School is really not our fault
12:31pm Tuesday 21st August 2012 in Your Say
Re your recent article “It will be ready” of August 17, 2012, concerning the opening of the new Croft School.
I find it insulting that Coun Renard attempts to use local residents as ‘blamehounds’ for both his and SBC’s own incompetence and failure to deliver the Croft School in its entirety, as they promised, by September.
Although it is not surprising, as this appears to be a recurring trait of the current administration.
Having attended the planning committee of November 2011 that approved the Croft School, I can assure Coun Renard that there was no planning permission given for the opening of “the front end of the school with a separate safe access” nor even “the front part of it anyway, the bits that they need”.
Planning approval was for a 420 pupil school to be built for September 2012. This is confirmed in the full transcript of the said planning committee meeting.
I suggest that Coun Renard may wish to indulge in some revision in order to refresh his memory. At the same time Coun Renard should perhaps share and make public the “all documented reasons” for the delays he refers to in your article. That is assuming they exist.
Perhaps more concerning is the statement that the children will start at the Croft School despite the fact that it will still be under construction until December.
The reception classes are quite literally in the middle of a building site.
Indeed I walk past the site daily and see repeated signs warning ‘Children must not play on this site’, ‘Construction site keep out’, ‘Danger deep excavations’.
Jim Boyd Hesketh Crescent Swindon
A spontaneous gift
While shopping in Asda West Swindon, my son asked me to get him a new bike, as our garden shed had recently been broken into and items stolen.
Sadly I had to explain to him that we currently could not afford a new bike but maybe next month.
A large man approached us and handed my son £95 and said “no child should be without a bike in the summer”.
He asked me to purchase the bike in a local Swindon store, not at Asda and introduced himself as Jimmy. He also gave my son a high five.
I’m astonished at this kind, selfless action of this individual and proves that Swindon really is community. Thank you, Jimmy.
Mitch Frampton Radnor Street Swindon
Can I raise the topic of public consultation with Swindon Council?
Some weeks ago I attended a meeting on the boundary review at the Civic Offices.
At that meeting I pointed out to Steven Taylor and the officers present that SBC was not very successful at public consultation; the evidence was there in the room, from a population of 180,000 it had managed to attract two members of the public.
When I talk to people on the street, public consultation has become a dirty phrase. Most people believe that the decisions affecting their lives have already been taken before consultation takes place, ‘so what’s the point?’ is often the reply.
I have a strong sympathy with this view and I think the evidence contained in Carole Bent’s letter and campaign on Croft highlights this very problem. The public feel they are stitched up by people in power.
As Swindon Advertiser readers are aware, Carole Bent challenged Coun Bluh’s comments over the evidence and actions on Croft, then using ‘technicalities’ or ‘suppressed evidence”, SBC drops the subject; the sad point for the public is that the SA hasn’t followed it up. If I were a reporter I would think there is still a big story here!
My worry now is yet another SBC public consultation is passing under the fog. This time CIL. Community Infrastructure Levy, sounds innocent enough but it changes the system of Section 106 agreements, as I see it, in favour of the builder.
SBC has issued a Preliminary Draft for Public Consultation – have you heard of this? No, not many people have.
CIL will affect the lives of everyone in Swindon.
As far as I can see it is a developers’ charter: build, build, build.
When Mr Builder has filled the gaps in the town he can return to his house in the hills and count the money.
The effect of the build on Swindon residents will be corrected by the council, if they have the money.
Mike Spry Mayfield Close Swindon
A costly route to take
In reply to “We won’t let relief road be bypassed” by the three Mannington and Western Labour Councillors: the Conservative adminstration will continue to lobby and negotiate with the Department of Transport for the £100+ million needed to build the Purton-Iffley relief road.
For 13 years the Labour government wouldn’t contribute to the cost of the road so it is a shame that Labour view this as an opportunity to attack the Conservatives.
Instead of trying to work together on this issue, the Labour group leader would prefer to descend into petty squabbling but it will not help find a single penny to make this road happen.
The route of the Purton-Iffley road will be in the Core Strategy, protected, so that if the money becomes available then it will be built.
However it would be irresponsible to make the assumption that this road will be built in the next few years.
Labour Councillors may wish to make fundamental decisions about Swindon’s growth on the never never, but it would be seriously flawed.
I am writing regarding the article of August 18 about the bus company keeping their findings a secret, stating the reason as being because of TAS and it would not benefit the public.
However, Thamesdown Transport is owned by Swindon Council and it is the residents of Swindon who pay the bus fares, put up with the route changes, increase in fares and withdrawal of bus services.
Why then are the report findings such a major secret?
It is the people of Swindon who Thamesdown Transport are providing a service to, so why the secret as to how much a consultant was paid?
Bus fares should reflect the tough economic climate as every public service should. As Thamesdown Transport is a public service, the facts should be available to the public whenever they wish to see them.
Mrs S Ricks Silverton Road Swindon
I have just been to the shops at Stratton Crossroads at approx 0845. The whole area is a tip, rubbish flying around all over the parade, and not just in spots but covering the parade completely. If the council wants to give permission for these food shops to open up (there are about three on the parade) then surely they should also insist that the shops employ people to clean up the mess. All the rubbish was generated from these food shops – cans, paper bags, plastic holders for chips etc. The lady in the corner paper shop said the council doesn’t clean up on a Saturday morning but I bet if that amount of rubbish was lying around outside the councillors’ houses it would soon be picked up. Please get it sorted.
T Reynolds Wheeler Avenue Swindon
strong>Oh, dear Lords!
I am writing regarding the proposals to reform the House of Lords.
The Coalition has set out to rebuild confidence in our political system yet they propose to entrench special interests at the heart of Government in the form of the ‘Lords Spiritual’.
Opinion polls have consistently shown significant public opposition to the privileged access to Parliament afforded to bishops of the Church of England.
An ICM Omnibus poll found some 74 per cent of the public – and even 70 per cent of Christians – oppose reserving seats, ex officio, for representatives of the Church of England in Parliament.
Over two days of Parliamentary debate on Lords reform, the Government’s proposals to retain Church of England bishops in the legislature came under sustained attack.
In all, around one in every five speakers made reference to the role of the Lords Spiritual in a reformed House.
Despite the popular and parliamentary outcry, the Government proposes to continue reserving seats in the legislature exclusively for men of the Church of England. Can the Bishop of Swindon defend this position?
We live in an increasingly secular society. The Church of England is in full retreat and has been since 1951. This antique institution, grounded in idealist superstition, will surely go the way of the Unitarians, and the Methodists whose final death ride we daily witness.
I urge readers to write to their MP asking they raise concerns directly with Cabinet Office ministers.
Larry Wright Burford Avenue Swindon
Take a leap for us
There are still places available at Swindon Guide Dogs for the Blind Abseil event on Sunday October 7 at the the County Ground.
There is a £20 registration fee and a minimum sponsorship of £100. Call Rachael on 01793-828126 or email email@example.com.
Alan Fletcher Swindon Guide Dogs for the Blind Godwin Road Swindon