Just heard that there's to be an Emergency Meeting in Powys County Hall next Thursday, 11th to debate a motion that the controversial Draft Secondary Modernisation Strategy be scrapped. I suppose the consequence of this being passed would mean that the Steering Group will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with options that retain all the schools. Mind you, if the arm twisting and threats that have gone on in a vain attempt to stop Councillors signing up to this debate is anything to go by, the motion could well be defeated. Never seen this sort of thing in Powys before. Councillors have been a bit shocked. But the Conservative Group, Annie Holloway, Viola Evans and Gareth Morgan are made of stern stuff. A debate there will be.
I know that some think I've been behind this move for an Emergency Debate. They are totally wrong. I've been asked my opinion by several Councillors, but I've replied that they are in a better position to judge than I am. I will do all can to prevent the proposed wilful destruction of our outstanding secondary education, but campaign strategy is a matter for Councillors. Because this has been driven by Cllr. Aled Davies, who is my party chairman, some people will assume there is a political motive. They would be wrong there too. Anyone who suggests that does not know Aled Davies. Since I first discussed this with Aled on that first fateful Friday, I've seen a man who has put everything second to his mission to save Llanfyllin High School. He knows that removing the sixth form will visit huge damage on an extraordinarily successful school. Entirely properly, he is determined to do all he can to protect the school, and Aled is one determined individual. Arm twisting has no effect whatsoever on some people. One reason why this proposal has infuriated Montgomeryshire Conservatives so much is that we hold the 3 Council wards in North Powys, which is served by Llanfyllin. And for me, Caereinion is my old school and I've always had a special affection for Llanidloes.
Have to change my plans for next Thursday. I want to be there - not inside the chamber, but standing with anyone from my old school, Caereinion High. I wonder whether Westminster politics is as cut-throat as Powys politics has become.