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Anger at council’s snub to Burnholme Community College
A CAMPAIGNER has hit out after local councillors rejected calls for a special council meeting to debate the controversial closure of a York school.
Dawn Leatt said she found it ‘quite insulting’ there will be no extraordinary meeting of City of York Council over the plans to shut Burnholme Community College, when one was held in April to discuss the closure of the Beckfield Lane tip.
But Mrs Leatt, who chairs the Burnholme Community College Parents Action Group, said she still intended to speak out when the closure, agreed at a cabinet meeting last month, is debated at the full council meeting on July 12.
Her comments came after Independent Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters wrote to several councillors who represent wards in the school’s area, requesting their support for an extraordinary meeting.
He said this would allow for a full debate, and give teachers, parents and children the ‘democratic opportunity that their efforts deserve.’ But the councillors, including Tina Funnell, Neil Barnes, Fiona Fitzpatrick and Ruth Potter, all turned down the request.
Coun Funnell said there would be a 30-minute debate at the next meeting, at which people would be able to speak and present their petition.
Coun Barnes said he had personally engaged with campaigners, listening to their concerns and feeding them back to officers, and there would be further public participation as well as the debate at full council.
Coun Potter said an extraordinary meeting was not necessary, and said that if parents in the area had sent their children to Burnholme, it would still be going strong.
Coun Fitzpatrick said it was a ‘sad situation’ but such a meeting was ‘not the way to proceed.’ Mrs Leatt said she was ‘unhappy’ at the councillors’ stance, which she felt reflected a general lack of support for the campaign.
Asked for her feelings about the decision to hold such a meeting about the Beckfield Lane tip closure, but not the school, she said: “I feel quite insulted. This is about the education of our children.”