Lyndale consultation a 'complete farce' say Tory councillors

Lyndale parents do not want the school to close

Lyndale parents do not want the school to close

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

A CONSULTATION into the future of a Wirral special needs school has been described as a “complete farce” by opposition councillors.

Public consultation on the Eastham-based Lyndale school closed at the end of June after Wirral Council announced it was “minded” to close it, citing a drop in pupil numbers and a change in Government funding.

Its findings will be discussed by cabinet during a special meeting on September 4, with consultation responses now available for viewing by councillors.

But Wallasey Conservative Councillor Paul Hayes said the documents published do not reflect the huge opposition to the plans.

More than 10,590 people signed a petition to keep Lyndale open, with 89% of Globe readers also believing it should be saved.

During the six consultation meetings, parents and members of the public continuously asked if minutes were being taken and were told that “high level notes” would be published.

Those notes have now been made public following a Freedom of Information request by Wallasey’s Conservative councillors – documents they are not at all happy with.

“What has been published, running to just a few pages for each meeting, is not reflective of the huge opposition to the plans for closure of the school,” said Cllr Hayes.

“The consultation process has been a complete farce. Concerned parents didn’t even get answers to questions they put to the council until the consultation was about to close.

Julia Hassall, Wirral’s director of children’s services, said the meeting on September 4 is being held specifically to consider the consultation responses.

She said: “We have received approximately 90 responses to the consultation, and a petition has also been submitted to the chief executive.

“The important aspect is that all people affected, or potentially affected, by any decision have had the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

“The consultation meetings have been vitally important to us in receiving the views of parents, staff and other interested people.”

Ms Hassall added that where possible, the council has tried to provide answers to questions but, as with any consultation, the focus is “to receive views and enable people to tell us how they feel”.

She concluded: “Where we have been able to answer parents’ questions, we have endeavoured to do so with as much information as possible.”

Councillor Paul Hayes has also called on Wirral’s ruling cabinet to bring a halt to what he describes as the “uncertainty being suffered by parents and pupils of Lyndale School this summer holiday” and confirm that the school will stay open.

Speaking at full council on July 14, council leader Cllr Phil Davies said it would be “premature” to make a decision in advance of the September 4 meeting.

He added: “It’s absolutely essential that we keep an open mind.”

--------------------------------------------------------------

What has happened since the closure threat was first announced in December?

December 12: Wirral Council announced it was “minded” to close the school.
December 16: A petition to save the school reaches 3,000 signatures (it now has 6,443).
December 20: Parents ask the council for more time before a report is submitted to cabinet.
January 16: Wirral’s ruling cabinet agrees to consult on the closure of Lyndale.
January 21: Tory lead describes closing Lyndale as an "act of educational vandalism".
January 29: Opposition councillors “call-in” the decision and ask for it to be reviewed.
February 4:  Call-in meeting cancelled after bureaucratic bungling means council is in breach of its own constitution.
February 11: Education Secretary Michael Gove pledges his support for the school.
February 14: Wirral South MP Alison McGovern chairs a public meeting over Lyndale’s future.
February 27: Co-ordinating committee uphold cabinet’s decision in rearranged call-in meeting.
April 2: Wirral Council launches 12-week consultation.
April 4: Lyndale parents brand closure consultation 'misleading'.
May 16: Lyndale parents' dismay at Wirral's stay-away councillors.
June 17: Parents beg Wirral Council to keep Lyndale open.
June 20: Petition signed by 10,598 people presented to Graham Burgess.

Comments (18)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:49pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Cheesy Peas says...

Yet another Wirral Council "we'll do whatever we want" moment.

When WILL people realise WE pay their wages?
Yet another Wirral Council "we'll do whatever we want" moment. When WILL people realise WE pay their wages? Cheesy Peas
  • Score: 10

4:56pm Wed 6 Aug 14

WirralAl says...

So what are these poor people going to do until 4th September? Just about the beginning of the term.

The council of arrogance have so much to learn in being sympathetic and understanding.

They have already made their minds up but hide behind a consultation or conspiracy of secrets.
So what are these poor people going to do until 4th September? Just about the beginning of the term. The council of arrogance have so much to learn in being sympathetic and understanding. They have already made their minds up but hide behind a consultation or conspiracy of secrets. WirralAl
  • Score: 8

6:02pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Thepleb says...

