The list of councillors at Wirral Council that didn’t claim expenses during 2013-14

The list of councillors at Wirral Council that didn’t claim expenses during 2013-14

The list of councillors at Wirral Council that didn’t claim expenses during 2013-14

                                                  

Councillor Chris Blakeley of the Conservatives points out on Twitter that there are many councillors that haven’t claimed expenses (I’m not referring to allowances) in 2013-14 including himself.

He suggests I write a list of those that didn’t claim expenses in the 2013-14 period.

Here it is compiled from this list here (although some are now as this last financial year ended in April former councillors): Councillors Abbey, Blakeley, Eddie Boult, Brighouse, Brightmore, Clements, Cox, Crabtree, Bill Davies, Dodd, Doughty, Ellis, Foulkes, Fraser, Gilchrist, Glasman, Green, Gregson, Hackett, Harney, Hayes, Andrew Hodson, Kathy Hodson, Johnston, Adrian Jones, Chris Jones, Kearney, Leech, Lewis, Meaden, Mitchell, Mountney, Muspratt, Niblock, Norbury, Patrick, Realey, Rennie Roberts, Rowlands, Walter Smith, Stapleton, Sullivan, Sykes, Walsh, Watt, Steve Williams, KJ Williams and Williamson.

Obviously the money that these people could have claimed (but didn’t) could be used for providing the services the Wirral people expect of a local Council. Using the councillors that did claim as a guide to amounts as to what this hypothetical amount could be, it represents a saving of about £13,700.

The list linked to above shows the allowances councillors get and let’s face it there are not many people that get paid a mileage allowance to travel from home to their place of work. Yes, being a politician isn’t a “job”, it’s an office, but after the MP expenses scandal broke a few years ago I was surprised so many at Wirral Council were still claiming expenses at all.

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How did councillors think Wirral Council should spend £75,000 in Wallasey on road safety, cycling and walking?

How did councillors think Wirral Council should spend £75,000 in Wallasey on road safety, cycling and walking?

How did councillors think Wirral Council should spend £75,000 in Wallasey on road safety, cycling and walking?

                        

Following on from yesterday’s story about a legal change meaning Wirral Council can’t prevent filming at its public meetings any more, the first meeting affected by this was a Working Group of the Wallasey Constituency Committee.

You can watch this entire meeting from beginning to end if you wish, but let’s start at the beginning.

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First here’s a list of who from the Working Group was present:

Conservative councillors
Councillor Bruce Berry
Councillor Chris Blakeley
Councillor Paul Hayes
Councillor Leah Fraser

Community representatives
Ken Harrison
Tony Jones
Brian Higgins

Labour councillors
Councillor Rob Gregson
Councillor Chris Jones
Councillor Adrian Jones
Councillor Matt Daniel
Councillor Anita Leech
Councillor Bernie Mooney
Councillor Janette Williamson

The first item was appointing a Chair (just for this meeting). Unusually nobody from Wirral Council’s legal services was present to advise the Committee, so the committee services officer Andrew Mossop asked for nominations for Chair.

Cllr Janette Williamson proposed Cllr Rob Gregson. Cllr Williamson’s proposal was seconded by Cllr Chris Jones.

Six out of seven Labour councillors voted for Cllr Rob Gregson as Chair.
Four out of four Conservative councillors voted against Cllr Rob Gregson being Chair.

So Cllr Rob Gregson was elected Chair by a vote of 6:4. Who was the Labour “rebel” who didn’t vote for Cllr Rob Gregson as Chair? Well the answer to that was he didn’t vote for himself.

Cllr Rob Gregson said “thank you very much” and wandered over to where the Chair sits and continued his list of thanks which was thankfully shorter than most Oscar acceptance speeches.

He thanked people for attending, he thanked myself and my wife, the councillors & community representatives. Having thanked literally everyone in the room, he then went on to apologies.

Andrew Mossop read out a list of apologies. It was a long list of councillors that couldn’t make it Cllr Pat Hackett (Labour), Cllr Treena Johnson (Labour), Cllr Lesley Rennie (Conservative) and Cllr Steve Williams (Conservative).

Councillor Anita Leech apologised for the absence of Cllr Ron Abbey (Labour). Another Labour councillor apologised for the absence of Cllr Chris Spriggs (Labour). The Council’s website also lists apologies from Keith Raybould (one of the community representatives).

