I AM delighted that a senior local Liberal Democrat has raised his head above the parapet on the question of Moldgreen School.

Four years ago a band of parents, governors and local residents wanted the new school to be built on a relatively small corner of Ravensknowle Park, on which site the school could meet national standards for both school and outside play facilities.

Their view – which I supported – was that the old school site would be too small to provide a proper play area and that the cost of rebuilding on this constricted site would be horrendously expensive. However, the Liberal Democrat leadership of Kirklees Council insisted on rebuilding on the old school site.

As the Huddersfield MP and as chairman of the Commons Education and Skills Committee I fully backed the parents’ wishes for a building on a new site with proper recreation facilities.

At no time did the council approach me or anyone else as to any lack of funding for the school; so attempting to shift the responsibility on to the Government does not square with the facts.

Sadly, the school was subsequently built on the old site, involving major demolition and clearance costs. A temporary school was then built on Ravenknowle Park, at yet more expense, and the opportunity to sell the beautiful old school for development was missed, resulting in another loss of revenue.

Those of us who fought the campaign wanted the best education for the children at Moldgreen. Thanks to a dedicated staff and inspired leadership Moldgreen is a brilliant school.

However, the children, staff and local people have been badly let down by a reckless decision to build a school on a highly unsuitable site and it cannot be right that three years down the line the playground is still virtually unusable.

Barry Sheerman MP