School places consultation finishes tomorrow

The consultation about Winchester’s primary school places is still ongoing at http://www.hants.gov.uk/winchesterprimaryplaces and it’s vital that as many local people as possible respond before the closure date of June 15.

Under both the main scenarios being consulted upon, Fuflood is by far the most affected area in the whole city with either a 100% or 50% increase in local primary places.

I was at the public meeting in Westgate School with our local County Councillor, Phryn Dickens, and fellow City Councillor, Robert Hutchison, and Phryn attended the public meeting at County Hall (unfortunately, it was the same night as a Winchester City Full Council Meeting so the City Councillors couldn’t attend). We have also met council officers and the chair of governors and head teacher of both affected local schools.

While quite a lot of new information has been added to the website since the consultation began, there are still a lot of questions to be answered and extra details needed – particularly on ‘Option B’ where 5 schools are due to be expanded: what exactly are the facilities that we will see in each school under the various options – and what exactly will they cost?  I’ve also been asking a series of questions about likely catchment areas under the two options.

Phryn has also suggested some extra sites for evaluation and raised questions about the traffic assumptions in the proposal.

In addition to the questions above, I’ve also been asking about traffic, for more information about 4-16 schools and more specific details of the assumed facilities available in Western and Rotherley under both of the scenarios.  I also managed to highlight several developments that had not been included in the county’s calculations. (There’s a whole issue about the linkage between planning of houses and planning of schools which is a real priority for me to sort out as a councillor).

It’s not long to go now.  The consultation ends tomorrow. If the County Council sticks to its plan to have a decision in July, we should see the proposals from council officers on July 9.  And the final decision will be made on July 17 by County Councillor Roy Perry.  The papers for the decision and details of the meeting should be available on this page here.  I’ll keep reporting on progress via Twitter and on this site.

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