Here it is! The proposed £6,000,000 new Primary School to be built in the grounds of the Thomas Peacocke replacing both the Freda Gardham in New Road and the Tilling Green Primary in Mason Road.
This model, which is currently on display at the Thomas Peacocke College, has aroused a lot of comment in the town. “An architects Delight”, “An absolute waste of Public Funds”, “To be constructed of materials with a very limited life span”, “Will suffocate the surrounding school buildings and being built on a plinth will tower above local properties”, “The model and plans alone cost ten times as much as the whole sum used to build the Ferry Road Primary School which was bulldozed by the County Council five years ago – That building was built of Sussex brick and would have lasted for more than 100 years, just as the original Rye Grammar School building, which was built 100 years ago this year and is still in fine condition”.
These were just a few of the remarks made by local councillors, builders and developers.
The Campaign for a Democratic Rye contingent are far more worried that the whole scheme has been produced at County level with absolutely no input by Rye Town Council. “Whatever is built, or not built, should be the decision of the people of Rye through their elected council.” explained Councillor Keith Taylor, “It seems that our own Councillors do not get any say in the matter until the plans are submitted to Rother for approval. This gets them the chance to say yes or no, but as this concession is only advisory it means their decision means very little, County are hardly likely to change their minds after so much money has already been spent”
Rye County Councillor Keith Glazier puts the plan across as though a £6,000,000 project is too good to be missed – but who foots the bill anyway? The poor old ratepayer is the answer to that. And what are they getting for their money? A school built on a cramped site with no room for expansion should the trend of Rye children using the village schools be reversed, a building with a limited life span and a traffic problem with buses and cars going to The Grove twice a day and using the busy and difficult to access Rope Walk, Cinque Ports Street Junction.
All this does not even take into consideration the students at the Thomas Peacocke who will spend at least two years of their study time working in the middle of a building site.
The ‘Information Note’ provided by the County Council makes one very profound remark, “The new Primary School and Children’s Centre for Rye are the results of two years behind the scenes work”.
Behind the scenes work which our elected council has not been privy to. The time has come for local accountability on all the Rye sites County controls.
“Rye’s Own” January 2007
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