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School campaigners: "Councillor did NOT announce closure"

Campaigners trying to save an Essex school from closure have said the fight is not over.

Last week, Councillor Ray Gooding, the Cabinet Member for Children & Families for Essex County Council published a report recommending the closure of The Deanes School in Thundersley.

There has been a long campaign against the plans by the school, parents, local councillors and Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris.

A letter sent to parents by the school said:

(The) announcement on Monday only triggered a formal consultation. He (Cllr Gooding) did NOT announce that the school will close.

We are open for business and will remain open unless Essex County cabinet decide otherwise.

– Letter sent to school parents

A six week consultation period is now underway for Councillor Gooding to re-explore and re-examine evidence. Once that period comes to an end on 14th October, the decision will go before the cabinet at Essex County Council who will then make a final decision.


Thieves target former constable's home on day of his funeral

Police have condemned burglars who broke into the home of a former Essex police constable on the morning of his funeral. Norman Higgon, who was 90, served from 1950 until 1977.

Police were called to his former home in Malyon Court Close at Thundersley near Basildon, at 9.30am on January 18.

Officers discovered that thieves had broken in through a back door and ransacked most rooms.A 42in Sony television, a gold pocket watch and a briefcase containing various documents, were stolen from the house.

This was an appalling crime at the home of a former officer and was discovered on the morning of his funeral. In addition to dealing with the sad death of their father Mr Higgon’s sons found they then had a burglary to deal with. We want to hear from anyone who saw suspicious activity in Malyon Court Close, Thundersley, especially from anyone who saw a 42in television being carried down the road or to a vehicle.”

– Pc Layla Barker, Essex Police