Incredible: Lyndale School call in causes second constitutional crisis for Wirral Council!
Labour’s Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services) explaining at a Wirral Council Cabinet meeting why he thinks the Cabinet should agree to consultation on closure of Lyndale School
This is a rather complicated saga, so it’s best to go back to the beginning and have a recap of what’s happened so far in chronological order. Way back on the 16th January despite an emotional plea from a parent, the Labour Cabinet decided to consult on closing Lyndale School. At the same meeting the same Cabinet also decided to agree to change how they divide up funding for pupils at special schools (which has an effect on Lyndale School).
On the 20th January I wrote a blog post headlined “Was the Wirral Council Cabinet decision to consult on closing Lyndale School lawful?” which included two polls. The first poll asked readers if they thought the decision was lawful (so far 92.31% think it wasn’t and 7.69% that it was) as well as a second poll on whether the decision should be called in (75% voted yes, 25% voted no).
The two decisions were then called in by councillors. The decision to consult on closing Lyndale was called in by Cllr Tom Harney, Cllr Phil Gilchrist, Cllr Jeff Green, Cllr Ian Lewis, Cllr Cherry Povall and Cllr Pat Williams. The decision on allocating funding (called proposals for change to school top up payments for students with high needs) was also called in by the same six councillors.
A meeting of the Coordinating Committee was arranged to consider the call in which prompted a blog post titled Is the Lyndale School call in going to the wrong Wirral Council Committee? along with another poll that asked whether it should be decided by the Coordinating Committee or the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee along with another poll in which 100% voted that it should be decided by the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee.
I wrote a further blog post on the 4th February headlined The Reasons why Wirral Council’s Lyndale School call in is being delayed. Councillors on the Coordinating Committee met on the 5th February (covered in “When is a call in meeting not a call in meeting? When it’s adjourned…”) and agreed a recommendation to adjourn the call in meeting to the 27th February until after the Council meeting on the 25th so that Council could co-opt the necessary parent governor repres