Pupils at a new learning resource centre to be developed in Milford Haven have complex needs and it is not a “dumping ground” as one councillor called it.

Cabinet member for education Cllr Guy Woodham said he was offended by a question from Cllr Reg Owens at full council on Thursday (December 19) when he asked for assurance it would not become a “dumping ground for children removed for bad behaviour from schools around Pembrokeshire.”

Cllr Woodham said it was not going to be a dumping ground and each child had the most complex needs and appropriate support packages were needed  to provide their education.

“It is not a behavioural unit,” he added.

Cllr Owens apologised if he had caused offence, raising his concerns that the LRC was to be similar to the Pupil Referral Unit in Neyland.

He also asked about funding for the unit and if it would impact the school’s budget but was told it was a local authority funded as it was led by the council and not a school provision.

Cllr Pat Davies said the new unit was to be welcomed and questioned if the proposed figure of 24 pupils were adequate.

Cllr Woodham said in planning the unit consideration had been given to the number of pupils to ensure it was “appropriate.”

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council  approved providing a learning resource centre (LRC) at Milford Haven School at its meeting on Thursday (December 19).

A public consultation has been held and statutory notices published to establish a centre for those with complex learning needs and autistic spectrum conditions to ensure  “that secondary pupils needing the above specialist provision can access it within easy reach of their home locations” in a mainstream setting.

It would be developed following the redevelopment of the Milford Haven site as part of the Council’s 21st Century Schools Programme.