Llancarfan village school campaigners vow to fight move

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image captionParents claim council leaders do not see the benefits of a rural school

Campaigners fighting to save a village school say they are not giving up after council leaders backed the plans.

The Vale of Glamorgan cabinet has given its final approval to move Llancarfan Primary School to a new £4m building five miles away in Rhoose.

Gordon Kemp, a governor at the school and cabinet member, voted against the plans, voicing fears the new school would be a "white elephant".

Protesters said they would take their fight to the Welsh Government.

The Conservative-led council has claimed the school will not close but would undergo a "regulated alteration" under Welsh Government rules.

It will see staff and pupils move to a 210-place new building with a part-time nursery for 48 pupils, to cater for hundreds of new homes expected to be built in the area.

A council spokesman said moving the school to Rhoose would extend its age range to include three-year-olds, increase its capacity, and provide pupils with "a more modern learning environment".

But Councillor Kemp told cabinet colleagues he was unhappy at the proposals, and feared the new school was "not going to come up with the 210 places it's going to be built for".

Andy Farquharson, on behalf of the Save Llancarfan School Committee, said: "It's sad the council didn't listen to the residents of the Vale and are not able to see the benefits of a rural school.

"This matter will still be challenged with the Welsh Government - it is not a done deal," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

One Tory councillor, Matthew Lloyd, resigned last year in protest at the plan, to be replaced in a by-election by former Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies who also vowed to fight the move.

The council now has to submit a business case and agree funding for the proposal, with a target opening date of September 2021 for the new school.

Councillor Kemp was replaced in a cabinet reshuffle shortly after the vote on Llancarfan, although council leader John Thomas told the LDRS he was sacked for failing to support the cabinet's budget plans, not for his position on the school.

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