Thomas Lord Audley campaign sparks political row

First published in News by

LABOUR and Lib Dem campaigners are engaged in a war of words over who is campaigning hardest to keep a popular secondary school open.

Labour activists have criticised a Lib Dem leaflet distributed in Berechurch ward, claiming Labour has “given up” on attempts to save Thomas Lord Audley School.

Essex County Council wants to close it, along with Alderman Blaxill School as part of a £100million-plus shake-up of secondary education in Colchester.

A vocational college for 14 to 19-year-olds has been mooted for the Thomas Lord Audley School site, but many fear the £100million earmarked for the scheme will be cut as part of the next Government’s package to reduce the budget deficit.

Jordan Newell, Labour’s candidate in Colchester, stressed he was still fighting to keep secondary education at Thomas Lord Audley, which is within the Berechurch ward.

He said: “I have not given up the fight. We want some form of secondary education retained on that site.

“We will keep fighting and we will do our lobbying.”

However, Lib Dem candidate Bob Russell was unrepentant and is standing by the leaflet, which accused Labour of “sacrificing” the two schools because it supports county council plans to replace Sir Charles Lucas Arts College, in Greenstead with an academy.

He said: “I’m still fighting for Thomas Lord Audley to remain an 11 to 16 school.

“There is a world of difference between a vocational college for the over-14s and a secondary school for 11 to 16-year-olds.

“They’re two totally different educational establishments.”

Mr Newell responded he supported plans to keep Thomas Lord Audley open, set out in so-called “option four” proposals, which would put it in a federation with Stanway School.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:07pm Tue 4 May 10

Voter99 says...

Labour sided with Hanningfield and the Tories over the school closures and sold out Colchester's children.
.
Labour sided with Hanningfield and the Tories over the school closures and sold out Colchester's children. . Voter99
  • Score: 0

12:24am Wed 5 May 10

crosby says...

The Labour man said: “I have not given up the fight. We want some form of secondary education retained on that site."

The Liberal Democrats say they want to keep the school open.

Spot the difference - whose are the weasel words?
The Labour man said: “I have not given up the fight. We want some form of secondary education retained on that site." The Liberal Democrats say they want to keep the school open. Spot the difference - whose are the weasel words? crosby
  • Score: 0

1:49am Wed 5 May 10

Boris says...

It is true that Tim & Julie Young ordered all Labour councillors to side with the Tories in backing the Lord Bonkers plan to close the two schools. They graciously allowed their two Berechurch councillors to abstain from this vote. Dave Harris in particular has fought hard for the schools (especially TLA) but party loyalty prevents him from criticising the Youngs in public.
The Lib Dem portfolio holders fought well for months but then they caved in when Tim Young threatened to ditch them and go into coalition with the Tories. So they went along with the access road to Philip Morant which was a key feature in implementing the Bonkers plan.
All parties represented on Colchester BC (Labour, Blue Labour, Lib Dems and High Woods "independents") have behaved despicably on this, the most important local issue in recent times.
The only politician to have maintained his integrity on this issue is Bob Russell.
It is true that Tim & Julie Young ordered all Labour councillors to side with the Tories in backing the Lord Bonkers plan to close the two schools. They graciously allowed their two Berechurch councillors to abstain from this vote. Dave Harris in particular has fought hard for the schools (especially TLA) but party loyalty prevents him from criticising the Youngs in public. The Lib Dem portfolio holders fought well for months but then they caved in when Tim Young threatened to ditch them and go into coalition with the Tories. So they went along with the access road to Philip Morant which was a key feature in implementing the Bonkers plan. All parties represented on Colchester BC (Labour, Blue Labour, Lib Dems and High Woods "independents") have behaved despicably on this, the most important local issue in recent times. The only politician to have maintained his integrity on this issue is Bob Russell. Boris
  • Score: 0

7:25am Wed 5 May 10

Greenstead tenant says...

A couple of weeks ago I was canvassed by Labour who openly told me to vote for Bob Russell as long as I voted for Julie Young and not the Lib Dem candidate. It must be hard for Jorden Newell to take being that well supported by his own!
A couple of weeks ago I was canvassed by Labour who openly told me to vote for Bob Russell as long as I voted for Julie Young and not the Lib Dem candidate. It must be hard for Jorden Newell to take being that well supported by his own! Greenstead tenant
  • Score: 0

10:23am Wed 5 May 10

RitchieHicks says...

Tim & Julie Young are a big reason that I can no longer support the Labour party and this is another example of them using politics to better their career, regardless of the problems it causes local parents, children and their education. It's shameful; they're more Blue than Red!
Tim & Julie Young are a big reason that I can no longer support the Labour party and this is another example of them using politics to better their career, regardless of the problems it causes local parents, children and their education. It's shameful; they're more Blue than Red! RitchieHicks
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Wed 5 May 10

Boris says...

All along the Berechurch portion of Mersea Road you see Vote Labour placards with the name of Chris Pearson, their local election candidate. Not one with the name of Jordan Newell. As Greenstead Tenant says, that must be hard for the lad.
By dominating our local Labour Party, and getting their better rivals expelled, the Youngs have pushed Labour to the margin of political life. But as long as they can deliver 6 to 8 councillors, they hold the balance and can switch their coalition allegiance from Lib Dem to Tory at any time.
All along the Berechurch portion of Mersea Road you see Vote Labour placards with the name of Chris Pearson, their local election candidate. Not one with the name of Jordan Newell. As Greenstead Tenant says, that must be hard for the lad. By dominating our local Labour Party, and getting their better rivals expelled, the Youngs have pushed Labour to the margin of political life. But as long as they can deliver 6 to 8 councillors, they hold the balance and can switch their coalition allegiance from Lib Dem to Tory at any time. Boris
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree