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

Membership Secretary: Sarah McDermott

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Please Mr Bumble; Can We Have A School Where We Want It?

It is with a sardonic irony that the Adver reports that Tadpole Farm will become the preferred site for a four-form-entry primary school in Priory Vale.  The council has been aware of the demand for school places for several years and funding provision had been made to meet the known demand. However, it carried out the following incomprehensible actions: 
  1. It was clear from the building programme that two-form-entry schools were needed, yet it continued to provide one-form-entry schools.
  2. This was coincidental in so far as Cllr Renard sat on a schools task group which carved up safety valve money for North Swindon schools and set out to build schools in South Swindon when there was already sufficient capacity.  In doing this, schools in the North were starved of building funds and new school places.
  3. Parents of children in Priory Vale have been treated in a cruel manner and now find their children shunted around the Northern part of Swindon for no other reason other than political incompetence and muddled thinking.
  4. All of this is done without effective scrutiny and accountability; but the solution from the self-same-councillors was to build on Mouldon Hill Country Park.  This was a site the council knew was inaccessible, had overhead power cables and many other difficulties.  
  5. The people of Oakhurst showed a preference not to build on Mouldon Hill and to bring forward the school at Tadpole Farm. People in Oakhurst clearly expressed a view and a preference and Cllr Renard’s response to this is that it is “from a financial point of view disappointing we had to choose that site”.
  6. Surely it is not a disappointment that a Country Park has been saved from development? Surely it is not a disappointment that local people will be able to get their children into a local school?
  7. Surely it is not disappointment to the parents that have to transport children to West Swindon?
  8. Surely Cllr Renard is elected, first and foremost, to represent the residents of North Swindon, as he is a councillor in Haydon Wick.  This is part of the Northern Sector school place area.
  9. Councillors who attempt to blame the residents for the premature spending of £3m building a road that will be refunded, is political clap trap of the worse kind.  Blaming council tax payers for having an input into how their money is spent is a scandal.
  10. It is outrageous that councillors are so out of touch with people that they attempt to pull the wool over their eyes and blame them for taking part in a Borough consultation.
10.   What it puts one in mind of is Mr Bumble in the workhouse who tells a young Oliver Twist, “Never before has a boy wanted more!”