Simon Galton

Liberal Democrat County & District Councillor Learn more

Liberal Democrat’s concern at possible school closures in Melton

by simongalton on 3 November, 2009

Hi all, please see my latest press release on a proposal by the conservatives to close King Edward School in Melton.

“Liberal Democrats on the County Council have voiced their concerns at yet another consultation that could see one of Leicestershire’s schools closed.

Leader of the Opposition Simon Galton (Lib Dem) said: “it has been barely a month since the Conservatives decided to look at closing Holmfield School in Leicester Forest East, now we have a proposal to close a secondary school in Melton. This sort of change costs money and will severely disrupt pupils already in attendance in those schools.

But more importantly is the sudden change in strategy so soon after a full review of schools organisation was carried out in the Melton area. Throughout the review the County Council’s Scrutiny Committee, as well as former Melton Councillor Matthew O’Callaghan, constantly warned that parents would ‘vote with their feet’ and abandon King Edward in favour of the other schools in the area – time and again this issue was raised and each time the Cabinet Leader member Cllr Ivan Ould refused to take the concerns seriously and poured scorn on those of us who dared to challenge it. Now we find that, as predicted, student numbers have plummeted and the Council have to try and salvage the situation with drastic action.

What I want to know is the cost, and anticipated disruption that this will cause. Firstly the cost to the Tax payer who is already being warned of reduced services in the face of planned Tory cuts over the next 3 years and secondly, the disruption to parents with children at the school.

It seems with this proposal and Holmfield primary school that the Conservatives only solution to their failures is to threaten closures and reorganisations. I am sure that parents and teachers in Loughborough will be feeling pretty anxious as their reorganisation looms on the horizon – how many more schools are to be closed there?”

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