Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Holton-le-Clay: overwhelming case?

When you lose 8-1, it's usually a good idea to admit defeat.

That was the score at the consultation meeting on the plan to close Holton-le-Clay Infants in the north of the county and merge it with Holton-le-Clay Juniors.

There was only one supporter for the idea. Everyone else was against.

But Councillor Bradwell over-ruled the 8-1 defeat and decided she knew better.

What amazes is that she and the Leader of the Council - Martin Hill - seemed genuinely surprised (and annoyed) that the decision would be 'called-in'.

Today, all 13 Conservatives with a vote today fell into line behind the Conservative Whip Councillor Martin Trollope-Bellew.

The 11 votes from Labour, LibDems, Independents, church representatives and parent governors simply weren't enough to stop the plan.

Scrutiny of the Holton-le-Clay decision demonstrates the nonsense of the entire plan which is supposed to be about tackling surplus places.

Instead of coming up with a well-thought out county-wide strategy to deal with 10,000 surplus places in the primary sector, we have a daft back-of-the-fag-packet scheme to pick off a few schools - not even those with the biggest number of surplus places.

Just down the road from Holton-le-Clay is North Thoresby Primary School - which has more surplus places than Holton infants and juniors combined!

But it's not one of the schools proposed for closure or merger.

And in my view, deciding to merge the Holton schools before we have a county-wide strategy could prejudice future tough decisions.

So today's vote on Holton-le-Clay: 13 for closure. 11 against.

No doubt, an overwhelming victory!

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