The Chair got his glasses out of his shirt pocket to read what was the next item on the agenda. He asked for declarations of interest? Nobody made any declarations of interest.

The first main agenda item was Integrated Transport Block Capital Programme Funding (2014/15). In case that agenda item title means absolutely nothing to you, it was about how the committee would decide to spend £38,875 on “improving road safety” and £38,875 on promoting active travel & health. The jargon “active travel” if you’re unfamiliar with the term it refers to walking and cycling.

The Chair asked Wirral Council’s road safety manager David Rees to introduce his report. He explained that his report and how officers decided on road safety schemes based on casualty figures. Mr Rees referred to what the money could be spent on, such as vehicle activated signs which had previously been funded by the Area Forums. Another way the money could be spent was on dropped crossings which assisted pedestrians with mobility issues, blind people, those in wheelchairs and mums with prams. The list of schemes already approved by Cabinet under central funding was referred to. He asked for areas that the Committee wished officers to look into and they would find out how much it was likely to cost.

Councillor Leah Fraser spoke first and asked a question and asked what on the list had been dealt with already which was replied to by David Rees. The next councillor to be heard was the mellifluous tones of Councillor Adrian Jones. After a short answer to his question Cllr Adrian Jones explained that he was in a position to understand his own ward (which is Seacombe) but that they had to decide what was best for Wallasey. He explained that each councillor would make a bundle of requests for their own ward which would go to officers, who’d then make recommendations. He said he assumed that David Rees must be frustrated by the process.

David Rees in his answer referred to Department for Transport regulations. Mr Rees said that even with suggestions where there weren’t recorded accidents, there may be broader benefits that officers could see for particular schemes.

Councillor Chris Jones asked about potholes and asked whether some could be done using the extra pothole funding that Wirral Council had received? David Rees explained that he had limited knowledge of the highway maintenance side and that they were keen to sort out the potholes while the weather was good. He said he could ask Caroline Laing to circulate a list to the Committee as to which ones they were looking at sorting out.

Councillor Chris Blakeley said, “OK thanks Chairman, .. I’m aware we’re being filmed tonight” and glanced in the direction of the camera. He said “we all know our own wards” and “at the risk of sounding like a stuck needle” that in the days of the Area Forums, where there were two wards involved that they used to split the money down the middle. He suggested that the money should be split six ways (as there are six wards in Wallasey), so that each ward would get just under £13,000.

The Chair replied to Councillor Chris Blakeley and admitted he was a little confused, but he said the danger was that the more articulate councillors being able to able to describe a minor dint in the road as apocalyptic which would mean such things would be favoured over areas that needed to be looked at.

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Incredible first 5 minutes of Wirral Council councillors’ public meeting to discuss BIG & ISUS investigations

Incredible first 5 minutes of Wirral Council councillors’ public meeting to discuss BIG & ISUS investigations

Incredible first 5 minutes of Wirral Council councillors’ public meeting to discuss BIG & ISUS investigations

                                

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Above is video of the entire special meeting of the Audit and Risk Management Committee (Wirral Council) on the 22nd July 2014

Below is a partial transcript of the first five minutes of a special meeting of Audit and Risk Management Committee on 22nd July 2014 to discuss the investigations into the BIG and ISUS programs.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
Good evening everyone, welcome to the Audit and Risk Management Committee. Errm

[Agenda item 1]Members’ Code of Conduct – Declarations of Interest.

Have we got any? No.

[Agenda] Item 2, minutes of the last meeting, are they agreed?

COUNCILLORS
Agreed.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
Thank you.

[Agenda] Item 3, Business Investment Grant (BIG) and the Intensive Startup Scheme (ISUS) Investigation.

There’s been concerns from Members about the lateness and thickness of this item and, if I can given the size of the document and the concern that Members have about the lateness of receiving this, and that along with the written address from Mr Hobro, I’d like to recommend an adjournment of a week and we convene back here next Tuesday. Problem?

COUNCILLOR JOHN HALE (CONSERVATIVE SPOKESPERSON)
I’ve got a problem with that Chair.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
You’re on holiday?

COUNCILLOR JOHN HALE (CONSERVATIVE SPOKESPERSON)
I won’t be back …..

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
….?

