Author Topic: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School  (Read 17897 times)

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Offline I Could Do That

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The Adver' has published an article which suggests residents of North Swindon will have a big influence on the best location for a school


http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10218851.Call_for_community_to_decide_school_site/

The irony is that readers' comments have not been enabled.
Surely that would be an obvious source for resident feedback


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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 10:14:48 AM »
I think you will find that the Cabinet has already decided to build this on Moulden Hill irrespective of cost and the feedback from the public.  I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

Now if you want to influence them, ask them how they can cut everything in their budget and at the same time 'indulge' in the building of a new school without having the first idea how much it is going to cost them?

David Renard is alleged to have said in Council that if they decide to do it they will find the money. 

How else but by borrowing more money?

Have they learnt anything from the Croft experience, I suggest not.

All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Rochelle

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 11:54:41 AM »
The view has been expressed by someone in the know that the more the Mouldon Hill site is looked at, the more problems it presents.
One of those problems may prove insurmountable.
There also seems to be more of a leaning towards a previously suggested site which was originally dismissed, at least in some quarters.
I have stated that I will challenge the consultation which is currently underway as it is flawed unless significant changes are made.
This is far from over...

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 12:20:45 PM »
I have heard that the proposed extension of Swindon & Cricklade Railway will pose problems, but not sure if they are insurmountable.

Offline Rochelle

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 12:41:59 PM »
I suppose few things are insurmountable if you have endless time and money to spend, the borough is hardly in that position though!

Offline jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 01:00:37 PM »
The Residents of Swindon cannot afford a Council which makes decisions without the benefit of supporting evidence.

SBC does not have an open cheque book.

Time to act like grown ups and make decisions based on sound and supportable data.

Which we can afford....
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 I Could Do That

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 03:15:42 PM »
Wish I'd started the thread with a shorter title.

Ground Farce pretty much sums it up
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 11:40:27 PM »
Currently being delivered, (and recently added to the TS Political Leaflet Library: A leaflet from Conservative Cllr's Emma Faramarzi, Toby Elliot & Mark Edwards in association with Justin Tomlinson MP

Click thumbnail for pdf




Readers might remember that Cllrs Faramarzi & Elliot 'U' Turned on their 2012 pre-election campaign pledges to 'Oppose Innapropriate Development like Tadpole Lane', then betrayed the same residents they'd conned by becoming avid supporters of the Tadpole lane development shortly after being elected.  Cllr Elliot, then newly appointed to the planning Committee by Rod Bluh, (himself both council leader and chairman of the pork barrelappointments committee), was the planning committee proposer that the development should be approved. I've heard more than one resident refer to him as the Judas Goat.

Offline jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 07:26:49 AM »
Currently being delivered, (and recently added to the TS Political Leaflet Library: A leaflet from Conservative Cllr's Emma Faramarzi, Toby Elliot & Mark Edwards in association with Justin Tomlinson MP

Click thumbnail for pdf




Readers might remember that Cllrs Faramarzi & Elliot 'U' Turned on their 2012 pre-election campaign pledges to 'Oppose Innapropriate Development like Tadpole Lane', then betrayed the same residents they'd conned by becoming avid supporters of the Tadpole lane development shortly after being elected.  Cllr Elliot, then newly appointed to the planning Committee by Rod Bluh, (himself both council leader and chairman of the pork barrelappointments committee), was the planning committee proposer that the development should be approved. I've heard more than one resident refer to him as the Judas Goat.


Oh my ... What a lot of waffle from the powers that would be .. No time to comment in detail at the mo... Will look back at sbc's very own records for a more info and post later today.

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.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 11:03:36 AM »
RedHouse Rob notes the following comments from Cllrs Elliot & Faramarzi published on the 19th Feb 2013 by the link magazine: (My bold emphasis)

Quote
Oakhurst councillor Toby Elliott said: “It’s a very difficult decision. North Swindon has been so densely developed that there is very little land available close to where a school is needed. But the important thing is to provide the places by September 2014.

Fellow Oakhurst councillor Emma Faramazi added: “My concern is that parents and children have access to a school that suits their needs. Mouldon Hill looks as if it’s the only realistic place. But I’d like to know if part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest in the middle of Oakhurst could be used.”

