QUESTIONS have been asked  over the valuation of a special needs school currently earmarked for closure.

Figures contained in the authority’s asset register show the value of land and buildings at the Lyndale School , carried out in February of 2013, is £2.7m.

The asset register – obtained through a Freedom of Information request submitted by former councillor Ian Lewis -  values Lyndale’s buildings at £1.78m, while the land is valued at £908,000.

Earlier this month, Wirral’s ruling cabinet unanimously voted to close the Eastham school, sparking outrage from both parents and opposition councillors.

Council leader Phil Davies told parents cabinet had entered the meeting with “open minds”, before handing out a pre-printed recommendation for Lyndale’s closure.

Mr Lewis said: "Obtaining the council's list of assets has been like pulling teeth.  Once again, we had to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Asset Register.  In a truly open and transparent organisation, this would not have been necessary.

"However, among all the assets listed, we find that a valuation of the buildings and land at Lyndale School was carried out in February 2013 and judged the value to be £2.7m. 

"Nine months later, the town hall comes up with a spurious argument as to why the school should close. 

"No doubt we will be told this is a 'coincidence' but it does make me wonder why the town hall did their best not to release the asset register to me in the first place."

But a spokesman for the council told the Globe Lyndale is automatically included in the authority’s asset register each year

The spokesman said: “Every year, as part of its financial statement, Wirral Council is required to produce an asset register.

“This is routine requirement for all local authorities. The Lyndale School is listed each year under ‘plant, property and equipment’ because it is not an investment site.”

Should Lyndale close, the council would need the Secretary of State’s authorisation before it was able to sell it.

The decision to close Lyndale has been “called-in” by opposition councillors and will go before a scrutiny committee for further debate.

Lyndale parents say they will continue to fight the closure no matter what.

Parent Chrissie Woodland, whose son Alex has a rare undiagnosed condition, said: “It is all I can do to keep fighting for him.

"We are not losing but we are not winning either and it’s really disheartening. This is all I can do for Alex and I feel like I’m failing him.”


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.
August 6: Lyndale consultation a 'complete farce' say Tory councillors.
August 26: Parents beg council not to break their Lyndale family.
September 4: Heartbreak as cabient votes unanimously to close Lyndale.
September 5: Voice of the Globe: Lyndale families sold down the river.
September 11: Fight to save Lyndale continues as opposition councillors call on cabinet to think again.