Places…..What Places?

Chris Thomas at Norwood

Eastleigh’s Town Councillors were shocked to learn that the Conservative led County Council have discovered a shortfall in places for Year R this coming September – an anticipated shortfall of 50 places. The expectation is that the shortfall will increase in coming years.

The county are blaming this on parent choice and a rising birthrate which is surprising as the County Council must have realised this would happen because this year’s group of children were born four years ago.

Mrs Kim Bancroft (pictured) was one of the first parents to comment when told that Norwood Primary School was to lose its music room for year R.

She said:

“The children will lose out, its not fair, what happens next year?”

It is understood that the County Council are considering temporary classrooms.

Councillor Thomas commented:

“The County Council have known about this for a while, they take developers contributions from developments for education, where has it gone?”

The Conservative led County Council are holding a consultation on how to

deal with the problem, but, it’s not for parents.

Councillor Thomas calls for the County to come clean on its plans and hold a fair consultation which would include the views of parents.

Read details here:

Current league tables for Hampshire schools at Key Stage 2 here:

Councillor Chris Thomas is the Chair of Eastleigh Local Area Committee, Eastleigh Borough Council and can be contacted on 07948 546034

Follow Chris Thomas @cllrthomas

  18 comments for “Places…..What Places?

  1. Stephen Slominski
    January 31, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    What? Not enough School places to go round in Eastleigh?
    Best build an extra 10,000 homes quick…

  2. Peter Stewart
    February 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

    If we open our borders to a mass immigration of cheap EU labour then we mustn’t be surprised if we get shortages of school places. It’s happening right across Britain. Couple that with massive amounts of our taxes being paid to prop up our EU “partners” and the result is woefully predictable: MELTDOWN!

    • Chris Thomas
      February 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Are you seriously suggesting that we dont send these children to school??…

      I know that it is clear, children are born here, grow up here and their parents earn, pay taxes and contribute to our community. Not sending them to school would send us back to the dark ages.

      Whether we are in or out of the EU, and here Peter and I will disagree, the fact is the children are here and deserve to be taught!

  3. February 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Chris – good to see a blog from the inside. Were you really “shocked” though? That’s the only thing that surprises me in your piece!

    • Chris Thomas
      February 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Keith…yes I was, very shocked, births are registered with HCC, there was a census last year. So how come the planners didnt know, the fact is they had 4 years warning!!!!

      I will accept that parental choice may make some schools busier than others, but on a community basis I really cant see how HCC has got in such a mess

  4. February 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Hands up all those who said or predicted…told you so! This follows a published report last week? I think, that temp’ classrooms are going to be seen more and more in the coming future.

    I guess Labours PFI that was supposed to see more schools built wasnt the answer afterall. I wont mention Eastleigh Councils proposals for additional development..oops, to late!

    Sadly its all the result of poor planning and a lack of joined up thinking.

    • February 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      OHHHH goblidook. This piece was written last week, before the report was published, please ask the ED… apologies accepted.

      Additional development has nothing to do with it, Hamphire can delay development for lack of school places, (they havent) and take developers contributions towards education from all developments (LOTS of contributions.

      I wont comment on PFI’s not worth it, but primaries have been being closed.

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        February 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm

        Yes, I was tardy posting Chris’s piece up as I have had to take some time out..might be shovelling more onto Ray’s shoulders but I know he is busy writing around four different blogs at the moment!

  5. Stephen Slominski
    February 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Chris mentions developers contributions – I was quite interested to what happens to the ‘New Homes Bonus’ when we get the new housing estates at Boorley and Stoneham.

    We are going to need more school places but I was surprised to learn that unlike Council Tax – the lions share of which goes to County – NHB will go 100% to the local authority , in this case Eastleigh.

    (Little wonder that EBC are hell bent on building at any cost – NHB is worth ££££s more than Council Tax)

    Ken Thornber was moaning about this at an HOC select committee a couple of months back – HCC will have to fund schools and roads while EBC get to spend the extra on putting on panto’s at the Raspberry and buying up empty office blocks.

