Latest News from the Bookhams Residents’ Association
Reminder: The MVDC Referendum on the Village / Parish Council for Bookham is on 4th May. Make sure your vote counts.
If you are undecided and would like to hear more, local resident Dan Coffin, is holding a public “Question Time” meeting with all interested parties on Thursday, 27th April at the Barn Hall starting at 7.15 pm
BRA Petition Against A Village/Parish Council: Results
During January a team of volunteers (at no cost and we are extremely grateful for their help) distributed a leaflet to 5,000 households in Bookham advising Residents on what they need to consider in the light of the MVDC Village Council Governance Review and asking Residents to support a petition against the creation of a Village or Parish Council. In the space of just two months residents have been supporting the petition and at the close of the petition on 13th March the results are:
Paper petition: 664
We would like to thank all those residents that supported the petition and to remind residents that in the May 4th referendum that they should confirm their opposition by voting against a Village/Parish Council.
Residents who are registered to vote by post will be receiving their voting slips around 20th April – approximately two weeks before polling day. Please ensure you return your voting slip in time.
Spring 2017 Newsletter
In this special edition of the Bookhams Residents’ Association Newsletter, which is being circulated to all households in Bookham, we provide residents with the important information they need to consider when casting their vote in the Mole Valley District Council referendum to be held on the 4th May.
We also report on the BRA Petition against a Village Council which so many of you have supported.
It’s not just about the referendum of course. There is a lot of village news as well. There is the AGM to be held on 18th May which all members are invited to attend; reports from the village on environment; infrastructure; recreation and community.
You can read the on line edition by clicking on the image below:
Part Night Street Lighting To Be Implemented in Bookham
Streets in Bookham which are part of the Surrey County Council Part Night Time Lighting Programme will be implemented in February. Street lights in the roads listed will to be switched off between midnight and 5 a.m. Click here for a list of streets in Bookham.
Eastwick Junior School (EJS)
BRA response to the Eastwick Junior School Consultation on change of Admissions arrangements in 2018.
Out of a population of approximately 11,000 residents the BRA has a membership of 3,000 households which represents 7,000 residents i.e. approximately 60% of Bookham’s population.
Following my meeting with Chair of Governors, Mrs Liz McDermid, and Mrs Rachel Slater on 25th November 2016 and further consultations with interested parties Bookhams’ Residents Association (BRA) respond to the consultation as follows:-
The proposed changes in Admissions arrangements are that ALL children in Eastwick Infants School (EIS) have priority, after special circumstances, over applicants from elsewhere even if the other applicants live closer to the school.
Combined with this, EIS are also increasing their PAN from 75 to 82 so combined with the proposed new EJS criteria, the 15 places based on “nearest to the school”, which were once available to local children, reduces to 8.
This is at a time when Infant numbers are predicted to fall over the next few years in Mole Valley (per SCC Schools organisational Plan 2016). We now understand that the expected extra demand in Leatherhead & Ashtead will be met within those localities.
Whilst the wish for EJS to do this change is understandable in isolation, BRA has concerns that these changes and the PAN increase of EIS, at a time when there will already be over capacity, are overall detrimental to the local community in which EJS has historically been so supportive:-
a) Negative impact on other Bookham schools and indirect reduction in choice
This particularly applies to Polesden Lacey Infant School (PLIS) where if you want, or think you want, your child to go to EJS, then you will be heavily motivated to send them to EIS rather than PLIS despite it being the only Outstanding Ofsted school in the Bookhams. This reduces the “real” choices for Bookhams’ parents.
In order to fill capacity more places will be available for those outside the area.
PLIS have been threatened with closure in past low birth years and this could now be a distinct possibility.
The Dawnay will be affected by un-intentional consequences.
b) Over capacity and sibling effect
The extra Infant capacity in the Bookhams will be taken up by those outside of the area who will establish future sibling priorities at EJS (regardless where the sibling is at Infant school). This will further reduce places available for local children in the Junior School (EJS) which is also a feeder to the Howard of Effingham.
c) Increased traffic into the Bookhams
Increased movement into Bookham from either outside or across the village, will mean more traffic around the 3 schools.
d) Howard of Effingham admissions later on in education cycle
There is also a potential knock on effect to secondary admissions to the Howard of Effingham (HoE) as demand for secondary places is set to increase (per SCC) , peaking in 2023/24 (7years time) and declining slowly thereafter (excluding housing developments).
Over time, the result could be that the feeder schools, EJS & The Dawnay, have a preponderance of “out of Howard catchment” children at the expense of local children.
HoE has said that without expansion it will not be able to take all those in the catchment & those that will suffer will be those in the east of the catchment due to Nearest Alternative School. So based on current HoE criteria, if you live in the east of the catchment & are not in a feeder school, you have less chance of getting a place than those that do.
David Cox OBE – BRA Education portfolio.