Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Petition Presented

As reported in the Evening Gazette tonight's council meeting was the moment when the work of the last few weeks came to its culmination. The petiton against siting Egglescliffe School in Preston park was presented by 2 members of our local community, Stella and Cynthia, supported by former ward councillor and now Preston Parish Councillor Mike Cherrett. When we arrived at the Town Hall we were told that the petition would be passed over to the Mayor by one of the council officers so there'd be no opportunity for a photo of the hand over. As it turned out, the mayor did come down and receive it from Stella but the photo is while waiting for the meeting to start.
Later in the procedings John Fletcher had put down a question for the cabinet member responsible for BSF to answer, asking that the misinformation contained in the MP's letter to our constituents be corrected. He didn't put it in quite those terms of course and the cabinet member didn't actually say at any point that he agreeed or disagreed with either side, but he did make clear statements of what is happening which didn't always correspond to the contents of our MP's letters. He agreed with John that factual information is important and that the council should make every effort to ensure that it's available.
That was followed by a lengthy prologue and short question from an IBIS councillor about the petition and how it would be verified. We're more than happy for the council's officers to verify addresses and names. I've made sure that as far as I'm able to verify everyone who signed the petition is a real person. I'm also convinced that a petition of over 2500 names shows that there is little public support for Preston Park as a site for a school. Whatever site it ends up on, a good staff can make a good school but Preston Park can't be recreated in bits scattered around Eaglescliffe.

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