Monday, September 03, 2007

Great News

Clearly, at both a local and city-wide level, I very much welcome today's about-face on the school closure consultation programme.

It does appear - although Council Policy cannot be made by press statement - that the whole programme is to be abandoned forthwith. Great news.

It's a victory for all those parents and school communities who spoke up and made their views very clearly known to the politicians in power.

But, there are very serious questions to be asked about how the whole process has been handled - or I should say, mishandled. Today's not the day to go over them - I'm just glad public pressure has paid off ...

... but I will come back to those questions of process, as frankly I'm finding it hard to see how the present crowd who are running the show can ever agree on anything after this fiasco?


Anonymous said...

Good result,

But beware this list still exists. Worth keeping campaign plans alive and ready to go at anytime.

Gather your facts and figures and be ready. You may not get a lot of notice. They may even do it piecemeal. One school/centre at a time.

Be on guard !!!

Anonymous said...

you said

"frankly I'm finding it hard to see how the present crowd who are running the show can ever agree on anything after this fiasco?"

true - BUT please don't waste too much time on the (party) political point scoring, it's time to ask some serious questions about senior officials and their advice.

Assuming they genuinely thought that proposing the closure of all these schools was a good idea then they are incompetent.

If they were just testing the new administration (which clearly failed) - and possibly the new Director - then disciplinary action is called for.

Resignations or dismissals are clearly required.

Cllr. Maclaren should perhaps be the first, but C&F officials are either incompetent or reckless.

If some closures are necessary (which few people really doubt) then this fiasco has not only made the process more difficult, it has doomed the city to wasting money for longer.

All this comes on a day when the Waterfront is in the Evening News (with references in readers' comments to TIE and PARC).

You recently wrote in reply to a comment on this blog

"... and despite being a politician, I am trustworthy "

Having had personal dealings with you I would endorse that.

Sadly I cannot say the same about some of your People's Party colleagues in your last administration - some surviving into opposition.

Pam Canning said...

Andrew, the St Cuthbert's Action group would like to thank you publicly for all the help and support you gave us.

Just two weeks ago when we didn't know where to turn you guided us expertly in the arena of local politics.

Hopefully we will not need to go back there, but if we do, we will, and this time we will know exactly where to go!!

Thanks a million.

Pam Canning said...

Just a tiny thing, do you know that the time stamp on the blog is an hour out?

This maybe had no relevance what so ever.

Published at 9.28

Andrew said...

Anonymous (1)

Thanks for the comment - as I understand it, the announcment today (although NOT yet a Council decision!) was that the whole issue would be off the agenda for the remainder of this financial year.

I do take your point that beyond then, there is still uncertainty and a need to be vigilant.


Andrew said...

Anonymous (2)

Many thanks for your comment.

I do accept what you say about political point scoring - it does have to be tempered with serious questions about just how this whole situation was allowed to get to this point ... only to then be reversed.

Ultimately though, the politicians are those who are responsible for "decison-taking" ... it was politicians who 'took' the decisions of the last few weeks, and ineviatably (and correctly, I think) I do need to ask serious questions of them as well.


Andrew said...


Many thanks for your comment(s) - I'm glad I was able to help ... as far as I'm concerned, St. Cuthbert's should never have been on the list and I really hope this will be the end of any uncertainty for the school.


P.S. Hadn't noticed that about the clock - I'll try and fix it!

Andrew said...


Seem to have sorted the timings - my 'blog clock' wasn't set on Greenwich Mean Time apparently, but was an hour adrift??


Anonymous said...

It would also, in the interests of openness and transparency, be useful for the Labour party to publish what schools they think should close.

After all they were given the same advice about school rolls and closures from the same people and would without doubt, around this same time, be looking to close the funding gap and figure out what to do about the school rolls.

Now your immediate answer may be to give the story about forming a committee etc etc but really, which schools would Labour suggest close if they were in power. Even if you don't want to name the schools, how many do you think?

Andrew said...


To be fair, I did deal with this at some considerable length in an earlier post:

... and in subsequent comments.