Posted by: iangilbert | February 7, 2012

New school for Southend?

You will no doubt hear me make a lot of criticism of the council’s budget over the next few weeks. Cuts to Children’s Centres, meals-on-wheels, Day Centre charges are just some of the areas that are causing us deep concern.

However, one bit of welcome (if overdue) news is that the council has indicatively marked a sum of money for building a new Primary School in the central area of Southend. The Labour group has consistently warned that a new school would be needed as the density of housing in the town increases.

There are two concerns however – firstly the council has to find (and probably acquire) a site. Second, the new government’s rules favour the setting up of an academy of free school. Needless to say we’d prefer a proper community primary school, and I’m sure most local Tories would too if they were being honest. We’ll have to look very carefully at the options.

Given the level of upheaval in the council’s children’s services directorate caused by government cuts and the academies bill, I feel very sorry for staff who are having to cope with all of this. Plans should have been drawn up before now.

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