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BLAENAU GWENT: Cllr Joanne Collins

BLAENAU GWENT: Cllr Joanne Collins

Image: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

CALLS have been made for the councillor in charge of education in Blaenau Gwent to resign after it was alleged she sent her children to a school outside the county.

Opposition councillors believe that Cllr Joanne Collins’ move is sending out a message to parents that schools in the county borough are “not good enough” for her children.

Labour group leader Cllr Steve Thomas said: “It’s hardly a ringing endorsement for the education system in Blaenau Gwent when the person supposedly driving improvement has decided that the standard is not good enough for her children.

“What must other parents, teachers and local education officers be thinking?”

Cllr Hedley McCarthy who like Cllr Collins represent the people of Llanhilleth, added: “She has to resign as this is not the first time she has let the education service down.

“It also calls into question the council leader’s judgement and if she refuses to stand down he must step up and sack her.”

Cllr Phil Edwards, leader of the minority Independent group, said: “She is sending out the message that the schools in Blaenau Gwent are not good enough for her children but ok for everyone else’s.

“This is also showing she has no faith in the Blaine Gwent teaching staff.”

When contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service Cllr Collins said:
“I’m not prepared to discuss my children with the press, that’s a private family matter and not something that’s appropriate.”

Council leader, Cllr Nigel Daniels was contacted for a comment but did not respond.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent council said: “In our opinion this is not an appropriate enquiry as it does not relate to council policies, strategy or performance of the member in her executive role.”

Back in March 2020 Cllr Collins was criticised for taking her children on holiday during term time.

Words: Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter


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