UNKNOWN COUNCILLOR
I’m on holiday as well Chair.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
Sweet, (can’t be heard). Pardon?

GRAHAM BURGESS (CHIEF EXECUTIVE)
Chair is it alright if I cut in? Chair I was just saying that obviously, we’re entering the holiday season. It’s inevitable that there will be people on holiday throughout the holiday season so obviously I’m concerned both for the Members and Council to get this matter resolved as speedily but as comprehensively as possible.

So clearly, we’d urge you to consider the meeting adjournment, because clearly we feel that this matter for everybody’s interest needs to be considered as quickly as possible to the satisfaction of all the Members though.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
Thanks for that, so I’m going to move that as a recommendation and…

(murmuring by councillors)

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
… point of order, … should … we’re doing…before we do… (turns on microphone) sorry Chair, could I suggest we make it in a fortnight? Normally you would liaise with the spokes of each party and obviously you haven’t spoken to Councillor Hale and it would help. I think he should be here at the next meeting. Thank you.

COUNCILLOR RON ABBEY (VICE-CHAIR)
Fifth of August then Chair.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
Fifth of August.

COUNCILLOR JOHN HALE (CONSERVATIVE SPOKESPERSON)
No, I won’t be back.

COUNCILLOR RON ABBEY (VICE-CHAIR)
Well the problem is you’re going to need to prolong it then and,

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
Yeah and there’s certain of the officers that won’t be here on the 5th,

COUNCILLOR RON ABBEY (VICE-CHAIR)
people will not be their deputies?

(multiple councillors talking at once)

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
….. Council.. stepped on…

COUNCILLOR JOHN HALE (CONSERVATIVE SPOKESPERSON)
I’ll be back around the 7th.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
….

COUNCILLOR PHILLIP BRIGHTMORE
Chair, am I correct in thinking that err if any party has one of their members away so then they can be substituted by a deputy and if indeed if one of those deputies then can’t make it then they can’t be substituted?

COUNCILLOR JOHN HALE (CONSERVATIVE SPOKESPERSON)
We do have deputies, even though we’re charged with finding a substitute spokesperson.

COUNCILLOR PHILLIP BRIGHTMORE
It remains the case you’ve got deputies you can call on.

COUNCILLOR STUART KELLY (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT SPOKESPERSON)
I think the reality is, I think that that would normally be the case but the reality is that from the time that we’ve had it, I dare say amongst the lead Members, the spokespeople, would have made an ??? effort to digest as much of it as we possibly can without any slight meant to any other Members who clearly they will have done that, but certainly the spokespeople would have attempted that.

I mean I think what we probably do need to settle on a date, at which I, John and yourself could be there. Certainly if we push it to the 12th of August then I’m in Butlins (laughing)..err..

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
Who’s the Chair?

COUNCILLOR STUART KELLY (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT SPOKESPERSON)
I mean I’m available up to that date. In moving your recommendation Chair is it your intention that we have a real discussion on what we have in front of us so far?

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
No, it’s not really worth breaking up the meeting when we’re halfway through, so it’s not worth having a new discussion tonight. Errm and we could go round all night and come to different dates couldn’t we? Just her and me and then the Monitoring Officer would be away.

COUNCILLOR DAVID ELDERTON
We’re relying on deputies. We’re relying on deputies because for all Members …all Members have problems if they’re not involved at all … basis that… would first, it’s the first time .. Chair… I’m looking for a way forward.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
What time do you leave next Monday John?

COUNCILLOR JOHN HALE (CONSERVATIVE SPOKESPERSON)
Early.

COUNCILLOR DAVID ELDERTON
We can’t be arranging times just to suit John Hale.

COUNCILLOR JIM CRABTREE (CHAIR)
No, no we can’t.

COUNCILLOR DAVID ELDERTON
It’s a service, I can easily update John Hale he comes back.

COUNCILLOR RON ABBEY (VICE-CHAIR)
Now we’re moving into the peak holiday period errm middle of August.

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What did officers say about Lyndale School in reply to “how much money you would expect to get if you sold that land?”

What did officers say about Lyndale School in reply to “how much money you would expect to get if you sold that land?”

What did officers say about Lyndale School in reply to “how much money you would expect to get if you sold that land?”

