AN ASSEMBLY Member has described Wrexham Council as “shambolic” and has urged the authority to put plans to close a village school on hold.

Council leaders voted to shut Ysgol Pontfadog last week and issued a statutory notice of closure, but have since admitted not looking at all the responses to a public consultation programme which local campaigners had described as a ‘whitewash’.

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates had previously urged parents to make their voices heard during the consultation period. He said the whole process must now be questioned.

“If Wrexham Council is admitting it didn’t take into account all the views put forward then the whole exercise and the subsequent decision is flawed. It’s shambolic,” said Mr Skates.

“People need to have faith in the democratic process, not more reason to think the whole process was a charade and the decision to close Ysgol Pontfadog had already been made. Let’s not forget that only six per cent of people who responded said they wanted the school to shut.”

Mr Skates said he backed Glyntraian Community Council’s (GCC) demand to rescind the decision.

Residents in the Ceiriog Valley had previously raised concerns with the AM about Wrexham Council’s plans to cater for what it says is ‘a growing Welsh-medium demand’.

Mr Skates added: “A number of people contacted me about this issue and there’s understandable anxiety within the community. When you close schools you change communities, and the council had a very tough decision on its hands. But, above all, the process has to be fair and transparent.”

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones added: “As I made very clear in my submission to the Wrexham Council consultation, Ysgol Pontfadog should stay open. It is not acceptable that the council has not even taken its own consultation seriously.

“I totally support Glyntraian Community Council’s call to rescind the decision. Wrexham Council needs to listen to families across the Ceiriog Valley and re-think their damaging decision.”

Last week a Wrexham Council spokesman confirmed that an error had been made in not including the community council’s response at the executive board meeting.

The spokesman said: “The council confirms that the response referred to was addressed and submitted to the dedicated email address for this purpose, in accordance with the consultation document and it was in fact received prior to the deadline for submission of responses.

“Unfortunately it was mistakenly stated at the executive board meeting that the response was late - this was an error on the part of the officer at the meeting for which the council unreservedly apologises.

“The response from the GCC comprised one of 12 which took issue with the consultation, and which were referred to in the summary of responses, stating they did not agree with the consultation and it was therefore noted as such.

“In accordance with the decision of the executive board on April 10 Wrexham Council will now be publishing a statutory notice in respect of the proposals providing a 28 day period for lodging an objection.

“A final decision will only be made by the executive board following consideration of the objections raised during that period.”