Councillor accused of taking Windsor school expansion consultation 'hostage'

Councillor accused of taking Windsor school expansion consultation 'hostage'

Philip Dewey

Councillor accused of taking Windsor school expansion consultation 'hostage'
Cllr Lynne Jones

A councillor was accused of taking a consultation on expanding Windsor schools 'hostage' after asking the Royal Borough to analyse another option.

A special meeting of the borough's children's services overview and scrutiny panel was called by Cllr Lynne Jones (Old Windsor, Old Windsor Residents Association) and it met yesterday.

The meeting was called due to the panel's 'disappointment' that no analysis had been carried out on the option of moving from a three-tier to a two-tier school system in Windsor.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Jones said: "There has not been any detail on data as to whether the move from a three tier to two tier would be a good thing or not.

"It's the only option that has not had any description and that is why in the spirit of transparency we should see that information."

Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park) accused Cllr Jones of trying to hold up a consultation on whether Windsor Girls' School and Windsor Boys' School should be expanded, which was launched at a cabinet meeting on July 29.

The consultation would be postponed until December if cabinet were required to publish an analysis of the three-tier to two-tier option in a future report.

Cllr Airey said: "It feels like you're trying to take this consultation hostage until we have analysed the three to two tier system, we need to be pressing on with this consultation.

"We desperately need expansion in our secondary school places and we need to put our parents and children first."

Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park), cabinet member for children’s services, said the cabinet were ‘not in favour’ of moving to a two-tier system, which they had discussed at a meeting in July 2012, as it was not worth the ‘finance, aggravation and upset’.

The panel agreed to take no further action.

The meeting took place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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