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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 February 2016

Students, unions and parents unite to save Pent Valley School

Eric Segal, East Kent Socialist Party

A coach packed with campaigners determined to save Pent Valley school in Kent left Cheriton to lobby Kent County Council in Maidstone.

Cheriton is a working class area in Folkestone and the Tory controlled council is responsible for the rundown of our services in social care, public health, libraries and in particular the threat to close Pent Valley school. We demand the school remains open, fully funded and under local authority control.

The Swale Trust group of academies is currently overseeing the management and administration of Pent Valley but the school remains under local authority control. Councillors now want to close it and turn it into a 'free school'.

We say that councillors, whatever the colour of their rosettes, are elected to represent us and provide and protect our services. We do not want to hear them say that 'there will be difficult decisions to make.'

South East Kent Trades Union Council unanimously agreed to campaign to stop the threatened closure of Pent Valley. The campaign is strengthened by the decisions of the local government committees of both Unison and Unite trade unions to demand that councils implement legal no-cuts budgets, using the millions held in reserves, together with prudent borrowing, to stave off cuts and closures.

Unison and Unite have organised a further lobby of Kent Council's education cabinet meeting on 17 February.

Right to protest

This trade union and community led campaign has united local people against the closure threat. However the executive principle of the Swale Trust, Jon Whitcombe, said that he would not authorise students to go to the lobby. So much for democracy and free speech Jon!

However students were on the lobby in what amounts to a school student strike. We will defend school students from any disciplinary action and are calling on trade unionists and community campaigners to show similar courage and audacity and join us on our next lobby.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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In The Socialist 17 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Councils have a choice: no cuts to jobs or services

Junior doctors must stand firm

300 million to cushion cuts in Tory councils

Scotland: battle heats up against council cuts

US fears EU exit will hinder vulture privatisers

Liverpool fans score victory v 77 ticket hike

Record-high 170 evictions a day

Boycott ban

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

An open letter to John McDonnell from Tony Mulhearn


International socialist news and analysis

Irish election: fighting on an anti-austerity agenda


Socialist Party youth and students

Socialist Students conference 2016: Delegates enthusiastic and confident


Socialist Party workplace news

Doctors' strike 10th February - photos and reports

Rally to defend jobs in Northern Ireland: "We won't sit on the sidelines"

Library workers prepare to escalate strike action

Historic joint further education strike

Public meetings show readiness of workers to fight back

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hands off the Butterfields estate!

Sheffield no-cuts People's Budget conference

Southampton: absence of Corbynism as Labour swings Tory axe again!

"Staines has never seen anything like it!"

Students, unions and parents unite to save Pent Valley School

"You can cut the cake but not our libraries!"

London lobbies against cuts to jobs and services


Readers' comments and reviews

If I had been in 1980s Labour, I'd have supported Militant

Socialist's anti-war art on show in Bradford

Poem: Journey

Letter: Brum Blairite


 

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