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Theale residents could have final say on new primary school plans

Parish poll could settle dispute but the date has yet to be confirmed

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886632

Application for Theale Primary School replacement submitted

A PARISH poll has been called – which may give Theale parishioners the chance to vote on whether they want a new primary school to be built on the North Street playing fields.

However, as yet there has been no confirmation by the parish council on when that poll will be, or indeed what the question posed to residents will be.

And to add to the uncertainty, the results of the poll are not legally binding – meaning the parish council does not have to go with it.

West Berkshire Council originally said that if Theale Parish Council (TPC) had not decided by January 31, it would pull the plug on the project and spend the money on expanding other schools in the area.

However, in a behind-closed-doors meeting last week, the district council’s executive member for education Lynne Doherty agreed she would look into extending that deadline while the parish council decided whether or not to hold the poll.

Legally, West Berkshire Council has to say how many pupils are attending each school in September 2019 by February 28 this year.

So, while no new formal deadline has been set or agreed between the two councils, it seems the clock is ticking.

An extraordinary parish meeting was held on Tuesday, which was attended by residents and three West Berkshire councillors, to determine whether to call the poll or not.

For more on this story, see this week's Newbury Weekly News.

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