Chief Executive, Karen Jones, provided information with regards to the delay of
the issuing of the consultation report, subsequent to the tape recording which
appeared on social media. The decision to delay the consultation report was
taken to ensure some additional due diligence on the processes that the Council
has undertaken in bringing forward the advice. The decision-making processes
concerning the school reorganisation programme were considered as part of this
additional work. Following this work a report was produced. The conclusion from
the report indicates that the Council can take all assurances regarding its
systems and processes. Some recommendations have been made within the report
and this includes that meetings are accurately recorded so that openness and
transparency are maintained.
report has been shared with the Auditor General who has concluded that he does
not wish to undertake specific audit work at this present time. He has
acknowledged that there are some procedural items which need to be addressed
and he has asked for sight of the action plan in response to the
recommendations. He has also advised that when the Public Services Ombudsman
work is complete he will look at the findings at that time.
Public Services Ombudsman has advised that he is not aware of any issue that
will stop the report on the agenda being discussed at the meeting. He has also
advised that the focus of the remainder of his investigations will focus on the
member directly and not on the systemic or broader issues.
Director of Education, Andrew Thomas, was invited to provide an overview on the
item for discussion. Mr Thomas provided a brief update with regards to two
recent correspondence received, asking for reconsideration of the recommendation
within the report. Mr Thomas advised that the letters did not ask to be
circulated to Members. However Members will be provided with a copy of the
response to be sent to both organisations, irrespective of the outcome from the
were advised that the report indicates the decision is subject to a three day
call in, however it is intended for immediate implementation. The Statutory
Notice reflects the date. The reason for this is that if Members were in
agreement to progress the item, then the full statutory 28 days’ notice is all
within term time.
Thomas categorically stated that there was no intention to close any other
schools, other than the three mentioned and attached to the report to be
Thomas went through some of the issues identified in the consultation. Members
were provided with a rationale for the chosen site of the proposed school. Mr
Thomas went through the size requirements of the new school with the pupil size
indicated and highlighted that the proposed area already had outdoor playing
fields etc. so these would not need to be sourced. Further, there are no other
sites within the area required to accommodate a school of the proposed size.
are health and well-being benefits identified ... view the full minutes text for item 3.