Colchester: It's not over yet

Gazette: Parents, pupils past and present and campaigners Chick Cox, Barry Wild and councillor Dave Harris wait for the decision outside Thomas, Lord Audley S Buy this photo Parents, pupils past and present and campaigners Chick Cox, Barry Wild and councillor Dave Harris wait for the decision outside Thomas, Lord Audley S

Campaigners today vowed to battle on amid fears education chiefs will push ahead with plans to close three Colchester secondary schools.

Proposals by Essex County Council leader Lord Hanningfield, unveiled today, recommend the closure of Alderman Blaxill, Thomas, Lord Audley (TLA) and Sir Charles Lucas schools.

The county council would replace Sir Charles Lucas with an academy with a military emphasis, while TLA would be transformed into a vocational school, and pupils from the south of Colchester would be taken to an extended Stanway School.

Rumours about the plans, which followed a consultation and a host of well-attended public meetings last year, have been circulating the town all week. Sources who contacted the Gazette last night said they would fight any proposal to close Alderman Blaxill and TLA if that was put on the table.

If the recommendation is approved by the county council’s cabinet on Tuesday, a second consultation, lasting six weeks, on the revised plans will start next month.

The proposals are similar to the “Option 1” originally outlined by Lord Hanningfield, and largely reject the popular “Option 4” – to amalgamate Stanway, Alderman Blaxill and TLA into one school at three sites, led by headteacher Jonathan Tippett.

Town MP Bob Russell said he feared hundreds of people who had sent letters and signed petitions opposing school closures had been ignored.

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Comments (13)

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11:13am Fri 23 Jan 09

guyfawkes999 says...

Why aren't Communist Labour councillors Tim Young, Julie Young and Tina Dopson being more vocal against the closure of Sir Charles Lucas?

Time to dump Communist Labour on St Andrews / Greenstead.
Why aren't Communist Labour councillors Tim Young, Julie Young and Tina Dopson being more vocal against the closure of Sir Charles Lucas? Time to dump Communist Labour on St Andrews / Greenstead. guyfawkes999
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Fri 23 Jan 09

localyokel says...

The county council are all Lord Hannys cronies they will do as he wants, the only thing for the people of Colchester is to try and break away from Essex county control
Far fetched i know but better than
Colchester being destroyed by the Chelmsford mafia.
The county council are all Lord Hannys cronies they will do as he wants, the only thing for the people of Colchester is to try and break away from Essex county control Far fetched i know but better than Colchester being destroyed by the Chelmsford mafia. localyokel
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Fri 23 Jan 09

bruce67 says...

I am only aware of local councillors when its local elections...EXCEPT LIB DEMS who make an effort all year round!!!!
I am only aware of local councillors when its local elections...EXCEPT LIB DEMS who make an effort all year round!!!! bruce67
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Fri 23 Jan 09

ex so'ton says...

I like the idea of turning the Sir Charles Lucas school into a military academy, what about a Glass House, excellent scheme all round. The pupils might then behave themselves for the first time in nearly 40 years, a right approved school if ever there was. Run by Commies on Colchester Borough it might at a stretch become a Gulag!
I like the idea of turning the Sir Charles Lucas school into a military academy, what about a Glass House, excellent scheme all round. The pupils might then behave themselves for the first time in nearly 40 years, a right approved school if ever there was. Run by Commies on Colchester Borough it might at a stretch become a Gulag! ex so'ton
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Fri 23 Jan 09

Sidney Harbour-Bridge says...

bruce67 wrote:
I am only aware of local councillors when its local elections...EXCEPT LIB DEMS who make an effort all year round!!!!
You're seriously deluded if you think any politicians at any level think about the views of the electorate other than in the seconds before the paper drops in the ballot box. Hanningfield is only doing what any other politician of any other party would do - might is right. The 'vote lib dem get labour' party are probraby the worst as they can't seem to make their minds up what they are!
[quote][p][bold]bruce67[/bold] wrote: I am only aware of local councillors when its local elections...EXCEPT LIB DEMS who make an effort all year round!!!! [/p][/quote]You're seriously deluded if you think any politicians at any level think about the views of the electorate other than in the seconds before the paper drops in the ballot box. Hanningfield is only doing what any other politician of any other party would do - might is right. The 'vote lib dem get labour' party are probraby the worst as they can't seem to make their minds up what they are! Sidney Harbour-Bridge
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Fri 23 Jan 09

Sdapeze says...

The big question that I have is whether Hanningfield is doing this for the children or for the land value? Is the value of the land the incentive here or is there a genuine (but clearly misguided) desire to improve the standard of education? What are the relative costs? My gut feeling is that he is after then land so that he can sell it off cheap to his mates down the golf club. I don't trust him.
The big question that I have is whether Hanningfield is doing this for the children or for the land value? Is the value of the land the incentive here or is there a genuine (but clearly misguided) desire to improve the standard of education? What are the relative costs? My gut feeling is that he is after then land so that he can sell it off cheap to his mates down the golf club. I don't trust him. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

12:33am Sat 24 Jan 09

Cliff says...

This little list of rubbish emphasises how pointless this all really is. Our children's education is the most important thing to get right (and I don't think Lord H has by the way) and the only posts here which are anything other than stupid political crap are Sdapeze and localyokel to an extent. No wonder politicians don't bother to take us seriously.
This little list of rubbish emphasises how pointless this all really is. Our children's education is the most important thing to get right (and I don't think Lord H has by the way) and the only posts here which are anything other than stupid political crap are Sdapeze and localyokel to an extent. No wonder politicians don't bother to take us seriously. Cliff
  • Score: 0

1:14am Sat 24 Jan 09

Laughter is the best medicine1 says...

