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Expansion of Barton

The new district elections are over. At the same time there is every sign that the heat is being turned on Barton in the shape of expansion now with this proposed development - now with the other. There are schemes for housing estates, motels, sports complexes. All this even before the bridge is really under way. The pressures on our local society when the bridge is nearing completion hardly bear thinking about.
There seem to be three attitudes that we and our elected representatives may adopt. The first might be to pretend that nothing is happening, but for good or ill it is happening and the pace of it will no doubt increase as time goes on. In one sphere in particular we already stand in danger of being swamped - this is in our schools. Naturally enough this is hitting our primary schools first. Children's names are already having to be put down for the Church School when a child is two years old to ensure a place. At the same time the County School is using temporary classrooms and may have to use the school hall as a classroom. It now seems probable that the rebuilt Church School for 320 children will be expected to hold both infant and junior departments and will do nothing whatever to help the accommodation problem. Meanwhile, there are scores of new houses being built in Barton, many of which will be occupied by young families. Where are their children to go? Schools do not mushroom overnight, indeed it takes at least two years, often three, sometimes four years for a school to be provided.
A second way would be for us to fight every symptom of expansion as an attack on the integrity of Barton, so spreading resentrnent towards all newcomers to the town. This could only lead to misery for all - old inhabitants as well as new, with the growth of two societies at variance with each other.
The third and constructive way is to see the growth of the town as a great opportunity for us all. After all, a town of 10,000, even 20,000 does not have to be horrid.
Our new representatives on the Glandford Council need every scrap of help and encouragement we can give them for the burden and responsibility we have placed on them is a heavy one.


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