Rolle case is overwhelming

""Rolle"" – The Fight Continues . Exmouth won the argument but lost the vote at Devon County Council s Scrutiny Committee last Tuesday - but that does not mean it is all over.

Rolle - The Fight Continues". Exmouth won the argument but lost the vote at Devon County Council's Scrutiny Committee last Tuesday - but that does not mean it is all over.

The committee is meeting again on October 30 for a re-run, because they accepted there was no way they could respond to the strong case for the main Rolle buildings to be purchased for the community college without hearing from the two county councillors - John Hart and Christine Channon - who took the lead in the Cabinet by stating that DCC is no longer interested in the project.

The committee recognised the overwhelming case we put forward and the lack of rigour in the way that Cabinet had made its decision. They are taking it seriously now and have said the people of Exmouth deserve a solution. We just have to make sure it is the right one!

We are confident that the education case is incontrovertible and that our financial argument stacks up, for surely it is better to spend about �6m now in purchasing and refurbishing Rolle than having to spend more than �30m. on a new secondary school when the community college bursts at the seams.

The policy should be to back the highly successful and progressive school we have rather than punish it for being too popular. We know that times are hard for the county council, but Exmouth has had nothing from the funds available as result of the sale of Exeter Airport and it became clear at the meeting that the project can be afforded from that source, if the county council wants it to go ahead. The full debate can be seen on the Devon County Council web-site.

The way the town has come together on this issue is terrific. All three of our county councillors are supporting the project actively and persuasively. Our mayor and the town clerk are passionate and eloquent about its importance for the vitality and future of Exmouth. The community college governors are committed and powerful in their arguments. The five community organisations (Citizens' Forum, Civic Society, Community Association, Residents' Association and Transition Town Exmouth) are united and determined and the number of signatures on the petition is large and still increasing.

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The letters to the Journal from individuals and from organisations such as Third Age and the chamber of commerce show the range of support from across the community.

It is vital to maintain and increase our momentum. The meeting of Scrutiny Committee is at 10am on Friday, October 30, at County Hall, Exeter, and is open to all members of the public.

We have good and even stronger arguments to put at this meeting and more letters to Councillors John Hart and Christine Channon at County Hall, Exeter EX2 4QH could make all the difference in demonstrating Exmouth's determination to get the best for the future.

Roy Pryke,

of Exmouth.