Fresh fury at school blow

The woman set to head the governing body of a new school has told of the bitter disappointment felt by the community after the plan was scrapped.

Mother-of-two Julie Kelly, 44, of Shire Close, Whiteley, had been already appointed chairwoman of the temporary governing body for the new primary school planned for Whiteley.

But that plan has been dashed by a row between the education authority, Hampshire County Council, and the owner of the proposed site, Winchester City Council, which has refused to sell the land.

Mrs Kelly said: 'We're just very disappointed.

'We've been preparing and hoping the school was going to go ahead. We put committees together and a draft prospectus, a logo and even an advert for a headteacher and a whole group of very committed people working to get this up and running for the people of Whiteley. Instead, more and more children are on waiting lists who would have had somewhere to go within Whiteley.'

The News reported on Tuesday that Winchester City Council's cabinet had recommended refusing to sell the land despite previously agreeing to the deal in principle. The council said its Hampshire counterpart had not offered adequate recreation land to compensate for the loss of ground next to Meadowside Leisure Centre, where the school would have been built.

The recommendation is expected to be rubber-stamped by the full council on July 19.

The school is needed as there are not enough spaces at the town's existing school, which already has 45 children on the waiting list for next year.

Many families had been praying for the new 210-pupil school, which would mean they no longer had to drive their children to neighbouring schools up to five miles away.

jeff.reines@thenews.co.uk

14 July 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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