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Lib Dems reveal secret Tory Plans to sell off Emmbrook School

April 17, 2003 12:00 AM

Wokingham Lib Dems have uncovered a secret Conservative plan to sell off Emmbrook Secondary School. Councillor Alan Spratling (Leader of the Lib Dem Group at Wokingham District Council) said, "It has been revealed to us that the Tories have been secretly doing a deal with the Government to sell off Emmbrook School and to build a new school in Finchampstead. As this crazy plan will not cater for all the children in the district, they then intend to cram more and more pupils into The Holt School, Forest School and Maiden Erlegh School. The Tories submitted a bid to the Government in January for £31 million to pay for this. I am staggered that they have done this behind everyone's backs. The Tory promise of public consultation sounds very hollow indeed."

Councillor Tina Marinos (Lib Dem Councillor for Evendons ward) said, "Selling Emmbrook School would rip the heart out of the community. I was a teacher at the Emmbrook School for five years, and I know how much the school means to the pupils and the whole community."

Jo Shockley (Lib Dem candidate for Emmbrook ward) said, "The Emmbrook School site is worth millions of pounds. I can already imagine the property developers queuing up to build hundreds of extra houses. This secret plan would result in massively increased traffic congestion from any new housing and also from all the Emmbrook children having to travel to Finchampstead to school. Emmbrook pupils and parents will be furious that no-one has consulted them, and I don't expect this news will be well-received. No wonder the Tories decided to keep their plans quiet!"

Tina Marinos added, "When the Tories decided to sell off Woodley Shopping Centre in secret recently, the Lib Dems got them to promise they wouldn't try to sell off Council property without proper public consultation. This latest revelation shows that they are not the slightest bit interested in what their residents think. They clearly only intended to reveal their plans when the deal was done."