BUREAUCRATIC bungling has dashed the hopes of parents hoping to save a Wirral special needs school from a closure threat.
The ruling cabinet had voted to consult on the closure of the Lyndale School - but opposition councillors who strongly believe it should be saved used a “call-in” procedure to delay the cabinet’s decision.
The meeting was scheduled to take place tomorrow, Wednesday, but has had to be postponed until February 27 after the Town Hall’s response to the “call-in” was in breach of their own constitution.
Parents and church representatives had not been included on the committee to consider the controversial decision.
Councillor Leah Fraser, who is a member of the committee that will eventually examine the call-in, has described the response as “chaotic.”
She said: “The six councillors who called-in this decision have followed the Council’s Constitution and asked for the closure to be considered in more detail.
“For the town hall to bungle their own published constitution and exclude parents and church representatives from the matter is, frankly unacceptable.
“The parents and staff of Lyndale School deserve better than this chaos.”
Parent governor Zoe Anderson, whose daughter Lilly attends Lyndale, said she found the situation “remarkable”.
“I am just amazed that they can’t even get the basics of it right and I think everyone is of the same view.
“To be honest, it’s quite scary that they are deciding the future of my child and they can’t even get their house in order in terms of basic procedure. It doesn’t’ fill me with great confidence.
“Most of the parents will still be able to attend on February 27 but a lot are upset because they had all geared themselves up to go on Wednesday.
“It is remarkable that they cannot get the basics right.
“The council is on a tight time scale and I would hope that the local authority takes into account that there is going to be a delay – it has already been delayed a month by the call in and it hasn’t even happened yet.”
Council leader Phil Davies told the Globe: “The reason we can’t go along with the call in tomorrow is because we need to appoint two representatives of the parent governors and two representatives of the Catholic and Church of England Diocese for the committee and if we don’t the danger is that it’s unconstitutional.
“We legally need to have those additional representatives on the committee.”
When asked by the Globe why such representatives were not appointed before the scheduled call-in meeting on February 5, Councillor Davies said: “We need to appoint those four people and have them ratified by the council. The council does not meet until February 25.”
Joe Blott, strategic director for transformation and resources, said: “In order to ensure a robust process when considering this important matter the committee will invite representatives of the education community to join for consideration of this item.
“They will represent the Diocesan Council and other interested parties, including parent governor representatives from the wider school community.
“The meeting this week will therefore invite them to a future meeting where the matter will be considered fully.”
The 12-week consultation had been expected to start this month.