 

Councillor Paul Doughty asks a question of Julia Hassall about confidence in the Lyndale School closure consultation

Councillor Paul Doughty asks a question of Julia Hassall about confidence in the Lyndale School closure consultation

Julia Hassall (Director of Children’s Services) and David Armstrong (Assistant Chief Executive) answer questions from councillors on the Lyndale School closure consultation decision

Continuing from yesterday’s transcript of the Coordinating Committee meeting is a transcript of the next fourteen minutes of what officers said at the Coordinating Committee meeting of the 27th February 2014 that was to reconsider the Cabinet decision to consult on closing Lyndale School. On April 2nd, Wirral Council plan to start a twelve week consultation on the closure. The Cabinet report titled “Report seeking approval to consult on the closure of Lyndale School” can be read on Wirral Council’s website.

JULIA HASSALL
..are all included within the admissions book.

(heckling) I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it.

JULIA HASSALL
OK, if there are individual parents who are saying this evening they’ve not received that, then that’s something I will continue to look into.

(heckling)

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
So, quite right. My second question is errm, if you look at the, well the information tonight page 141, 140 to 141 2.5 if you skip the bullet points and go straight to the paragraph at the top of page 141, I won’t read the whole paragraph out but it just says that the changes proposed over a two year period, April 2014 to 16 and will be kept under review with regular reports to the Schools Forum. You’re looking to consult on closure for Lyndale, oh sorry.

JULIA HASSALL
Sorry Chair, is this the second report?

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
It’s the err…

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
The first.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
It’s the 21st of March?

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
Quite right, that is under the funding report.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
Oh no, no, no. Oh right. Maybe I should ask that? It’s not about funding.

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
It is under the funding report. I’m afraid, sorry.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
OK, I’ll hold back on that. I’ll hold back on that question but I won’t forget.

Right, my next two questions are for David. You just said that you were involved when Lyndale sort of moved from Clatterbridge. How big’s the area, the size around Lyndale School’s on at the moment?

DAVID ARMSTRONG
I can honestly say Councillor Fraser that I don’t know the answer because I’ve deliberately because I don’t want it to confuse the debate and become a distraction, we have done no action whatsoever looking at the Lyndale site.

I said to Pat this evening after the parents spoke at the last meeting, I would very much like to have visited the school and have a look around, so I did talk to Pat but also to remind myself about the school as I was a mainstream teacher.

I deliberately haven’t done that because if I go to the school particularly with my current monitoring responsibilities everyone will think I’ve come to look at the building or look at the site or look at the land. I know the area that the site occupies but genuinely myself and no one else in my team that work with me would have come to look at the site. So I couldn’t actually quote that figure tonight.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
Well if you’ve got, this leads me on to another point, without being difficult surely the Council has maps that you could look at? And also to see the size of the land? And also if the numbers at Lyndale are going down why are you extending Elleray Park?

(applause)

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
When my children went to school and I could choose the school, if there weren’t enough places there tough, you had to go to another school. Obviously it’s slightly different with special needs but I don’t understand why you’re not sending, suggesting that children go to Lyndale (making the most of the capacity)? Also I’d be interested if you looked at the map, how much money you would expect to get if you sold that land?

(applause)

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
OK, I’ll allow the officers to reply to that and then is that your questions finished?

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
Sorry no, I’ve got one more.

DAVID ARMSTRONG
Thank you Chair, yeah but clearly I could look at maps Councillor Fraser. As far as I’m concerned it would be totally irrelevant to the discussion here, which is about whether we should consult on whether to close the school.

I tried to explain, that I am known as the asset person in the Council and currently I have all the baggage and tags that go with that. There has been no work done on looking to dispose of the site.

I think it is useful, very useful that you raised that point because I would just like to take you briefly through the process because if I set that out now then I think it should clear it away for future debate.

The work to Elleray Park stems from a Cabinet report from 2009, where we were asked to go away and bring forward plans to build two new schools, one at Stanley and one at Elleray Park linked to primary school sites.

Clearly we’ve just completed the Stanley one, located it next to Pensby and that was done through funding claiming for that purpose. Because of the national circumstances the funding was withdrawn in July 2010. There’s no prospect realistically of funding on that scale now.

We have £21.5 million worth of funding capital in 2010/11. Next year we’ll have £4.1 million so we know we’re facing a different landscape. So what we want to do is go back and invest in the schools that we know now that we’ll not be rebuilding and that’s where that deal comes from, it has its origins there.

