The Barrister representing Hermon School continues to be confident that the Hermon School Case is strong as they now count down to the High Court Hearing on the 26th of March 2004, It is ironic that the community of Hermon, Y Glog and Llanfyrnach are proactively answering the Welsh Assembly's call to address social, environment and economical improvement for the 21st Century to build a Better Wales for our children and our children's children. Therefore we are very saddened and angry that the Local Authority in Pembrokeshire wish to remove the thriving Primary school which will not allow those next generations to appreciate the importance of belonging to their community and giving them the foundation to become active citizens within our community. We in Hermon feel that the closure of small school policies being driven by Local Authority's officers needs to halted and reviewed by the Assembly Government where the continued centralisation of community and educational facilities is leading to ever growing numbers of retirement villages where young families are being discouraged (or can not afford) to living in our rural Welsh Speaking villages in North Pembrokeshire. We the inhabitants of North Pembrokeshire look to the Assembly Government act as the new heart of the Welsh Society, Culture and Economy to pump new lifeblood into our community. We see that the actions of our Local Authority is clogging those community channels and arteries thus blocking the direction and supply of new energy, indeed they are accelerating the continued withering of our community values. We now ask you to intervene.
The Hermon School Campaigners
will have spent over £20,000 on legal fees by the 26th of March 2004
and are now anxious that their strong arguments will not reach the full Judicial
Review stage (the next stage after the 26th) due to possible lack of
funds. One of the Pembrokeshire County Council's
strongest arguments for closing Hermon School was that the neighbouring parents
of Crymych school who represented a larger number of children (so called
democratic majority) wished to see the full rationalisation policy followed and
had apparently endorsed closing Hermon School in order to establish a new area
school at Crymych comprising of Children from Hermon, Crymych and near by
Blaenffos School. The names and addressed of the so called majority supporters
of rationalisation were forwarded to the National Assembly Educational Minister
by the County Council to apparently show that there was a democratic majority in
favour of the plans forced upon the North Pembrokeshire rural communities
concerned. The Solicitor acting on behalf of the Hermon Parents has corresponded
with the 60 Crymych parents to ensure that these important
facts forward to the Assembly Education Minister were correct. The
solicitor asked the Crymych parents to tick a box confirming their
desire to see full rationalisation i.e. closure of Hermon School or
to tick a box confirming that they only wished to see their school upgraded
without forcing Hermon to close. Of the 40% who ticked and signed the
return letter ALL OF THE CRYMYCH PARENTS WHO HAD RESPONDED expressed
their desire to only see an upgrade at the Crymych site and not at the
expense of Closing the full and vibrant school at Hermon. Many were very angry
that the county council had used their names without consent. This crucial
new evidence will be presented at the high court. The above issues had been
raised by Hermon Campaigners with the Welsh Assembly prior to their 09/01/04
decision to back the County Council Decision to close Hermon School. It is
disappointing that the Assembly Minister did not conduct an independent review
as was requested by Hermon Parents at the time. (e-mailed to Schools Management
Department for Training and Education, Welsh Assembly)
The Hermon Community Primary School has a catchment of 3 villages - Llanfyrnach, Y Glog & Hermon; the school catchment area has a vibrant community who are determined to hold on to their school which is celebrating it's 125th anniversary in 2004. The community is currently compiling its Community Action plan as a continuation of the Community Appraisal conducted in 1999. The local LEADER + group PLANED is holding workshop sessions under the Assembly Rural Community Action funding to develop the community initiatives that we have identified so that our aims of a sustainable community can be achieved within the next 3 years. The following initiatives are currently being developed:
Community Land Owners Co-operative Resource Centre,
Silver Workshop Unit Source of the Taf Foot Path
Cwm Y Glog Bridle Path Hermon Business Park
Community Nursery Co-operative Housing Trust of affordable homes
Retirement Homes with Warden Cover Open a Branch of a Credit Union (www.credcer.co.uk)
Community Interest Company - New DTI Legislation for communities to have shares.
Community Run Village Shop (WDA grants) Recycling & Envir. Training Unit Recycling Workshop at Recycling centre site. Bid for Community Worker to administrate projects
Hydro Electric Turbine (through old Sliver Mine Tunnels that fed water to Llanfyrnach)
New Village entry Signs – Slate & Sliver Community Marquee Hire Company
Community Garden Centre Small Household Wind Turbines.
The villages of Hermon, Y Glog and Llanfyrnach have a wealth of rich history and heritage. The children of our Community School at Hermon are taught of the history of our local Standing Stones at Bynmeini - Hermon, the history of the Llanfynach Moat & Bailey Castle, The tales of St Brynach, the efforts of the Silver Miners at Llanfyrnach Mines, the slate workers of the large Glog Quarry, the Private Railway Line Investors of the narrow gage Cardi Bach Raliway, the history of the school where the renowned socialist and bard T.E. Nicholas (Nicholas Y Glais) received his early education. By giving our young children the social building blocks of appreciating their environment we are hopefully widening their horizons by showing what has been possible in the past and thus we hope that their aspirations will be nurtured at an early age.
Many thanks for your continued support for our thriving rural community school, where I hope our arguments will finally be given a fair hearing at the High Court In London on the Friday the 26th of March 2004.
Diolch yn Fawr Iawn am y gefnogaeth.
Cris Tomos – Chair of Campaign Committee - 01239 831 962 - 07974 099738
Nerys Nicholas - Chair of Governors at Hermon School 01239 831 701
For further information see: www.hermonglog.org.uk