§ Our reference: S351/4/06.
§ Date: 20th June 1977.
§ I am directed by the Secretary of State to thank you for your letter of 20th May and to say she welcomes the authority's repeated assurances of their intention to comply with the duty laid on them under Section 2 of the Education Act 1976. She is, however, perturbed by their failure to submit proposals for her consideration by the date specified in the letter of 24th November 1976. The duty laid on the authority must be carried out with all speed— even if this means accelerating the processes of consultation that the Council may wish to follow. The time limit of six months was fixed by the Secretary of State after she had carefully considered the circumstances of the authorities concerned and it should have been possible for your authority to comply with it.
§ Consequently, the Secretary of State now wishes to receive from the authority within seven days of the meeting of their Council on 220 5th July a report describing in detail the progress made by the authority towards complying with the duty laid on them by the letter of 24th November including the following:
- (i) the terms of reference of the working party mentioned in your letter of 10th May
- (ii) the number (and dates) of meetings the working party has held
- (iii) the alternative schemes of secondary reorganisation which are the basis for consultation within the area
- (iv) the nature and extent of consultations so far undertaken
- (v) a summary of the relevant discussions and decisions of the Education Services Committee, its sub-Committees and the Council.
§ The Secretary of State would also wish to receive by 12th July a detailed description of what remains to be done before formal proposals are submitted to her. Finally, the authority are asked to tell her at the same time the date by which they expect to be able to submit formal and complete proposals.
§ Officers of the Department are available to assist the authority at any time.
§ I am Sir,
§ Your obedient Servant,
§ P. J. Hunter.