Parents hope councillors will listen to their pleas over Lyndale School closure

Parents hope councillors will listen to their pleas over Lyndale School closure

Parents hope councillors will listen to their pleas over Lyndale School closure

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

PARENTS are hoping councillors tonight will listen to their pleas over proposals to axe a special needs school.

Wirral Council dropped a bombshell in December when it announced it was to begin closure procedures at Lyndale School after a predicted “budget shortfall” of £72,000.

The deficit has been caused by a reduction in the number of pupils and is linked to changes in the way funding is allocated by Government.

The "shortfall" has the potential to increase to £232,000 based on the number of children currently on the school roll.

Julia Hassall, Wirral’s director of children’s services, today submitted a report to cabinet asking for permission to consult on closure.

Parents are now pinning their hopes of saving the school on a five-minute address they will be permitted to make to cabinet councillors when they meet this evening.

Parent governor Zoe Anderson said: “We're sending a representative to speak on our behalf.

“We have five minutes, so we're currently trying to put down all of our points in as brief a way as possible.

“Obviously it is very upsetting and distressing we have only five minutes – we could speak for hours but we just have to accept that there is a process.

“We have just got to go with the flow at the moment unfortunately. It is the one chance we may get to keep the school open.”

Ms Anderson claimed Ms Hassall failed to listen to families’ concerns after they met with her last month.

She added: “The report today is the same document that was brought to the meeting at the school.

“It is no different and this is disappointing - because all the concerns we raised with her have not gone in it.”

Parents had also requested the report be delayed for a month to give them a reasonable time to consider their options.

Ms Hassall said the needs of the children at Lyndale will be “paramount” to any decision.

She said: “Before I met with parents we were planning to consult for six to eight weeks, but the decision we have made now is to consult for 12 weeks.

“By going to cabinet on January 16 to see if we can consult on closure, we can continue to work with the parents to take things forward, because uncertainty is not good.”

The report says pupils can be accommodated in other special schools.

But parents fundamentally disagree as Lyndale offers a unique haven for disabled children, some of whom suffer multiple, profound and often life-shortening conditions.

Several of Lyndale's pupils also attend Claire House Hospice.

The report sets out eight options for the future of the school, but Ms Hassall said further proposals could be considered following the consultation period, which she has described as being “open and transparent”.

If a decision is made to close, Ms Hassall said steps will be taken to "ensure minimal disruption" for all involved.

More than 5,300 people have signed an online petition against axing Lyndale.

In 2004, Globe readers donated more than £80,000 for the school during a fundraising campaign to provide pupils with a sensory garden.

Comments (11)

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6:17pm Thu 9 Jan 14

bigfoot says...

I hope they do,but this dysfunctional shower are 'selectively deaf and blind'!
I hope they do,but this dysfunctional shower are 'selectively deaf and blind'! bigfoot
  • Score: 3

7:05pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Thepleb says...

Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?
Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public? Thepleb
  • Score: 5

9:27am Fri 10 Jan 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Thepleb wrote:
Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?
Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.
[quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?[/p][/quote]Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 5

11:47am Fri 10 Jan 14

Thepleb says...

Joeblogg85 wrote:
Thepleb wrote:
Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?
Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.
It was a sarcastic comment, I know the councillors and senior officers don't listen to common sense after losing my job through a proposal in the Wharreallymatters ****, why wasn't the closure of Lyndale included in the savings scheme because they knew the public would vote against it.
[quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?[/p][/quote]Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.[/p][/quote]It was a sarcastic comment, I know the councillors and senior officers don't listen to common sense after losing my job through a proposal in the Wharreallymatters ****, why wasn't the closure of Lyndale included in the savings scheme because they knew the public would vote against it. Thepleb
  • Score: 4

1:17pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

"The needs of the children will be paramount to any decision" What a load of old bull. Is that like the needs of the attendees of Moreton ACT, is that like the needs of the elderly and disabled needing meals on wheels.....get my drift.
This bunch of residents in the clown hall are only concerned with their own needs......70 grand is neither here or there compared to the £850,000 spent on the Downton Abbey stair case
"The needs of the children will be paramount to any decision" What a load of old bull. Is that like the needs of the attendees of Moreton ACT, is that like the needs of the elderly and disabled needing meals on wheels.....get my drift. This bunch of residents in the clown hall are only concerned with their own needs......70 grand is neither here or there compared to the £850,000 spent on the Downton Abbey stair case Llamedos 1
  • Score: 3

