Wirral Council's Cabinet disagree with Lib Dem concerns over how the Lyndale School closure decision was made

Wirral Council’s Cabinet disagree with Lib Dem concerns over how the Lyndale School closure decision was made

Wirral Council’s Cabinet disagree with Lib Dem concerns over how the Lyndale School closure decision was made


Cllr Phil Gilchrist talking about Lyndale School at a public meeting of Wirral Council's Cabinet 16th January 2015
Cllr Phil Gilchrist explains his concern about the Lyndale School closure decision at a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet 15th January 2015

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Cabinet – item 7 – Notice of Motion – The Corporate Plan’s Ideals in Practice

The mundanely titled motion The Corporate Plan’s Ideals in Practice was put forward for debate by two Lib Dem councillors at the Council meeting of the 8th December 2014. However no debate had happened then and it had instead been referred to Cabinet. The notice of motion was mostly about the closure of Lyndale School and how the decision had been made.

Cllr Gilchrist’s criticisms of how the decision had been made ranged from questions the parents had submitted in March 2014 which had not been answered, the way the consultation meetings had been chaired, how what was said at the consultation meetings had then been reported back to Cabinet, the imbalance between the financial resources of the Council compared to the financial resources of the parents to challenge the decision and the consultant’s report on the SEN Improvement Test (amongst other points he made).

Cllr Phil Davies responded that he had read that there might be a legal challenge so he asked Mr. Tour for advice. Surjit Tour said that they hadn’t received notification of a claim or a claim itself, but that a decision had been taken by Cabinet about the Lyndale School. He advised that councillors not to speculate in response to the specific points about the potential claim, bearing in mind that they were on notice that there may be a potential claim. Mr Tour asked them to stick to the Corporate Plan issues and engagement issues.

The Cabinet Member, Cllr Tony Smith thanked Mr Tour for his advice. He outlined the history of the decisions on Lyndale School, the consultation meetings and the visits councillors had made. The “significant amount of correspondence” on many issues about Lyndale School was also referred to by Cllr Smith, so was the consultant’s report and the equality impact assessment.

Cllr Phil Davies responded by saying “I do believe that we were faithful to our principles in listening to people. Phil can I just remind you that listening to what people say doesn’t always mean you have to agree with them?” He said he had read the report of the parents, visited Lyndale School, met with the parents and he repeated that he believed the Cabinet had listened but that they “came to a different conclusion than you did Phil but that doesn’t mean to say we didn’t listen.”

He said the decision was based on “sound evidence and thorough analysis” and that “we did understand what the community was saying to us”. Cllr Davies believed that they had been faithful to the principles in the Corporate Plan and that that was the Cabinet’s response.

Not unsurprisingly Cllr Gilchrist disagreed with whether the analysis had been thorough, he also pointed out that there had been issues about the creation of the funding formula and its application across various schools, but as the issue was “parked” he’d see what the outcome would be.

Cllr Phil Davies felt that they’d met the requirements, and whatever happened in the legal case they’d need to respond to that “in due course”. He thanked Cllr Phil Gilchrist for his attendance.

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

11 thoughts on “Wirral Council's Cabinet disagree with Lib Dem concerns over how the Lyndale School closure decision was made”

  1. Is this the same Phil Gilchrist who sat on his hands and did nothing as corrupt officer after corrupt officer came before his Employment and Appointments committee during the dark days, and received his vote in favour, his blessing, a fat pay off, a gag and a clean bill of health to enable them to transfer their corrupt practices to “anywhere but here” – to another location in the public sector gutter? Out of sight, out of mind.

    Shame on such wasteful, cowardly Lib Dem hypocrites and on the callous, crooked, cowardly Torylite Labour party; and on the crooked, cowardly Tories, who’d be doing exactly the same, closing down vital facilities if they were in power, but because they’re not, they’re criticising it and trying to score points.

    Traitors to a man and woman. I fart in their general direction.

  2. G’day John

    So… who is it?

    You must know by now who has got the job?

    Are they going down the St Helens route and getting in a kiddywink from a quango that they can hoodwink.

    Surely they wouldn’t have the audacity to employ one of their own that has lived through all the ugliness of the last decade and more?



    I think maybe another year for “The Dunny Chain Wearer” he is just on the edge of exploding.

  3. G’day John

    I really don’t think it will make any difference who it is.

    I will give you 147,000 reasons why they need efficient ADMINISTRATION to be brought in.

    Wirral Council gets people’s names wrong way round on 147,000 letters.

    Wirral council has issued an apology after getting the names wrong on 147,000 letters to voters.

    So when do you think “Highbrow” and I will get an apology over being ignored for three and a half years for reporting criminality and wastage in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds?



    1. Hi James Griffiths (or as we’re referring to Wirral Council letters should I call you Griffiths James instead)? Yes I was aware of that.

      The person with overall responsibility for elections at Wirral Council (the Returning Officer) and for sorting out voter registration (Electoral Registration Officer) is Surjit Tour or perhaps we should refer to him as Tour Surjit? However he’s only been doing that since Graham Burgess left those positions (that is only for a matter of weeks), so as Mr. Tour’s new in post, which if Mr. Burgess is reading this it doesn’t really take long after he leaves for things to go pear shaped does it?

      Of course perhaps I’d just better make this clear, Mr Tour hasn’t personally hand delivered and written all 147,000 letters. The letters are automatically printed from an electronic database. However he does get extra on top of his salary for this added responsibility and for managing the employees which deal with it.

      Mind you there are problems beyond the names too. We managed to get the voter’s letter meant for next door! So as well as getting the names wrong, Wirral Council also can’t deliver to the right address… maybe their deliverers should have a look at the address on the envelope they are putting through and check they are at the right address? Or am I expecting too much out of Wirral Council?

  4. G’day John

    I just like to call him “The Shyster”.

    Have a great week.



    1. People have called me far worse than that, but then I miss in some ways actually participating in court cases. I quite enjoy them but my McKenzie Friend doesn’t.

      Whereas most people seem to be terrified of being in court, I’m not. I actually like the opportunity to cross examine people as to what they’ve been not telling the truth about. Maybe that’s a personality flaw of mine… a desire to get to the truth.

      Politicians seem to say the funniest things in court as they seem to think they can get away with not answering questions as if this is normal. Mind you if I ever saw a politician in a court case actually be forced to swear to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” I’d find it hard to keep a straight face!

  5. G’day John

    What I meant to say was “Shyster The”.

    I wonder whether all 147,000 were signed correctly and by the right person?

    I wonder if they will apologise further if they were sent incorrectly by Burgess Graham?



  6. G’day John

    What I really really meant to say is it was like Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods.

    The rubbish paper from over Stellas Waters

    “Sending out the electoral registration forms is at no cost to Wirral as it is funded by the Cabinet Office as part of efforts to maximise registration ahead of the General Election.’

    Like “The Football Shirt” said at the farce of 8 October it is not our money.



    Shame shame shame they can’t get it right at the bottom so there is no hope at the top.

    1. Don’t get me started on how Wirral Council runs elections as I’ll be writing all day!

      I was aware of the grant from the Cabinet Office, but off the top of my head can’t tell you how much it is for. Here’s the detail on what the mini canvass is about. However the officer left off the size of the grant from the Cabinet Office from their report.

      When travelling on the train I’ve seen a poster from another Council on Merseyside trying to encourage people to vote, which may be connected to the general efforts to maximise voter registration before the cut off date for the General/local elections.

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