Councillor says he won’t resign after proposing school closures to save money
A councillor has refused to resign after calling for rural school closures to help a cash-strapped council avoid potential bankruptcy.
Conwy councillor Paul Luckock, who was told to resign after proposing to school closures to save money, says he will ‘humbly accept’ the will of the electorate during the next election.
Mr Luckock attracted criticism at a finance scrutiny committee meeting last week when he said the authority must close and amalgamate schools to save money.
Conwy upped council tax by 9.9% last year, which was the highest rise in Wales, and slashed all services’ budgets by 10% – with even schools cut by 5%.
But still the authority faces a £24.5m budget shortfall next year and expects to overspend this year by several million pounds, prompting councillors to openly talk about bankruptcy.
Cllr Paul Luckock, though, proposed spending the council’s reserves to close and amalgamate schools, claiming it would save money long-term, but this led to a row about protecting rural schools and the Welsh language.
Resident and mum Karen Jones was so angered by the proposal she wrote to Conwy councillors, calling for Cllr Luckock’s resignation.
But Cllr Luckock refused to stand down and said his fate would be decided at the next election.
“I have no issue with you writing to councillors encouraging them to persuade me to resign,” he said.
“I welcome robust debate and acknowledge your angst and frustration with me. As of today, no councillor has asked me to resign. I am not precious and do not take things personally. You have every right to express your opinion.”
He added: “I am content for my ward electorate to judge my performance. I have robust debate with them about many things. I will humbly accept their settled will when the next election comes in May 2027.”
In her letter to Conwy councillors, Ms Jones had said: “The community deserves representatives who prioritise the well-being of all constituents and consider the broader implications of their proposals.
“Cllr Luckock’s stance undermines these principles, and his continued presence in a position of influence may further jeopardise the interests of those he is meant to serve. I am thoroughly disgusted.”
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