A leading Thurrock Councillor has reacted angrily to Thurrock Council’s decision to re build the new Ormiston Academy School on it’s existing site in Aveley.
Labour Councillor for West Thurrock and Purfleet, Andy Smith, said;
“This is a travesty. Purfleet is a fast growing community which is earmarked for a lot of new homes and it is essential that infrastructure – such as schools – is provided for my constituents. The council, initially, appeared to have accepted this by designating the London Fire Brigade site as the home to the school in it’s Local Development Framework.”
Without consulting any of the ward councillors for West Thurrock and Purfleet, or a single resident of Purfleet, Thurrock Council’s Conservative Cabinet decided the new school, funded by the government, should be built on it’s existing site in Aveley – leaving youngsters of Purfleet and West Thurrock a three mile journey to school.
Councillor Smith was not prepared to take the decision lying down so he used the power of “Call in” to force the Council’s Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee to review the decision.
Unfortunately the Committee upheld the Cabinet’s decision on the casting vote of the Chair – Conservative Councillor for Corringham and Fobbing Anne Cheale.
Speaking after the meeting Councillor Smith said;
“I am bitterly disappointed by this decision. Building a brand new school – which I welcome – was the perfect opportunity for the council to recognise the needs of the communities in Purfleet and West Thurrock by siting it between Aveley and Purfleet. By spurning this chance Thurrock Council has turned it’s back on the young people of Purfleet and West Thurrock.”