VILLAGE primary schools earmarked for closure and amalgamation are to fight their corner.
Five rural primaries are threatened under proposals which could also see the closure of Frodsham High School.
Dunham Hill Primary could close while there would be mergers uniting Alvanley with Manley and Kingsley St John's with Norley CoE.
Education chiefs say the Transforming Learning Communities (TLC) programme is necessary to tackle surplus places caused by a falling birthrate.
The plans stunned primary school headteachers and governors who say amalgamation was not discussed at summer consultation meetings.
Kingsley parents have formed a 20-strong committee to fight against amalgamation of the village's 72-pupil school. Committee member Lynn Waring, of Mansfield Road, said: 'We are 100% opposed - the school is at the heart of our community and the standard of education is excellent.
'We want to know why we have been picked because pupil numbers are not falling. We have petitions and posters around the village and are encour-aging all parents to contact the LEA.'
Parent governor Paul Atkinson added that the school had doubled in size since fending off closure proposals about 10 years ago.
Norley parent governor Kira Fayle said governors and parents would work together in fighting a merger. She said:
'We all think this would be criminal.'
Dunham Hill chairman of governors Andrew Holloway said: 'Our record will stand up to examination.
'As a small rural school we offer unique advantages enabling us to educate children of all backgrounds in a friendly and integrated environment.'
Isobel Jones, chairman of governors at Manley Village School, said the school was not told of the merger plan until September 15, and is demanding more time to examine alternatives.
She said: 'Closures and mergers of primary schools were not mentioned at meetings of the TLC working group I attended so this was a tremendous shock.
'I'm disappointed the council did not recognise us as sensible people who could be consulted fully because it means we've not much time to explore other options.
'There are no spare places at Manley and Alvanley, in fact they are over-subscribed.'
County councillor Gretta Cousins, chairman of governors at Alvanley, wants a feasibility study into the proposals.
She said: 'There should have been more co-operation and talking between council officers and primary schools.'
Cllr Rowlands added: 'Clearly we have not got everything right and must learn from that; consultation could have been more effective.'