Selwyn still battling for middle school

STOKE-BY-NAYLAND is one of the fantastic villages on the Suffolk-Essex border so immortalised in John Constable's iconic landscape paintings of the Stour Valley.

Graham Dines

STOKE-BY-NAYLAND is one of the fantastic villages on the Suffolk-Essex border so immortalised in John Constable's iconic landscape paintings of the Stour Valley.

But beneath the tranquillity of this well-heeled community, ferment is brewing over Suffolk county council's plans to close the local middle school and bus pupils to Great Cornard.

Campaigning against what he sees as the betrayal of Stoke-by-Nayland and surrounding villages is Selwyn Pryor, who gave up his county council seat last June, but is refusing to stop fighting for the school.

“Both the Government and the Tories are advocating parental control of schools. That should be the catalyst for opposition to this foolish proposal to axe one of the best schools in the county,” says Mr Pryor, who during his time has waged war on behalf of threatened small village primary schools.

As the consultation process gets under way, he appeals to villagers: “I have no doubt that you want to retain your middle school. Make your position clear.”

Most Read

A patrician Tory, Selwyn Pryor has never minded upsetting the Conservative leadership at the county council, whether the party has been in control or in opposition. Perhaps that's the reason why he never achieved the honour he undoubtedly deserved - becoming the authority's chairman.

CARSWELL TILTS AT EU WINDMILLS

LIBERTARIAN Douglas Carswell is on the anti-EU warpath attack again, this time defending internet giant Google which is being investigated for allegedly violating antitrust law.

Mr Carswell, MP for Harwich, is renowned for his Quixotic tilts at the EU's windmills, and he has started fulminating after the disclosure that shopping comparison web site Foundem had complained to the European Commission and filed a complaint with the US Federal Communications Commission, accusing Google of posing “an immediate threat to competition and innovation.”

German shopping site Ciao, which has been owned by Microsoft since 2008, and French legal search service ejustice.fr have also filed complaints with Europe. Foundem's co-founder Shivaun Raff claims Google's “universal search” places Google services in prominent and preferential positions within its search results, giving the company an unassailable competitive advantage.

“They're turning an ostensibly neutral search engine into an incredibly powerful marketing channel for their own services,” says Raff.

The Chinese authorities are also lining up to row back Google's all-powerful position across the globe.

Says Mr Carswell: “If officials in Brussels or Beijing restrict Google, they will be doing what European and Chinese tyrants once did when they restricted the use of the printing press - holding back innovation and their own people.”

graham.dines@eadt.co.uk