Monday, 17 September 2012

County Council Attacked In School Places Fiasco

Cllr Ian Manning
(LD, East Chesterton)

Cambridgeshire County Council has been attacked for its fiasco over primary school places in Cambridge which left residents forced to choose between two “unpalatable and deeply flawed” solutions for a former school site.

The attack comes from Councillor, Ian Manning, who represents Cambridge’s East Chesterton on the county council, as the decision was taken to build a new school on the site of the old Shirley Community Primary School.

The school moved to a new purpose built site which has now proved too small to accommodate the growing need for primary school places in the city.

In a bid to solve the crisis, residents now face a new school opening on the old site and fear a return to traffic chaos they experienced in the past.

But they were given only two options for the future of the site - either a new school or housing – both of which Cllr Manning criticised as being a county council failure.

“Choosing to open a new school is probably the right decision, but it is simply the Conservative Cabinet deciding to fail in a slightly better way,” he said. “It is still a failure of the county council to fulfil its duty to provide for children’s education.

“The county council presented residents with two unpalatable and deeply flawed options. Either one would affect residents of Green End Road, Ennisskillen Road and Evergreens. They have faced years of traffic chaos which they are now worried will resume.

“They've had a year without this, now they are faced with it restarting. On the other hand many residents of these roads were concerned about what would happen if the site was not run as school and instead sold off as housing, which in itself would bring traffic and loss of amenity.”

Cllr Manning will be attending a public meeting on the October 2, venue to be confirmed, which will allow residents to voice their concerns directly to the county council Cabinet member and officers.