23 April 2017
Local authorities, including Leeds City Council, are now prevented by the government to build any new schools. The only new state schools that can be built are the so-called ‘free’ schools – usually by a multi-academy trust (MAT) or by a group of local people. This makes planning for school places very difficult for the local authorities and Leeds is currently very short of primary school places. Local experts are concerned that hundreds of children are currently ‘CME’ (children missing education) as there are simply no places for them. The medium to long term consequences for them, for their families and for society are pretty dire.
This situation is particularly bad in north Leeds, and now the backers of a Roundhay Free School have proposed four possible sites, all of which will involve a loss of green space . One of the proposed sites would take land from the beautiful Roundhay Park, which is part of a conservation area. As well as the golf green which will be lost, the Roundhay Park site they are considering is directly next to a beautiful wooded area, (which has just been saved from development itself), and the upper lake, both of which would be visually impacted if a school is built on the site.
Leeds City Council is encouraging citizens of Leeds to share this consultation with those that may have an interest and would want to take part. It is concerning that there seems to be little knowledge of this consultation either by regular Roundhay Park users, local ‘Friends’ groups or other public park support groups.
Leeds Green Party is sympathetic to the need of Leeds parents seeking school places. We believe that the Council’s ability to build new schools should be restored by the government and the Council should work with all MPs, regardless of party, to persuade the government to change its policy. In the meantime, we urge all interested parties to preserve green spaces and the green belt and to seek to build any new school on brownfield sites.
You can read more about the plans and respond to the consultation here:
Please note, the closing date for comments is Friday 28 April 2017 and therefore there is little time left.
Thank you for your help and contribution – we must protect our city’s parks!
Yorkshire & Humber