LETTER: No use for scaremongering in Laneshaw Bridge school debate

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AS parents of a pupil at Laneshaw Bridge Primary School, the recent articles and a number of the readers’ letters have left us aghast at the willingness of certain individuals to enter into scaremongering. We maintain they are encouraging local residents to make decisions on the basis of totally inaccurate information.

The issue over the new school at Laneshaw Bridge is clearly a matter of intense debate. Surely, however, we owe it to the entire local community to have the debate based around the facts and nothing less.

To address the concerns raised in the letter of January 28th entitled “Ugly Banner”, we would firstly like to point out that no school funds were used in its purchase.

Secondly, with respect to the aesthetics and road safety issues raised, we would make a couple of observations:

1) The “RAGE” posters, “White Elephant” posters and “No to a new school” fliers damaged the aesthetics of the local area long before the banner was erected.

2) One could argue that the bright orange “No” posters in residents’ windows not only posed a danger to road safety, but were deeply upsetting to our children who walk to school intimidated by a sense of rejection perpetrated by their local community. It is nevertheless pleasing to see that many of these have recently been removed, no doubt as people learn the true facts!

In relation to the “not needed” letter in the same edition, over 70% of families at the school reside within a two-mile radius. Government guidelines state children under the age of eight should not travel more than two miles to school, and those over eight no more than three.

However, we would add that simply because a pupil lives outside the village it does not mean that they have no right to attend the school if a place is available. On such a contentious issue, we have the right to expect an honest and open debate about this crucial local matter.

Reports of children in tears and doorstep harassment tactics by the “No” campaigners” should fill us all with horror and is absolutely unacceptable.

Laneshaw Bridge Primary is a successful school, supporting the needs of modern families.

It should be commended for the standard of education offered to the local community and for the valiant efforts on behalf of the staff to do the best for the welfare needs of its pupils.

MR and MRS J. SAUNDERS

Foulds Road, Trawden