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Town Planning, Housing Developments, Transport & Education => The Croft School (Proposal) Swindon, Old Town & Lawn => Topic started by: Richard Symonds on September 11, 2013, 01:07:31 PM

Title: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 11, 2013, 01:07:31 PM
In the Adver Today complete with a number of comments!

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10663795.No_buyers_for_new_Croft_type_schools/

I'll let a little time go by and then copy and paste the article and the comments which are worth reading.

I am not sure that Brian Mattock's smiling photograph is appropriate in view of this failure, what do you think?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 11, 2013, 01:57:36 PM


No buyers?

No surprise !
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 11, 2013, 02:29:46 PM


No buyers?

No surprise !

I think the surprise is that they thought anyone would want to buy it in the first place!!

As for the savings I wonder what the long term maintenance issues will be with all those puddles on the roof?

Sadly this is yet another example of the Council investing in something it doesn't understand, but did so with OUR MONEY. 

Isn't 6% of the Council Budget spent on interest payments?

I hope they have learnt their lesson and will not EVER again indulge in speculative ventures.  With Bluh all but gone we can hope!!
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on September 11, 2013, 04:31:35 PM
Is it misleading to compare the Class Solutions prototype with a 420 pupil primary school which includes all of the facilities necessary to run a school within the buildings and within the site? 

Might prospective buyers of any products compare like with like in order to assess value for money?

Might prospective buyers consider whether the purported 2/3 of the price for 2/3 of a school works for them?

Might prospective buyers also consider building longevity ( ~60 years according to an elected member) as a factor in value for money?

Might prospective buyers ask for proof that this prototype is cheaper to run, for comparison purposes ? 

Might prospective buyers ask where else this design has been built?

Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 11, 2013, 06:26:30 PM
Is it misleading to compare the Class Solutions prototype with a 420 pupil primary school which includes all of the facilities necessary to run a school within the buildings and within the site? 

Might prospective buyers of any products compare like with like in order to assess value for money?

Might prospective buyers consider whether the purported 2/3 of the price for 2/3 of a school works for them?

Might prospective buyers also consider building longevity ( ~60 years according to an elected member) as a factor in value for money?

Might prospective buyers ask for proof that this prototype is cheaper to run, for comparison purposes ? 

Might prospective buyers ask where else this design has been built?

Good points, although I have to admit that I don't know whether pupils attending the Croft School have more, or perhaps less, facilities and/or equipment available to them than pupils at other local schools.

On my infrequent strolls around Croft I've never managed to work out which building contains a hall in which whole school assemblies are held.  Does it have one?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Muggins on September 11, 2013, 06:37:57 PM
Do they have assemblies these days?

There was an interview on BBC Wilts this morning between Anne Snelgrove and I think Cllr Renard, I didn't catch it all, but it was heated and interesting.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: AnnCalsox on September 11, 2013, 07:24:55 PM
 Here are the comments from the Adver

There is one that refers to assembly facilities - lack of

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1:49pm Tue 10 Sep 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Anyone surprised....?

 My understanding is that Swindon won't even use the design for its own schools beyond the debarcle that was Croft.

 Where's Blur for a comment as Croft was his pet project?

 Quote " "Overall, it has saved the public a large amount of money. ". Really? Evidence please; which schools and based on number of pupils attending. Surely the adver could have provided that as part of its journalism rather than simply accept unqualified quotes?
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2:59pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Tim Newroman says...

So, the council has actually saved the tax payer £1.5million then?

 Little wonder they haven't sold the concept on if all they put behind the marketing was £9,500!
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6:57pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Localboy86 says...

When we have idiots like Oliver donnacie making decisions no wonder things don't go to plan. People should only be able to run for council or be involved in any type of politics if they have achieved something in life or even held down any sort of worthwhile job.
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7:00pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Localboy86 says...

And to be clear qualifications do not automatically count as an achievement, someone should have put these to use, like run a profitable company, before even being considered worthy of making decisions which could effect us.
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7:18pm Tue 10 Sep 13

OldTown90 says...

Since the actual costs of the school have never been shared publically then there is no evidence of the savings being reported,only the word of the councillors. And we know how trustworthy this administration, and former leader and self confessed man of integrity are don't we?

 And don't forget when totting up the cost to add in £1million for the temporary school which was no more than a Trojan horse to secure planning permission from a rather feeble planning committee.

 Also its hardly a complete school. The original plan was that when fully occupied it would rely on the Croft Sports Centre in order to host school assembly.

 It is also unconventional in so much as the staff car park is inadequate for the number of staff that will be required if and when it becomes fully operational. Lucky for them that there is a car park in the Croft that they will use. How much does adequate staff car parking facilities cost at a conventional school?

 So it may not be a conventional school but neither is it a cheap school (actually it is a cheap school appearance wise as opposed to monetary wise) when comparing the actual facilities against the actual cost. And its hardly solid evidence comparing apples with pears

 As LordAsh states if its so wonderful and cost effective why are the council not using it elsewhere e.g. Tadpole Farm.

 Which does beg the question - is the school ever going to get built there or are the kids in North Swindon going to lose out again as vanity rules at SBC?
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9:58pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Morsey says...

Compare a proper school building, having stood for around a century like Even Swindon school, then look at the short-lived, relatively expensive schools built today ... it just shows how backward we have become?
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1:14pm Wed 11 Sep 13

abbotboy says...

Is that young lad still being taken every day by the taxi firm from Shrivenham??
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7:00pm Wed 11 Sep 13

Peter Mallinson says...

