A COMMUNITY action group which is fighting the proposed closure of Clapham Primary School has met with Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith.

Philip Farrer resident trustee of Ingleborough Estate said: Our MP understands the issues which are affecting rural communities and knows it is important Clapham continues to attract young families. A primary school is an important element of making a village a desirable place to live.”

On Wednesday evening representatives from the Community Action Group, parents and the School Governors met to discuss the possible options available to support small rural primary schools and to plan the implementation of the recovery plan they submitted to North Yorkshire County Council in response to the consultation.

Group member Jill Gates said: “The school remains open and it is in the best interests of the children to ensure we plan for next year and not be distracted by a consultation process which should never have been launched.”

Iain Crossley, chairman of the Community Action Group said: “Representatives from both the Community Action Group and the school governors will be attending the North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive meeting, on Tuesday, April 30, to present our case together.

“The council should be in no doubt the community is resolute in its support for ensuring local children have access to the best possible education.”

The county council announced earlier this year of plans to close the primary school at the end of August.

Consultation documents state the nearest Church of England school to Clapham is Austwick Primary School, two miles away. There is also Ingleton Primary School which is 4.7 miles from Clapham School, Bentham Primary School at 5.5 miles, and Giggleswick Primary School at 5. miles away.

It is proposed that the catchment areas of both Austwick Primary School and Bentham Primary School are expanded to include the current Clapham catchment area. These schools have the capacity to take some additional pupils and have indicated a willingness to do so.