Gwynedd Council’s cabinet has unanimously voted to shut a seven pupil school despite concerns over the impact on the Welsh language.

Ysgol Abersoch’s six full-time and one nursery aged pupil will transfer to Ysgol Sarn Bach from January 2022 as a result of Tuesday’s decision.

Previous reports had noted 10 pupils registered at the school, but councillors heard numbers had dipped further.

Unusually, Ysgol Abersoch serves pupils up to the end of Year Three, before they move 1.4 miles to Ysgol Sarn Bach for the remaining three years of primary education.

Officers pointed to forecasts showing no major upswing in numbers, with the future of the school described as “vulnerable for some time” – costing the authority £17,404 per pupil compared to the county average of £4,198.

Running at less than a quarter of its capacity, number crunchers calculated closure would achieve annual savings of £96,062.

It was also stated that of the 26 eligible children living in the catchment area, 21 were being educated at schools other than Ysgol Abersoch.

With the village having had its own school since 1924, a campaign saw over 200 responses to the most recent consultation, as well as two separate petitions, each containing 1,115 and 1,884 signatures, against closure.

Comments were also made citing the impact of closure would have on the village life.

One respondent said closure had the potential to leave Abersoch as “a holiday place for tourists for a few months a year and a ghost town for the remainder”.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith, meanwhile, urged cabinet to delay any decision until Easter and asked the authority to consider federation with nearby schools.

Cllr Cemlyn Williams said he had “lost sleep” over the issue but was adamant the two year process had been a fair one.

Cllr Dewi Roberts urged cabinet to reconsider, noting the resulting negative impact on the Welsh language and culture.

Reiterating previous calls to keep the school open until the end of the 2021/22 school year “at least,” Cllr Roberts said, “I sincerely hope that common sense prevails”.

Cllr Dafydd Meurig said he had heard nothing to persuade him closure wasn’t the correct action, but also remained fearful over the Welsh language.

“To be honest I feel the damage has largely been done by years of inward migration and the use of so many second homes,” he added.

“That is true, but its also fair to say that if we lose a Welsh speaking establishment it is going to have an effect.

“So as a council I’d like to see us take responsibility and do whatever we can to keep the Cylch Meithrin and Ti a Fi operational and through the medium of Welsh.”

Cllr Dilwyn Morgan claimed many locals in Abersoch felt “under siege” in terms of the viability of Welsh, also asking for resources to be made available to support them.

But Cllr Ioan Thomas said all pupils being educated in just one classroom was “concerning”, adding many parents in Abersoch had decided for themselves to send their children elsewhere.

Summing up, Cllr Cemlyn Williams asked members to approve the officers’ recommendation, which was unanimously backed by the cabinet.

Closure will come into effect on December 31, 2021.