Posted: Thu 8th Feb 2024

Flintshire Council apologises for school closure disruption

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 8th, 2024

Flintshire Council has apologised for the inconvenience caused by its decision to close all eighty-eight schools in the county for the day in anticipation of severe snowfall.

The council’s emergency planning team took the decision yesterday to instruct all eighty-eight schools in Flintshire not to open their doors today, with pupils reverting to online learning. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

The Met Office issued an amber alert for snow and ice in North Wales from 8am to 3pm, the warning covers parts of Flintshire, and a further yellow warning for snow covers the whole of Flintshire

Early this morning, the absence of snow led many parents to question the council’s decision on social media.

Broughton Councillor Ryan McKeown, shared an email from Flintshire Council on his Facebook page, explaining the rationale behind the closures.

Cllr McKeown highlighted that the decision was taken by the emergency team without councillor input, following an amber weather alert from the Met Office.

The council’s email responded to the social media backlash, emphasising the seriousness with which such decisions are made.

It states: “We are aware of comments circulating on social media in relation to our decision to close schools today, Thursday 8 February. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.”

According to the council, the Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) acted on detailed weather data and regional emergency discussions, which indicated a high risk of disruption and danger to communities.

The anticipated impacts included potential isolation of rural communities, significant travel delays, possible power cuts, and hazards from untreated surfaces.

Defending its approach, the council stated: “A proactive response was taken rather than allowing a situation to develop that, based on the information, could have seen children stranded at bus stops or stranded in vehicles or potentially being sent home later in the day which is more difficult to manage.”

“Holding off on decisions until they were due to materialise would have been too late to inform stakeholders, and put staff, pupils and the general public at risk.”

As the day has progressed, sleet and snow has begun to affect parts of the county, particularly impacting higher parts of the A55 between J31 Caerwys and J34 Ewloe.

Arriva buses have also announced adjustments to their services, limiting routes to main roads and not serving certain areas due to the conditions.

 

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