Mike Heal on “Half Baked Ideas”

“East Wichel Primary School – a temporary a measure ?”

When first I read of this in the Advertiser I  saw the benefit of providing a place to accommodate the suggested 60 pupils.  This is a much better option than sending them to other schools throughout Swindon.  As a teacher I would be the first to campaign for keeping a local group of students together.  The site at Croft Sports Centre seemed ideal, a temporary measure which is  suitable until the permanent school opens in September 2011

but this appears not to be the whole story! We find out that it is not 60 pupils but 11 pupils, and the cost is reported as being between 3 and 5 times the cost of moving the children? As we have seen, our Government’s ideas make it onto the statute books regardless of the need for full facts. Now it seems our Council does exactly the same thing!

A decision taken without having the full facts in front of them? And a decision to spend between £65,000 to £101,000 on preparation and staffing for just 11 pupils, even though the proposed cost of transferring the 60 pupils,  has been calclulated to be  £21,000?

We stand on the verge of cuts, to our Sure Start programme, and possible job losses for hardworking council staff , necessary to meet the cost cutting measures imposed from Central Government,  yet it seems the Conservative Council can waste between £44,000 to £80,000 on a scheme  for 11 pupils.

Half baked and partially thought through proposals, it would appear that Swindon’s Conservative Council copies the Conservative Government and stick to a decision regardless of the validity and necessity of such an action. We are left with one major question: how many other approved projects are there waiting to come to light which will prove as wasteful as this one, while the Council goes on with its cuts and job losses?