The consultation was unanimous on the public's behalf that Glendale should remain open.
Maybe cutting back on decorative vanity projects at Wallasey Town hall and splashing out £17,000 on golf tickets for councillors( would like to know what fund that sum was sourced from) the money could be better spent on vastly more important public services which I thought my annual council tax was meant to be spent on.
The consultation was unanimous on the public's behalf that Glendale should remain open. Maybe cutting back on decorative vanity projects at Wallasey Town hall and splashing out £17,000 on golf tickets for councillors( would like to know what fund that sum was sourced from) the money could be better spent on vastly more important public services which I thought my annual council tax was meant to be spent on. Thepleb
  • Score: 10

6:03pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Thepleb says...

That would be Lyndale
That would be Lyndale Thepleb
  • Score: 6

6:03pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Thepleb says...

That would be Lyndale
That would be Lyndale Thepleb
  • Score: 2

6:03pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Thepleb says...

That would be Lyndale
That would be Lyndale Thepleb
  • Score: 1

6:03pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Thepleb says...

That would be Lyndale
That would be Lyndale Thepleb
  • Score: 2

6:44pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Sheland says...

My daughter attends The Lyndale school and i totally agree, the consultation meetings were a joke, no structure to them at all! The council know what they want and the want Lyndale closed :( Labour Councillors are an absolute disgrace! I also sent an email to Julia Hassall on 10 July regarding funding for my daughter, to date I am still waiting for a responses! Absolutely shocking!!!!
My daughter attends The Lyndale school and i totally agree, the consultation meetings were a joke, no structure to them at all! The council know what they want and the want Lyndale closed :( Labour Councillors are an absolute disgrace! I also sent an email to Julia Hassall on 10 July regarding funding for my daughter, to date I am still waiting for a responses! Absolutely shocking!!!! Sheland
  • Score: 14

8:35pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Everything Wirral Council has done regarding this so called consultation has reeked of slight of hand. What's the point of having a consultation if you do you best to ignore the findings? Even by Wirral Councils standards this has been a proper dogs dinner. How much does the Head of Engagement get to produce this rubbish?
Everything Wirral Council has done regarding this so called consultation has reeked of slight of hand. What's the point of having a consultation if you do you best to ignore the findings? Even by Wirral Councils standards this has been a proper dogs dinner. How much does the Head of Engagement get to produce this rubbish? Joeblogg85
  • Score: 3

8:41pm Wed 6 Aug 14

PaulCa says...

That's a new one on me... "High level notes".

I've come across "Verbatim notes", and "Non-verbatim notes". But it's safe to say that anything that's not described as "Minutes" will be a deliberation dilution of the consultation process and open to interference, meddling and calculated abuse.

This is after all an abusive council. They had to admit to abuse of learning disabled people here (Social Services portfolio holder, Steve Foulkes (strangely now Mayor, having dodged all accountability). See 7.1):

http://goo.gl/sIzLFJ


So expect the worst. #QuackCWaC council, a neighbouring local authority proudly told me that the meeting notes taken for my final disciplinary hearing would be destroyed immediately upon completion of the hearing (to prevent me from lodging a Data Protection Act request for a copy.) That's how damned hard-faced they are in this day and age.

These people are inhuman, corrupted, money-driven, dangerous, will smilingly cover each other's tracks and are out to destroy and dismantle your lives as comprehensively as possible. All in return for six figure salaries. And plaudits if they make a good job of it

