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Motion calls on county council not to close Deanes School
6:00am Thursday 5th December 2013 in News
OPPOSITION councillors are again calling for Essex County Council to reverse its decision to close the Deanes School.
The council’s Tory cabinet had its final say on the ongoing saga last week and voted unanimously to close the school from August 2016, despite overwhelming opposition from the community.
Council leader David Finch said, despite a “detailed and intense review” of all the evidence, the school was not viable, due to declining pupil numbers.
Now, county councillors Dave Blackwell and Chris Pond have put forward a motion to full council calling for the decision to be postponed for two years and for the authority to instead devise an action plan by July 2014 to “stabilise, upgrade and improve” the school.
All 75 elected members of the council will have the chance to vote on the motion atameeting at County Hall on December 10.
Mr Blackwell said: “It is absolutely ridiculous that the cabinet voted to close the school. I and many other members felt the decision should have been referred back to full council instead of the cabinet in the first place because they had already made their mind up.”
The Labour group on the council has put forward its own motion to full council to try to get the decision reversed.
It wants the co-location plans for the Deanes and Glenwood Schools to be reinstated.
Labour group leader Julie Young said: “The parents and children have been led to the top of the hill by this Conservative administration and disappointedly marched back down again.”
Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris also expressed her disappointment at the decision.
She said: “I am supporting the school in applying for academy status and in taking the closure decision to the Independent Schools Adjudicator.”
A council spokeswoman said: “A motion will be debated as long as it is properly seconded and is not counter to the constitution. If the motion set out was passed then the leader would need to consider what course of action was taken.”
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