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Call to halt school closure after council officer's error

By Jonny Drury | Chirk | Education | Published:

A group fighting to save a rural school has called for a closure notice to be rescinded after a row erupted over a council's reply to the consultation.

Ysgol Pontfadog. Photo: Google StreetView.

The Ceiriog Valley Federation of Schools consultation has been looking at the future of Ysgol Pontfadog near Chirk, Llanarmon Primary School and Cynnddelw at Glyn Ceriog.

A Wrexham CBC Executive board meeting last week proposed to issue a statutory notice of closure to Ysgol Pontfadog following a recommendation in the consultation.

The decision was met with anger by parents, who insisted they would fight the closure of the school, which currently has 18 pupils.

Now Glyntraian Community Council is calling for the closure notice to be rescinded, after an officer admitted making a mistake over the council's consultation document.

In the board meeting, the officer in question said the community council's submission for the consultation came after the deadline.

However the community council argued its submission, which rejected the consultation document and did not wish to endorse any of the three options, was within the deadline.

Wrexham Council has admitted the officer made a mistake, and has apologised unreservedly for the error.

A spokesman said: "Unfortunately it was mistakenly stated at the executive board meeting that the response was late.

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"This was an error on the part of the officer in the meeting for which the council apologises unreservedly."

The council said that in accordance with the decision there is a 28 day period to lodge an appeal.

However the community council has now called for the closure notice to be rescinded and the decision be revisited.

A statement said it was lodging a complaint with the Public Ombudsman for Wales.

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A statement from the community council says: "We look to Wrexham Council to rescind the executive board’s decision to publish the statutory notice for closure with immediate effect.

"We seek a written commitment from the council’s leadership to revisit all the points raised by the elected member for the Ceiriog Valley, councillor Trevor Bates, to the executive board regarding procedural inpropriety, with the requisite rigour that was so patently lacking throughout this process and as evidenced by this admission.

"Glyntraian Community Council will be issuing a formal complaint to the Wrexham CBC Corporate Complaints Department in due course and will be instructing our clerk to bring this matter to the urgent attention of Nick Bennett, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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