    • Chris Thomas
      February 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Interesting point Stephen, but way to far in the future. For those interested, read up on the Community Infrastructure Levy, where developers contributions have to be demonstrated to be required.

      Still very early days for the New Homes Bonus so hard to say what effect it will have…..but I am sure that you will follow how its spent.

  6. Peter Stewart
    February 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

    School shortages! How appalling we even have to discuss it. This is Britain 2012.

    Alas Britain is fast becoming a 3rd world country because we are trying to fund our own infrastructure and that of our economic competitors in the EU.

    Open EU borders (to trade and migration) have destroyed millions of manufacturing jobs and allowed a mass immigration of cheap labour. This has increased unemployment for British workers and reduced the income tax take, further aggravating the cumulative underfunding of our own infrastructure caused by having to make massive “EU Contributions” etc. The massive benefits claimable by EU migrant workers under EU legislation and payable both here or back in their home countries, are further damaging our own infrastructure.

    Shortages of school places (while obviously important) are the tip of a growing iceberg! Sooner or later, our politicians will have to wake up to the fact that this cannot go on. We are currently waking up to “living beyond our means” under the last Labour government, but the root cause is NOT being dealt with (i.e. the destruction of our own manufacturing base and the massive, expensive imports which result). Until we admit that the EU has been a devastating mistake, school shortages will only get worse. What’s more, the building of 5,000 new houses in Eastleigh will only aggravate the problem.

  7. Anne Romaine
    February 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Chris – aren’t you also a County Councillor for Eastleigh East. As such shouldn’t you have become aware of any problem prior to this?

  8. Brian Norgate
    February 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Keith House with David Chidgey chose not to go ahead with the planned Allington development so we not only lost the Schools and infrastructure, We also lost the Chickenhall Link road which would have brought more work for the growing
    Population in Eastleigh.

    Jim Clark and St Modwen with Alstom were involved with EBC and we lost the
    Railway works because the lib dems could not negotiate a good deal for Eastleigh
    As the EBC business plan was not even robust to protect what we had.

    Chris Thomas is well aware of this so his comments are as good as the Lib dems negotiating ability for the people of Eastleigh. Which has been exceptionally poor.

    Ken Thornber actually warned Eastleigh of the loss of the Allington development
    And the loss of schools and health services in Eastleigh under the Keith House administration.

    Chris Thomas was responsible for the developments on the Pirelli and Causton sites
    and wasted the developer contributions, So Chris Thomas is crying wolf over the lack of school places as it’s the over developments he negotiated that has caused the school number problems.

    During the elections the lib dems claimed the Labour party were wrong and misleading the public over the parking charges when in fact The Labour party
    Were correct and the Lib dems gave the false story to get elected

    The Lib dems have unpaid interest free loans
    declared a The electoral commision which they used to get elected.

    That makes Eastleigh a potential thief dom and without the unusual Lib dems spending and which Eastleigh is paying a heavy price for

    • Chris Thomas
      February 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Fascinating Brian, but you do need to watch out for libel…. I take it that the labour Party, you are their spokesman now wants to build in Allington Lane.

      It is always interesting to hear the nonsense spouted by Labour, as you well know, developers contributions for Education are taken by the county and Eastleigh has no control over them. As to me being personally responsible for Pirelli and Caustons rather stretches the reality.

      As for the railway works, OHHH what nonsense, you’ve clearly not been there recently, based on the strength of the local plan, serious investments have been made.