Paul Exell, chair of Oakhurst Residents’ Association, is concerned about building in the park. “I think it’s a dangerous move to build in a public open space; it will set a precedent which developers will exploit in other places.

“The council has known for several years about the demand for more school places in North Swindon from live birth information provided by the PCT. It’s really disappointing that there is now a rush to make decisions to provide them.


Cllr Elliot ought to be well aware that £6.x million pounds was given to SBC by the government several years ago, specifically to address the shortage of school places in North Swindon.  The Conservative council administration took that money and instead spent it in South Swindon on an un-needed and unwanted school at Croft.

Looks to be like Cllr's Faramarzi & Elliot are determined to plough through and dig up anything they see as being in the way of doing their masters bidding.

What do you make of Cllr Faramarzi's comment about the Oakhurst SSSI Muggins?

Also See: http://www.swindonlink.com/news/green-space-could-be-sacrificed-to-provide-new-school-in-north-swindon

Offline jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 02:41:02 PM »
Some background to where the money went and who agreed to this. A few North Swindon Councillors it would appear... 


 
Wednesday, 18th November, 2009 6.15 p.m., Cabinet

Meeting Attendance
Attendee   Role   Attendance   
Councillor Roderick Bluh Chair   Present   
Councillor Fionuala Foley Vice-Chair   Present   
Councillor Mark Edwards Member   Present   
Councillor Peter Greenhalgh Member   Present   
Councillor Colin Lovell Member   Apologies   
Councillor Brian Mattock Member   Present   
Councillor David Renard Member   Present   
Councillor Garry Perkins Member   Present   
Councillor Keith Williams Member   Present   
Councillor Philip Young Member   Apologies   
Councillor Nick Martin Member Speaker   In attendance
   
Recommendation, Cabinet is requested to agree

that the Group Director, Children be authorised to undertake a statutory
consultation on a proposal to bring forward the date of the opening of East Wichel
Primary School from September 2011 to September 2010, with the provision from
that earlier date of two classes for Reception-aged pupils on a temporary site
adjacent to Croft Sports Centre, with the permanent East Wichel Primary School
building on the East Wichel site subsequently providing 420 places across all
Primary Year groups from September 2011, as currently scheduled;

that, following the above consultation, the Group Director, Children be authorised
to submit an application to the Schools Adjudicator for approval to the above
proposed change.

Note; there was no consultation, residents were told this was happening ( at the same meeting that a certain female WC , also on cabinet, assured residents there were no plans for a permanent school on the Croft)  at a meeting in April 2010, by which time 3 places had already been offered to the Temp EW school.

Wednesday, 9th December, 2009 6.15 p.m., CabinetMeeting Attendance
Attendee   Role   Attendance   
Councillor Roderick Bluh Chair   Present   
Councillor Fionuala Foley  Vice-Chair   Present   
Councillor Mark Edwards Member   Apologies   
Councillor Peter Greenhalgh Member   Present   
Councillor Colin Lovell Member   Present   
Councillor Brian Mattock Member   Present   
Councillor Garry Perkins Member   Present   
Councillor David Renard Member   Present   
Councillor Keith Williams Member   Present   
Councillor Philip Young Member   Present   
Councillor Derique Montaut Member Speaker   In attendance   

8. Draft Capital Programme: Proposed bids for 2010/11 for consultation (DFCE)
(CM: ME) (Pages 71 - 82)
68.   PROPOSALS "LONGLIST" 2010/11 TO 2013/14
•   
Childrens Provision of a 2FE school on the Croft site - £6,500,000
temporary provision already funded £6 ,500,000
Additional pupil places to meet demand. Figures reflect notification of £6.374m grant on 30/11/09 toward primary place planning in 10/11

Note: there was no consultation on the need for or location of this school. The £6,374,000 was in response to needs of 295 in North Swindon, 173 in the Town Centre and 13 in Old Town. Every penny went to Old Town.


More to come..
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 jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2013, 02:51:34 PM »

Cabinet Dec 9th 2009...
https://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=27577

https://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=27614

Childrens Feasibility studies - North Swindon non-PFI sites £10,000 -
Due to pressure on primary school places in the North Swindon area a review of the existing
feasibility study (non PFI sites) is required to allow for detailed planning of primary school place
provision until 2015.This will include possible sites, expansions of current schools and SEN
provision based on pupil projections.