If there ever was a reason for people not to buy into the Croft concept it must be asked "did all the nimbyism, ranting and general rabble rousing help to sell the idea". No!!

 Why would anyone want to get involved in that.

 As for the comments about councillors not having the right experience, background etc. I can agree with the statement as a generality and would like to say that there are some councillors who are not in work and see being a councillor as being fully employed.

 However I do object to being thrown in the same pond. I have had two very successful and demanding and careers in my life in both the RAF and BA. I have also started, run and sold two businesses over the last 20 years, so have a little knowledge of how to run things.

 Non of this is any use to you when you become a councillor, you are at the mercy of all and sundry. If you attempt to do something there is always bunch of people ready to rubbish you.

 That is what happened with Councillor Bluh and others over the Croft School.

 It will never change.
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7:54pm Wed 11 Sep 13

OldTown90 says...

Peter Mallinson says;
 " As for the comments about councillors not having the right experience, background etc. I can agree with the statement as a generality and would like to say that there are some councillors who are not in work and see being a councillor as being fully employed."

 OldTown90 says:
 I would say that not having the right experience is rife in this current administration. You only have to observe recent iterations of Cabinet.

 Also don't assume that fully employed is the same as gainfully employed or productively employed.

 Peter Mallinson says;
 " Non of this is any use to you when you become a councillor, you are at the mercy of all and sundry. If you attempt to do something there is always bunch of people ready to rubbish you."

 OldTown90 says:
 Totally disagree . I think you'll find its the incompetents that come in for criticism. Those that do a good job get positive recognition. Case in point - Nadine Watts, you know her Peter, she beat you in the May 2012 elections, is well respected in Old Town and has been praised by many residents of Old Town for the good work and positive contribution she makes in the ward.

 Peter Mallionson says:
 "That is what happened with Councillor Bluh and others over the Croft School."

 OldTown90 says:
 If Councillor Bluh, self confessed man of integrity, (self praise is no praise)get rubbished its because of the catalogue of failures that he and his administration have presided over in recent years An example related to this article is the abysmal school planning which leaves South Swindon awash in spare school places while North Swindon continually struggles to get adequate school provision.

 Another reason he gets criticised, justly in my opinion, is the failed commercial ventures e.g Class Solutions and Wi-Fi that occurred on his watch.

 Peter Mallinson says;
 "It will never change."

 OldTown90 says:
 Be assured.It will change. And for the better when this Administration are voted out. The people of Swindon deserve better. They've had to put up with mediocrity for too long.

 The greatest resistance to change is this current administration

Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Mart on September 11, 2013, 07:47:31 PM
WiFi with a roof on then?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Des Moffatt on September 11, 2013, 09:00:28 PM
Ha Ha Ha Mart
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Jodie Maggio on September 11, 2013, 09:52:51 PM
WiFi with a roof on then?

At least the Croft enquiry was published.  :)

Whether factually correct is another matter
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 11, 2013, 11:51:55 PM
So, ex-councillor Mallinson lurched out of the political graveyard again, unravelled a mouldy vellum parchment and spake the mantra of failure once again: "Not me guv'nor, cor blimey no, it was all them nimby's wot done for the Pop-Up School so it was.... annit wus them wot done the WiFi over too..."

I see Wing Commander Peter Von Shattering-Buttocks wasn't accompanied by his usual carer so he's lurching about without his hench-twit Olive to coordinate his rantings into a proper bile stream. Consequentially Petey is making a even bigger berk of himself than he usually does.......and he probably thinks he's helping to preparing the landing ground for Claire Ellis' parachute jump into Old Town by boasting about his BA Career.  I know some BA pilots, most of them are decent blokes but a lot of them are big headed braggards and ex-pilot Pete is one of the latter I think.  Not worthy of any respect and certainly not the regular hat-doffing he routinely expects.

Anyhow, I hope Mrs Ellis didn't let Petey pack her chute because, if he carries on 'making friends' in Old Town, he might turn her campaign into a Roman Candle, just like he did his own last attempt :)

Pete, go and polish your Jag or something......
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Muggins on September 12, 2013, 08:29:34 AM
All for 'transferable skills'  if they are actually transferred.   Councillors don't have to know everything, but it's a good idea of they can lean a bit as they go along and use the expertise of decent officers.

If I was a councillor in a council that has made as many redundancies as ours, and instead of advertising for the experts they need, keep redeploying staff from other jobs, I would need to know quite  a bit myself.

Why do you think they keep making these basic mistakes?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on September 12, 2013, 09:52:32 AM
Is it misleading to compare the Class Solutions prototype with a 420 pupil primary school which includes all of the facilities necessary to run a school within the buildings and within the site? 

Might prospective buyers of any products compare like with like in order to assess value for money?

Might prospective buyers consider whether the purported 2/3 of the price for 2/3 of a school works for them?

Might prospective buyers also consider building longevity ( ~60 years according to an elected member) as a factor in value for money?

Might prospective buyers ask for proof that this prototype is cheaper to run, for comparison purposes ? 

Might prospective buyers ask where else this design has been built?

Good points, although I have to admit that I don't know whether pupils attending the Croft School have more, or perhaps less, facilities and/or equipment available to them than pupils at other local schools.

On my infrequent strolls around Croft I've never managed to work out which building contains a hall in which whole school assemblies are held.  Does it have one?