      As usual, instead of sticking to the subject, and the very real concerns, Brian launches into his usal nonsense about funding, well lets ask the Labour party about Union funding and how …welll lets not go there…a waste of time

  9. Peter Stewart
    February 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    The loss of Eastleigh railway carriage works was a tragedy for Britain. However it’s wrong to blame the LibDems. Culpability rests firstly with the Conservative government of 1972 which ratified the European Communities Act and secondly with the Conservative governments from 1979 to 1997 which slavishly followed every EU diktat which came their way and thereby set in motion a disastrous chain of events, culminating in EC Directive 91/440 which split up our nationalized British Rail, and EC Directive 90/531 which obliged the UK carriage works to put their contracts out to tender among our EU competitors. The sabotage of slam door carriages by “new” EU rolling stock requirements sealed Eastleigh’s fate (despite the fact that slam door carriages were good for another 25 or 30 years use. The loss of UK carriage works has been occurring across Britain, not just in Eastleigh. Recently we have all witnessed the disastrous impact of EC Directive 90/531 in the Bombardier fiasco. Everybody is asking why it is that this rolling stock contract has been awarded to Siemens in Germany. Answer: Because we are in the EU. It’s that simple and that is the reason we lost Eastleigh Railway carriage works. Had we not been in the EU, slam door carriages would still be running and Eastleigh would still be servicing them. Meanwhile we would have been bringing our latest designs onto the rails and an orderly transition would have occurred without the need to close Eastleigh.

  10. Peter Stewart
    February 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    P.S. It is good news to see rolling stock activity back in Eastleigh. Let us hope it grows and we can one day celebrate a carriage works the size it was before Alstom took it over. With all the rolling stock on our rails, it should be British hands building and maintaining it. Obviously the newer (EU compliant) stock will not need as much maintenance (even though I hear from some of my old colleagues that it is not as good as the British built stock).

  11. Brian Norgate
    February 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Peter, I worked for Alstom in the accounts department whilst the over optomistic plans by the Lib dems for Chickenhall link road were being negotiated, You are right about European directive and we took this up through Liam Byrnes department.

    But this wasnt the deciding factor in moving the Contracts and managers from Eastleigh to Wolverton Railway works, even though the french and german firms benefitted from the directive as it was not a level playing field and we were given a bad hand to negotiate with
    to keep the works open.

    I was in the Swan Hotel Stafford with three senior Alstom managers who thought the Chickenhall link road would go ahead and the potential for the Eastleigh site to become part of the expanded airport they would get a better return for their site.

    There was to be more industry, hotels and jobs
    it was a tempting offer for any company that wasnt Eastleigh based. The Airport offered to build a train station for the houses that would have been built at Allington on the Botley railway line.

    Wolvertons site was cheaper on the business rates and Alstom got back about £1 million on buiness rates at Eastleigh as they down sized Eastleighs staff, which probably was used to help move the work away from Eastleigh.

    The Lib dem administration was responsible not Chris Thomas for failing to protect the Railway jobs in Eastleigh.

    My point is that we dont just believe what we are told from the libs but have our own information from several sources before we release the information.

    its the old party trick to deny what you dont want to be believed – The Libs denied the first parking charges didnt Keith House say NO Never another untruth by the Labour Party

    The same was true for the lost NHS day services at the Mount Bishopstoke, The same could be said for several contracts the Libs negotiated.

    Well we had the EBC paperwork whic predated the election and an EBC openly stated it at a meeting which was recorded by the independant secratary.

    The libs benefited at the election from their denial which their MP used on radio Solent and many other media opportunities.

    for those who want to see how the Lib dems are funded look at the Electoral Commision website for their declared election spend.

    Harry Coles(aka Guido Fawkes) made several well researched complaints to the electoral comission over The Itchen Valey Printing used By Councillor Anne Winstanley, there appeared to be a loan of 10k owed to the IVP and it was claimed the printing machine was brought from our MPs Parliamentary account.

    Councillor Winstanley is reported of loaning interest Free over 10k which at the election spend declaration was still unpaid last year.

    I note Chris Thomas rant but dont take too much notice of it, the facts tell a different story of their own.

    • February 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Mr Norgate
      Still waiting for your reply, whats the problem,is it UNITE?-Pete Luffman or Sue Topher how about the South East Region.
      Please let me know before the local
      Sam Snook

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