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EFA say that the location of Saddleworth School is entirely Oldham Council’s decision


Suggested plan for Saddleworth School in Diggle

The Save Diggle Action Group (SDAG), this week, asked the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to support building the new Saddleworth School on the existing Uppermill site.

According to Parish Councillor, Mike Buckley, enquiries by Save Diggle Action Group (SDAG) have revealed that the EFA are surprised that they are being made out to be the key decision makers behind the unpopular move of the Saddleworth School to the Diggle green belt site and have indicated this is entirely a decision for Oldham Council and the School Governors.

The EFA have informed SDAG that:-

1.  Many of the new schools built under the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) have been built on their original sites.

2.  The choice of sites is not the responsibility of the EFA and in principal they have no objection to schools being built on the original sites.

3. In fact under the PSBP programme many of the new schools have been built in this way.  Furthermore it is quite common for a new school to be built on the existing playing fields and for the sports facilities to be recreated after the demolition of the old school buildings.

4.  EFA have no objection to temporary accommodation being used on site while school building proceeds.  In fact this is the norm in such situations.

SDAG are now informing the EFA of the local concerns and growing opposition to the proposals to build on the green belt in Diggle.  They are also indicating to them that their role is being misrepresented in the decision making process.

The action group are now urgently asking for a fuller examination of the obstacles involved in rebuilding the school on the existing Uppermill site before any further action is taken by OMBC.

They are also urging concerned parties to write directly to Jane Brighouse, the officer in charge of the project at the EFA, expressing their concerns.  Her email address is: jane.brighouse@education.gsi.gov.uk.

On Monday 28th October, Saddleworth Parish Council voted to support residents campaigning against the siting of a secondary school in Diggle. In addition, they agreed to; support the group’s direct contact with the EFA and to call for the new school to be built on the current site.

Melanie Koen, a resident of Diggle, addressed the Parish Council at the start of their meeting saying, “Saddleworth children are being short changed. They are the ones losing out in this deal. The decision is too quick, too sudden and too cheap and above all, a disaster for Diggle.”

The views expressed in comments relating to posts do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the editor.

Please leave a comment below.  It will help me, as editor of Diggle News, gauge public opinion.


11 comments to EFA say that the location of Saddleworth School is entirely Oldham Council’s decision

  • I do hope this article can appear on the front page of the Oldham Chronicle. From what I have read, Oldham Council trampling all over everyone as usual. Thank goodness we have Councillor Mike Buckley to show Oldham Council up for what they are really are. At the end of the day Oldham Council and the powers that be at the Uppermill school want the school in Diggle at any cost and will try and manipulate everybody to get their own way. This article is putting forward the arguments that the majority of residents have.

  • It is also a disaster for Mossley and transport to Manchester with the current infrastructure, if the Uppermill school site and Uppermill bus terminal is developed as further houseing..

  • angry diggler

    well i think this has clarified a lot.

    the council have been telling us all that their hands are tied by the EFA,
    they said the reasons for the scheme being rushed was beacuse of the EFA,
    the building on the existing site was ruled out by the EFA as the site was too small.

    clearly none of these facts are true.

    how can we trust the council with doing whats right if they’ve not been telling the truth from the start? they’ve had two public meetings to come clean and they have lied to our faces on both occassions.

    how can we entrust them with our childrens futures?

  • Just to let you know, Mike has done all humanly possible for this cause. I am particulary impressed he has been “non political” about forming and supporting the committee.

    But, it has taken the combined work of the action committee, who have contributed, funds, time and extreme effort, to get to this stage so quickly in finding the details of what is going on behind our backs.

  • Not Happy

    Well done to the action committee for all their hard work at least we are finding out what is really going on.

  • This is amazing information. Have we been completely misled? I do hope that there is now going to be a proper conversation about the whole issue rather than being told that it’s all a forgone conclusion.

  • Andy Taylor

    Did Councillor Mike Buckley attend the Oldham council meeting in Uppermill , if he did he would be aware that these issues were raised and answered in a very clear manner .
    As a resident of Diggle and a parent I want to see this school built ASAP , the preference would be on the currebt pallet works site but we don’t want to loose this opportunity for a an investment in improving our children’s future.

    • Very Upset Diggler

      The plan is not, and never has been, to build on the old Pallet Works. The plan is to build on the fields fronting the road.

      And why would you prefer to destroy this area when you could possibly have the new school on the existing site?

  • Concerned Diggler

    In response to Andy Taylor’s comment, I have attended all the meetings so far and the issues were certainly not answered by the Council in a clear manner. The information the Council wanted us to have was presented very clearly but the questions people really wanted answers to were quickly dismissed.

  • Cris Miles

    All the misinformation being given out by OMBC has an olfactory unpleasantness about it.. It is absolutely obvious to all concerned that a Diggle location is fundamentally wrong for pretty well every reason. There is more to this than meets the eye I suspect. OMBC have already shown they are utterly incapable of managing civil projects – witness the travesty of Churchill Playing fields (nearly 1/2 a million down the drain… in fact maybe that’s what is clogging up the drainage!)

  • Harry Pask

    Dr Doyle Is Right about the knock on effect to the transport infrastructure. Each time a new housing development takes place in anywhere Saddleworth we in the neighboring towns and villages ,see an increase in traffic as most people who live in Saddleworth commute to and from work or for leisure.The bus and rail systems are in truth poor to start with.And the likes of the roads out of saddlewoth are not capable to support much more traffic.Mossley have only three main roads through to Manchester and they are at breaking point during peak times.This is not only Diggles problem it will affect all surrounding areas if more home are built in Saddelworth.
    All so at what cost to the beauty of the area is Sadleworth becoming Oldhams Hattersley,Wythenshaw.An overspill to Manchester just to line the pockets of local builders who have no care about the area.I dont live in Saddlworth but I see changes the are not good.

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