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News

Labour Councillors Call for Free Vote on Middle Schools

Feb 9

Suffolk's Labour Councillors are "increasingly concerned" by the way in which the county's Tory administration is rushing through plans to abolish Middle Schools, the group said in a press release on Friday.

"These changes appear to be about cutting costs but not raising school standards," the group said.

"The Tory Cabinet seem determined to rush through this unpopular decision without listening to anyone," said Julian Swainson, leader of the Labour group in the council.

"I will personally call on all Conservative, LibDem and Independent Councillors to join Labour in voting for our constituents' wishes, and not just follow the party whip on this decision," Swainson said.

In theory, the Council's March 22 vote will be a free one anyway, according to the Council's education leader Patricia O'Brien, speaking to parents' groups last week.

Full text of Labour press release:

Labour calls for free vote on schools

Feburary 9th, 2007

Labour County Councillors are increasingly concerned about the future of schools in Suffolk following the Conservative administration's cabinet decision to abolish all middle schools.

Labour members share the worries of hundreds of parents, children, governors and teachers that changes are to be imposed. These changes appear to be about cutting costs but not raising school standards.

At the Council meeting on 22nd March Labour Councillors will be free to vote with their conscience, and reflecting their constituents views, without a party whip.

The Labour Group calls on the other parties on Suffolk County Council to do the same, and give a fair hearing to all the people who are unhappy with the pace and direction of the proposed changes.

Julian Swainson, Labour Group Leader, said: "The Tory Cabinet seem determined to rush through this unpopular decision without listening to anyone. Labour councillors will give a say to the real experts, the parents, children, governors and teachers in schools across Suffolk.

"I will personally call on all Conservative, LibDem and Independent Councillors to join Labour in voting for our constituents' wishes, and not just follow the party whip on this decision.

"I want Suffolk County Council to discuss positive proposals for improving children's education, not to be pushed into an early abolition of our middle schools."