This excerpt was taken directly from the full recording of the Nov 29th 2011 Planning Committee at which approval was given to build the Class Solutions Prototype:

The then OT WC Bawden stated
"Can I also make the point, many of you have heard me say before,  Children have only 1 chance at education. If I personally didn’t think that this was a site which would provide  a sports centre, provide playing pitches which  cost of £1-5 to £1.6m , if I didn’t think for 1 moment that putting a school there would not give the children who go there…….. and remember ..talking about the life of a school of 60 years, that’s thousands of  pupils. I think this ( the Croft) is a fantastic site."

The October 2009 feasibility study which 'selected' the Croft Site for a primary school was based on a 1.39 hectares site which included the facilities a primary school would require within the buildings . The proposed layout in this study was based on a single storey school. 

The application which was submitted for the Croft School in June 2011 ( based on what was later revealed to be the Class Solutions venture) was based on a single storey school on a .59 hectare site with reliance on the Croft Centre ( which has a large hall) , the Croft public car park and the Croft Playing fields.

Does the purported cost of the Class Solutions prototype rely upon the proximity of and access to a Community Centre, playing fields and Car park all within Local Authority ownership and control?

Does the evidence support that the Class Solutions prototype is a complete 420 primary school operating within its own boundaries?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Tobes on September 12, 2013, 01:12:31 PM
In The Thick Of IT has a useful phrase for SBC's stumbling attempts at semi-commercial ventures, 'Omni-shambles'.

They've behaved like properly addicted gamblers, tugging away at the lever on the one armed bandit, but feeding OUR cash into the slot. Maybe there is a time for taking the odd risk to try and innovate - but in the teeth of local resistance to such ideas and at a time when money is so desperately tight, the last five years have proven that they're totally incapable of delivering on their promises. What total plonkers.

  :(
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 12, 2013, 08:35:13 PM
Here's the article better late than never!!

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10663795.No_buyers_for_new_Croft_type_schools/

No buyers for new Croft-type schools

11:10am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
Photograph of Coun Brian Mattock pictured outside Croft School just before it opened.

A DESIGN for new schools drawn up by Swindon Council has not attracted any orders despite almost £10,000 of taxpayers’ cash being ploughed into the project.

The modular concept, entitled Class Solutions, has been marketed to local authorities across the UK after forming the basis for the Croft School in Old Town.

The Adver revealed in February 2012 how the council spent £9,512 on marketing materials, including a promotional DVD and a model.

But no orders have been received to date since the project’s inception in 2011, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.


However the local authority said in its reply that interest had been received after an independent report on the school capital system in April 2011.

The council stated: “The publishing of the James Report and invitations to several national conferences on school design has triggered some interest from individuals from organisations who attended the conference.”

The primary school opened in September after a prolonged planning battle with residents.

Campaigners claimed the buildings were used to showcase Class Solutions.

But proponents say the design, which meant the school was cheaper and quicker to assemble than by using conventional methods, could be a cheap way for the Government to build hundreds of new schools.

Kareen Boyd, who opposed the Croft, reasserted her claim that residents were kept in the dark about Class Solutions during the row over access, traffic and demand for places.

She said: “There had been no mention of Class Solutions or its years and costs of research and development or that it already had a £10,000 marketing package based on the Croft location.

“Neither were we told that this had already been presented by the council to the UK Schools Building Procurement Forum well in advance of the planning committee.“ Mrs Boyd, of Hesketh Crescent, suggested other local authorities had drawn their own conclusions.

She said: “Prospective customers can now see the prototype in reality and compare the actual design and costs in the open market against companies with proven track records.”

The council has said it will provide designs and drawings for other town halls who wish to use the concept, which has been dubbed the “school in a box”. A spokesman said: “By any rational and objective measure, the Croft School design has been a major success.

"It cost £1.5million less to build than the three previous conventionally-built schools in Swindon, and is popular with pupils, parents and teachers.

“Taken in that context, the amount spent on promotional materials, which have been useful in sending to people and organisations who have subsequently expressed an interest in the design, is very small.

"Overall, it has saved the public a large amount of money.

“The concept will be used again for future new schools in Swindon.”

And the additional comments since Ann posted them earlier.

8:26pm Wed 11 Sep 13
Peter Mallinson says...

The administration may change but the quality of the council will take a nose dive. Have you seen the alternatives in action.

Just take a look at the TV today, it shows councillors in the chamber some are looking very untidy (scruffy). They are the ones who will take over.
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9:12pm Wed 11 Sep 13
LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
If there ever was a reason for people not to buy into the Croft concept it must be asked "did all the nimbyism, ranting and general rabble rousing help to sell the idea". No!!

Why would anyone want to get involved in that.

As for the comments about councillors not having the right experience, background etc. I can agree with the statement as a generality and would like to say that there are some councillors who are not in work and see being a councillor as being fully employed.

However I do object to being thrown in the same pond. I have had two very successful and demanding and careers in my life in both the RAF and BA. I have also started, run and sold two businesses over the last 20 years, so have a little knowledge of how to run things.

Non of this is any use to you when you become a councillor, you are at the mercy of all and sundry. If you attempt to do something there is always bunch of people ready to rubbish you.

That is what happened with Councillor Bluh and others over the Croft School.

It will never change.
Rubbish, Blur made Croft school a personal project so as to gain votes in Old Town where he decided to put himself up for re-election.

For many people the real issue with Croft school is not that it was built, it is that the need for additional primary school places was greatest in North Swindon and has been for a few years; an issue which has never been properly addressed and even now is patched up with sticking plasters (such as portacabins in Bridlewood) rather than addressing the real issue.

