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Closure of 18-pupil school confirmed as decision branded 'undemocratic'

By Jonny Drury | Llangollen | News | Published:

A decision to close a rural primary school has been labelled a whitewash and undemocratic by disgruntled campaigners.

Ysgol Pontfadog

Wrexham Council's Executive Board voted unanimously today to close Pontfadog Primary School as part of a re-structuring of schools in the area.

A vote was made in April to close the school, which has just 18 pupils, and move them to Cynnddelw School in September 2019.

However the vote was put on hold for the authority to fully look at the replies to the consultation.

The proposal, which will save the council almost £100,000, was met with a fierce backlash and around 1,300 people wrote to the authority in objection.

The process of how the decision was made has previously been called into question, and it was again on Tuesday in front of a packed out council chamber as a final decision was made.

A fiery meeting began with lead member for education, councillor Phil Wynn being accused of trying to drive young families out of the Ceiriog Valley and children into Shropshire schools.

County councillor for the Ceiriog Valley, Trevor Bates, addressed the meeting and said some objections had been presented negatively.

He also said the whole consultation process had been deceitful and 'social engineering', and if the school was to close it would disrespect democracy.

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Previously the authority had admitted that it did not take into account all the responses when making a decision on the closure.

Cllr Graham Rogers also addressed the meeting as a fiery debate drew to a close in the Guildhall, and said decision being taken does not represent democracy as it ignores the views of more than 1,300 people.

After the executive board unanimously voted to close the school, a large crowd in the public gallery let out shouts of 'whitewash' and 'shame on you'.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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