Take it slowly over Ferney Lee

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Undoubtedly both Todmorden High School and Ferney Lee School need working doing to them.

Calderdale Council has allocated funding for this and I’m expecting that that is what will be happening. It’s certainly what I’ll be pressing for. These schools may not be in my ward but many of the children in my ward go to Tod High. I live in Todmorden so I care about what happens here.

I have long advocated that the first thing that Tod High need is a new block of classrooms to make real inroads into the general state of the buildings, given that it is virtually impossible to find all the money to rebuild the whole school. My understanding is that that’s what’s being planned.

But I think that it’s less clear as to what to do to improve Ferney Lee school. As it is, the building is clearly not fit for purpose. While the offer of a brand new building seems irresistible, I know a number of local people are really concerned that the old building (not the modern extension) is a good one with part of the history of Todmorden.

So I do think that we need to be certain that the old building can’t be made fit for purpose for the future before it’s knocked down. The major obstacle seems to be the heating costs – but I would have thought that modern insulation could resolve that problem. So I’d urge the school, parents and the council to think very carefully before they destroy yet another of our old buildings.

Coun Janet Battye,

(Lib Dem, Calder ward)