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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 March, 2005, 17:42 GMT
Parents warned on schools debate
Protesters outside last month's council meeting
Campaigners are still concerned about their schools
The chief executive of Denbighshire council has warned parents they may not like the outcome of consultations over the future of its primary schools.

Chief executive Ian Miller told BBC Radio Cymru discussions over previous plans to close 14 schools were ongoing.

In February, Denbighshire withdrew the controversial decision following protests from parents.

Mr Miller said the authority sometimes had to make choices "against the wishes of local people".

He was responding to a decision by some parents not to take part in a council assessment of schools.

The council has set up a meetings with teachers, parents and governors over the issue after plans to close or merge 14 primary schools were withdrawn by the council in February.

I can't promise that everything that comes out of the process will be acceptable for the local people
Ian Miller

But some parents have decided to boycott the meetings.

Mr Miller told the BBC some people may not be happy with the outcome of any future consultation.

"The problem hasn't disappeared. We have many schools that are full and many where the buildings aren't suitable for the 21st century and we must deal with that problem.

"Also we know that there are schools where there aren't enough children," he said.

"Therefore there are many problems and we must look at how we can solve them because I think that everyone agrees that it's not possible to leave things as they are.

"Many people disagreed with the proposals that came out and councillors have listened to that and have agreed that there's a need to look at it closer, and that's why there are proposals for more meetings to create a way ahead."

I feel that the only plan the council has is to close schools
Elfed Lloyd

Mr Miller stressed the council had to think about the needs of the county as a whole, and not each community individually.

"Of course that means, for instance, in planning matters that the council must make decisions that are perhaps sometimes against the wishes of the local people.

"I truly hope that will not happen in this case but, as you might expect, the parents and staff have strong feelings about schools and, therefore, I can't promise that everything that comes out of the process will be acceptable for the local people."

Elfed Lloyd, whose children go to Ysgol Rhewl in Ruthin, said: "We feel that nothing has changed since the first plan.

"The council still comes out to the same schools.

"Rhewl is on the list of schools to close and the council comes back to us to see once again.

"We feel if the council is serious about looking at education in Denbighshire then why don't they come out to every school?

"I feel that the only plan the council has is to close schools. They don't look to make sure that the children receive good education.

"We feel that the parents and the teachers have lost faith in the council. This has been a mess from the start."




SEE ALSO:
School closure plan takes to road
15 Mar 05 |  North East Wales
Council halts school closure plan
22 Feb 05 |  North East Wales
School closure fears expressed
21 Feb 05 |  North East Wales
Parents pledge to fight closures
18 Feb 05 |  North East Wales


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