On Thursday 20th October, Kent County Councillor, Tom Maddison who represents Dartford North East, presented a petition created with and signed by residents on the Bridge Development in Dartford, asking Kent County Council to urgently allocate funding to the Bridge Community Primary School, to allow for the extension of the school to three form entry.

The Bridge Community Primary School was purposefully built to accommodate the children of families moving into the new homes on the development.  However, due to the school’s sibling policy, there is now a shortage of spaces for the children on the estate.

Cllr Tom Maddison said

‘We really do have a ridiculous state of affairs with some parents having to drive their children miles across the borough to primary school when for the sake of an extension to the Bridge Community Primary school parents and children could walk to school.

I was a member of the planning committee when the plans for the Bridge Development were passed with a very special emphasis on design and sustainability especially with regard to green transport and low private car use so as to cut down on added congestion and air pollution.

The Bridge Community Primary school was built specifically so Mums and Dads did not have to drive but could walk the kids to school.  All we need, which the petition is asking for, is for Kent County Council to increase the capacity of the school to Three Form Entry.  I really think this is not too much to ask.

It makes so much sense all round especially with the present congestion in Dartford often due to the problems at the River Crossing`

 Debi Prasad Das, a resident on the Bridge development said

‘The Dartford Bridge school admissions is a very good case study of how far apart are the plan and the actual execution of the school capacity planning. The school was purpose built for the Bridge community with the entry form size planned to accommodate the increase in number of houses in the Bridge community. So on paper you have a two form entry that supposedly meets the pupil id ratio for the number of houses in the community. Although with further new houses being built in the Bridge community, I would argue that wouldn’t be the case any more in a years’ time.’

 Cllr Maddison will be meeting with the Cabinet Member for Education at Kent County Council shortly to be continue to push this issue forward for local residents.