THE scrapping of a series of planned school closures should see “heads roll” an opposition councillor has claimed.

This follows Friday’s shock announcement by Isle of Anglesey County Council that officers were seeking to rescind a series of school mergers after concerns were raised over the validity of the decision-making process.

With two “super schools” having already opened their doors over recent years, the past 12 months has seen Anglesey Council vote in favour of other school reorganisation projects designed to reduce the number of empty spaces and cut costs.

But after the education minister revealed last month that she was investigating a complaint that the council did not follow proper procedure in deciding to shut Ysgol Gymuned Bodffordd, a meeting on May 20 will see officers formally ask the executive to rescind its previous decisions affecting schools in the Llangefni and Beaumaris areas.

Now a leading member of the council’s main opposition group is calling for “substantial changes”, claiming that the public no longer has any confidence in the authority’s consultation process.

“I’m truly staggered at the way the whole situation has been handled,” said Cllr Shaun Redmond.

“We’ve been told that there are concerns that the authority has not followed the new Schools Organisation Code despite officers and the portfolio holder claiming all the while that it wouldn’t be a problem.

“Now we must ask how much this is all costing us and how long it will take to set up new consultation exercises in all the affected areas?”

Despite protests within the village, December saw councillors rubber-stamp the closure of Ysgol Gymuned Bodffordd in order to merge the school with Llangefni’s Ysgol Corn Hir in a brand new facility.

This followed decisions made in July to shut Ysgol Gynradd Beaumaris, while refurbishing Ysgol Llandegfan and Ysgol Llangoed, as well as the closure of Ysgol Talwrn, with the pupils set to be moved 1.8 miles away to an extended Ysgol y Graig in Llangefni.

While the authority has maintained all along that proper procedure was followed, education minister Kirsty Williams confirmed in early April that she was investigating if the council has kept within the guidelines of the recently adopted Schools Organisation Code – which establishes a presumption in favour of keeping rural schools open.

“The affected communities all along the process have claimed that the council was not adhering to the new code, only to be brushed aside every single time,” added Cllr Redmond.

“I’m very concerned about the public perception as a result of all of this. I’d argue that things must change at the top – and as a result certain personnel who are responsible for this including the leader and portfolio holder who must surely consider their positions.

“Anglesey Council had experienced serious issues over the years and commissioners have had to come in to take control. We keep being told that the culture is now different but this whole debacle blows that argument out of the water.

“It concerns me greatly where the money is going to come from to rectify these mistakes.”

A spokesman for Anglesey Council confirmed it would not be responding to Cllr Redmond’s comments at this stage.

But according to the authority, the officers’ recommendation to rescind the earlier decisions was made following an internal review of the statutory consultation process which raised concern regarding compliance with the School Organisation Code (Welsh Government) 2013.

Any new consultation process, they say, would follow the requirements of the new code, published last November.

Executive members will formally consider the request to rescind their earlier decisions on Monday, May 20.