School cuts are completely devastating

Public meeting with MP John Mann to discuss Bassetlaw Hospital clinical services review information. Mr Mann at the meeting. (w110115-1c)
Public meeting with MP John Mann to discuss Bassetlaw Hospital clinical services review information. Mr Mann at the meeting. (w110115-1c)

Despite opposition from all our local schools, Notts County Council has forced through a change to the funding formula which makes terrible cuts to a number of our local schools.

Last Wednesday the County Council decided to cut £52,550 from Kingston Park Primary in Carlton; £31,664 from Langold; £44,224 from Prospect Hill infants; £98,335 from Ryton Park; £50,425 from Elkersley; £17,953 from Haggonfields; £34,403 from St Patricks in Harworth; ; £17,971 from St Luke’s in Shireoaks; £11,905 from Ramsden in Carlton more and many, many more.

At any time these cuts would be terrible, but today they can only be described as devastating and I can see a longer term plan. By significantly cutting the small schools and these cuts will go on every year of course, then some of these schools will become unviable. This situation will mean that the recruitment and retention of teachers will become very difficult, recruitment of head teachers will become impossible and parents will move their children. Then we are faced with the situation where the County Council will announce that it has no choice but to close the school down. It is the classic bureaucrats trick: run down, strangle and then eventually close. You can hear them saying in two or three years time ‘oh, we have no choice’.

I must point out that our Worksop and Langold and Harworth County Councillors did not vote for these cuts but I’m sure every local school affected by this will want to ask their County Councillors for support in reversing this. I am convening an urgent campaign meeting of schools and community representatives to build a campaign to save our schools, including all our village schools.

Before some clever dick writes in and says there is no choice because of the economy, let me point out that this change is in the school funding formula is cost neutral, in other words it is shifting money from one school to another, in particular to the schools in the wealthy Nottingham suburbs and we are seeing huge sums being transferred from the villages of Bassetlaw.

Talking of bureaucrats making cuts that will devastate an area, there is one more East Midlands Ambulance Service public meeting in Retford at 6pm on Wednesday 28th November at the West Retford Hotel.

This will the last opportunity for people in this area to voice their concerns about the proposed closures of Worksop and Retford ambulance stations. Why not pass on the link to your friends?