In terms of bidding for the money, we’ve had that, we’ve been looking for that for a while. Yes when we bid internally for the money against our colleagues we did also make a reference to the fact that should a decision be taken to close Lyndale clearly we will need places at other schools but the Elleray Park building work is not dependent on any decision you make about Lyndale. The scheme at Elleray Park will be done for suitability reasons and flexibility reasons whatever the decision about Lyndale. So it is not dependant in any shape or form on a proposition about Lyndale.

It actually begins to sort out things again that I did in the mid 1990s, as a short-term measure. I converted the former caretaker’s house to teaching accommodation. I never intended that it would last the length of time that it did. The scheme deals with that issue.

It moves the kitchen from the back of the school to the front which makes sense in terms of deliveries, so it does deal with issues with the school that exist. In all schools we try and respond to parental choice. We provide extra accommodation where we can when people are clearly wanting to go to that school. That’s national policy and it’s something we’ve tried to do.

In terms of the site, the idea that we can somehow just sell the site and pocket the money is actually a bit, well it’s very far fetched. If the decision was taken to close Lyndale there’d be a stepped process. For me, if a decision was taken to close the school, that doesn’t automatically mean that it would mean there would be no education on the site.

The school could convert to a free school, it could convert to an academy. It could be a shared, split site school with another school and the site would carry on being used much as it is now.

If that didn’t happen, I’d want to look to see what other purposes we could put to it for children because it’s had investment as I say it had an investment in 1999 a substantial one. It’s one of only four schools we’ve got with pools and you’d want to explore other possibilities.

It has a youth hub and a youth club on the corner of the site so there’d be lots of other possibilities. If it came to the fact there was no school and no other use for it, we have to then apply to the Secretary of State. We have to get his permission to dispose of the site.

We have to do it under two pieces of legislation, one is section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act which covers the playing fields and the playing field is not just a pitch it’s any outside space and we have to do it under section 1 of the Academies Act for the rest of the site and the Secretary of State’s words are that “a presumption is against you” on this issue. So even if we went through all those processes and the Secretary of State did give permission to dispose of the site it could then be disposed of but that condition would be based on us having specific schemes where the funding would have to be reinvested in other schools.

So I think it’s useful to set all that out to show, it is a process we’ve gone through. We’ve relocated schools to school sites when schools have closed. We have disposed of sites but the money goes reinvested back into schools.

So there’s absolutely no motive on me and anybody else to address this as a capital or an asset issue. That comes at the end and I hope by going through that and it’s a legal process, it’s a national process that shows that really the debate needs to be had about the needs of the children not about the site.

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
Go on, you’ve got one more question Leah.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
No, you said I could have four, no, but we’ve got plenty of time! But errm right,

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
No sorry, I’ll let you put the question if you like.

COUNCILLOR LEAH FRASER
Thank you Chair. My next question is, the email that Rochelle Smith mentioned, which I’m sure you were waiting for me to ask or somebody to ask that. From Paul Ashton “no plans for closure” sent in April 2012. What happened between April 2012 to a couple of months ago last year? That seems quite a change of policy, can you explain that?

DAVID ARMSTRONG
I think we’d like to. The letter came in when I was covering the Director of Childrens Services post, which we… Julia agreed upon to. So I was wearing two hats when that letter came in. I was covering the Director’s post but I was also still working with Andrew doing the finances. The letter was read in that context.

I asked Paul Ashcroft to reply to the letter because he was the specialist special, he was the senior inspector for special education, but I also had a discussion with him because if I sit there wearing the hat doing the thing with Andrew the very last thing we would want is for any member of our team, to be suggesting that children shouldn’t go to the school. It’s the very last thing we would want, it would make an already difficult situation even worse.

He went away, he replied to the letter, he replied to the parent and I also asked him to research whether he could come across any evidence of where our staff were directing children away from the school and that’s the most current and it’s interesting, it’s been really good to listen to what’s been said tonight because the references to me appear to have been mainly, if not exclusively to staff who work for another organisation and I think that’s an issue that Julia will research in her own way.

