Fight to keep college in Oxmoor goes to No 10

THE Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, could be drawn into the row over the moving of Huntingdonshire Regional College. A petition against the move from Oxmoor in Huntingdon to part of the police playing field in Hinchingbrooke Park Road has been placed on the

THE Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, could be drawn into the row over the moving of Huntingdonshire Regional College.

A petition against the move from Oxmoor in Huntingdon to part of the police playing field in Hinchingbrooke Park Road has been placed on the 10 Downing Street website.

The petition was started by Huntingdon Town Councillor Gina Cruickshank, a Lib Dem councillor for Huntingdon East.

Cllr Cruickshank, 40, told The Hunts Post: "The town council unanimously voted against the move. My ward is in Hartford, which is affected, and a lot of residents feel very strongly about it and have started their own petition.

"I have used e-petitions for other issues and if we get over 250 signatures then Gordon Brown has to reply to it."

Cllr Cruickshank a pharmacy technician at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and a union representative for Unite, said there were several reasons for the objections to the move.

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"People don't want to see more houses built on the Oxmoor so that it becomes a concrete jungle. There is not the infrastructure there for more homes while more traffic on the road up to Hinchingbrooke would be awful. It is an ambulance run.

"We are not against the college being rebuilt but we think it should be rebuilt on site.

"The new Hinchingbrooke campus will have less parking for staff and students. Where is the extra parking going to come from?

"Hinchingbrooke residents are also concerned that people will be parking in their streets - but the majority of people are concerned about the extra traffic and that we don't have an adequate public transport system."

She added: "Although it is said that people on the Oxmoor don't use the college, this isn't true - lot of the current students can walk to college."

The college has been granted permission to move to a new campus at Hinchingbrooke and another in St Neots.

It says the £35million plans will allow the Huntingdon campus to move closer to the train station and bus station and become part of the high-tech manufacturing area which Huntingdonshire District Council has planned for Hinchingbrooke. HRC would contribute to relevant skills training.

The college still needs to finalise funding for the move, but is intending to sell its California Road site, which already has planning consent for housing.

INFORMATION: To sign the petition visit http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/huntscollege. On Monday 12 people had signed. The deadline is November 5, 2008.

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