Thursday, 28 July 2011

Worried Councillors Back Call For Education Chief To Resign

Councillors from across the political divide have joined the call for the County’s education chief to resign as the county’s school places crisis continues.

Last Friday, Conservative councillor Clayton Hudson called on Cllr David Harty to “fall on your sword” after the County Council repeatedly botched plans for more primary school places for Cambourne children.

Cllr Fiona Whelan, who represents Hardwick, agrees:

“Cllr Harty has taken no notice of the parents or the parish councils of Hardwick and Cambourne. The department he is in charge of is failing our children badly.

“No-one except the Cllr Harty seems to think it’s a good idea for Cambourne children to be sent by bus every day to Hardwick when there are suitable sites for classrooms in Cambourne itself.”

Cllr Whelan has campaigned for the County Council to build a secondary school in Cambourne ever since she was elected in 2008, because of the pressure the number of Cambourne children has placed on Comberton Village College.

While pleased that one is now being proposed for 2013, she is stunned that it will be too small.

“With 6 forms of entry to the Primary Schools, it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that a secondary school with 5 forms of entry will be too small.

“Yet again Cllr Harty is failing to provide adequate places for the county's children.”

This is not the first time that beleaguered Cllr Harty has failed to act during the school places crisis.

Two years ago, the County Council took more than a year to respond to official figures showing that Cambridge would be short of primary school places from autumn 2011. As a result, mobile classrooms had to be put up because the County Council’s unnecessary delay meant that it was too late to build proper classrooms in time.

Cllr Kevin Wilkins, who represents West Chesterton, which includes Milton Road Primary School, said:

“Cllr Harty has ‘Previous’.

“His failure in Cambourne and Hardwick looks no different to his awful failure in Cambridge. It was obvious two years ago that Cllr Harty was not up to the job, but to make the same mistake twice is inexcusable.”