CAMPAIGNERS fighting the expected closure of Handley Hill Primary School in Winsford have played their final card.
An official complaint has been made to the Local Government Ombudsman, and if it is upheld then the school could be given a reprieve, after being earmarked for closure because of “surplus places and under-performance”.
On December 6 Cheshire County Council voted 25-22 in favour of keeping the school open, but on December 18 the council’s executive group, led by Conservative councillor David Rowlands, ignored the advice of the full council and said the school should be shut down.
Campaigners said the county “acted like a third world banana republic dictatorship” and slammed the system which allows “one man to overrule the majority of the full council”.
A “final” decision to close Handley Hill next summer was made on July 8, but the school is still accepting children for next academic year.
“After consulting the parents we have made an official complaint and we’re asking the Ombudsman to investigate the decision,” said Cllr Charlie Parkinson, a staunch supporter of the school.
“If he decides we have suffered ‘maladministration leading to injustice’ we win the case and Handley Hill stays open.
“But he also has the power to agree with it, in which case the school will close.”
Handley Hill’s chairman of governors, Betty Cleary, said: “This is as far as we can go – whatever the Ombudsman decides should happen will happen. But nobody can say we haven’t done all we can.”