Even without the primary school issue being addressed the next big crisis is already on the horizon; which is that of secondary schooling.


For Blur in particular several of his projects fell flat hence the reason he jumped before being pushed; Wifi, SCS and so on.


I will agree with you on one thing though. A lot of very capable people refuse to stand for election because quite frankly being a councilor is a hiding to nothing and a no-win situation.
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9:47pm Wed 11 Sep 13
OldTown90 says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
The administration may change but the quality of the council will take a nose dive. Have you seen the alternatives in action.

Just take a look at the TV today, it shows councillors in the chamber some are looking very untidy (scruffy). They are the ones who will take over.
Peter, you have no idea how shallow you appear to be with statements like that.

You should never judge a book by its cover. A person's dress sense is no indicator of their calibre or ability. It would be foolish of anyone to draw such a conclusion. By your reasoning Einstein must have been a disappointment to his parents.

I base my judgement on this administration's incompetence not on their dress code but by their actions and the devastating and crippling effect their actions have had on the people of Swindon.

The tribal party politics , and both parties have to accept blame, is at the root of the mess that Swindon finds itself in. And I have to say as an observer that ,in my opinion, the Conservatives appear worse than Labour.

The " we are right and the all others are wrong" approach which is evident to all who attend any council meetings has to change.

But like I said in a previous post this administration is anti-change. There are too many dinosaurs in this council. And I include all parties in that statement
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10:04am Thu 12 Sep 13
Localboy86 says...

I would vote for Peter, he tells it how he sees it even if people might not agree. I also respect him for not hiding behind various aliases on here like some wannabe councillors, who run the web editor like a little boy when ever someone mentions his name.
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12:23pm Thu 12 Sep 13
OldTown90 says...

Localboy86 wrote:
I would vote for Peter, he tells it how he sees it even if people might not agree. I also respect him for not hiding behind various aliases on here like some wannabe councillors, who run the web editor like a little boy when ever someone mentions his name.
About 99% of people on here use aliases. Including you.
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12:44pm Thu 12 Sep 13
Localboy86 says...

But Im not a wannabe councillor.
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I find the following quote from Peter Mallinson particularly unfortunate

"The administration may change but the quality of the council will take a nose dive. Have you seen the alternatives in action.

Just take a look at the TV today, it shows councillors in the chamber some are looking very untidy (scruffy). They are the ones who will take over."

I thought Peter was a Labour Party Councillor for some eight years or so?  He may have changed sides but is there any need to be so personal particularly as he counts one in attendance last night as a friend?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Tobes on September 12, 2013, 09:07:53 PM
It seems like a straight fight between two partys who are characterised by arrogance on one hand and an inability to effectively challenge it on the other. Both appear disproportionately inept.

 :embarassed:
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 12, 2013, 09:15:55 PM
Tobes, good to see you back.

Perhaps you could get off the bar stool and come to some of these meetings as you live on the doorstep?

Labour acquitted themselves well last night with plenty of passion and searching questions.

Next Council, providing the equipment is available, will be recorded and is a no miss event, it is likely to be lively and will test the impartiality of Voting Mayor Martin.

So please come on down Tobes or you could do Scrutiny on Monday night which is also likely to be a lively affair!!
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: the gorgon on September 12, 2013, 09:21:26 PM
It seems like a straight fight between two partys who are characterised by arrogance on one hand and an inability to effectively challenge it on the other. Both appear disproportionately inept.

 :embarassed:

God help Swindon.  :(

Perhaps the only thing that can save this town is some more independents, trouble is too many wards in Swindon are the sort where people would vote for a donkey if slapped the appropriate colour rosette on them.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 12, 2013, 09:42:23 PM
Perhaps the only thing that can save this town is some more independents, trouble is too many wards in Swindon are the sort where people would vote for a donkey if slapped the appropriate colour rosette on them.

Will you help me then Gorgon, because I am going for Shaw?

and my reason is that I just cannot gob off any more without doing something about it.  We are descending down the toilet so quickly it will not be too long before it is too late to save local government as we know it!

So who else will stand as an Independent next May?

Come on Tobes, you can't defend your Dave any more or can you?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Tobes on September 12, 2013, 10:56:59 PM
Quote
Will you help me then Gorgon, because I am going for Shaw?

As an independent? And as someone who will pledge not to cross the floor without the mandate of standing under a party rosette? If so, you have my complete support.

Quote
Come on Tobes, you can't defend your Dave any more or can you?

Its on the record that I've both supported and criticised Dave according to the issues as I've seen them. Its always been a bit of a red rag to me though when people outside of the ward criticise him for his success in publicising issues of importance to local people - tends to rile me up somewhat, when I can clearly see the failings of the main opposition party to deal with the bigger issues effecting the town. That said, I would criticise Dave, Stan and Nicky for not being a lot louder. They may be a tiny party, but I think they could punch harder.

 My principal reason for not standing as an independent is the time and effort it would take to mount an effective campaign with a realistic chance of winning. If I failed to win outright, even a couple of hundred votes my way would ensure handing the ward straight over to Labour. Chris Watts would have made an effective councillor, I'm sure, but he is not standing in this ward, I'm told.

Who's the aspirant Labour candidate for Eastcott?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on September 13, 2013, 08:09:03 AM
Irrespective of who stands where under what colour rosette, red , blue, yellow, white ,tartan or polka dot...

Is it the role of a local authority and an elected chamber to risk tax payer funds on business ventures?

Does a local authority or an elected chamber have the skills to compete against commercial businesses in the private sector?

