Thursday 4 March 2010

Feldale Fields Planning Application

A planning application has been received by Fenland District Council from Larkfleet Homes for a development on Feldale Fields.  This does not effect the current football pitch project that is going on, but it does impact on the rest of the area.    The project is for 460 houses and a care home.

I don't know how closely this matches the proposals that were exhibited last year, I haven't had sight of the plans, but I will not be supporting it, mainly because Whittlesey's infrastructure cannot cope.  We already have problems with flooding in times of heavy rainfall and this could ultimately mean up to a thousand extra cars a day travelling along the A605.  There is also the issue about the lack of capacity of our railway station which means that there is little alternative to the car.

In conjunction with Steven Barclay the Conservative Candidate for North East Cambridgeshire, I have set up a Facebook site for residents to offer their views.  Whether you use Facebook or not, I urge you to write to Fenland District Council and offer your views.

When the application has been validated I will post more details including a link and an address to write to.  Please make sure people are aware of this - word of mouth is important.

Monday 1 March 2010

Home Education

I did an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning on SEN funding.  I think the interview went OK, but I was asked a last minute question on home education, which I don't think I answered as well as I could have.  So, here is a summary of what we do for home educators:

Once the Council hear of a parent's decision to home educate  - either from the school, or the parents themselves, or they hear about those not on a school roll via other agencies, they send out an information booklet and a form for them to fill in with an outline of the education the home educators intend to provide. They give 3 weeks to respond and then chase with 2 letters (each with a 2 week response time). 
If the educators do respond we ask them to meet with the Home Education Adviser who can offer support and advice. Most agree but some refuse. If they refuse and there is no reason to be concerned there is nothing that can be done.
If the educators agree to a visit, the Adviser will visit and produce a report that is sent to the parents and kept on file. If everything is satisfactory the Council will arrange either an annual or bi-annual follow-up visit. If the provision is concerning the Council will suggest improvements and follow up in an appropriate time frame. 
Sometimes the parents do not want the visit in their home, or do not want the children present - in these cases unless there are concerns the Council have to agree. 
If the Council do not receive a form, cannot make contact directly via the EWO or the Traveller Team, and have concerns the parents are not able to provide an education they will liaise with the locality team and serve a School Attendance Order. 
If the child has a statement the Council liaise with Student Assessment and try and arrange Trevor's visit prior to the annual review so the report can feed the review. 
There are also twice yearly meetings with a group of home educators from Cambridge.

Hope this provides a bit more information than I gave this morning.