School land could be used for youngsters' sporting area – AM
SCHOOL land in Pontarddulais being considered for sale could instead be developed as sporting area for young people, argues an AM supporting the fight against any disposal.
Swansea Council is currently in discussions with a number of schools about the potential sale of land, as it seeks funds in order to secure match funding from the Assembly for its programme of school improvements, Quality in Education.
One of those schools is Pontarddulais Primary, where land currently used as a nature reserve is one which could potentially be sold off.
But parents in the town are fighting the plans.
School governor and county councillor for the town Phillip Downing said: "The land in question is being used as a nature reserve.
"The authority has written to the school asking for the reaction of governors, and there will be some discussion yet.
"But the school does not want to sell the school field. It is part of the school and it would be detrimental to lose it."
The school's case is being taken up by Byron Davies AM, who is to meet education chiefs this week to discuss the issue, and raise objections.
He said: "Parents are challenging the council's estimates of the amount of land available. They make some very valid points about how this area of land could become a focal point for sporting activities for young people from the entire community.
"We must look at the fight going on against childhood obesity which all councils are signed up to. If we are to get children off their sofas and away from their computer screens, we must give them things to do and places to go where they can get involved in sporting activities.
"Wales has also been very bad at capitalising on the Olympic legacy and here we have a chance to ensure the children in this community at least have the facilities they need."
A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "We're in discussions with a number of school governing bodies regarding the potential disposal of land within the school sites. These schools include Pontarddulais Primary but the land initially identified as being surplus to requirement does not include the existing playing fields. No decisions have been made and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter with Mr Davies."