5:26pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

At the meeting at Lyndale we were given the assurance that the new provision for our children would have to meet the same standard or surpass what they receive now. I'm not sure whether any of you heard Ms Hassall 's radio interview this morning but when asked if they would keep Lyndale open if the report said that they provided the best care at Lyndale, I was very disappointed to hear what can only be described as a 'pregnant pause' for a few seconds before stating that the school would only remain open if it was financially viable. So again it all comes down to money and not the welfare and basic rights of our precious and extremely vulnerable children. We have the opportunity to address the cabinet next week, we're being allowed 5 MINUTES!! Absolutely ridiculous, such a short length of time to get our concerns across but in my mind I think the closure is a "done deal" I think any suggestion we put forward that would ensure the financial liability of the school will be shot down in flames. I wouldn't mind betting that a buyer has already been found for the land that Lyndale sits on too!!
At the meeting at Lyndale we were given the assurance that the new provision for our children would have to meet the same standard or surpass what they receive now. I'm not sure whether any of you heard Ms Hassall 's radio interview this morning but when asked if they would keep Lyndale open if the report said that they provided the best care at Lyndale, I was very disappointed to hear what can only be described as a 'pregnant pause' for a few seconds before stating that the school would only remain open if it was financially viable. So again it all comes down to money and not the welfare and basic rights of our precious and extremely vulnerable children. We have the opportunity to address the cabinet next week, we're being allowed 5 MINUTES!! Absolutely ridiculous, such a short length of time to get our concerns across but in my mind I think the closure is a "done deal" I think any suggestion we put forward that would ensure the financial liability of the school will be shot down in flames. I wouldn't mind betting that a buyer has already been found for the land that Lyndale sits on too!! Mojo68
  • Score: 4

10:59pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Growl Tiger says...

Fruitless trips to China – funding available.
Payoffs to senior officers with no case to answer – funding available.
2 year temporary contract for CEO made permanent – funding available.
Staircase to nowhere – funding available.
Refurbishment of executive suite – fundingy available.

Excellent school doing an excellent job - "budget shortfall" - closure threatened.

Officers produce a document which gives the allusion that "consultation" has occurred. It hasn't, but councillors pretend it has and make decisions based on the information in the documentation.

Welcome to caring Wirral where nothing has changed and the abnormal is still the nomal.
Fruitless trips to China – funding available. Payoffs to senior officers with no case to answer – funding available. 2 year temporary contract for CEO made permanent – funding available. Staircase to nowhere – funding available. Refurbishment of executive suite – fundingy available. Excellent school doing an excellent job - "budget shortfall" - closure threatened. Officers produce a document which gives the allusion that "consultation" has occurred. It hasn't, but councillors pretend it has and make decisions based on the information in the documentation. Welcome to caring Wirral where nothing has changed and the abnormal is still the nomal. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 4

1:22pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

I wonder what attempts have been made to identify the owners of the mobile phones that WBC are paying for....60% of the numbers i'm lead to believe. Oh and how much was that bill for the year again....£250'000.0
0!!! I pointed this out to Ms Julia Hassall at the school meeting where it was received with a slowly nodding head and nothing more. I'm sure they could make enough cutbacks on their mobile phone bill alone to ensure the financial viability of Lyndale!!
I wonder what attempts have been made to identify the owners of the mobile phones that WBC are paying for....60% of the numbers i'm lead to believe. Oh and how much was that bill for the year again....£250'000.0 0!!! I pointed this out to Ms Julia Hassall at the school meeting where it was received with a slowly nodding head and nothing more. I'm sure they could make enough cutbacks on their mobile phone bill alone to ensure the financial viability of Lyndale!! Mojo68
  • Score: 2

5:54pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Thepleb wrote:
Joeblogg85 wrote:
Thepleb wrote:
Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?
Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.
It was a sarcastic comment, I know the councillors and senior officers don't listen to common sense after losing my job through a proposal in the Wharreallymatters ****, why wasn't the closure of Lyndale included in the savings scheme because they knew the public would vote against it.
Sorry Pleb. I understand how you must feel. Given the content of the report produced for Cabinet, this is a done deal. Ms Hassell is part of the establishment and will do their bidding come what may as that will assist her career further in Wirral. I would be interesting if the shortfall could be met each year. That would take away the reason for closure! Have you noticed that the Town Hall residents appear bombproof in any consultation cutbacks?
[quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?[/p][/quote]Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.[/p][/quote]It was a sarcastic comment, I know the councillors and senior officers don't listen to common sense after losing my job through a proposal in the Wharreallymatters ****, why wasn't the closure of Lyndale included in the savings scheme because they knew the public would vote against it.[/p][/quote]Sorry Pleb. I understand how you must feel. Given the content of the report produced for Cabinet, this is a done deal. Ms Hassell is part of the establishment and will do their bidding come what may as that will assist her career further in Wirral. I would be interesting if the shortfall could be met each year. That would take away the reason for closure! Have you noticed that the Town Hall residents appear bombproof in any consultation cutbacks? Joeblogg85
  • Score: 2

11:43pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Thepleb says...

