College group address Harrogate resident's concerns amid industrial action

Harrogate College, credit Google
Harrogate College, credit Google
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The Hull College Group has said that no cuts will be made to the curriculum in Harrogate as it addressed residents’ concerns.

Yesterday the group confirmed it had received a letter from the Leader of the Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats, Coun Pat Marsh, who highlighted that residents were worried over the potential for job and course cuts at Harrogate College. In this she also urged Harrogate Borough Council to meet with the Group, which currently faces industrial action by staff.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm receipt of the letter and we are responding directly to the author.”

“We would like to reassure residents and the wider community that Harrogate College will remain as a leading provider for education and training to the surrounding region, and we welcome visitors to our Open Event on 19 May to see our full offer ”

“Curriculum is reviewed and renewed annually and we can confirm that no cuts to curriculum will be made as a result of the Fresh Start plan.”

“Harrogate College has always enjoyed a strong relationship with the council, and we hope this relationship continues to increase future partnership working and helping our students progress.”

Coun Marsh has contacted the Hull College Group, Further Education Commissioner and the MP responsible for FE colleges, calling for work to be done so the college could "move forward in a positive way."

She said: "Harrogate College, part of the Hull College group, appears to be in turmoil according to Local Residents who have contacted me. They have written to express their concerns about possible redundancies of Staff and the knock on effect for Students as courses could be cancelled and the offer of the college much reduced.

"If this is happening we cannot stand by and allow it to happen. Our Young people deserve a College that offers more not less. I urge Harrogate Borough Council to urgently organise a meeting with Hull College Group and local employers to try to work out how the College can move forward in a positive not negative way.

Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper said:"I have not received any contact from the Liberal Democrats on this issue. I look forward to discussing their specific proposals when I receive them.

"In the meantime, I am sure we all want to see a thriving and sustainable education sector in our district and Harrogate Council will continue to support all those who work to deliver that. That includes supporting Harrogate College and its staff with whom this Council enjoys an excellent and productive relationship. We expect that relationship to continue, to grow and to deepen."