CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to shut down a Winsford school are celebrating after Cheshire County Council voted to keep it open.
A meeting of the full council at City Hall on Thursday gave those battling to save Handley Hill Primary School a boost when councillors voted 25 to 22 in their favour.
The news could mark an astonishing U-turn after the school was one of those proposed for closure as part of the radical Transforming Learning Communities review.
The fate of the school will finally be decided when the county council’s executive group meet on December 18, but supporters of the school are in buoyant mood.
Betty Cleary, chair of the school’s board of governors, said: “They’re just pulling me off the ceiling now. We’re more hopeful and more confident than ever. I can’t see the executive going against the full council’s recommendation.”
Cllr Charlie Parkinson, a staunch supporter of the school’s cause, said “I’d like to thank every member who voted to save Handley Hill. We’ve always had a very strong case and we’re 90 per cent there now. I’ve every confidence the executive will uphold the recommendation of the full council.”
But Cty Cllr Tony Hooton, chairman of the Winsford Education Partnership, warned campaigners the battle is far from won.
He said: “The decision was we don’t close the school at the moment, but that is only advice to the executive. I don’t know what they will say – I think it’s 50-50.”