Letter of the week: Who foots the bill for closure-threatened South Shields School?

Coun Moira Smith replied  to my recent letter concerning the closure of South Shields community school (Gazette letters).

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 29th November 2018, 1:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th November 2018, 1:45 pm
Campaigners demonstrate against the school's potential closure.
Campaigners demonstrate against the school's potential closure.

She covered a lot of points in her own letter and of course my information is from the press so she will have had access to a lot more information than me.

So can she please answer these questions for the distressed parents who now have to be allocated places at a possible eight ‘good’ schools for their displaced children, none of which will be oversubscribed Harton Academy, an outstanding school.

Campaigners demonstrate against the school's potential closure.

Will the Labour councillors on the governing body of South Shields School, who watched while Rome burned, now resign?

Who is responsible for the continuing payments of the PFI contract until the building is paid for, the council, council tax payers or the Government?

If it is council tax payers, how much per year? Where from? How much on each council tax bill per year? Cost of ongoing security whilst empty, funded by STMBC, the PFI provider, or the Government?

One thing I found very interesting in Moira’s comments about the predicted increase in UK pupils number by 2022, she stated that the figure of 167,000 extra secondary age pupils by 2022 was a national prediction, and population growth in the South Tyneside council area would be a lot less than this.

If that is so then why is the Labour council threatening urban areas such as Cleadon Village and East Boldon with building new homes on green belt for an expected population growth of some 7,000 people by 2035.

Can Moira please provide the local population evidence that shows the need to build many hundreds of houses on green belt, and just what is the expected growth in population of STMBC predicted to be in 2035.

Will that be new residents or children of existing residents?

Readers may have noticed that 2035 is around the date that the defunct school will be paid for, by just who though?

That is the question that needs to be answered and hasn’t been yet.

Colin Campbell.