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Farron hands over petition to university board as they debate proposal to close Ambleside campus

December 16, 2009 12:00 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron last night formally handed-over his 3000-strong petition against the closure of Ambleside campus to the university's academic board. Among the signatures are some 1400 substantive comments which show the real strength of opposition to moving students to Carlisle, Penrith or Lancaster.

Tim last night wrote to each the board members with a copy of the petition, calling on them to listen to the overwhelming opinion of the local community, staff and students, and keep undergraduate studies at the historic Charlotte Mason College. All the comments came in the last 14 days after the proposal became public.

At the academic board meeting today in Carlisle, members will debate the responses of the university's 'consultation' on the future of the campus. The university is proposing to turn the campus into a 'gateway' site, sell off certain buildings and use the campus for short courses in leadership for managers in the public sector.

Tim says, "I do hope that the university's consultation is not another public sector exercise in which opinions are sought and only listened to if they say the things the management and their financial advisors want to hear.

"I believe the community, staff and students have spoken and are asking the university to work with me, the community, and others to find a way of allowing the current cohort of students to complete their degrees at the campus. This will give us time to complete a rigorous options analysis to look at the best long term usage of the site for the students, staff and the economy."