Cliff wrote:
This little list of rubbish emphasises how pointless this all really is. Our children's education is the most important thing to get right (and I don't think Lord H has by the way) and the only posts here which are anything other than stupid political crap are Sdapeze and localyokel to an extent. No wonder politicians don't bother to take us seriously.
Nor those that apply critique to certain art.
('~')
[quote][p][bold]Cliff[/bold] wrote: This little list of rubbish emphasises how pointless this all really is. Our children's education is the most important thing to get right (and I don't think Lord H has by the way) and the only posts here which are anything other than stupid political crap are Sdapeze and localyokel to an extent. No wonder politicians don't bother to take us seriously.[/p][/quote]Nor those that apply critique to certain art. ('~') Laughter is the best medicine1
  • Score: 0

6:58am Sat 24 Jan 09

hughie-s says...

ex so'ton -
When they taught useful skills such as gardening to the less academically minded they had a very nice glasshouse at AB ;-)

Sdapeze -
A big question indeed, this may add to your suspicions...
From the Register of Lords' Interests -
HANNINGFIELD, Lord
15(d) Office-holder in voluntary organisations

Director, Local Government Association Property Ltd
ex so'ton - When they taught useful skills such as gardening to the less academically minded they had a very nice glasshouse at AB ;-) Sdapeze - A big question indeed, this may add to your suspicions... From the Register of Lords' Interests - HANNINGFIELD, Lord 15(d) Office-holder in voluntary organisations Director, Local Government Association Property Ltd hughie-s
  • Score: 0

11:19am Sat 24 Jan 09

localyokel says...

A few facts Colchester is earmarked for large scale housing in the future (in fact this has already started) which equals more children
but less places under Lord h's plan.
Traffic is bad in this town to say the least yet under his plans chidren have to travel further for school which means even more traffic yes?.
Also the density of new housing is greater in Colchester than Chelmsford why? density = poorer quaility normally, i believe county council has say on density Oh that would be Lord H in Chelmsford?. The list goes on, now Lord H does not give a fig about the children of this town or its residents he has other motives call me paranoid if you wish but as far as he is concerned Essex stops at Chelmsford's boundry. While Chelmsford becomes a good place to live Colchester will become?????
A few facts Colchester is earmarked for large scale housing in the future (in fact this has already started) which equals more children but less places under Lord h's plan. Traffic is bad in this town to say the least yet under his plans chidren have to travel further for school which means even more traffic yes?. Also the density of new housing is greater in Colchester than Chelmsford why? density = poorer quaility normally, i believe county council has say on density Oh that would be Lord H in Chelmsford?. The list goes on, now Lord H does not give a fig about the children of this town or its residents he has other motives call me paranoid if you wish but as far as he is concerned Essex stops at Chelmsford's boundry. While Chelmsford becomes a good place to live Colchester will become????? localyokel
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sat 24 Jan 09

franticmum says...

Would any of the "silent majority" now like to speak?? One can only make the assumption that Lord Hanningfield is speaking for himself and not representing local opinion. What was the point of the consultation if the outcome is only subjective statements such as these?
Would any of the "silent majority" now like to speak?? One can only make the assumption that Lord Hanningfield is speaking for himself and not representing local opinion. What was the point of the consultation if the outcome is only subjective statements such as these? franticmum
  • Score: 0

1:26am Sun 25 Jan 09

Boris says...

Frantic mum, what you see on this site is mere froth.
If you were interested in the future of our secondary schools, then no doubt you were at some of the public meetings held before Xmas.
I was at meetings at AB, TLA and
SCL, and local opinion was well represented there (especially the first two).
Lord Hanningfield may yet ignore us, but those hundreds of pupils and parents will have given him cause to reflect. I can't believe he will pay any attention to the anonymous and sometimes cranky comments made on this website.
Frantic mum, what you see on this site is mere froth. If you were interested in the future of our secondary schools, then no doubt you were at some of the public meetings held before Xmas. I was at meetings at AB, TLA and SCL, and local opinion was well represented there (especially the first two). Lord Hanningfield may yet ignore us, but those hundreds of pupils and parents will have given him cause to reflect. I can't believe he will pay any attention to the anonymous and sometimes cranky comments made on this website. Boris
  • Score: 0

8:59am Mon 26 Jan 09

franticmum says...

Boris, I was indeed at 3 of the meetings and was appalled at Lord Hanningfield's arrogance. I will readily put my hand up to say I don't agree with option 4, however this does seem to be the overwhelming choice of interested parties. We are a supposed to live in a democratic society, and believe the "silent majority" comments made by Lord Hanningfield are his last ditched attempt to make the public believe he has been listening to the general consensus, and not laughing and sneering at their comments as he was at the meetings. My view, DONE DEAL, always has been. The public consultation was an expensive (and failing) P.R. exercise.
Boris, I was indeed at 3 of the meetings and was appalled at Lord Hanningfield's arrogance. I will readily put my hand up to say I don't agree with option 4, however this does seem to be the overwhelming choice of interested parties. We are a supposed to live in a democratic society, and believe the "silent majority" comments made by Lord Hanningfield are his last ditched attempt to make the public believe he has been listening to the general consensus, and not laughing and sneering at their comments as he was at the meetings. My view, DONE DEAL, always has been. The public consultation was an expensive (and failing) P.R. exercise. franticmum
  • Score: 0
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