Joeblogg85 wrote:
Thepleb wrote:
Joeblogg85 wrote:
Thepleb wrote:
Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?
Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.
It was a sarcastic comment, I know the councillors and senior officers don't listen to common sense after losing my job through a proposal in the Wharreallymatters ****, why wasn't the closure of Lyndale included in the savings scheme because they knew the public would vote against it.
Sorry Pleb. I understand how you must feel. Given the content of the report produced for Cabinet, this is a done deal. Ms Hassell is part of the establishment and will do their bidding come what may as that will assist her career further in Wirral. I would be interesting if the shortfall could be met each year. That would take away the reason for closure! Have you noticed that the Town Hall residents appear bombproof in any consultation cutbacks?
Fully agree, it shows the council's compassion that they have given the parents only five minutes of their not so valuable time will be very interesting to see if they are provided with any options or answers, in my experience they generally don't give you any answers because the senior officers lack the knowledge and expertise over the services they are cutting, anybody in the Wirral would provide care for our children over having a mayor,deputy mayor,brand new jaguar,66 councillors,New furniture,designer staircases,free mobile phones, trips abroad including presents and the 30 million loaned out to other council's which cllr Davies deemed good practice, not when you are in the s££t and your own workers and public have to suffer, how much of that 30 million is keeping children's schools open and keeping council workers in a job in other areas?..proper rant but I am sick of these lying underhand smiling assassins wiping out services and jobs including my own before Christmas absolute scumbags
[quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: Over five thousand people have signed a petition in less than four weeks , the council's Whatreallymatters only got six thousand replies in twelve weeks, will the councillors and officers listen to the views of the public?[/p][/quote]Ha ha, you will be lucky Pleb! The report from the last consultation was on the Councils website the same day it ended. How much consideration do you think it was given? If the decision is reversed it won't be because of what the parents think.[/p][/quote]It was a sarcastic comment, I know the councillors and senior officers don't listen to common sense after losing my job through a proposal in the Wharreallymatters ****, why wasn't the closure of Lyndale included in the savings scheme because they knew the public would vote against it.[/p][/quote]Sorry Pleb. I understand how you must feel. Given the content of the report produced for Cabinet, this is a done deal. Ms Hassell is part of the establishment and will do their bidding come what may as that will assist her career further in Wirral. I would be interesting if the shortfall could be met each year. That would take away the reason for closure! Have you noticed that the Town Hall residents appear bombproof in any consultation cutbacks?[/p][/quote]Fully agree, it shows the council's compassion that they have given the parents only five minutes of their not so valuable time will be very interesting to see if they are provided with any options or answers, in my experience they generally don't give you any answers because the senior officers lack the knowledge and expertise over the services they are cutting, anybody in the Wirral would provide care for our children over having a mayor,deputy mayor,brand new jaguar,66 councillors,New furniture,designer staircases,free mobile phones, trips abroad including presents and the 30 million loaned out to other council's which cllr Davies deemed good practice, not when you are in the s££t and your own workers and public have to suffer, how much of that 30 million is keeping children's schools open and keeping council workers in a job in other areas?..proper rant but I am sick of these lying underhand smiling assassins wiping out services and jobs including my own before Christmas absolute scumbags Thepleb
  • Score: 1

11:24am Wed 15 Jan 14

hobroW says...

I regret having to comment again but this case does demonstrate that my concerns over the wastage at the WBC business start-up schemes, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods, is vital to explaining how wirral has got into the situation where Lyndale school "needs" to be closed.

We know that 100% of lagre "BIG" grants were given away incorrectly for the sample of 6 cases that were investigated by Grant Thornton.No other of some 20 or more cases from the same Service Provider have been permitted to be examined. No wonder for should the systemic errors , resurface, as is likely in those other cases, we could be looking at misapplication of vital funds of over one half of a million pounds.

If one considers the start-up program through which in grants and fees something in excess of £10m passed in 5-6 years one must take on board figures of error, mayhap fraud, of some 30%. This will become apparent, and likely to be officially recognised by Department of Local Government and Communities a trifle later this year.

When the Chief Executive relied at a public meeting on 15th November, on the instance that ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods were but a small sector of WBC activity the Lyndale school closure may profitably have been adduced. After all the losses on these schem,es would have met the Lyndale shortfall for a generation!
I regret having to comment again but this case does demonstrate that my concerns over the wastage at the WBC business start-up schemes, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods, is vital to explaining how wirral has got into the situation where Lyndale school "needs" to be closed. We know that 100% of lagre "BIG" grants were given away incorrectly for the sample of 6 cases that were investigated by Grant Thornton.No other of some 20 or more cases from the same Service Provider have been permitted to be examined. No wonder for should the systemic errors , resurface, as is likely in those other cases, we could be looking at misapplication of vital funds of over one half of a million pounds. If one considers the start-up program through which in grants and fees something in excess of £10m passed in 5-6 years one must take on board figures of error, mayhap fraud, of some 30%. This will become apparent, and likely to be officially recognised by Department of Local Government and Communities a trifle later this year. When the Chief Executive relied at a public meeting on 15th November, on the instance that ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods were but a small sector of WBC activity the Lyndale school closure may profitably have been adduced. After all the losses on these schem,es would have met the Lyndale shortfall for a generation! hobroW
  • Score: 4

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