Does a local authority or an elected chamber have the obligation to demonstrate openly and transparently how, when and by whom any such decisions were made to risk tax payers funds on any such ventures?

Does a local authority or an elected chamber have the obligation to demonstrate openly and transparently the opportunity cost of any such ventures?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 13, 2013, 09:13:31 PM

Is it the role of a local authority and an elected chamber to risk tax payer funds on business ventures?

No no and no again

Does a local authority or an elected chamber have the skills to compete against commercial businesses in the private sector?

Generally no but there are the odd exceptions non of which apply to Swindon

Does a local authority or an elected chamber have the obligation to demonstrate openly and transparently how, when and by whom any such decisions were made to risk tax payers funds on any such ventures?

Yes, but you would be forgiven to believe that for the last ten years the administration in Swindon believes otherwise.

Does a local authority or an elected chamber have the obligation to demonstrate openly and transparently the opportunity cost of any such ventures?

Yes, and they should be criminally liable if they do not do so and it goes wrong. 

Had Bluh been aware of a potential prosecution for the recovery of the costs of Wi-fi he would have stopped it!

All public servants need to act responsibly with the money in their care.  If they do not and it can proven they acted with criminal negligence then they should be available for prosecution to the extent of their personal assets.  Then and only then could we achieve the responsible action we expect from our public servants be they Officers of the Council or Members of the Council.

It still remains to be seen as what will happen over Wi-fi and the longer it goes on the more the s*** sticks even by association.  We have not heard the end of that by a long chalk! 

And maybe Class Solutions is yet another example, you decide!
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Mart on September 15, 2013, 10:48:03 AM
I have.

Based on the sh1t sticks by association model. Also the timeline and activities.

We are going to do this.

It is the right thing to do.

We have consulted.

It is cheap as chips.

It is innovative.

Oh shit, it's all gone wrong.

It's not our fault.

It's your fault because you talked it down.

What money?

What's that shiny thing over there? Ooh pretty, want one ......
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 15, 2013, 01:04:11 PM
Oh Mart you do have a habit of encapsulating what the rest of really want to say in the most amusing way!!

You should stand as an Independent Councillor you have so much to offer.

I know we have had this conversation before, but please think it over again.

The administration would not know how to respond to you and it would make Council so much more lively.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on September 15, 2013, 01:48:27 PM
Search google for modular schools and there are umpteen examples of providers and actual schools which have been delivered and are in progress. Leeds City Council is one area in which a bit of work is going on.

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/buildingsanddesign/baseline?page=2 (http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/buildingsanddesign/baseline?page=2) provides 2012 Government guidance on School Building.

Try as I might, I couldn't find any mention of Class Solutions.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on September 15, 2013, 02:12:13 PM
Search google for modular schools and there are umpteen examples of providers and actual schools which have been delivered and are in progress. Leeds City Council is one area in which a bit of work is going on.

[url]http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/buildingsanddesign/baseline?page=2[/url] ([url]http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/buildingsanddesign/baseline?page=2[/url]) provides 2012 Government guidance on School Building.

Try as I might, I couldn't find any mention of Class Solutions.


The Class Solutions Architect from SBC was a speaker at the October 2011 forum where this 'venture' was unveiled accompanied by the tax payer funded marketing blurb. http://www.cityandfinancial.com/conference/ppp_schools_2 (http://www.cityandfinancial.com/conference/ppp_schools_2)

Also check the UK Schools Building Procurement forum http://www.eb-forum.co.uk/how-it-works.php (http://www.eb-forum.co.uk/how-it-works.php)

It has quotes from 2012 attendees and the date of the next meeting in October 2013. Can't see any mention of SBC or SCS or Class Solutions in any of it.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 15, 2013, 02:19:24 PM
[The Class Solutions Architect from SBC was a speaker at the October 2011 forum where this 'venture' was unveiled accompanied by the tax payer funded marketing blurb. [url]http://www.cityandfinancial.com/conference/ppp_schools_2[/url] ([url]http://www.cityandfinancial.com/conference/ppp_schools_2[/url])

Also check the UK Schools Building Procurement forum [url]http://www.eb-forum.co.uk/how-it-works.php[/url] ([url]http://www.eb-forum.co.uk/how-it-works.php[/url])

It has quotes from 2012 attendees and the date of the next meeting in October 2013. Can't see any mention of SBC or SCS or Class Solutions in any of it.


That's because it has been very quietly dropped and they hope it will go away just like Wi-fi. 

Meanwhile you local residents are saddled with the design and a school that appears to be surplus to requirements.

Any idea of the intake this year and where they live?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on September 15, 2013, 02:40:30 PM
The admissions guide for 2014-2015 is in the public domain. 

http://www.swindon.gov.uk/el/Education%20Document%20Library/Information%20-%20Admissions%20-%20Primary%20Admissions%20Guide%202014-15.pdf (http://www.swindon.gov.uk/el/Education%20Document%20Library/Information%20-%20Admissions%20-%20Primary%20Admissions%20Guide%202014-15.pdf)

It includes numbers at each school and broadly where they come from.

It also includes details of schools which Cabinet has approved for opening in September 2014. There would seem to be something missing... but perhaps I am just being thick...

Will have to read it in more detail when I have a moment.

As to the rest, the Planning Committee set a clear obligation on the LA as to the management and monitoring of a 420 pupil school opening on a phased implementation over 7 years.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on October 06, 2013, 11:21:20 AM
Drove past the Haydon Leigh School yesterday.

