The meeting was standing room only as the Speakers including Labour Councillor Jennifer Chuchill, and Louise Reagan – President of teaching union NEU-NUT, discussed the multiple problems with the proposed site of the school
Heathfield Campaign team member Ranjeev Walia observed:
“Heathfield residents are frustrated by the Turing House School plans that are being driven through without proper consultation by the Tory council. They are particularly concerned that the proposals will lead to more traffic congestion and pollution, which will contribute to rising asthma levels. This will affect local residents who will suffer the effects, while there are no assurances that Heathfield children will have any priority rights for the school places. “
Heathfield Campaign team member Jan Kilsby said:
“Residents are demanding answers to their questions. Heathfield is always the forgotten part of the Borough. We are demanding that if the School is built, the plans are altered to ensure proper regulation of the traffic so that neither residents or children are affected. We also want to have an assurance that the majority of places are for local children, who can walk to school, and so limit the environmental impact.”
Heathfield Campaign team member Sergio Cortes Allsopp promised that the Labour Party would keep fighting the Tory plans.
“These proposals i affects the whole of the Borough’s children. Under Conservative school policies anybody can propose opening a free school, even when they have no site available, We do need more school places across the Borough, but we believe, after talking to residents, the proposed site in Heathfield is not the right location.”
In her speech to the meeting, Councillor Jenny Churchill had expressed her frustration that the propsed site for the school was on Metropolitian open land, which was meant to be protected green space.
She concluded that
“There is no capacity in the area for the increased traffic that a new school would generate. Residents shouldn't, and won't, be bullied into accepting this site for Turing House. It's not their fault the free school system is such a abject failure."