Author Topic: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts  (Read 6599 times)

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Offline Mickraker

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North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« on: November 06, 2012, 07:22:43 PM »
This was pointed in my direction  :fish:
http://oakhurstresidents.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/first-foi-and-now-for-some-facts.html#more


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Offline The Oakhurst Avenger

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 03:01:34 PM »
This was pointed in my direction  :fish:
http://oakhurstresidents.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/first-foi-and-now-for-some-facts.html#more


As an ordinary resident perhaps someone can explain local government rules. To the ordinary man on the street the facts above suggest either gross incompetence or worse possible case of misuse of public funds on the part of the council. Is there a process - either at local or national level - in place to provide the necessary scrutiny and independent peer review of the decision making going on here by our elected representatives?
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Mr Grumble

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 08:10:57 PM »
What do you expect from people who say they're against inappropriate development and then line up behind it to support it.  The facts speak for themselves.  There are no extra school places and how much lobbying did the local councillors do.  None.

The Oakhurst Residents' Assocation blog has some interesting facts and FoI information on it.  I just wish it would look at the VT Village Hall in Redhouse!

Rincewind

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 09:02:24 PM »
As an ordinary resident perhaps someone can explain local government rules. To the ordinary man on the street the facts above suggest either gross incompetence or worse possible case of misuse of public funds on the part of the council. Is there a process - either at local or national level - in place to provide the necessary scrutiny and independent peer review of the decision making going on here by our elected representatives?

The councillors believe in sleight of leaflet - that the swiftness of their leaflet deceives the mind of the resident.  Don't the councillors also play find the lady to see if the residents can find the pea of truth they hide under the moving cups?

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 09:55:55 AM »
Interesting story in the Adver:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10039432.School_place_consultation_postponed/

School place consultation postponed

5:54pm Friday 9th November 2012 in News By Josh Layton
School place consultation postponed School place consultation postponed

A CONSULTATION on school places in north Swindon has been postponed after an error in a report.

The consultation events were scheduled to take place on Monday at the Tawny Owl pub and Tuesday at Orchid Vale School.

The July 2012 Cabinet report about the need for primary school places in north Swindon stated that the land proposed for a new school was not within the boundary of Mouldon Hill Country Park.

However further research showed the land to be within the park albeit at the periphery and in an area not often frequented by members of the public.

Cabinet took a decision to approve consultation but there was inaccurate information included in the report. The council has now postponed the consultation in the light of this new information.

Officers will work on further options and take the proposals back to the cabinet in December, so that they can re-start the consultation on options as soon as possible thereafter.

The council apologised for the inconvenience and difficulties caused by the need to postpone the consultation.

The need for primary school places in North Swindon remains a priority and officers will work to ensure the council can deliver the required number of places by September 2014, a spokesman said.
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Offline jennyb

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 11:40:41 AM »
Interesting story in the Adver:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10039432.School_place_consultation_postponed/

School place consultation postponed

5:54pm Friday 9th November 2012 in News By Josh Layton
School place consultation postponed School place consultation postponed

A CONSULTATION on school places in north Swindon has been postponed after an error in a report.

The consultation events were scheduled to take place on Monday at the Tawny Owl pub and Tuesday at Orchid Vale School.

The July 2012 Cabinet report about the need for primary school places in north Swindon stated that the land proposed for a new school was not within the boundary of Mouldon Hill Country Park.

However further research showed the land to be within the park albeit at the periphery and in an area not often frequented by members of the public.

Cabinet took a decision to approve consultation but there was inaccurate information included in the report. The council has now postponed the consultation in the light of this new information.

Officers will work on further options and take the proposals back to the cabinet in December, so that they can re-start the consultation on options as soon as possible thereafter.

The council apologised for the inconvenience and difficulties caused by the need to postpone the consultation.

The need for primary school places in North Swindon remains a priority and officers will work to ensure the council can deliver the required number of places by September 2014, a spokesman said.



When and where was the error spotted I wonder?

How many Councillors had already seen this report and agreed with it I wonder?

But...we now have an admission that Officers are not superhuman or infallible and can make mistakes.

A soupcon of reality is a good thing!

It will be interesting to see what happens next...
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 03:43:35 PM »
It will be interesting to see what happens next...

