Lib Dems continue to fail children by voting against new school
Local Lib Dem Councillors recently voted against proposals to build a new two form entry primary school in Kingston demonstrating that they have not learnt from their past mistakes with Kingston’s Schools.
At a meeting of the Council’s Development Control Committee, Lib Dem Councillors voted against a new school being built, with Councillor Moll actively encouraging fines to be issued if parents drop their children off by car. Despite the Lib Dem efforts to further damage our children’s education, Conservative councillors voted through the proposals as Conservative-controlled Kingston continues to tackle the shortage of school places created by the Lib Dems.
The new school will be built between South Street and High Street in Grove Ward, Kingston, by redeveloping the existing vacant office buildings and creating two new buildings which will be interlinked by a suspended walkway. Built to be at the heart of the local community and within safe walking distance for families, the new primary school will provide places for 420 pupils from reception to Year 6 and create 36 new jobs for staff. It is expected that the school will open with the first intake of 60 pupils in September 2019.
The school will include a host of modern facilities designed to stimulate learning in a fun and safe environment. At the heart of the site will be an inner courtyard which will include trees and a sensory play area for reception age children as well as hard and soft landscaping for other year groups. The playspace will also allow pupils to be dropped off and collected from within the site, reducing the potential noise impact on neighbours and ensuring that the site is completely car free with the exception of disabled parking. Included in the school grounds will also be the provision for cycle and scooter parking for students and staff, reducing the dependence on cars and promoting a healthier lifestyle.
A full and detailed consultation had previously taken place in November 2016. After feedback from residents and other members of the community a number of amendments were made to ensure the safety of prospective students and to reduce the impact on the surrounding area. Such amendments included creating separate access routes for pupils and residents, the creation of a robust Travel Plan with staggered start and finish times, breakfast and after school clubs to assist families and a number of aesthetic changes that would limit the school’s impact on South Lane.
Under the last administration, the Lib Dems failed to make plans for the future provision of school places. They damaged the education of our children by experimenting with bulge classes and failed to build enough new schools. But since 2014, Conservative-controlled Kingston has been actively addressing the Lib Dems failures. We now have two new schools being built with more on the way and further plans and sites being explored to build more. We’ve stopped experimenting with our children’s education and we’re actively working with both primary and secondary schools to avoid the Lib Dems mistakes. With a population growth of 2% a year in Kingston combined with the Lib Dems failure to plan for enough school places, we need to constantly be looking for new sites where schools could be built.
Councillor Richard Hudson, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Social Care and Health said:
The Lib Dems left our school system in a mess with no clear direction of where we were going, and now they’re voting against building more schools. One of their biggest failures was that they didn’t plan for the future provision of schools meaning that parents and children suffered. We’re fixing this problem by building more schools and planning for more to ensure that Kingston is never in the same situation again.
Councillor Kevin Davis, Leader of the Council said:
One of the duties of a local Council is to plan for the future and ensure that our children get the best possible start in life. That is what a responsible council should do, not ignore the problems and self-manufacture crisis in schools and housing. Since 2014 we have continually looked at ways to address the Lib Dem schools place shortage, and will continue to do so as we look to build a brighter and better Borough.