9 Park Place Chambers successfully defends Cardiff Council in judicial review

23 DECEMBER 2011

The High Court has upheld a decision to reorganise schools in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff which saw Cardiff Council being successfully represented by 2 members of 9 Park Place Chambers in the judicial review proceedings.

Campaigners from the Save Eglwys Newydd Action Group (SENAG) were given permission in July to challenge the Welsh Government’s decision to allow Cardiff Council’s plans to redevelop primary provision in Whitchurch to go ahead. They alleged that the Council’s policy in this regard was unlawful and discriminatory.

The reorganisation will mean English-medium Eglwys Wen and Eglwys Newydd Primary Schools will close and be replaced by a new English-medium primary school with nursery on the site currently shared between Eglwys Wen and Ysgol Melin Gruffydd, from September 2012.

Ysgol Melin Gruffydd Primary School will transfer to the premises currently occupied by Eglwys Newydd Primary School as a two-form entry Welsh-medium school with nursery.

But, following representations on behalf of Cardiff Council from Winston Roddick QC and Phillip Morris, the High Court has now upheld Education Minister Leighton Andrews’ decision, in what the Judge described as a “difficult and challenging case”. The Council’s policy was also robustly approved by the Court, which determined that it was neither unlawful or discriminatory in any way.

Both the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council said they were happy with the judgment.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “We are pleased that the judge has decided there is no reason to quash the Welsh Government minister’s decision in relation to Eglyws Newydd.”

“The judgment now means that we can continue to press ahead with the school reorganisation proposals for Whitchurch and ensure that we can create the very best local education system for all our pupils.”

For the full judgement click here: