How To Contact Us

Twitter: @WeAreOakhurst Facebook: ORA Facebook Page

Chair: Paul Exell (email: phone: 01793 703276)

Membership Secretary: Sarah McDermott

Thursday, 22 November 2012

School Places - Where's the Council's compass?

The Council's compass department appear to have a problem.  After assuring everybody that their proposals for a school on land to the West of Thamesdown Drive did not encompass land at Mouldon Hill Country Park we are now told that it does.

The proposed consultation has now been cancelled as councillors await advice.  Red faces all round.

SBC Cabinet Report from July 2012
3.9.1 Land to the west of Thamesdown Drive at Taw Hill – one, two or three
forms of entry (30, 60 or 90 reception places) attached as Appendix 1.

a) It must be noted that the proposed land is not located as part of the Country Park.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

School Place Consultation in North Swindon - Can the Council Organise a Drink in a Brewery?

The grand old Duke of York has yet again been at play in the council's cabinet.  Previous decisions from the council have left people of North Swindon not knowing which way to turn.  After a much lauded and advertised grand consultation about where the next school places should be provided for Oakhurst, we find that no sooner had we been marched up to the top of the hill then we were marched back down again.  The consultation was cancelled at very short notice.

School Places in North Swindon - "That's just the way it works"

Quote from Cllr Renard, cabinet member for children's services, in an Adver article about huge disparities in the take up of free school meals (20th November 2012):

"Given that parents can express a preference for a particular school and that over 90% get the school they want, it is not a situation that the schools or local authority has an influence over.  That's just the way it works".

Oakhurst residents tell us that they haven't got much confidence in their local councillors to secure a local school in Oakhurst.  Not much change there then.

Scout Christmas Post 2012

Scouts across Swindon will once again this year be taking part in the annual Scout Christmas Post.

Since 1981, Scouts across the UK have been licensed to deliver Christmas cards as part of a Scout Post. In Swindon this helps to raise funds for Groups and raises the profile of Scouting within the local community.

The 7th Swindon (Abbey Meads) Scout Group, which covers North Swindon, will be selling stamps at Asda Walmart on the Orbital Retail Park.
Stamps cost 25p each and will be on sale (Royal Mail 1st class 60p, 2nd class 50p)

The delivery area includes:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

More Information about School Places

Information supplied by interested third parties in South Swindon
Swindon Borough Council’s Lead Member for schools, and a North Swindon Councillor to boot, is oft in the Press and on the radio chuntering on about the need for schools places. The residents of North Swindon would echo his sentiments but are at a loss to understand the process which he has applied to date in the hope of addressing this.
So let’s paint a picture of 2 existing developments in Swindon...

Friday, 9 November 2012

Primary School Places in North Swindon - ORA Committee Decision taken on 7th November 2012

Oakhurst Residents’ Association recently requested the following information from Swindon Borough Council (SBC) under a Freedom of Information request: 
“Copies of correspondence received by Swindon Borough Councillors or Officers in support of/or requesting either, additional primary places, or a new primary school in North Swindon for September 2011, 2012 or beyond. Please also provide the year groups to which these letters or emails refer.” The Council responded: “None”.

ORA are surprised to hear that SBC are not offering any new reception places but are still only able to cater for our children already in the system.  Our children would have been on the radar of SBC for many years through the PCT numbers.  Any new reception places will not be provided for under this consultation. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

First the FOI and now for some facts

Oakhurst residents tell ORA that they want a school within Oakhurst not a school at the end of a convoluted trek over mixed terrain.  Adver columnist Rod Bluh, who coincidently is the leader of the Council and his cabinet, has been a long way from the front line of the North Swindon school places issue probably because he has been organising a much needed North Swindon school at Croft first. 

Well we know that local councillors have not lobbied for an additional school where it's needed in the North.  They have been too busy shunting North Swindon s.106 monies to build sports pitches at Croft.  What is this fascination that the North councillors have with Old Town?

Let us look at some of the facts that the local councillors are not rushing to tell the residents of Oakhurst:

Monday, 5 November 2012

School Places in North Swindon - FOI Result

It is with some perplexity that ORA read that local councillors are finally waking up to the need for school places in Oakhurst.  Residents have been aware of this serious problem for years.

That is why Paul Exell submitted a Freedom of Information request to Swindon Borough Council in the summer.  The results were astonishing.

Please can you send us: "copies of correspondence received by Swindon Borough councillors or officers in support of/or requesting either additional primary places, or a new primary school in North Swindon for September 2011, 2012 or beyond.  Please also provide the year groups to which these letters of emails refer."

The answer came back "NONE"