Second Chafford schools protest at council offices
7:50am Friday 29th June 2012 in News
THE Chafford Schools for Chafford Kids campaign group has staged its second protest outside Thurrock Council’s offices.
The group, made up of the parents of 23 children from Chafford Hundred who haven’t got a place at one of its three primary schools, held banners and shouted their plea for places as councillors went into a full council meeting last week.
Conservative ward councillors Tunde Ojetola, Charlie Key and Simon Wootton were there supporting the parents.
Cllr Ojetola said: “I think this shows the determination the parents have. They feel the council hasn’t been helpful.
“A feasability study last year into extending primary schools in Chafford said there was a requirement for 210 more places in Chafford. The council knew there was going to be a shortage.”
Cllr Key said the situation was “heartbreaking”, but commended parents for their behaviour.
He added: “They’ve fought for so long and their campaign has been more than impressive.
“I think they have set a really good example for their children.”
Following the protest the parents packed into the public gallery to hand in a petition with more than 1,000 signatures calling for an extra classroom to be added at Warren Primary School, in Gilbert Road.
Lea Agambar, who helped start the group, said they have been overwhelmed by public support.
She said: “We’ve had a fantastic number of signatures considering we only set up the petition a couple of weeks ago. Our children deserve to go to school where they live.
“We are also going to support MP Jackie Doyle-Price’s campaign for a new free school, as it’s not just about our chidren, it’s about children in future years.”
Labour’s education portfolio holder, Oliver Gerrish, confirmed he will be meeting with parents again, and said while he hadn’t given up on finding a solution, he didn’t want to “give false hope”.