2023-02-09 Extraordinary General Meeting of Great & Little Gidding Parish Council to discuss the future of Great Gidding CofE (VC) School

Reason for the Meeting
It is unusual for either the Council or the Diocese to recommend consideration of a school closure. However, on 17 January 2023 the Council’s Children & Young People’s Committee agreed that a consultation should take place on the future of Great Gidding CE VC Primary School with effect from 31 August 2023. 

Extraordinay meeting held on Thursday 9th February 2023 in Great Gidding Village Hall

PRESENT: Parish Cllrs Hodson, D’Altilia, Maciag, Hargrave, Moody, Bolton,

the Right Honorable Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire and resident in the school catchment area,

County Councillors Gardener (Alconbury and Kimbolton Division (which includes Great & Little Gidding parish and the school catchment area)), County Councillor Simon Bywater (Cambridgeshire county council (Sawtry and Stilton) Huntingdonshire district councillor (Sawtry ward), Ross Martin (Huntingdonshire District Councillor (Sawtry ward).

Mr Jonathan Lewis, Director of Education – Cambridgeshire County Council

Ms Clare Buckingham, Strategic Policy and Place Planning Manager  – Cambridgeshire County Council

Ms Bryony Goodliffe – Chair of Children and Young People Committee – Cambridgeshire County Council

Ms Fran Cox, Assistant Director, Education Capital and Place Planning – Cambridgeshire County Council

Andrew Read, Director of Education for the Diocese of Ely

Mr Iain Nott, Head of Estate – Milton (Peterborough) Estates Co.

and the Clerk. 

Joined by 34 members of the public

Notices had been posted in the village, on the website and shared on social media platforms, advising of the meeting and its purpose.  The notice invited written submissions prior to the meeting and, after the deadline, these were shared with the Education Department to enable them to research and respond at the meeting.     

At the meeting:

Parish Council Chairman, Paul Hodson, opened the meeting by thanking those in attendance and those that submitted questions and comments prior to the meeting.

Mr Jonathan Lewis, Education Department, gave a background to the process that had led to the consultation regarding the future of the village school.

Parish Councillor Karen Moody read out questions and comments that had been submitted and, in turn, Mr Lewis responded.  Later in the meeting there were questions directed at the Parish Council and then to Mr Vara – all were answered.

Mr Vara’s request to address those present was granted.

***The closing date for the consultation on the future of Great Gidding CofE (VC) School is 12 noon on Tuesday 21st February – any further questions and comments can be submitted to that consultation via an online survey – https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/GGconsultation/

+++ the next meeting of the Children and Young People’s Committee will be held on Wednesday 8th March at 2.00PM in the Red Kite Room at New Shire Hall, Alconbury Weald.

The next Parish Council meeting will take place on Tuesday 21st February 2023

starting at 1930 hours in the Village Hall, Great Gidding.

Meeting closed at 21.05

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