In accordance with Annex 22 (Petition Scheme) of the Constitution of Hertfordshire County Council I am writing in response to the Petition that you presented at the Enterprise, Education & Skills Cabinet Panel meeting on 13th March 2015. The County Council notes the petitioners’ concerns and will continue to communicate its plans regarding secondary school provision in Harpenden with relevant authorities, residents and other interested parties. This has to date included: • Representations made to the District Council’s spatial planning exercise. • A public exhibition to explain the work it had undertaken to inform those representations in the absence of any further progress on that spatial plan. • Position statements and monthly updates on its website - http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/aboutstatesch/newschools/harpenden/, including making available previous and current documentation not classed as work in progress at the time. • Reports to the Enterprise, Education and Skills Cabinet Panel, which are public documents and whose meetings are open to the public. • Links to the Harpenden Secondary School Trust’s website (https://www.harpendensecondaryfreeschool.org/), which explains its progress in making a bid for a free school for the town. More recently the DfE has confirmed to the Trust that this proposal can progress to the pre-opening phase. This means that the detailed planning for opening the new school in 2017, can now take place. We are aware that the approval is subject to conditions, and the EFA is aware of the work that has been undertaken to date on behalf of the County Council. Please be assured that there will be public engagement as part of any pre application process before any submission of an outline planning application. In the meantime the County Council will continue to keep hertsdirect updated with monthly progress reports. Children's Services School Planning Team Postal Point CHO136 Room 137, County Hall Pegs Lane Hertford SG13 8DN 01992 555811 or email email@example.com.