Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith holds talks with campaigner fighting to save Clapham Primary School from closure

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith (right) held talks over the proposed closure of Clapham C of E Primary School with Philip Farrer (left), resident trustee of the Ingleborough Estate. Picture courtesy of Clapham Community Action Group.
Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith (right) held talks over the proposed closure of Clapham C of E Primary School with Philip Farrer (left), resident trustee of the Ingleborough Estate. Picture courtesy of Clapham Community Action Group.
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Skipton MP Julian Smith has held talks over the proposed closure of a Yorkshire Dales primary school with a leading figure behind plans to ensure it remains open.

The Conservative chief whip met with Philip Farrer, resident trustee of the Ingleborough Estate, who made the case for Clapham Church of England Primary School to remain open based on a “recovery plan” that campaigners have drawn up.

In the plan, campaigners project that there will be 33 pupils, eight more than what North Yorkshire County Council forecast for the 2019/20 academic year in its recent public consultation with local people.

A dwindling school roll is largely why the council has proposed its closure on August 31 this year.

The recovery plan, put forward by Clapham Community Action Group and school governors, was submitted to the council before the consultation ended earlier this month.

Following talks with MP Mr Smith, campaigner Mr Farrer said: “Our MP understands the issues which are affecting rural communities and knows it is important Clapham continues to attract young families.

“A primary school is an important element of making a village a desirable place to live.”

As reported in The Yorkshire Post, a high volume of responses to the council’s public consultation means that a decision on the school’s closure has been delayed until a meeting of the council’s executive body on April 30.

The council will however publish a response to the consultation on Monday next week.

Iain Crossley, chairman of Clapham Community Action Group, said: “Representatives from both the Community Action Group and the school governors will be attending the executive meeting to present our case together. There has been no contact from officers at the council in response to our detailed submission so we feel it important that we express our views directly to the committee members.”

Letter: Threat to our North Yorkshire school is all about money