Canton Schools ... The row

This is a translation of a post on Vaughan Roderick's blog this evening which deserves a wider audience:

Things are hotting up

For once, I'm not going to apologize for being parochial in the row about schools in west Cardiff.

I've been busy today with "Dau o'r Bae" and the fuss over Alan Cairn's seat in the Assembly, but this is a summary of what's been happening today regarding the schools row. You can judge whether it has national implications!

1. I received a press statement from the Conservative Group in the Assembly and one from Dafydd Wigley this afternoon fiercely attacking Carwyn Jones' decision. Dafydd Wigley very rarely releases personal press statements. Perhaps this has something to do with the next development.

2. Plaid Cymru's National Executive Committee will meet tomorrow in Raeadr. The Plaid Cymru group on Cardiff Council has called for this meeting to consider ending the coalition with Labour.

3. I understand that Cardiff Council chiefs are planning to seek a judicial review of the decision and are close to securing the support of the Welsh Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Education in their case.

4. At just after seven tonight, way beyond normal working hours of the Assembly Government released a statement describing the situation of Welsh-medium education in west Cardiff as unacceptable and unsustainable. Government officials have been ordered to urgently work with the council to solve the problem.

That statement will be "exhibit one" in the judicial review, I suppose!

As I said, you can judge for yourselves whether this is just a local row.

The Tory statement, reported on Welsh Icons is:

Welsh Conservatives have raised concerns about the Assembly Government’s decision to reject plans to reorganise schools in west Cardiff. Commenting on the matter, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"The Assembly Government's decision on the proposed reorganisation by Cardiff Council is deeply concerning. The process has been drawn out in an exasperating manner by the Assembly Government, and now leaves further questions and uncertainty over the future of schools in this area.

"The Assembly Government's actions in this case set a worrying precedent that brings in to question the ability of local authorities to make similar decisions in the future.

"The decision certainly appears to be political rather than professional and based on the interests of what is considered to be best for pupils by the local education authority.

"I would urge both the First Minister and the Education Minister to bring a statement to the Assembly Chamber fully justifying the Assembly Government’s actions on the situation as a matter of urgency."

I can't find either the statement by Dafydd Wigley or the Welsh Government as yet.

Please note that in order to keep the discussion in one place I have disallowed comments in all but the first post on this subject, which is here.

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