Lack of action
SIR, — Further to my letter (Herts Advertiser, March 5) concerning the lack of school places for several applicants in Harpenden and the surrounding districts, I read with interest Herts County Councillor Bernard Lloyd s letter to you (March 12). I must t
SIR, - Further to my letter (Herts Advertiser, March 5) concerning the lack of school places for several applicants in Harpenden and the surrounding districts, I read with interest Herts County Councillor Bernard Lloyd's letter to you (March 12). I must take issue with some of his remarks.
First, there is no propaganda in St Albans District Councillor Judy Shardlow's protests about the county's inept display in allocating places for children in these areas. She is doing what I believe a councillor should do - fighting her corner for her constituents.
Second, I have a copy of excerpts from the Herts Advertiser dated April 10 and 17, 2003, in which the problems of insufficient school places are highlighted. Anyone interested enough can reach these via www.hertsad.co.uk and see for themselves. In spite of Cllr Lloyd's self-aggrandisement at what he and his colleagues have done, nothing has changed in the ensuing six years except perhaps much paper-shuffling to affect the statistics put out by the LEA at County Hall.
Third, Councillor Lloyd totally misses the point of the parents' objections to their children's placements. Whether or not Francis Bacon is a failing school, or one that produces prodigies each term, is beside the point. Please be clear Cllr Lloyd that Harpenden children, born and raised here from day one, do not want to travel to another town or city to be further educated when excellent schooling exists in their home town.
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Being placed on a "continuing-interest" list and being advised to appeal if this list doesn't work, does nothing to ease the worries of both pupils and parents.
I have written personally to Cllr Lloyd and have received a reply, much in the vein of his letter. He has offered to meet with me, and I have accepted, leaving the date to be decided by him. At the time of writing this I have not had a reply although in fairness it is early days yet. I do not wish to enter into conflict with him. What I want explaining in detail are the roles and responsibilities that a councillor assumes when taking office. So little is known - by me, anyway - of their brief until, of course, the approach of the hustings when votes count for everything. More efficient action in the meantime would help to restore confidence in public low morale.
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The Close, Harpenden.