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Leeds Labour Duck Tough Decisions on School Closures

October 15, 2003 12:00 AM

The decision at today's meeting of the Executive Board of Leeds City Council to delay a decision on the closure of Potternewton Primary School for a year is blatant political interference by Leeds Labour, says Councillor Mark Harris, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.

Cllr Harris said "Potternewton is one of several schools that were earmarked by Education Leeds to close due to the need to cut surplus places in Leeds' Primary Schools. Of course it's always a tough decision to close any school, but the job of Education Leeds is to make those tough decisions when it's in the best interests of the children, and the Council Tax payers, of Leeds. Now we're told that the decision to on whether or not to close Potternewton is to be deferred for a year. It seems strange to me that other schools with compelling reasons to be kept open, such as Royal Park and Langdale Primary, have been told they will definitely close - or is it simply that these schools aren't in Labour wards?"

"While the parents, children, and teachers involved will certainly be delighted, the harsh reality is that it costs around £100,000 per year to keep an untenable school running. This is money that is desperately needed for other education priorities across the city."