The situation is as I described at the very beginning, the national framework has now embedded itself in. Andrew and I are looking to the future landscape, we can see more hurdles that we’ll have to go through, other agencies will have to be involved in saying yes or no to the current arrangement we have with funding empty places, we see a clear direction now in special which is to move towards paying for the pupil rather than the place so it’s because, unbeknownst to us at the beginning of this, it’s that national context and also the numbers haven’t added, the numbers have stayed broadly stable and that clearly makes the problem difficult.

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
OK, next I’m going to deal with Paul, Pat and Adam in that order.

COUNCILLOR PAUL DOUGHTY
I am at an advantage actually over some of the parents and members of the audience because I know you as individuals and I know as individuals how passionate you are about children and your responsibilities towards them and our parents and members of the audience here don’t know that and they don’t have the advantage that myself and some of the other councillors have.

I think one of the problems we’ve got is the language that’s been used in some of the communication, perhaps in the newspapers and their responsibility for that. Also perhaps the, we referred to you that know some of the perhaps careless language of NHS staff perhaps and so we have a challenge really as a local authority as to how we can reverse that negative view that parents have so the question is given some of the comments that have been made to us where parents have a lack of confidence in the process and the consultation is there anything else that you feel that as officers we can do to try and restore confidence in the consultation process that haven’t already been presented tonight?

JULIA HASSALL
OK Chair, if I start the answer to that. One of the things that we’re deeply committed to doing should the decision be to proceed with the consultation is to talk with parents and each child, talk with the school and really make sure we’ve got as up to date assessment of the needs of each individual child at Lyndale School.

So that as we go forward, we are very genuinely looking at options in the knowledge of each individual child so that when we apply what’s called the SEN Improvement Test, we’re doing it based on our understanding of what each individual child needs and looking at how their needs can and if they can be met in a different setting.

So it’s making sure amidst what you say Councillor, a lot of the language that’s been used that we pull it back to first principle and say this is about getting it right for some exceptionally vulnerable children and how to care deeply about their children and we’ll need to be absolutely reassured whether the child is going to school they have staff in that school who can absolutely respond to their children’s needs in a very caring appropriate way and that is the very heart of what we must do as we take this forward.

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
OK, Pat and then Adam and then Leah and that… and I do want to spread it round the committee, all ok?

COUNCILLOR PATRICIA GLASMAN
I’ll try and keep my questions to the question of debating whether we should have a call in on, oh a consultation. One of the parent witnesses Julia has said earlier that she had or that parents had forwarded questions to you and not received replies. My question to you is, have you been waiting to reply to these queries on the fact that the parents have raised objections to the proposed current consultation? I’ve got one more question.

JULIA HASSALL
Thank you Councillor, I’m glad you asked me that question. I met with staff at the school and with parents on the 19th of December. It was the soonest date we could arrange after I met with the governing body at Lyndale School and I brought with me a colleague who took very detailed notes at the meeting.

Quite soon after Christmas, there were very detailed questions and did need to canvass a number of views to get accurate responses and Mrs Dawn Hughes who was a parent who spoke at the Cabinet meeting, I think Dawn is here this evening, on the 16th January very helpfully wrote to me saying this is a summary of the questions we asked and here are some additional questions and she did that under the freedom of information process and what I did I was a little delayed, but I did respond to Mrs Hughes within the freedom of information timescale which is about three weeks or so ago.

I’m probably mistaken because I understood that those questions and responses would be circulated to other parents. If that’s not happened I will do that tomorrow.

(heckling) The answers given they weren’t answers.

COUNCILLOR PATRICIA GLASMAN
One other question Chair.

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
OK.

COUNCILLOR PATRICIA GLASMAN
Another witness referred to the fact that the closure of Lyndale School has been brought to their attention by members of staff from another organisation. Have you had any contact yourself with the NHS about Lyndale School and the staff that were mentioned?

JULIA HASSALL
Councillor Glasman, I’ve been slightly chary about going very broad on consultation at this point, but I I I have indirectly made contact with Doctor Steiger but I will want to if the consultation proceeds, certainly meet with a group of community pediatricians to elicit their views and meet with other health professionals who are involved and I know that there are some who are actually directly working within the Lyndale School and I want to very much take soundings from them and from any other professional who’s directly involved.

COUNCILLOR PATRICIA GLASMAN
You want to emphasise to them that (inaudible)

COUNCILLOR STEVE FOULKES
OK, Adam.

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