It is in the process of being expanded from a 2fe ( 420 pupil) to a 3fe (630 pupil) primary school.

The extension looks pretty solid...No sign of rows of roofs..Not a Class Solutions jobbie then? 

If  this 'cheap' design isn't even being used within the Borough has the Class Solutions Leviathon at the Croft become another member of the SBC White Elephant Club of failed business ventures?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Mickraker on October 06, 2013, 12:10:42 PM
Primary schools for 500 pupils with pitched roofs above the entrance and main hall - been there seen that done it....... so it could be it is not unique or a first  :-\

http://www.yorkon.co.uk/kilbride-primary-school.html (http://www.yorkon.co.uk/kilbride-primary-school.html)
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 06, 2013, 01:56:19 PM
If  this 'cheap' design isn't even being used within the Borough has the Class Solutions Leviathon at the Croft become another member of the SBC White Elephant Club of failed business ventures?

Was it ever anything other than a 'White Elephant' Jenny B?

But more importantly has the Council learnt its lesson?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Outoftowner on October 06, 2013, 03:01:58 PM
Quote
But more importantly has the Council learnt its lesson?

No Richard. We still have the world's first, vibrant, innovative, Wroughton "A", Photo-Voltaic Power Station, whoops forgot the pylons and the Biomass energy producing, in town, smoke stack, that will consume more timber per year than the UK can produce, shambles to come.  :coffee:
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on October 06, 2013, 03:49:55 PM
Primary schools for 500 pupils with pitched roofs above the entrance and main hall - been there seen that done it....... so it could be it is not unique or a first  :-\

[url]http://www.yorkon.co.uk/kilbride-primary-school.html[/url] ([url]http://www.yorkon.co.uk/kilbride-primary-school.html[/url])


Perhaps if whoever is behind Class Solutions ... We know Cllr Foley just loved the design... Could it be she?.. Had done their homework ... This white elephant would not be there as a gigantic reminder of the arrogance of those in place to serve the public.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on October 06, 2013, 04:04:47 PM
And... Cllr Foley,as head of Children's Services , would not have to be held accountable for borrowing money to build schools where they were needed in the 1st place..

Now where is that primary school for North Swindon?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 06, 2013, 04:06:19 PM
Perhaps if whoever is behind Class Solutions ... We know Cllr Foley just loved the design... Could it be she?

Has Fionuola Foley actually invested some of her own money in this pRoject then?

or is it more a case of investing ours?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on October 06, 2013, 04:12:59 PM
Perhaps if whoever is behind Class Solutions ... We know Cllr Foley just loved the design... Could it be she?

Has Fionuola Foley actually invested some of her own money in this pRoject then?

or is it more a case of investing ours?

Can't think anyone would have been gullible enough to risk their own money on this... Just like wifi
..

In my opinion, if the design had been good and cost effective it would have been a fully fledged commercial venture managed by people in the real world.

I would speculate that every penny of this nonsensical project was funded by tax payers money.   


Swindon deserves better than this.

Title: Has a Croft-Type School been imposed on Even Swindon?
Post by: jennyb on October 11, 2013, 03:08:27 PM
Just reading back on stuff...

Wasn't Even Swindon supposed to have a 1Fe extension?

Wasn't Class Solutions proposed?

Seem to recall that Cllr Moffat asked for a proper building on site... in a Scrutiny meeting if I recall correctly?

Does anyone know what's being built and who is the builder?

Because if it is Class Solutions it should be straightforward to check the costs and the build time ?

Surely....
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools .. not even in North Swindon?
Post by: jennyb on April 01, 2014, 03:30:49 PM


http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/)

Quite how a school can be so desperately needed when there are so many officers remunerated to satisfy the statutory need to plan for and provide school places is plain ridiculous.

Putting that aside for the moment...

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/)

Having looked at the planning application for this ( whenever it is built) it is not Class Solutions.

Has this flagship design sunk without further trace?

Has anyone, anywhere shown an interest?

Lessons learned?

Kareen

Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Muggins on April 01, 2014, 06:18:28 PM
Ref. Even Swindon, I haven't really followed the plot so far, but know it's now a pile of rubble and we can have daily pics if you like - family home is 4 doors from it.

It's not being rebuilt as a school - that was built quite a few years back a the end of Bruce Street, on a greenfield site.  It will be housing.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on April 02, 2014, 08:16:18 AM
Ref. Even Swindon, I haven't really followed the plot so far, but know it's now a pile of rubble and we can have daily pics if you like - family home is 4 doors from it.

It's not being rebuilt as a school - that was built quite a few years back a the end of Bruce Street, on a greenfield site.  It will be housing.

M,

Not sure what you are getting at here.....

Kareen
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Muggins on April 02, 2014, 08:35:47 AM
Just reading back on stuff...

Wasn't Even Swindon supposed to have a 1Fe extension?

Wasn't Class Solutions proposed?

Seem to recall that Cllr Moffat asked for a proper building on site... in a Scrutiny meeting if I recall correctly?

Does anyone know what's being built and who is the builder?

Because if it is Class Solutions it should be straightforward to check the costs and the build time ?

Surely....

Sorry JennyB  I was looking at this, didn't notice the date kindly disregard my out of date remarks.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools .. not even in North Swindon?
Post by: jennyb on April 02, 2014, 09:41:40 AM


[url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/[/url])

Quite how a school can be so desperately needed when there are so many officers remunerated to satisfy the statutory need to plan for and provide school places is plain ridiculous.

Putting that aside for the moment...

