Wirral Conservative group leader Ian Lewis tells the Globe why he is disgusted that Lyndale - the once-renowned special school in Eastham - has been closed down and is set to be demolished.

"ONE of the most controversial, and shameful, decisions by the Labour cabinet is the closure of our Lyndale School in Eastham.

As the leader of this borough’s Conservative Opposition, you’d probably expect me to say that but these weren’t my words, these are the words of a parent.

Wirral Globe: Leader of Wirral Conservative Group Ian Lewis

Lyndale, a small school tucked away at the far end of the borough, was a beacon of how the most profoundly disabled youngest children could be taught, loved and supported in their often too-short lives.

Council agrees to send in the bulldozers

This included children who needed round-the-clock help with day-to-day tasks such as feeding, toileting and mobility.

Most schools in Wirral receive support from the wider community.

But because of the exceptional work it was doing, the support given to Lyndale was equally exceptional.

Readers of this paper, the Globe, alone raised £80,000 for its sensory garden.

Those ‘in power’ chose not to listen to the parents, carers, staff or children.

They chose to ignore the three respected, and hard working, Liberal Democrat councillors in Eastham and dismissed the concerns of pretty much everybody else.

Those of us who attended meeting after meeting, were patronised by highly paid ‘experts’ and consultants.

They told parents that closing Lyndale would (somehow) extend choice.

What rubbish.

They told opposition councillors how the money spent on Lyndale would get better results if used in other schools.

Again, rubbish.

It would be easy to talk about this school in the past tense – yes, it has closed and, yes, the children, teachers and staff have all had to find alternatives.

But the impact of its closure is still being felt.

The consequences are affecting not only the children who attended Lyndale but also families who never had any contact with the school: children who would have gone to Lyndale have been denied that opportunity.

As Chrissie Brie, one of the parents has revealed this week, the additional pressures on our remaining special schools have increased as a direct consequence of closing Lyndale.

The independent Wirral Schools Forum received a report that stated: “Special schools in Wirral cannot collectively meet the needs or the demands of all Wirral children with SEND at the current time.”

If the Labour councillors could not see the need to keep Lyndale open then it really has lost touch with reality.

It’s no use coming up with yet another ‘pledge’ to support vulnerable children if, at the same time, you are taking away the support they previously relied upon.

The ‘silver lining’ for those councillors among all this mess seems to be the extra council tax the town hall will receive from any houses that are built on the site.

Presumably, the going rate is 40 pieces of silver."