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Posted by: John Brace | 18th December 2014

8 Labour councillors on Wirral Council vote to close Lyndale School from 31st August 2016

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)

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School L to R Shirley Hudsepth Surjit Tour Cllr Phil Davies Graham Burgess

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School L to R Shirley Hudsepth Surjit Tour Cllr Phil Davies Graham Burgess

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

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Tony Smith Cllr George Davies Cllr Ann McLachlan

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Tony Smith Cllr George Davies Cllr Ann McLachlan

Cllr Adrian Jones (Labour, Seacombe)
Cllr Chris Jones (Labour, Seacombe)
Cllr Pat Hackett (Labour, New Brighton)
Cllr Bernie Mooney (Labour, Liscard)

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Bernie Mooney Cllr Pat Hackett Cllr Chris Jones Cllr Adrian Jones

Cabinet 17th December 2014 vote on Lyndale School closure L to R Cllr Bernie Mooney Cllr Pat Hackett Cllr Chris Jones Cllr Adrian Jones

Total 8

Voting Against closing the Lyndale School from 31/8/16

Total 0

Abstentions

Total 0

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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Responses

  1. It would appear that a Political Decision has been made without the Full Circumstances of this matter being thoroughly Investigated or Reported, by these people.

    • To investigate/report the “full circumstances” would take longer than about the thirty minutes it took. I’ve barely scratched the surface on this.

      Therefore councillors rely to a certain degree on what they are told and underlying assumptions made by officers.

      To give an example, the call in of the last Cabinet decision from 4th September 2014 on this matter lasted around 5 hours.

      If the papers for the meeting are comprehensive, it takes less time to decide. However if much of the information is not in the papers it has to be gleaned through verbal questions and answers which take longer.

      • Mr Brace, I am aware that you know more than you can give out on your Blog and I have to take my hat off to all your contributors.
        I am aware also aware how some people operate, in any given circumstance, I am also aware that some Councillors have day jobs.
        However that does not excuse anyone from the Decision made and this Safety Unit (Reform Group) Smacks of Cart and Horse, rather than Horse and Cart.
        Judicial Review at the end of the day, achieves in real terms very little, is expensive and a Judge cannot substitute a Decision.
        In the intervening days, if I were looking at any sort of Law, it would be Tort or Fraud (not covered by Judicial Review).

        • Well yes I agree with the sentiment of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but at least it’s progress in the right direction.

  2. Mr Brace, I have been at this game for over 30 years and I am still amazed at how Human Beings Treat each other.

    • Some people have the attitude of as long as it’s not happening to them or their immediate family it doesn’t matter to them personally.

      • Mr Brace, your not wrong

    • G’day

      Well I would like to send the 8 my personal Xmas Wishes I truly hope they get exactly what they deserve.

      They will put their hands up to anything “The Dunny Chain Wearer” asks it is no skin off their noses self centred scum.

      Karma

      Ooroo

      James

      Looking at the look on “The Shysters” face it is not only “Phil the Dill’s” ethics and morals that stink.

  3. G’day Again

    John with reference to the email I note “Phil the Dill” and “His Ugly Twin Brother” haven’t resigned yet.

    Surprise.

    Ooroo

    James

  4. Reblogged this on Karl Mercer for Independent Councillor of Seacombe and commented:
    The moment 8 Labour councillors including 2 of our Seacombe Councillors voted to close Lyndale special school, they should be ashamed of themselves.


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