Sunday, 18 August 2013

Councillors fight to stop Skerton High School closure gathers pace

Skerton Councillors Karen Leytham and Janet Hall dispute the claims made by Lancashire County Council in last week's Lancaster Guardian that the closure of Skerton Community High School is not linked to the £330m the Council has to save by 2015.

They refute the Council's claims because the recommendation to begin stage 1 consultation to close the school, signed by the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools on the 5th August, quite clearly states that the decision is based on ‘concerns around educational and financial viability as being reasons for making a closure proposal and the school’s most recent Ofsted inspection’.

Skerton Councillor Karen Leytham commented: “The County Council were quoted as saying that it has more than 50 assets, made up of land and property in the Lancaster area worth around £20m and these could be assets that they no longer require and are in the process of disposing of. Call me cynical but the Skerton school site springs to mind as prime land!

"I’ve just found out that the County’s idea of a consultation is to send officers in to the school to meet with concerned parents on a one to one basis by pre-arranged appointment. What sort of public consultation is that?"

Karen has begun an online pettion against the closure on change.org, backing up door to door campaigning to stop the closure.

"So far our petition is just short of 1000 signatures, 1000 reasons to save the school. Janet and I are absolutely gobsmacked by all the support we have received.

"There's an unbelievable amout of love out there for all the work Skerton school has and continues to do," she enthuses, "ranging from current pupils and parents, teachers past and present and old pupils.

"I truly believe that where there’s a will there’s generally a way and we should be able to find a mutually beneficial solution if all sides come together to talk. That is my plea to the County Council”.

• Anyone who wants to sign the petition or has any concerns about local issues can find Janet, Karen and Nikki Penney at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Sunday 25th August between 10.00am and 12 noon where they will be holding their next monthly ‘drop in’ surgery. They will again be joined by members of the local Neighbourhood Policing team who will be there to address any policing issues.

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