'MAKE your voice heard' is the message to 800 local residents who will be challenging the council over a border school closure next week.

The proposed closure of Gwernyfed High School, in Three Cocks has been challenged by local councillors, pupil's parents and members of surrounding communities since it was announced formerly in March.

Powys County Council plan to withdraw its further education department at the school from September 2017 and for it to permanently close in 2019/2020 with pupils transferred to a newly built Brecon school.

As part of the plans the council are holding a consultation event to gather views from those affected by the closure at the school on Wednesday starting at 6.30pm.

James Gibson-Watt, councillor for Glasbury, branded the scheme as a 'very expensive' experiment and said that pupils were already looking at Herefordshire secondary schools.

Rev Ian Charlesworth, chair of governors at the school said: "This is the moment when the faceless Powys bureaucrats who want to close our school will be unmasked, and it will be an opportunity for you to challenge them on how their proposals will affect you, your child, your business, your sports club or community group, or the community at large.

 "These people - who have never visited the school - will be there for the first and possibly last time if they have their way.

"By law, Powys have to take your responses into account when they make their final decision on Gwernyfed's future, so make your voice heard and come armed with some challenging questions for their panel.

"Tell them how important a matter this is. They are trying to rip the living heart out of our community, and compromise our resilience to cope with the future.

 "Ask them who will look after the elderly when the young have moved away. Ask them who will buy our houses when there is no school."

Entry to the meeting is by a free ticket only and the Hereford Times has been told that 800 have already been allocated by the council. 

Tickets can be booked online through the county council’s website at www.powys.gov.uk. Alternatively residents without access to the internet can telephone 01597 826954 to book tickets.

The meetings will be filmed on the night and content made available through the council’s website shortly afterwards for up to 90 days. 

Residents are also able to respond to the secondary consultation by using the council’s website: www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay.