Call me old fashioned but I think our taxes should pay for educational facilities, rather than relying on flogging off land to supermarkets.
Better not let Miss M see that, or she'll call you an armchair socialist.
But seriously, I couldn't agree more. But as you may have noticed, these are hard times, and the government has now admitted that its recovery plan is not working and we are not going to see better times for several years.
So if we want our kids to have anything better, we've got to get off our backsides and provide it ourselves (maybe that's what the Big Society means?
). So we are very fortunate that our college governors appear to have found an imaginative and resourceful way of funding much-needed improvements.
MARPLE is a growing town with housing developments being built all the time so it is my belief that we should not loose any education facility because once it's gone there is no turning back.
In referring to 'education facility', it's important to distinguish between schools and 6th form colleges. If Miss M means that we might need to accommodate future growth at 6th form level, then we need to note that the college has far more land than it needs, or will ever need in the foreseeable future. The two camsfc campuses were originally built as schools. Schools need playing fields - colleges do not. On top of that, the college Estates Committee minutes of June 2010 confirm that the Hibbert Lane building is too big for the curriculum delivered. Schools and colleges operate under tight financial constraints; they do not have the funding to run unused buildings just in case student numbers may possibly grow at some point in the distant future. If there is future growth, they will build to accommodate it, and there should be sufficient space around the Buxton Lane building to do that.
On the other hand, if Miss M is referring to school-level
'education facilities', then the sale of Hibbert Lane is irrelevant. The land belongs to the college, which is independent of the local authority. If the council ever wanted it for a school, they would have to buy it from the college (if the college was prepared to sell). If it was a primary school they wanted to build, they would have to knock the existing building down and replace it with a new one. None of this is ever going to happen: in the unlikely event that we needed a new primary school the council would use a site that it already owned, so that we council taxpayers don't have to pay for it.
As for needing to build a new secondary school, forget it - there is more than enough space for expansion on the Marple Hall campus.