[url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11115206.Timetable_for_Tadpole_Farm_school_takes_shape/[/url])

Having looked at the planning application for this ( whenever it is built) it is not Class Solutions.

Has this flagship design sunk without further trace?

Has anyone, anywhere shown an interest?

Lessons learned?

Kareen


http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11118619.Free_college_ready_to_cater_for_teenagers/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11118619.Free_college_ready_to_cater_for_teenagers/)

Another day and another story about North Swindon School provision.

Dear God .. who is planning this stuff?

2016 Free school will have primary provision... 420 ..then 840 pupils?

Today... no need for primary provision?

Kareen
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Alex on April 03, 2014, 07:01:55 PM
So now I understand that  SBC are considering selling off the entire playing field too.

From one of the stalwarts of Swindon's Arts scene today I see " We need to spread the word about the Council's proposed disposal of Croft Playing Field. There was a public meeting last night attended by around 100 people, many of whom were surprised to learn that after 3 years of being transferred to a new operator, a change of use could be applied for, with 50% of the profit going to the Council. Come along to the Council Meeting in Euclid Street tonight at 7pm to hear answers to questions raised by concerned Swindonians."
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: jennyb on April 03, 2014, 09:50:06 PM
So now I understand that  SBC are considering selling off the entire playing field too.

From one of the stalwarts of Swindon's Arts scene today I see " We need to spread the word about the Council's proposed disposal of Croft Playing Field. There was a public meeting last night attended by around 100 people, many of whom were surprised to learn that after 3 years of being transferred to a new operator, a change of use could be applied for, with 50% of the profit going to the Council. Come along to the Council Meeting in Euclid Street tonight at 7pm to hear answers to questions raised by concerned Swindonians."

It didn't take the meeting attendees long last night to figure out what the implications of the council's plans were. And they didn't like it.

And a packed public gallery at the council meeting tonight said NO TO A CROFT LEASE.

And a packed public gallery said WE KNOW WHAT YOU DID WTH THE CROFT SCHOOL.

And the Council plan to decide on the increasing shambolic leisure proposal in June 2014?

Still basing it on the wonderful 99 year Oasis Lease?

The one where planning applications are behind schedule and have yet to be submitted?

Where the lease has already been changed in a bank's favour?

Where concerns are already in the public domain about the financial stability of the set up?

Where it is reasonable to ask what due diligence was done?

These are public assets managed by the council at the behest of the public. Wouldn't be a bad thing for the council to remind themselves of this. 

Kareen 

Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Outoftowner on June 10, 2014, 01:18:13 PM
Some news of one of the designers of the Class Solutions pop- up shed project.

Tony Currivan, known as a
Quote
practicing architect and cosmic geomancer with extensive experience of environmental and sustainable building design and also someone who embodies the energetic principles of cosmic geomancy into his healthy and harmonious building designs
has suffered something of a set back.

The simplicity and economic popularity of the pre-frabricated school design, which in fact was not prefabricated, doesn’t seem to have done his company Geomantic Design Ltd any good, as it was dissolved on March 13th 2014.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 10, 2014, 03:10:00 PM
The simplicity and economic popularity of the pre-frabricated school design, which in fact was not prefabricated, doesn’t seem to have done his company Geomantic Design Ltd any good, as it was dissolved on March 13th 2014.

It is a mystery to me why our beloved Council gets so hung up with dealing with such people.

Wi-fi
Class Solutions and now
Leisure in the form of Moirai

What do they all have in common? 

Could it possibly be less than suitable partners?

and the full effect of the Oasis debacle has yet to manifest itself, but why do we attract such people in the first place?

Surely egos have nothing to do with it do they?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: the gorgon on June 10, 2014, 05:55:12 PM
Yet when there is something successful in Swindon that has fallen on hard times, like the Mela, SBC don't want to know.

A Swindon Borough council spokesman added: "The council's responsibility is to make sure the event is safe, but the Mela is not a council event and all financial issues are a matter for the organisers."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-27761597 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-27761597)

Perhaps they should call it the Wireless Prefabricated Oasis Mela Dome then SBC would surely throw thousands at it.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: oldtowner on June 10, 2014, 06:39:17 PM


It is a mystery to me why our beloved Council gets so hung up with dealing with such people.

Wi-fi
Class Solutions and now
Leisure in the form of Moirai

What do they all have in common?
 

 

Richard don’t you think that what they have in common is that they recognise the incompetence and lack of business acumen in this Administration?

Don’t you think they see it as a soft touch that they can run rings round e.g. change of lease at the Oasis, the failing to heed credit worthiness signs of participants in the Wi-fi debacle and yet toss more taxpayers money at a worthless cause.and according to the sales pitch for the forthcoming  leisure lottery a £2 million handout  aka reverse premium to get things rolling?

Would anyone be surprised to see the monorail salesman from the Simpsons rock into town and sucker this Administration yet again??





Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 10, 2014, 06:50:56 PM
Oldtowner Yes Yes and Yes

But what will make this lot draw breath and really consider the outcome of their actions?

Surcharging Dame Shirley Porter style?

With the threat of surcharging they would have never lent Hunt the second tranche of £250,000 had they been accountable for their actions, would they?

You have to ask why the indecent haste?

and what would it take for them to stop and think NOW?

Des Moffatt reads this site, come on Des what are Labour doing about it, you kinda had a go on Friday what are you doing next?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Mart on June 10, 2014, 07:27:03 PM
I see this differently.