The wellbeing of these vulnerable children does NOT come into the equation. Any assurances that they chuck out are bogus. The sooner the penny drops on that one, the better off and more prepared to take them on and remove them we will all be.
That's a new one on me... "High level notes". I've come across "Verbatim notes", and "Non-verbatim notes". But it's safe to say that anything that's not described as "Minutes" will be a deliberation dilution of the consultation process and open to interference, meddling and calculated abuse. This is after all an abusive council. They had to admit to abuse of learning disabled people here (Social Services portfolio holder, Steve Foulkes (strangely now Mayor, having dodged all accountability). See 7.1): http://goo.gl/sIzLFJ So expect the worst. #QuackCWaC council, a neighbouring local authority proudly told me that the meeting notes taken for my final disciplinary hearing would be destroyed immediately upon completion of the hearing (to prevent me from lodging a Data Protection Act request for a copy.) That's how damned hard-faced they are in this day and age. These people are inhuman, corrupted, money-driven, dangerous, will smilingly cover each other's tracks and are out to destroy and dismantle your lives as comprehensively as possible. All in return for six figure salaries. And plaudits if they make a good job of it The wellbeing of these vulnerable children does NOT come into the equation. Any assurances that they chuck out are bogus. The sooner the penny drops on that one, the better off and more prepared to take them on and remove them we will all be. PaulCa
  • Score: 4

10:34pm Wed 6 Aug 14

hobroW says...

PaulCa you are so right "the sooner the penny drops on that one, the better off and more prepared to take them on and remove them we will all be"

Today a moment like Paul , Jesus's disciple,on the road to Tarsus did happen to me

and the cloak was rent apart and all was revealed unto me
PaulCa you are so right "the sooner the penny drops on that one, the better off and more prepared to take them on and remove them we will all be" Today a moment like Paul , Jesus's disciple,on the road to Tarsus did happen to me and the cloak was rent apart and all was revealed unto me hobroW
  • Score: -1

10:46pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Jamie79 says...

I was at the full council meeting when this was debated. It was plain as day that this school was caught in the middle of a ploy by Labour councillors to make it seem they were being forced to close the school by Tory cuts. The Labour Party on the Wirral appear to be on a mission to make everyone's life as hard as possible so that they can blame the current government. They hide behind process, use smoke and mirrors, conduct meaningless reviews, then retire to their mansions to revel in their champagne socialism.

The problem is that the fine folk of the Wirral can see straight through their pathetic game playing. We're not the fools they take us for. The use of this wonderful school as a political pawn is despicable and every single councillor should hang their heads in deepest shame.
I was at the full council meeting when this was debated. It was plain as day that this school was caught in the middle of a ploy by Labour councillors to make it seem they were being forced to close the school by Tory cuts. The Labour Party on the Wirral appear to be on a mission to make everyone's life as hard as possible so that they can blame the current government. They hide behind process, use smoke and mirrors, conduct meaningless reviews, then retire to their mansions to revel in their champagne socialism. The problem is that the fine folk of the Wirral can see straight through their pathetic game playing. We're not the fools they take us for. The use of this wonderful school as a political pawn is despicable and every single councillor should hang their heads in deepest shame. Jamie79
  • Score: 6

1:27am Thu 7 Aug 14

Thepleb says...

I have been a victim at the end of these one sided consultations namely the what really matters debacle, job gone decided long before the consultation had started just a paper filling legal sideshow, just wait and see how long it takes for the cabinet members to vote this through less than ten seconds probably, they will listen to all who talk but believe me plans will be in place already if the inevitable happens the councillors know there will be a bit of fuss for a few weeks but they also know life goes on and this will be just another train wreck they have presided over and they will dust themselves down and get ready for the new round of job cuts on the way which inevitably never happen to be among their ranks.
What matters is the children that are going to be moved all around the Wirral and the stress and upset it will cause them and their parents.
Another shameful chapter for this Labour council and where are our local Mps on this matter especially Mcvey who in her own words says Wirral now has a voice in no.10, well let's hear you then...
I have been a victim at the end of these one sided consultations namely the what really matters debacle, job gone decided long before the consultation had started just a paper filling legal sideshow, just wait and see how long it takes for the cabinet members to vote this through less than ten seconds probably, they will listen to all who talk but believe me plans will be in place already if the inevitable happens the councillors know there will be a bit of fuss for a few weeks but they also know life goes on and this will be just another train wreck they have presided over and they will dust themselves down and get ready for the new round of job cuts on the way which inevitably never happen to be among their ranks. What matters is the children that are going to be moved all around the Wirral and the stress and upset it will cause them and their parents. Another shameful chapter for this Labour council and where are our local Mps on this matter especially Mcvey who in her own words says Wirral now has a voice in no.10, well let's hear you then... Thepleb
  • Score: 8

9:45am Thu 7 Aug 14

bigfoot says...

