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Cheshire parents invited to public meeting about school cuts

Mums and dads will be invited quiz political candidates over their manifesto pledges

A demonstration against school cuts held at Kelsall Primary School with protesters Jo Warner and her children Elodie, Harry and Sam, Amanda Alexander with her son Freddie and Cheshire West and Chester Cllr Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for children and families.

Mums and dads concerned about school cuts in Cheshire West and Chester are upping the ante in the run up to Thursday's general election (June 8).

Parents have organised a public meeting at Tarporley Community Centre this Tuesday (June 6) aimed at increasing awareness of the financial crisis in schools while challenging invited political candidates over their parties’ educational policies.

Lead organiser Jo Warner, from Sandiway, whose children Sam, 10, Harry, eight, and Elodie, four, attend Kelsall Primary School and Pre-School, said: “Cheshire West and Chester stands to lose £4.2m under the current government’s original proposals.

A protest against school cuts held at Kelsall Primary School in March with organisers, left, mums Jo Warner and Amanda Alexander, and their children, with school principle David Wearing and other demonstrating parents and pupils.

“As a result of the brilliant campaigning by parents across the country, all parties now accept the need for more school funding. We’ve seen major concessions in the party manifestos but, sadly, not all of them go far enough. At the very least, we need pupil funding to be protected in real terms over the next five years.

“We have invited all candidates from the CWaC constituencies to give them the opportunity to explain their manifesto promises. We want parents to be able to ask them questions about their plans for school funding. This meeting is about getting parents’ voices heard.”

Jo helped coordinate a demonstration about the cuts at Kelsall Primary School back in March along with fellow organiser Amanda Alexander whose sons Freddie, 10, and Max, 15, attend Kelsall and Tarporley High respectively.

Cheshire West and Chester Labour councillor Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for children and families, also joined the protest.

Readers can learn about the potential impact of the main political parties’ educational funding pledges on their local school by searching this website .

So far, the following parliamentary candidates have confirmed their attendance at the public meeting: Ian Priestner ( Lib Dem , Eddisbury), Cathy Reynolds ( Labour , Eddisbury), Morgan Hill (Pirate Party, Eddisbury), Mike Green ( Green Party , Eddisbury), Sam Rushworth (Labour, Tatton) and Mike Amesbury (Labour, Weaver Vale).

Andy Canham, chair of governors at Elton Primary School, has told the BBC about the tough decisions being contemplated because of pressures on budgets. Picture: BBC

Organisers say Conservative candidates Antoinette Sandbach for Eddisbury and Esther McVey for Tatton have declined to attend, requesting that constituents contact them directly with their concerns.

The public meeting takes place at Tarporley Community Centre from 6pm on Tuesday, June 6. All are welcome.

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