The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Jim Grant, has called for a halt to the Croft Development until local residents’ concerns about the process of the school being granted have been heard.
The Labour Group Leader has also written to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Rod bluh, requesting that he join him in meeting leaders of the Croft Community who have expressed their concerns about the proposed new Old Town School.
I am calling for a temporary halt to the development of the Croft School, based on the evidence the Croft residents have provided to me. The reason I am doing this is because the Croft residents have shown me evidence that undermines the robustness of the information that has been provided to justify the school being on the Croft site.
As well as this, I think local residents’ have been isolated from the Croft School process because they were legitimately concerned about a new school being on that site and that has meant the Croft community now feel completely alienated from Swindon borough Council. This cannot be right and undermines one of the Council’s strategic aims- to better engage with its local communities.
If I have been given the correct information then reconsideration of the Croft School and a temporary halt to development is the minimum that is required. Following this I think the Leader of the Council and I need to meet with the leaders of the Croft community to listen and review their case.
below is a letter to Councillor bluh to ask him to join me in doing this. Anything other than him doing this will be a kick in the teeth for the Croft and wider Old Town community.
Cllr Jim Grant, Swindon Labour Group Leader
Labour Leader’s Letter to the Leader of the Swindon Council
I write to you as a matter of serious urgency regarding the proposed new primary school at Croft. Whilst we are political opponents I believe we have some things in common and this includes wanting good trusting relationships with Swindon’s communities. Recently there has been a break down in trust with the Croft Community over theCroftSchoolproposal.
Originally I thought this was about the proposed school at Croft and the subsequent planning decision, however it is much deeper than that and I believe it undermines the ‘Stronger Together’ principles.
I recently met some of the Croft Community and the information they relayed causes me great concern. They feel an injustice has been done on the back of what they feel is incorrect and incomplete information that has been supplied to council members to make decisions. based on what they have told me it may contribute to an unsafe decision and I would be happy to talk to you about this in person.
Since the Planning Committee Meeting they have also been told that information presented to the committee can’t be challenged. In other words, there is no recourse for local residents’ on planning decisions. I am not comfortable with this and the residents have judged the Council by its acts and to them the Council has used all the resources at its disposal to ensure the building of a school at Croft, without thinking about alternative arrangements.
That is why I am callin g on you to temporarily halt the building of the proposed primary school at Croft. During this time I propose that me and you, as the town’s main political group leaders, meet with the leaders of the Croft community and review their case. This should not be a long process as all the information regarding this is in the public domain and this could have significant implications in signalling toSwindon’s communities that their council will hear them out.
I look forward to a prompt response from you.
Cllr Jim Grant
Swindon Labour Group Leader