Hopes of a new school for the Lindley area remain doubtful as councillors spoke of school expansions.
Calls have been made for a new school to cater for increased demand from new housing and to ease pressures on schools in Lindley , Marsh and Salendine Nook.
Clr Cahal Burke, a Lindley Lib Dem , asked Cabinet members during Full Council for a location and timescale for a new primary school in his ward.
Clr Peter O’Neill, Cabinet member for children’s services, responded with a politically-loaded comment about the coalition government’s “vanity project” of Free Schools and Academies impacting on local authorities.
But Clr Burke was not happy with the response, saying: “At the last Cabinet meeting I asked a similar question and was advised I would get an answer in autumn about the location and timescale.
“The money is allocated in the capital plan.
“You’ve allowed hundreds and hundreds of houses in my ward and you don’t know what you are going to do with all the children.
“Instead of putting portable buildings in places like at Reinwood School you should take a more proactive approach and inform families in my ward where their children will go to school.”
Clr O’Neill replied: “It’s a complex matter and there’s no simple answer.
“The school places planning document identified the need for additional school places in the north Huddersfield area.
“After detailed discussions with headteachers and considering a range of sites ... the conclusion reached was to provide additional places by expanding existing provision in schools rather than establishing a new school.”
He said schools in Birkby and Ashbrow had been extended and a report to Cabinet in early October would outline the next round of capital investment in school places.
Clr Linda Wilkinson asked if she was correct in thinking that there would be a 300 school place shortage by the end of 2015.
Clr O’Neill said he didn’t have the numbers, but would respond at a later date. He said the school admissions teams did look at population growth.
Clr Andrew Marchington asked for councillors to be given power to consider school place pressures at planning.
Clr O’Neill said it was an “important point that needs consideration.”