8 Labour councillors on Wirral Council vote to close Lyndale School from 31st August 2016
Yesterday (17th December 2014) Wirral Council’s Cabinet decided to close Lyndale School in Eastham on 31st August 2016. You can watch video of how the decision was reached in the above video, the item on Lyndale School starts at 50 seconds into the meeting. Two of the Cabinet (Cllr Stuart Whittingham and Cllr Chris Meaden) were absent at the Cabinet meeting when it was made.
The councillor who proposed closure of the Lyndale School was Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services). This was seconded by Cllr Ann McLachlan (Cabinet Member for Governance, Commissioning and Improvement).
The vote was as follows:
In favour of closing the Lyndale School from 31/8/16
Cllr Phil Davies (Labour, Birkenhead & Tranmere)
Cllr Ann McLachlan (Labour, Bidston & St James) * Note Seconder of motion
Cllr George Davies (Labour, Claughton)
Cllr Tony Smith (Labour, Upton) * Note Proposer of motion
Cllr Adrian Jones (Labour, Seacombe)
Cllr Chris Jones (Labour, Seacombe)
Cllr Pat Hackett (Labour, New Brighton)
Cllr Bernie Mooney (Labour, Liscard)
Voting Against closing the Lyndale School from 31/8/16
Therefore with eight votes for, none against and no abstentions, the motion was agreed.
It is possible that at some future point six (or more) councillors will request a call in of this decision. However the Coordinating Committee would decide such a call in and is now short of the two parent governor representatives required to hear a call in on such a matter, you can read this blog post about the questions I asked of Cllr Tony Smith earlier in the week about that.
The Coordinating Committee has 9 Labour councillors, 5 Conservative councillors, 1 Lib Dem, 2 parent governor representatives (although both positions are now vacant) as well as a representative of the Catholic Diocese. It should also have a representative from the Anglican Diocese of Shrewsbury, however the Anglicans have (to my knowledge) not chosen someone yet. That’s a committee of 19 people. However three positions are vacant.
Those associated with the Lyndale School will probably be asking their legal advisers to send a Letter before Claim in this format to Wirral Council’s Cabinet and Wirral Council’s legal department in the near future. Once Wirral Council has received such a letter, they usually have 14 days to respond to such a letter. If the response is not to the proposed Claimant/s’s satisfaction it is highly likely that a case will be filed promptly with the Administrative Court (part of the Royal Courts of Justice) requesting permission for judicial review of the decision to close the school.
If decision on permission for judicial review was granted by a High Court Judge, then it would proceed to a hearing. A decision on permission (if the case was filed in January 2015) would be expected within around three months. If permission is given, a decision on this matter by the court would be expected to be decided within a year (that is if the case if filed in January 2015 by around January 2016 or possibly sooner but certainly before 31st August 2016).
Two newspapers that cover the Wirral area have also written pieces about this decision which you may be interested in reading:
Heartbreak for parents as Wirral Council’s cabinet vote unanimously to close Lyndale (Wirral Globe) by Emma Rigby
Wirral council under fire after rubber-stamping decision to shut Lyndale special school (Liverpool Echo) by Liam Murphy
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