Imagine, if you will, that you are a thrusting entrepreneur, you have an idea that could earn you millions in the private sector. Your entrepreneurship is tempered with a philanthropic bent (still legal, I think) so, instead of earning squillions and shoving down your throat, hoovering it up your hooter and exchanging bodily fluids with ladies of negotiable affections in implausibly lavish residences around the world you come over all public sector and selfless.

What are you to do? You need to find someone in the public sector with vision, passion, another vision and a sense of vibrancy. Enter SBC, I imagine there was sunbeams shearing through the clouds, heavenly portents and a 'sign' or two at this divine meeting of an idea and a body with the means to deliver that idea to the masses.

You then embark on delivering the now shared vision, you of course claim nothing but expenses and because you are on a morally charged mission you do not trouble yourself with such ephemera as 'bills', however you have not factored in SBC's rapacious appetite for cash. This appetite is spurred on by SBC's desire to freeze council tax for the 97th consecutive year and it's determination to deliver this gift to it's huddled masses.

Anyway, 6 months later you are skint and universally reviled throughout the borough through no fault of your own, your only mistake being to underestimate SBC's consuming desire to deliver maximum services at minimum cost.

Swindon, the town where business comes to fold.

Alternatively I am naive and it is simply a case of chancers who can hardly believe their luck at finding there is in fact a market for magic beans.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 10, 2014, 07:35:04 PM
Swindon, the town where business comes to fold.

Alternatively I am naive and it is simply a case of chancers who can hardly believe their luck at finding there is in fact a market for magic beans.

Mart as incisive as ever!!

They will be queuing up down the M4 as Swindon Borough Council are 'Nice People to do Business with' - with apologies to Currie Motors!

It is a notable shame there wasn't the same queue to invest in Digital City, but then there was nothing to be gained from that was there?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Outoftowner on June 11, 2014, 08:22:28 AM
Quote
Wi-fi
Class Solutions and now
Leisure in the form of Moirai

What do they all have in common? 

Let us not forget the attempt to sell off the housing stock for a fraction of its true worth! That little project had many similarities to the Oasis charade.

In fact some would say the same, "modus operandi"!  :coffee:
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 11, 2014, 10:35:00 AM
Thank you Outoftowner I had forgotten about the 'big sell off' @ £4,000 a property!!

Fortunately for the rest of us the tenants saw through that little scam and would not play ball!

Maybe they should be invited to look at Leisure as well, as they seem to know what is good for them and for us, of course!!
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Spunkymonkey on June 11, 2014, 08:17:41 PM
Some news of one of the designers of the Class Solutions pop- up shed project.

Tony Currivan, known as a
Quote
practicing architect and cosmic geomancer with extensive experience of environmental and sustainable building design and also someone who embodies the energetic principles of cosmic geomancy into his healthy and harmonious building designs
has suffered something of a set back.

The simplicity and economic popularity of the pre-frabricated school design, which in fact was not prefabricated, doesn’t seem to have done his company Geomantic Design Ltd any good, as it was dissolved on March 13th 2014.

I know Tony Currivan and have always found him to be a very pleasant and genuine guy.

He isn't a chancer or a con man. Tony has been employed by SBC for at least 10 years - possibly on an agency contract (ie. self employed). The borough's architect, Nic Newland and Tony Currivan were jointly involved in the design of the Central Library, Class Solutions and several other projects.

Unlike Digital City, the borough have something tangible in return for his fees.

If his company was dissolved it doesn't mean that it failed or he was acting dishonestly. Tarring him with same brush as Moirai and Digital City seems a bit harsh.
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Terry Reynolds on July 11, 2014, 02:09:21 PM
I wonder if anybody else noticed the public notice on Tuesday in the adver, with reference to a replacement facilities contract.
Contractors were asked to tender for a design and build contract using SBC class solutions school's design for a replace building to provide better facilities at the site.
So the class solutions design is not dead then and there will be more....
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: oldtowner on July 12, 2014, 07:55:31 PM
I wonder if anybody else noticed the public notice on Tuesday in the adver, with reference to a replacement facilities contract.
Contractors were asked to tender for a design and build contract using SBC class solutions school's design for a replace building to provide better facilities at the site.
So the class solutions design is not dead then and there will be more....

Or it could be that the council had committed to buy multiple buildings? Wasn't a key selling point that they could build 3 schools for the price of 2? If no one else is interested then they have to do something with all those sheds.

Thought that the lead member for schools and now leader said only SCS could build Class Solutions so what's changed?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Spunkymonkey on February 08, 2016, 08:40:27 PM
The photo of the new Tadpole school in today's adver looks like a Class Solutions design.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/14260941.More_than_a_dozen_schools_needed_to_cope_with_new_housing_developments_in_Swindon_Borough/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/14260941.More_than_a_dozen_schools_needed_to_cope_with_new_housing_developments_in_Swindon_Borough/)

Did SCS build it?
Title: Re: No Buyers For New Croft-Type Schools
Post by: Muggins on February 09, 2016, 08:24:34 AM
Maybe can see some sense in modular style school buildings, as they don't seem to be adhering to  strategic plans, with pockets of development appearing hither and thither - instead of finishing of one larger area before starting another. 

I appreciate that it was not what was best for Croft, where it was placed in the middle of a already built up area, it could work better in a new development where expectation are not high, or even given much consideration by those excitedly moving in to new housing and busy with paying the mortgage and managing a family. 

Relatively small numbers would be expected at  first and as more housing is built they can add classrooms.

Of course not the best solution, because surely the build wouldn't be much better than the 60's Pratten hut in c0nstruction, even if they looked smarter.