In the report "Bitter divide over school places system" (The Argus, February 5), Mrs Larkin says Councillor Juliet McCaffery failed in her remit to look at how things were going to affect the city as a whole.

This accusation should obviously be directed at the rest of the Labour councillors, not her.

They blatantly manipulated the voting at the children, families and schools committee to ensure the plans were approved and their seats secured in the forthcoming elections.

I agree the old system was unfair but the new one is no better.

The fixed catchment areas are a very poor fit for the schools they contain, with some already having more children than places.

This situation will only get worse as the city will continue to grow by an estimated 17,600 homes in the next 20 years according to a recent Government report.

Why has the long list of flaws in the process been ignored in the rush to steamroller this system through in time for the 2008 intake - and in time for the local elections?

How can Coun Hawkes say schools "are there for the whole city" when fixed catchments deliver exactly the opposite?

How can it be fair that children in the single catchment areas of Patcham, Falmer, Longhill and Portslade will have no realistic choice at all?

What happened to assuring a more balanced and socially inclusive intake for all schools?

Mariette Bone
Hampstead Road, Brighton