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Debbie Abrahams MP set to meet Education Minister about Saddleworth School

Debbie Abrahams (Photo: Stuart Coleman©2013)

Debbie Abrahams (Photo: Stuart Coleman©2013)

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has arranged a meeting with Education Minister David Laws to discuss the future of Saddleworth School.

Debbie said: “I was in Diggle last week talking to residents about the proposed new Saddleworth School. The overwhelming response from those I spoke to was support for the new school.

“They recognised, as I do, the need for a new school fit for the 21st century. But they have genuine concerns, particularly about the traffic impacts, but other issues too including the positioning of the school and a lack of engagement with local people.

“I have also received correspondence from several local residents about the proposal. I wrote to David Laws the Education Minister responsible for these decisions on 17th October, the day after the public meeting, and have arranged a meeting with him on 5th November. I will be raising residents concerns with him and looking to see how these can be mitigated. But we need a new school for our young people and our discussions will be in that context.”

Diggle Community Association chairperson, Stuart Coleman said: “Before deciding wether you are for or against proposals to build a new school in Diggle, key concerns have to be addressed and resolved: Is the budget sufficient? If not, how much extra is needed and how will it be found? With opposition growing to building in Diggle should the current Saddleworth School site be re-assessed? Is the identified position of the school on the proposed site in Diggle the best position considering expandability, future usefulness and the historical value of the clock tower? Should the use of green belt be tolerated and does this set a precedent for future development in Saddleworth?   Is the problem with the ‘traffic pinch point’ at the entrance to Diggle being properly considered?

“In relation to the latter, adding to problems on this already grid-locked section of road without proper consideration is not acceptable. Drivers entering and leaving Diggle face queuing on a daily basis and residents and pedestrians have to suffer pollution, noise and traffic. Currently there are 2300 people in Diggle, a primary school, a nursery and two industrial sites. Add to this; a secondary school, twelve new houses on Ward Lane and two opposite the chip shop, further development of the Pallet Works, and you begin to see the enormity of the problem.”

 Please leave a comment below.  It will help readers gauge public opinion.   

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

8 comments to Debbie Abrahams MP set to meet Education Minister about Saddleworth School

  • Yes people do want a new school but you forgot to add Mrs Abrahams not in Diggle and please dont forget to mention this

  • Diggler

    Here here the sooner people get the message that Diggle is not a suitable site the better we all
    want a new school but this is a compromise too for so many reasons of which i won’t go in to detail they have been well documented already.

    The only sensible option is to build the school on the existing site, let’s do what is right for
    Saddleworth and not what is best for OMBC, developers etc. the better and stop this farcical idea.

    Let’s hope you can convey the true feeling of the majority of the people not just in Diggle but the
    whole of Saddleworth!

  • Wrong budget, wrong site, wrong motivation

    Waterhead Academy £35.5 million, Mossley Hollins £20.4 million …. Saddleworth School £15.0 million. It appears this venture will be ham-stringed from the start. Add in to the mix that the proposed playing fields sit on a flood plain and that the project is likely start without any resolution to the traffic congestion issue and it becomes woefully underfunded.
    On the plus side it’s fortunate that the local council have an impeccable track record in the delivery large scale projects (their involvement with the Metrolink and Churchill Playing Fields schemes has been nothing short of spectacular).
    Unfortunately I fear that this decisions is politically motivated and is destined to further careers of a few but do little to benefit the youth or residents of Saddleworth.
    If people really want to overturn this decision then they need to vote with their feet and make their feelings known.

  • Diggle Resident for 40 years

    To build a school of the proposed low budget type on so prominent a central village site would be nothing short of vandalism. These buildings are appalingly ugly and totally out of keeping with the stone-built slate-roofed architectural vernacular of Diggle. Take a look at the new Mossley Hollins school to see how a landscape can be forever blighted by a development of the proposed type. It makes a mockery of the efforts made by existing home owners and new developers to extend and build in sympathy with the area. The access and traffic problems would also be very serious but to to my mind it is the visual and environmental impact it would have which totally damn this project.

  • Not on the fence

    Has Debbie Abrahams climbed over the fence to the other side? Will all those Diggle residents she spoke to identify themselves? Did you know she was here? Perhaps it was a representative sample of half a dozen?
    What does it say on her website-Constituents come first?She should try listening to the majority of Diggle residents.

  • Very Upset Diggler

    Re the statement on the SDAG website about last night’s (06/11) conference call with Debbie Abrahams MP.
    She says she cannot support the residents campaign and is taking Oldham Council “On Trust” and that is after they have been shown to have told serious “porkies” to the residents at the Public Meeting in Uppermill.
    Clearly sound judgement is not one of Ms Abrahams strengths and we should remember this come Election time.
    You couldn’t make it up, could you………………….

  • Well what do you expect? a complete turn around by another politician they did not even discuss why they can’t
    use the Uppermill site. Debbie Abrahams cannot commit her self to supporting the residents campaign well we will remember next Elelction

  • Realistic

    I am far from suggesting I am a Debbie Abrahams fan but she has just met with the minister and also been told that they can’t build on the existing site. Surly she needs to have the interests of all of Saddleworth so has to consider it could be Diggle or no school. How can she commit to the campaign and risk having no school. The comment about remembering at election time is silly. The headteacher has said it is sufficiant. Lots of money would need to be spent on the Uppermill site if they don’t get the funding. There has been NO evidence to say that it CAN be built in Uppermill so keeping options open seems the right way

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