'Consultation' is Wirral's way of spelling 'con trick', over recent years they have conducted consultations with the public and it has always come out in favour of the Councils performers. The 'What Really Matters' consultation had the summary report released so rapidly which leads one to believe that it was already written
'Consultation' is Wirral's way of spelling 'con trick', over recent years they have conducted consultations with the public and it has always come out in favour of the Councils performers. The 'What Really Matters' consultation had the summary report released so rapidly which leads one to believe that it was already written bigfoot
  • Score: 2

10:52am Thu 7 Aug 14

hobroW says...

Mr Hayes writes that records from WBC do not reflect the scale of opposition from the public to the closure of this school. Well this has been going on for some time. Read the minutes of the public meeting at Town Hall November 2013 and you would not credit that the public voice was loud indeed in its disapprobation of the manoeuvres of the Peer Improvement Grant.

The dictionary and lexicon of WBC is akin to the Party's "Newspeak" dictionary and is shrinking daily so that dissent and truth may no longer be spoken.

Hugo is right party groupings more particularly Labour need to be broken up before we can return to any mode of candour
Mr Hayes writes that records from WBC do not reflect the scale of opposition from the public to the closure of this school. Well this has been going on for some time. Read the minutes of the public meeting at Town Hall November 2013 and you would not credit that the public voice was loud indeed in its disapprobation of the manoeuvres of the Peer Improvement Grant. The dictionary and lexicon of WBC is akin to the Party's "Newspeak" dictionary and is shrinking daily so that dissent and truth may no longer be spoken. Hugo is right party groupings more particularly Labour need to be broken up before we can return to any mode of candour hobroW
  • Score: 2

11:00am Thu 7 Aug 14

Growl Tiger says...

I’ve been on the end of Wirral’s “consultation” process. A letter telling you they are going to do one thing, but what they actually do is something completely different. You complain and they say “but you were consulted and had your chance to comment. Sorry, job done go away now or you will be put on our vexatious list”.

And being vexatious, I know it’s not strictly related to this article, but it seems the Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Floral Pavilion cost £5,308.76. Add that to the £17,000+ for the golf tickets and that’s an awful lot of funding that could have gone towards keeping the school open.
I’ve been on the end of Wirral’s “consultation” process. A letter telling you they are going to do one thing, but what they actually do is something completely different. You complain and they say “but you were consulted and had your chance to comment. Sorry, job done go away now or you will be put on our vexatious list”. And being vexatious, I know it’s not strictly related to this article, but it seems the Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Floral Pavilion cost £5,308.76. Add that to the £17,000+ for the golf tickets and that’s an awful lot of funding that could have gone towards keeping the school open. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 5

6:19pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Heycock says...

Some writers keep saying that the people of Wirral can see through the corruption and cynicism of the controlling group. But they still vote for them. People vote tribally for the most part. Even if it was proven that their particular party, regardless of persuasion left right or whore, was a party of child molesting, racist, bribe taking, expense fiddling mass killers ...they'd still vote for them.
Sad truth is most voters on the Wirral don't give a toss about lyndale because it doesn't affect them personally. And what's the betting most who ARE affected will STILL vote for the controlling group. Because that's what they've always done.
Some writers keep saying that the people of Wirral can see through the corruption and cynicism of the controlling group. But they still vote for them. People vote tribally for the most part. Even if it was proven that their particular party, regardless of persuasion left right or whore, was a party of child molesting, racist, bribe taking, expense fiddling mass killers ...they'd still vote for them. Sad truth is most voters on the Wirral don't give a toss about lyndale because it doesn't affect them personally. And what's the betting most who ARE affected will STILL vote for the controlling group. Because that's what they've always done. Heycock
  • Score: 2

10:39pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Mojo68 says...

Well i am affected as i have a child at Lyndale and i can assure you that i never voted for this bunch of self-serving, back stabbing bunch of morons in the local elections!!
Well i am affected as i have a child at Lyndale and i can assure you that i never voted for this bunch of self-serving, back stabbing bunch of morons in the local elections!! Mojo68
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree