THE new school which looks set to be built on the site of the former Alderman Blaxill School should be named after its predecessor.

That is the call from councillor and campaigner Dave Harris as plans were unveiled for a new secondary school on the site off Paxman Avenue, Colchester.

Essex County Council launched a public consultation into the new school which will be built on the site of the former school which is set to be demolished.

Essex County Council bosses have previously hinted the new school will not be named after Alderman Blaxill School as they are seeking a fresh beginning.

But Mr Harris (Lab), a borough and county councillor who fought for the school to be saved, believes it would be wrong to ignore the history of the site completely and is calling for Alderman Blaxill to be included in the new school’s title.

He said: “I wouldn’t like to see the name go forever. There’s a history to it.

“The school took all sorts of children in and offered help to them.

“Alderman Blaxill School has been there for many years and there was a lot of love for it.

“What we need is a referendum or some sort of vote to allow the locals to have their say.

“Get people involved and let them decide.”

Alderman Blaxill School was named after Alderman Edwin Alec Blaxill who was a former Colchester mayor and chairman of the education committee.

But despite Mr Harris’ calls to honour the name, Lib Dem Shrub End councillor Lyn Barton thinks it is time for a new beginning and she said residents in the area are ready to move on.

She said: “I think we have said farewell to Alderman Blaxill and had the ceremonies to say goodbye.

“It’s time for a fresh start. People have accepted the name has gone.”

Alderman Blaxill School first opened in 1955 and survived two attempts by Essex County Council to close it in the 1993 and 2004.

However, it shut in 2014 due to falling pupil numbers.

Essex County Council is set to submit a planning application for the new 900-pupil school which will include a sports hall which could be used by the public outside school hours.

It is hoped construction will start in spring next year and the school will be ready in time for the new academic year starting in September 2019.

Mr Harris added: “The plans are stunning."