Quite the thing these feasibility studies... £3,500 for Old Town and the Town Centre in Oct 2009 ... and now £10,000 for North Swindon in December 2009. Has anyone seen the output of this 'feasibility study'... is it public? 

So... in 2009 Cabinet knew they needed extra spaces in North Swindon, in 2009 Cabinet got the money for North Swindon, and in 2009 Cabinet knew they had to look for other sites in and for North Swindon....


Oh dear....

Now about those 'additional school places'...
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 Muggins

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2013, 03:00:25 PM »
Wrote a longer post than this then Jennyb cut me up at the posting.

Shorter one  Ref. SSSI, I'd like to see her try, she obvioulsy doesn't  know what a SSSI is.

SBC did have numbers projection and this can only be wrong, due to them changing the density numbers when they started Priory Vale - going from 8/14 per acre to 25 per acre, although the difference was made up of mostly flats, so some people must be lively in not ideal accommodation. I bet they didn;t update the school figures.
Or the birth rate in general has shot up. Or they left space for another school which has subsequently been built on.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2013, 03:59:51 PM »

Ref. SSSI, I'd like to see her try, she obvioulsy doesn't  know what a SSSI is.

The SSSI comment is either a distraction threat or ignorant comment - Cllr Faramarzi either hopes to distract residents of Oakhurst into applying themselves to deal with an empty threat against the Oakhurst SSSI instead of pushing for the new school to be built on the intended site of the |Vera Tomlinson Memorial Hall, or has yet again publicised her woeful lack of knowledge and interest in Oakhurst..

SBC did have numbers projection and this can only be wrong, due to them changing the density numbers when they started Priory Vale - going from 8/14 per acre to 25 per acre, although the difference was made up of mostly flats, so some people must be lively in not ideal accommodation. I bet they didn;t update the school figures.
Or the birth rate in general has shot up. Or they left space for another school which has subsequently been built on.

Kareen Boyd has the relevent figures. I'm not sure that they support that theory.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2013, 04:36:09 PM »
Well let's put it another way, The whole of Abbey Meads was going to be 8/14 houses per acre at that point they were building 2 and three bed houses, not many fours if I remember rightly, but could have been if you chucked in the box room.

Assuming that all bedrooms were occupied!

Then when they got to Priory Vale the ratio shot up to 25 to the acre, this was made up by putting in all sorts, like  them coach houses thingys (which are flats with a garage underneath etc) blocks of flats, and normal two and three bed and those taller 3 bed houses. So even more houses were shoe horned in along with the flats.   Logical if you ask me. 

The housing density was not 25 per acre at the start of building Abbey Meads, it was some change of policy from the government that made it shoot up. I've said before I can take you to the field where it happened, one half is built like it should ahve been the other half the field at the higher ratio.  Shame the trees are between me and it, I could do a pretty good roof shot for you.

I've just remembered too, that Groundwell (this side of Thamsdown Drive was not going to be housing development, that was going to be the halls of residence fo one of the university bids.

Then that changed and the higher density housing was put in there too.  There is a bit of mix of housing up there, with Social Housing chucked in because another change in  policy on having 30% came in about then, as it did too in Redhouse. 

When the schools were boing planned there, the schools were supposed to be in the middle of their catchment, but in reality the heads were allowed to decide and it seemed to me that Abbey Meads school did not want Groundwell kids. Some of them ended up in Penhill schools.  So Abbey Meads school was at the extreme end of it's catchment, as is Catherine Waite. If that is the same at the others maybe that's why they are short over the other end!  I don't know what the situation is now, whether that's been shuffled around or not.

But it makes sense that if you are planning  a development of 10,000 house sand there ends up being say 15,000 and you haven't replanned, then services are going to be stretched!

And wal la - so they are! 
 
 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 05:16:09 PM »
Muggins,

The head of children's and adult services is paid £138,000 per annum. This department appears to have more managers than you can shake a stick at.

Any and all developments create the need for schools.

These bods know where and when houses are going to be built, how big these houses are and where the children live from nigh on the day they are born.

