Agenda item

Sustainable Learning Communities Programme Abergavenny 3-19 School


County Councillor Martyn Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Education presented the report to seek Council’s approval to include the construction of a new 3-19 school on the King Henry VIII School site in the Council’s Capital Funding Programme. The new 3-19 school will be established through the closure of King Henry VIII and Deri View Schools, as agreed at the Monmouthshire County Council Cabinet meeting on 19th January 2022. The funding will enable the relocation of Ysgol Y Fenni to the current Deri View site.


Many Members were keen to support the recommendations and commend the project.


Assurance was sought that robust active travel initiatives be developed and targets set from the planning stage, promoting active and sustainable travel options to ensure that school related congestion does not result in a rise in poor air quality in the local area.


The following suggestions were made in support of the development:


·       Engagement with residents of all ages.

·       Pop-up site in the town at various phases of completion to maximise engagement, maybe a permanent base within the market.

·       Competition to create an artwork or sculpture to be located at the school.

·       Extend safe cycling routes to a drop off site at the edge of town where bicycle racks could be installed.


On behalf of the Conservative Group, the Leader of the Opposition commended all officers involved in the project and commended Ms. Lewis for her leadership.  He questioned if officers were confident that the cladding being used will be sustainable.


The Leader of the Council thanked Welsh Government for the investment, therefore allowing the development of this third 21st Century School.


A question was raised regarding the socio-economic aspect of the EQIA, and the impact on those in receipt free school meals.  The Cabinet Member for Education stood by the EQIA and explained that he believed the needs of the primary aged children on site would be met far more effectively that it had been possible in the past.


Officers had previously assured County Councillor Tony Easson that the cladding panels used would produce little or no smoke and would not produce flaming droplets.


Upon being put to a vote Council resolved to accept the recommendations:


That Council note that Ministerial approval has been achieved on the Full Business Case confirming Welsh Government (WG) commitment and their contribution of £47,024,335 (67%) towards the total cost of building a new 3-19 school in Abergavenny of £69,292,62


That Council approve an increase the approved budget within the Council’s Capital Programme from £43,000,000 to £69,792,623, reflecting the revised build cost of £69,292,623 and an additional £500,000 required for associated highways improvements.


That Council note that the increase in budget will require a further commitment of Council borrowing of £7,718,288 and that there are consequential revenue budget costs of servicing this borrowing as outlined in the resources section of this report.


That Council note the appointment of Morgan Sindall Construction to build the new 3-19 school.


To declare Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni Primary School surplus to requirements, to be disposed of by the Estates Development Team on terms to be agreed in consultation with the Chief Officer for Resources.

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