Motion calls on county council not to close Deanes School

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.”

Comments (3)

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11:01am Thu 5 Dec 13

John T Pharro says...

The biggest single abuse of democracy is the cabinet system. That a minority of Councillors can make a decision on such important issues is unacceptable. Every major decision taken by the Government has to go through Parliament and ALL elected MP's vote. Not so in Borough and County as this shows. Worse I am told that residents were consulted about the cabinet system. As someone who takes an interest I never recall seeing any consultation on this. Just how many people can recall any consultation? It is not just important issues such as schools that are decided by cabinet so are other major issues including planning. The cabinet system should be rescinded immediately to allow ALL elected Councillors to have a proper opportunity to have their say and vote.
The biggest single abuse of democracy is the cabinet system. That a minority of Councillors can make a decision on such important issues is unacceptable. Every major decision taken by the Government has to go through Parliament and ALL elected MP's vote. Not so in Borough and County as this shows. Worse I am told that residents were consulted about the cabinet system. As someone who takes an interest I never recall seeing any consultation on this. Just how many people can recall any consultation? It is not just important issues such as schools that are decided by cabinet so are other major issues including planning. The cabinet system should be rescinded immediately to allow ALL elected Councillors to have a proper opportunity to have their say and vote. John T Pharro

11:21am Thu 5 Dec 13

Rat-man says...

Mr Pharro as an apologist for the C.I.I.P. you and I are on opposite political sides with just one exception the Cabinet system.

This system should be abolished with immediate effect. It benefits Officers and a tiny number of councillors, leaving the vast majority of elected members disenfranchised.

The system was introduced by the previous corrupt, incompetent Labour Government and like them must be consigned to the ignominy they so deserve.
Mr Pharro as an apologist for the C.I.I.P. you and I are on opposite political sides with just one exception the Cabinet system. This system should be abolished with immediate effect. It benefits Officers and a tiny number of councillors, leaving the vast majority of elected members disenfranchised. The system was introduced by the previous corrupt, incompetent Labour Government and like them must be consigned to the ignominy they so deserve. Rat-man

4:10pm Thu 5 Dec 13

John T Pharro says...

Rat-man wrote:
Mr Pharro as an apologist for the C.I.I.P. you and I are on opposite political sides with just one exception the Cabinet system.

This system should be abolished with immediate effect. It benefits Officers and a tiny number of councillors, leaving the vast majority of elected members disenfranchised.

The system was introduced by the previous corrupt, incompetent Labour Government and like them must be consigned to the ignominy they so deserve.
Actually I support no political party. If you doubt me ask David Blackwell, Ray Howard or our MP. If I think they are right or wrong I will say so. Example our MP is totally correct to oppose green belt development and the closure of Deanes School, but critical of her lack of support opposing overdevelopment on Canvey and have told her so. I have seen no sign of any opposition from the Tory Councillors to the cabinet system, but the CIIP are. I also oppose Barmy Boris wanting an Estuary Airport and our MP opposes that rightly so. As to your accusation that Labour are corrupt. No party comes put smelling of roses as the recent expenses candle shows.
[quote][p][bold]Rat-man[/bold] wrote: Mr Pharro as an apologist for the C.I.I.P. you and I are on opposite political sides with just one exception the Cabinet system. This system should be abolished with immediate effect. It benefits Officers and a tiny number of councillors, leaving the vast majority of elected members disenfranchised. The system was introduced by the previous corrupt, incompetent Labour Government and like them must be consigned to the ignominy they so deserve.[/p][/quote]Actually I support no political party. If you doubt me ask David Blackwell, Ray Howard or our MP. If I think they are right or wrong I will say so. Example our MP is totally correct to oppose green belt development and the closure of Deanes School, but critical of her lack of support opposing overdevelopment on Canvey and have told her so. I have seen no sign of any opposition from the Tory Councillors to the cabinet system, but the CIIP are. I also oppose Barmy Boris wanting an Estuary Airport and our MP opposes that rightly so. As to your accusation that Labour are corrupt. No party comes put smelling of roses as the recent expenses candle shows. John T Pharro

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