They know where the schools are, where they plan to build more ( even if they don't tell the plebs) and how much capacity exists.

North Swindon need is not a surprise... they have been caught out in their inept management of the jobs they are paid handsomely to 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 Muggins

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 06:15:29 PM »
I think that's what I've said! 

Plan a  development, change the plan, but not the plan for the change to services.  I didn't do it, you didn't do it - they did.  And that was when they had plenty of staff to do it.

It's no surprise to us, but it is to them!

I bet even as we write they are cocking up even more plans.   

One of the reasons they do that, is because they don't follow plans.

They just write them then bin them. 

 

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2013, 07:15:30 PM »
I think that's what I've said! 

Plan a  development, change the plan, but not the plan for the change to services.  I didn't do it, you didn't do it - they did.  And that was when they had plenty of staff to do it.

It's no surprise to us, but it is to them!

I bet even as we write they are cocking up even more plans.   

One of the reasons they do that, is because they don't follow plans.

They just write them then bin them.

Oh I would speculate that there is a plan somewhere and it has been followed.... but that plan has not been about school place planning.. and it sure as hell has not been discussed or minuted at any council meetings.. 

Why else would SBC knowingly build a school in Old Town in the full knowledge that it was not and never had been needed?
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 Geoff Reid

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2013, 07:17:27 PM »

I bet even as we write they are cocking up even more plans.   

One of the reasons they do that, is because they don't follow plans.

They just write them then bin them.

Plans are proposed, consulted on, agreed and then completely ignored when it suits politicians to do so.

In this case the need for School places in North Swindon was ignored because the money for those needed school places was plundered by legacy and vision obsessed politicians determined to deliver a school in the wrong place, at the wrong time for political purposes rather than a genuine educational need which Swindon Borough Councils own figures clearly demonstrate did not exist then, and does not exist now.

The £6,000,000+ diverted from North Swindon on political whim is just the latest figure to bob to the surface as residents realise that North Swindon* has been systematically and politically plundered of education and community cash over the last 6 or 7 years....

.....but the day has now arrived when the plunderers have to deliver the right number of school places, at the time and in the right places, and have to do so in the full knowledge that Daddy has already gambled the mortgage money away on another pRodject on the wrong side of town.

Justin Tomlinson (MP) also has his dabs all over this from his years as one of Bluhs cabinet corporals so I'm not surprised that he'll want this to vanish from his radar as quickly as possible, hence his obvious and predictable support for building on Mouldon Hill Country Park - and he'd like it done quickly.  In his eyes, better a country park or two is paved over and built on than him suffering any reputational damage caused by an in-depth look at his time at SBC.  I'm interested to see what Cllr Woods 'independent' investigation will have to say about the closure of Northview Primary School and then Cllr Tomlinsons role in that closure.

Quote
Why else would SBC knowingly build a school in Old Town in the full knowledge that it was not and never had been needed?

Because the Town has been, and is, being blighted by a council leadership which thinks it knows better than experts, knows it can get away with ignoring facts, has got away with plundering many millions of pounds from one part of the town and wasting it other parts.   When time began running out for our incompetent incumbents they even tried to flog off 10,000 council houses to nett just £40,000,000 (this is a knock-down fire-sale value of just £4,000 per house), so they could use the money to Bluhnder onwards and try to keep the 'orrible truth hidden from the 'orrible oiks and perhaps pull a rabbit out of George Osbournes back pocket.

There are no rabbits and they've wasted the money.

* And not just North Swindon.

   

Offline jennyb

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Re: Groundbreaking or Farce / Public To Decide Ideal Location For School
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2013, 07:21:47 PM »
The Adver' has published an article which suggests residents of North Swindon will have a big influence on the best location for a school


http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10218851.Call_for_community_to_decide_school_site/

The irony is that readers' comments have not been enabled.
Surely that would be an obvious source for resident feedback


Let me give some feedback here....

The officer in the article ( funny that there are no councillors to be seen) is the same officer who told around 200 Old Town residents on September 23rd 2010 that there were no plans for a school on Croft ( there were no councillors at that one either).

His officer manager had accepted the feasibility study that said there would be a school on Croft in October 2009.

Trust is a precious thing is it not....
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.