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Shepway Lib Dems Jubilant as Local Schools Saved: More Reaction

September 16, 2006 3:23 PM

VICTORY: Following a huge campaign, Selsted and Harcourt Primary Schools are saved

Shepway Lib Dems have reacted with jubilation at the news that Harcourt School in Cheriton and Selsted Primary School have been saved from the recent round of school closures threatened by Conservative Kent County Council. The decision was announced on 15th September 2006 after a long period of consultation and campaigning by local people.

Leader of the Lib Dems Cllr Lynne Beaumont said:

"Numerous of our campaigners and councillors were involved in the campaign to save these schools. I was involved in the Harcourt campaign along with Tim Prater, Peter Gane and Peter Carroll. Cllrs Peter and Christena Smith fought hard for Selsted."

During the public consultation period the Lib Dems offered support and advice to groups of parents and supported an extensive letter writing campaign so that as many local residents could be informed and express support.

Cllr Lynne Beaumont said:

"The parents and governing bodies have done a magnificent job. Congratulations to all concerned. It is vital that schools are kept open so that children can enjoy the benefit of local schooling. We saw our role as enabling and supporting the very large number of people involved in this campaign.

"This result is down to people power, enabling people to fight for what they believe in, and win. This should send a clear message to people, that you can have your say, and fight hard enough, it can make a difference."

Cllr Christena Smith said:

"I am delighted at the news that Selsted Primary has been saved. This community school is so important to the people of this area. I am sure their number on role is set to rise next year, and the community will continue to support parents and children alike. Well done to parents, governors and supporters of Selsted for a job well done."

Cllr David Callahan, Chairman of Hawkinge Parish Council said:

"This is fantastic news for the whole of this community. It's about time KCC started to listen to the voice of local people."

Local Lib Dem Peter Carroll said:

"The idea of closing local community schools in the name of saving money is educational vandalism. If you close the local school you damage the entire community. Children have to travel further which causes more congestion.

"Conservative Kent County Council should be ashamed of the entire school closure program. It has caused untold stress for thousands of families. Whilst I am delighted at the news for Harcourt and Selsted I am saddened that many other schools across Kent have not been so fortunate."