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LABOUR’S EMILY BROTHERS RESONDS TO DIVISIVE COUNCIL SECONDARY SCHOOL DEBATE

TUESDAY 19 JANUARY 2016

Responding to a divisive debate at Sutton’s Full Council meeting last night, Labour’s Emily Brothers called for a greater sense of purpose to resolve the borough’s school places crisis. She said:
“I’m dismayed by the dither and delay of Lib Dem Sutton Council in getting on with a new secondary school on the old Sutton Hospital site. This is the only available brownfield site, so the only realistic option.
“The Council bought 1.6 hectors with an option to purchase further land in South Sutton. I don’t understand by Lib Dems have been sitting on their hands. They now need to get on with the project.
“I realise some local residents aren’t happy about building a new secondary school here, but they’ll find it less intrusive than a super hospital to replace St Helier, which is another option for this area. A new secondary school here would put that to rest.”
In a public question, Ms Brothers asked:
With earmarking of the Sutton Hospital site for a secondary school, will Sutton Council now agree to put Rosehill Park beyond use for a further secondary school and advise of action being taken to identify a location in the East of the borough?
Councillor Jane McCoy confirmed that a shortly to be published ‘Options Report’ would consider nine different sites, including Rosehill Park. Emily Brothers said:
“I welcome the fact that Lib Dems have finally come to share my view that use of open metropolitan land is a last resort. Yet Councillor McCoy failed to provide any vision for how to develop our open spaces for sporting and recreational purposes. That is essential if we are to meet the fitness challenge, tackle obesity and other conditions that have become more prevalent.
“I’m alarmed by Lib Dem complacency. They’ve been in power locally for 30 years, but have failed to effectively plan for the long term. We’ve all known about changing demographics, so they are responsible for reaching crisis point. That’s why swift action is needed to build a first secondary school on the old Sutton Hospital site by 2018 and undertake a more thorough scoping of options for schools in 2020 in the East of the borough and more broadly in 2030 – including primary provision.”


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