Indeed!!
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Offline Mickraker

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 03:52:00 PM »
If it is not frequented by the public then the public should go there and trample around it taking photographs of their visit before  Cllr Rod Bluh labels this as scrubland and we all know where that can lead to.

The question of how many councillors saw this report is troubling but would it have been written by an officer and as it has been claimed that officers don't make mistakes. Troubling that other reports by officers been put before councillors and any errors  have not yet been found :-\

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Offline Mickraker

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 03:53:40 PM »
It will be interesting to see what happens next...

Indeed!!

More scrutiny will pick it up surely  :-\
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Offline jennyb

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 09:22:34 PM »
If it is not frequented by the public then the public should go there and trample around it taking photographs of their visit before  Cllr Rod Bluh labels this as scrubland and we all know where that can lead to.

The question of how many councillors saw this report is troubling but would it have been written by an officer and as it has been claimed that officers don't make mistakes. Troubling that other reports by officers been put before councillors and any errors  have not yet been found :-\

Even more troubling is when the public pick up the errors before the councillors do.....
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 07:26:22 AM »
If it is not frequented by the public then the public should go there and trample around it taking photographs of their visit before  Cllr Rod Bluh labels this as scrubland and we all know where that can lead to.

The question of how many councillors saw this report is troubling but would it have been written by an officer and as it has been claimed that officers don't make mistakes. Troubling that other reports by officers been put before councillors and any errors  have not yet been found :-\

Even more troubling is when the public pick up the errors before the councillors do.....

and it brings into question their relevance does it not?

Time for a complete overhaul of the system and what it expects from these people!
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Offline jennyb

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 09:24:47 AM »
Dec 12th 2012 Cabinet meeting :

Agenda item 10: Additional School Places – Town Centre and North Swindon

http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=46136


Interesting reading .

Now what will Cabinet do I wonder.

It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Zlatan

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 01:23:36 PM »
The answer is simple - bring the building of a primary school in Tadpole Farm forward!
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 05:03:48 PM »
The answer is simple - bring the building of a primary school in Tadpole Farm forward!

That, my friend, is too obvious!!
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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 05:16:41 PM »
A part of that cabinet report says:

Quote
5.2 Levels of overall debt have increased considerably over the last few years to
fund capital investment, with overall Council general fund debt currently £98m
(although an underlying borrowing requirement is £189m) and net debt charges
of £8.7m pa. Options for expansion of schools should therefore consider whether
all future non ring-fenced grant awards are used as first call on funding additional
places, restricting investment in current stock, in order to minimise further debt
increases.

Would this be the same £98M debt that "Deer" Dale was trying to stop people talking about?

Quote
(although an underlying borrowing requirement is £189m)
Wassat mean?
What's it all about?

Offline komadori

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Re: Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 06:48:38 PM »
Quote
(although an underlying borrowing requirement is £189m)
Wassat mean?
I believe it means the debt would be £189m if it weren't for the fact the council lends money to its capital budget from other budgets that have surplus cash (even if only for a short period). So as a hypothetical example, if the council received S106 money from a developer before the council was ready to spend on its intended projects, the council might 'lend' that money to other capital projects, thus reducing the level of debt it would otherwise have. All perfectly reasonable, provided the internal loan gets paid back, so the money is still available for the originally intended purpose. 
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Offline Mickraker

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2013, 07:00:00 AM »
I saw some Roe Deer in Mouldon Hill country park could be this  is  a Tory plot to rid North Swindon  of Stratton Parish Council Deer Habitat  :-\

Quote
There is a small lake, on which you may encounter a Grey Heron or two and other water loving species such as Mallard and Moorhen. Common Terns are often present during the Summer months and Roe Deer may be encountered at any time.


http://swindon-birds.co.uk/mouldonhill.html

The wiki entry does not show what is going on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouldon_Hill_Country_Park
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Offline Muggins

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2013, 08:33:26 AM »
Whatever you can find online about Mouldon Hill Mick, the proof of the value of Mouldon hill and the open space, wildlife corridors (along which those deer come) are already proven. Not just about wildlife,but the need for open spaces to our Quality of Life and our sanity(Capital letters obligatory) have also been proved.

