Letter: Councils should see the bigger picture

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I noted with interest the comments in The Standard of both councillors and members of the public who clearly felt that the pulling out of Tesco and so-called regeneration was going to spell doom for Sleaford.

Multi-academy trust concerns

I would like to draw attention to the proposed conversion of Carre’s to a Multi Academy Trust currently under public consultation until January 30.

A Multi Academy Trust is a single trust responsible for a number of academies (schools).

Having put three boys through the school for a cumulative total of nearly 20 years now under two heads, I have serious concerns as to where this is going to all end up and how the heritage of the excellent and diverse educational provision that Sleaford has enjoyed over the years is going to be affected.

Carre’s has existed as a boys’ grammar in the town for the past 400 years. As a selective boys’ grammar my own boys have enjoyed excellent teaching on the whole and I believe that the studies showing the extent to which boys benefit from single sex education between the ages of 11 and 16 have been upheld in their cases to be very very true. Indeed, my daughter went to the High School and also prospered in a selective single sex setting.

However, it appears that Carre’s plan as part of any MAT is to provide a co-educational facility on a new site allegedly out of town. It is true that they have introduced a co-educational sixth form facility but this is a very different matter post 16. One can only portend that if this were to go ahead then pressure from Carre’s could undermine the viability of the girls’ high school leaving them no choice but to fall into the Carre’s MAT thus causing a monopoly for selective education in Sleaford.

Additionally, it cannot be disputed that larger school sizes inevitably lead to the loss of individuality and the reduction of child identity through systematic institutionalisation. The town would also inevitably lose part of its heritage.

Traffic congestion could also questionably rise further if an out of town site was built with school run traffic increasing.

This is a consideration for the whole of the town and the surrounding area for everyone could be said to be a stakeholder. The consultation is already well under way and ends on January 30.

Any comments, concerns and complaints should be e-mailed in to consultation@carres.lincs.sch.uk. Every e-mail received has to form part of the document that goes forward from there to the bodies concerned with considering the proposal and granting the MAT or not and it is therefore vital that if people truly do not want to see an end to diversity and choice in the education that the children of Sleaford are afforded, that they act now.

A Parent.

(Name and address supplied for sake of son as a pupil).

Regeneration

Councils should see the bigger picture

I noted with interest the comments in The Standard of both councillors and members of the public who clearly felt that the pulling out of Tesco and so-called regeneration was going to spell doom for Sleaford.

My concerns were that the district council had given planning permission for a number of housing developments within the wider Sleaford area, including most recently an area off Mareham Lane for residential mobile homes, and this together with other developments would create additional traffic to and from Sleaford, with its already narrow highway network.

In addition there are already many traffic generators off both Boston Road and Mareham Lane which far from being helped by the proposed link road, would only add to the current traffic congestion.

Given the clear amount of housing developments, and Ross Field mentions the bottleneck at Castle Causeway, I believe that if Southgate level crossing is closed, then more traffic would use Castle Causeway thus becoming a greater ‘rat-run’ than it currently is.

Before making further plans both the county council and the district council need to see the bigger picture, and take into account all of the previous planning applications they have passed with regard to large planning developments and measure them against the current road network and its clear limitations. I doubt that closing level crossings or building a link road will solve them. Major developments require adequate infrastructure for health and educational requirements, local shops, post offices and other local services. What is sad, however, is that since 2003 the Maltings buildings have been allowed to decay further and further.

A.M. Waddington,

Viking Way, Metheringham.