I am sure that the Labour Group will take any proposal for closure on merit at the time. In other words it is a matter for local determination and local democracy; not a policy decision of the Labour Party in Wales or any where else but here in Carmarthenshire.Regards,Martin Morris (Labour Group Leader - Carmarthenshire County Council)EIN YMATEBDear MartinThank you for the courteous explanation. Our basic disagreement - or misunderstanding, you tell us which ! - is in response to your key sentence "It is a draft plan and, as such, subject to consultation". Were this to be literally thecase, then we would have no great problem with the process and would - with others- respond energetically in the consultation process. Our understanding however is that there will be no such general or county-wide consultation on the strategy and principles of the draft plan, but that any consultation will be limited to your statutory obligations to consult on specific plans for specific areas. The public would then certainly be able to comment on the detail of implementationin their area e.g. the location of a centralised school but people in Carmarthenshire are to be denied the right to discuss the general principle and strategy of the whole plan.We as a society (Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg), for example, would like to put forward the counter-strategy of combining education with community regeneration and develop Education/Community Development Units (ECDU's) in each village and urban neighbourhood. We would like the people of the county to be able to voice their opinion on the general strategy as to whether this is preferable to a buildings-based policy of centralising provision in large Area Schools.Our request for the Council meeting on Dec 8th is that the Council should authorise a 6-month period of genuine and open consultation - with public meetings as well as written submissions - throughout the county on the general principles of the strategy before officers proceed to draw up detailed proposals for specific areas. This would be genuine consultation on substance rather thanon detail.We find it difficult to accept the contention that such consultation has already taken place as the new implementation strategy is based on the Schools Organisation Plan adopted by the Authority. The revised version(2004-9) of that plan was, despite our protests, adopted by Officers in May this year without reference to the elected members as they did not consider the oppositionof ourselves and that of other bodies to be "significant". More importantly, it is obvious to everyone that the public in general were not aware that these detailed educational strategies could lead to the decimation of so many schools and, in the opinion of many, turning dozens of communities into "old-peoples' villages".We would ask therefore the Labour Group to propose that their should indeed be a 6-month general county-wide consultation on the basic principles of the strategy - so that democracy is seen to be enacted - before any proposals for implementation in specific areas are drawn up. The Council would await the result of such consultation with the people before giving it's official approval to the strategy. Please let us know if this is acceptable to your group.