I know I've posted this before but it bears repeating and often.

Swindon made itself a green 'city' many *years ago and added to it's reputation by the gaining of the Community Forest funds and winning 2nd place twice as an Environment City - a national comp.

* Only the late 80/90's so not long ago and that momentum carrid on until quite recently.

The first time we only came second because someone forgot to put in the bid our basic advances in green issues , like putting up bird boxes etc and were so used to doing in by then that we thought EVERYONE was doing that. And we discovered later the fac tthat the judges found that the councillors really were not that involved in the bidding group. Leicester won that one and that also could have had something to do with Leicester being the home town of the contest.  ::)

The second we lost to Middlesborough who had plans for 9 miles of derelict coastline and someone said at the time we can't compete with it!

The competeing team in Swindon was not just a group of disparate people taking it upon themselves but a serious partnership throughout the different sectors. Could be it was a fore-runner ot the Swindon Strategic Partnership.

It's only in the last few years that this has been forgotten and all our green credentials have been ignored, you can ask yourself why that is? 

The Community Forest Plan was to be used as a planning tool, to which every planning application was cross referenced.  It brought in inward investment for keeping the best of our green spaces, events and a lot of Council bragging went on about the success of it.

I think what happening now is either a lack of knowledge in the present administration of that part of Swindon's glory, a loss of historic memory gone with those made redundant,  and/or a serious lack of wider vision that was there before. 

Ps the deer used to come in to the town centre along the railway line, a friend worked at the Research council and used to often say "There was another deer hunt along the line today". We've had them at 7F's and they have damaged some of the trees in the Orchard.  Prior to Groundwell being developed there was a goodly herd over there. 
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Offline jennyb

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Re: North Swindon School Places FOI and Facts
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 09:21:50 AM »
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10931443.Bid_to_stave_off_schooling_crisis/


Another day, another report on the urgent need for school places in North Swindon.  SBC has several managers responsible for planning school places and years of notice of school need from both existing families and proposed developments.  So, why is this now urgent?

In simple terms, the SBC statement that additional school places in 2014 for North Swindon will be satisfied by the Tadpole Farm School is not supported by SBC’s own data. 

Whilst every parent has the right to apply for their school of choice, school place planning and the attendant DfE funding has been based on the child’s location.

North Swindon reasonably expected 2 new primary schools. 1 in 2014, the other for the 1700 home Tadpole Farm development. 

SBC repeatedly states that they are providing additional school places for North Swindon in 2014. Yet SBC’s own data shows North Swindon had 540 reception places in 2012 and will have 540 reception places in 2014 and that these 540 places are needed even without the introduction of the Tadpole Farm development.

All that the Tadpole Farm School and the Orchid Vale extension will do is replace the 90 temporary reception places in North Swindon which were introduced in 2012.

Crest Nicholson are fulfilling their obligation to build a school within Tadpole Farm earlier than agreed (for who knows what reason or concessions?) but there is nothing to say that this school is for the children from Tadpole Farm.

The DfE have arguably already paid for a new school for North Swindon need in 2009. Having granted £6,374,000 to SBC, the Cabinet decided to allocate all these funds to the Class Solutions 420 pupil prototype on the Croft.  Therefore who is to pay for this missing North Swindon primary school, when and where will it be? 

Why are North Swindon Ward Cllrs so quiet on this matter? Maybe they don’t understand or are afraid to go public?

In the meantime, where will the children from the 1700 home Tadpole Farm development go to school?

Old Town already has overcapacity and the Town Centre will have a new primary school in 2014.  The White Horse Federation wish to open the Croft School to all year groups in 2015, 3 years ahead of schedule.  SBC’s own data did not and does not support this for local need.

Why would this be relevant to North Swindon parents and Parish Councils? It is a minimum of 6.67 miles from Oakhurst School to the Croft School. East Wichel School also has capacity and is a fraction less distant. 

If the Croft School is permitted to open in all year groups in 2015 without a full, open and transparent review of school places across Swindon, will North Swindon children have to travel to Old Town? 

Might Cllrs Foley and Renard state all the council has to do is to provide sufficient places within the borough, it’s up to the parents to get them there?
 
Openness and transparency have never been more urgently needed.

Kareen
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.