Fears have been raised that Liberal Democrat and Labour cabinet members in Powys could vote against a school building programme worth £300 million over the next decade and go for a cheaper option.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Learning and Skills scrutiny committee on Tuesday, 23 April, members were presented with the draft Strategic Outline Programme to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning’s nine-year rolling programme.

The programme includes the building of the oft-delayed new all-through school in Machynlleth.

The Welsh Government has asked local authorities to submit their proposals and the difference between old 21st Century Schools Programme and the new funding programme is that councils now need to outline a “rolling programme” of proposals for up to nine years.

While the preferred option would see £300m worth over of investment over the next decade – just under £200m would be expected to come from the Welsh Government.

There are two other options that cabinet could choose, which is a “do minimum” worth £112m which would deliver the five school build projects that are currently in their design stages, including Ysgol Bro Hyddgen in Machynlleth.

A second option is to finish off the five school build projects which make up option one and include remodelling of Ysgol Bro Caereinion in Llanfair Caereinon in preparation of it becoming a Welsh medium all through school and the splitting Ysgol Calon Cymru into an English medium high school in Llandrindod Wells and Welsh medium all through school in Builth Wells.

This option would cost £270m.

All three options would include funding maintenance work for schools in the most need.

Committee chairman, Conservative Cllr Gwynfor Thomas said: “Cabinet could still choose option one, from a financial point of view we know what council finances are across Wales I slightly worry about that considering that option three is linked with the transformation process and things are already progressing in that matter.”

Cllr Thomas said: “If option three did not go through it would leave areas left wanting.”

It is expected that the report will go before the cabinet on 7 May.