Please Don't Ruin My Village

This letter to DCC from a Combs resident sums up the feelings of many people here.

I write with regard to the proposed closure of Combs Primary School. I live in the village of Combs with my wife. I would like to make the following points in opposition to this proposal.

The school is inarguably a standard-bearer for the whole county in terms of quality. It has been implied by the council that the main reason for this is the teacher/pupil ratio, funded by higher costs per pupil than other schools in the area. I would put it to you that this completely ignores the fact that the head teacher, Ms. Curry, and her colleagues, with the complete support and involvement of the local parents, form a formidable educational unit that much more probably explains the tremendous educational successes.

Why the county council would want to destroy such a standard-bearer is beyond us. It makes absolutely no sense to destroy something so successful. Obviously it costs slightly more to provide services in a rural area, but if the council direction is followed to its logical conclusion we may as well all move to Buxton, or even Derby, because it would be cheaper to provide services for us there.

In any event I am not entirely clear, other than the school that you seek to close, exactly what services the county council does provide for the village and its tax payers.

At present the village is a fresh and exciting place to live, with a diverse set of inhabitants including, obviously, families with young children. Much social activity, particularly in the summer months, revolves around the school and village hall, where the keen efforts of the staff and local parents make such events very entertaining for so many people.

Over a period of years the loss of the school will inevitably result in a long-term change for the worse in the life of the village. Other opponents of this proposal have already noted that closure of the school will almost certainly result in closure of the village hall. An important social centre will be lost. The village will become less attractive to families with children, and the present energetic contributions of parents will disappear. It is evident that closure of the school will inevitably result in further losses to the village, in terms of social interaction for all its inhabitants, and not just those directly associated with the school.

I for one very much enjoy living in a village with young people. Your proposed actions will ultimately result in my living in a village with an aging population, just like so many other rural areas in Derbyshire where services have been withdrawn.

Please do not ruin my village.