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Godre’r Graig School Task Force Meeting – 21.08.2019



  • R.G Jones (Leader) - Leader of Council
  • P.A. Rees (PR) - Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture
  • E.V. Latham (EL)- Cabinet Member for Streetscene Engineering
  • L. Jones (LJ) - Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection


  • Steven Phillips (SP) - Chief Executive
  • Gareth Nutt (GN)  - Director of Environment
  • Aled Evans (AE) - Director of Education
  • Nicola Pearce (NP) - Head of Planning and Public Protection
  • Craig Griffiths (CG)- Head of Legal Services
  • Andrew Thomas (AT) - Head of Transformation
  • Simon Brennan (SB) - Head of Property and Regeneration
  • Dave Griffiths (DG) - Head of Engineering and Transport
  • Huw Jones (HJ) - Head of Financial Services
  • Robin Turner (RT) - Corporate Communication Business Partner
  • Neil Evans (NE) - Senior Executive Officer
  • Clive Barnard (CB) - Architectural Design and Project Manager

1st August Meeting Action Notes

Leader noted that due to timings the action notes had been agreed outside of the meeting in order that the information could be published at the earliest opportunity following the previous meeting.

Matters Arising

AE stated that staffing issues were generally completed and it had been agreed that the cook would work on a relief basis and be deployed wherever required during the period. The kitchen assistant would work in Cwmtawe as she would be required to assist in the serving of the food to the transferred children.

In relation to the breakfast club staff, whilst there would not be a formal breakfast club at the temporary site the staff who work at the breakfast club would be employed to prepare and serve the mid-morning snacks for the children.

Leader requested that costs be circulated to the group as they became available but more importantly to the finance section to facilitate a possible claim to Welsh Government to recoup any appropriate costs.

CB continued that as it stood the 1st of four units had been delivered on Friday 16th August, 2nd unit delivered on Tuesday 20th August with the 3rd and 4th due to be delivered on 22nd and 27th August respectively.

It was further noted that Western Power would be on site on 23rd August to provide power to the units. Work was progressing at a significant pace to ensure the units are ready and appropriate with staff working 12 hour shifts. This means that as it currently stands the project is on track to secure hand-over on 6th September at the latest; however, all efforts 
remain focused on opening on 4th September.

Leader asked that when it is appropriate that the staff of the school are allowed to visit the site so that they can familiarise themselves with the layout etc. CB to liaise with AT on this.

DG provided an update on school transport and it was noted that all arrangements were in place with the transport operators. It was noted that the provision for nursery children would be monitored to ensure that there was sufficient uptake and where numbers were low then
discussions would be held with the operator to possibly provide a smaller vehicle.

DG continued that the school were aware of the arrangements and that parents would be informed over the next few days in line with all parents across the County Borough in relation to their transport requirement.

It was suggested that the communications had not reached all the intended recipients. However, it was agreed that the Council had used every avenue possible and was content that the relevant information had been conveyed to all. It was agreed that it was now time to prepare a “current situation” note that would include specific information on the works undertaken so far, the transport arrangements, the next steps and to highlight the official communication channels with the Council. CB, AT and RT to draft and publish as soon as possible. It was agreed that this update should also be posted to the parents’ home addresses.

Any Other Business

AE informed the group that officers were at the school today discussing with a removal company the requirements for moving the required equipment when the units were completed.

DG stated that work was commencing on removing vegetation from the quarry to allow ESP to place their testing equipment. A question was asked whether this would mean the land becomes more unstable and it was confirmed that this was a necessity and that the contractors would be undertaking site specific assessments before siting their equipment
and would not put their plant and operatives at risk if this was the case.

NP stated that there had only been one objection to the planning application from Pontardawe Town Council on the grounds of increased traffic and it should be sited closer to the site of the original school.

However, it should be noted that the Local Members had no objections to the application and planning permission has now been granted under Delegated Panel powers.

A question was asked as to the latest possible date that the Council would need to inform parents of the opening date. It was agreed that it would be middle to end of next week and that a further meeting of this task force on Wednesday or Thursday of next week would be in a position to make that call.

The Leader wished for it to be noted on record that the Council had done a fantastic job in literally developing a new school from scratch and this had highlighted how departments can overcome barriers and work together for a common goal. The Leaders also wished for his personal thanks to be extended to all who have been involved in the project. Agreed that the following actions be noted:

  • SG and NE to publish/circulate agreed action notes;
  • CB to liaise with AT in relation to arranging a staff visit to the site when convenient.
  • AT, CB and RT to draft a “current situation” note for publication and circulation to all interested parties.
  • That all relevant members of staff note and report additional costs accrued due to the temporary relocation of Godre’r Graig School to the Director of Finance or his representative on an ongoing basis.

Next meeting to be arranged for a week's time.