Tories stage secret meeting to discuss city schooling

May 4, 2010 11:07 AM
Simon Kightley

Simon Kightley

Tories at Shire Hall have been accused of meeting in secret to decide the future of education for youngsters in Cambridge.

They are staging a meeting behind closed doors to discuss plans for commissioning the new primary school which will be a key component of the university site development between Madingley Road and Huntingdon Road.

Liberal Democrats are furious about the move which comes after serious failings by the Tory-run Cambridgeshire County Council left the city facing a crisis over a lack of primary school places next year.

They claim too many decisions are being made in private leaving taxpayers facing the brunt of Tory mistakes such as the fiasco over the Guided Bus.

Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge said: "We are facing a major crisis over school places for youngsters in the coming year because of Tory failings. They should not be taking decisions in private on such vital issues as the education of our children.

"Openness and transparency are essential requirements for a democratic organisation such as the county council. I believe that much more must be done to make the county council more open and transparent for the benefit of Cambridge residents."

The issue will be discussed at a meeting of the Children and Young People's Policy Development Group will take place on May 11.

The school forms part of a major project to build hundreds of new homes, academic and research and development facilities and shops on the site.

Cambridge City Councillor, Simon Kightley said: "This is such an important development for Cambridge it is crucial that we get every component right.

"We have seen how the Tories have handled the contract for the Guided Bus; we should not be allowing them to discuss spending a huge amount of money on this school without the meeting being open to the public."

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Belinda Brooks-Gordon said: "The Tories got it badly wrong when they commissioned work on the Guided Bus and entered into this contract. We cannot allow this to happen again.

"This closed, opaque form of government that we are seeing time and time again with this administration has no place in our city."

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