Councillor’s concern at lack of school provision
A COUNCILLOR has voiced concerns over the fact that no plans have been made to build new secondary schools in East Cambridgeshire in the next 18 years. The East of England Development Agency predicts that East Cambridgeshire will see a 28.5 per cent popul
A COUNCILLOR has voiced concerns over the fact that no plans have been made to build new secondary schools in East Cambridgeshire in the next 18 years.
The East of England Development Agency predicts that East Cambridgeshire will see a 28.5 per cent population increase to 102,400 by 2031.
The district council has identified a need for new primary schools in Ely and Soham in its draft core strategy for growth up to 2025.
But the paper states that existing secondary schools will have to expand.
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Cllr Mike Rouse, pictured, vice chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council's Strategic Development Committee, said: "The rate of growth in Ely, Soham and Littleport is clear. The secondary schools in the district are already becoming quite large and as a parent I don't want my children going to a school which has 18,000 students."
Cllr Rouse, who represents Ely North, added: "The council should be identifying areas of land that could be suitable to build a new secondary school. Before long much of the space could be taken up by houses and businesses."
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The City of Ely Community College is the only available comprehensive sixth form college in East Cambridgeshire.
Cllr Rouse said: "Many students are already travelling to Cambridge for sixth form. This could be why they are prepared to move far away from their family homes to find work when they become young adults.
"It could be the case that many children will have to take the bus to Cambridge to go to school."
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: "We regularly look at demographic and social trends, and there is no suggestion that a new secondary school is needed in East Cambridgeshire in the near or mid-term future.
"Our forecasts are reviewed regularly and if the situation were to change, we may re-consider our plans."
East Cambridgeshire District Council's core strategy will go out for public consultation before it becomes part of the Local Development Framework.