Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Important letter which didn't get published on school closures

Dear Editor,

The Secondary Schools Review is a glaring reminder of how undemocratic central government and local government can be.

If you consider the academisation of schools in Croydon, both Labour and the Conservatives are in favour of handing over schools to unaccountable private businesses and faith groups. Despite overwhelming opposition during the informal consultation, scrutiny committee meeting and emergency full council meeting, the voices of parents, teachers and pupils are simply not being heard.

Any attempts by Labour to represent the objecting voices are dismissed by the Conservatives as being opportunistic because Labour Minsters, Jim Knight and Ed Balls, agree with the proposals, wholeheartedly. This demonstrates how the absence of a principled opposition is jamming the effectiveness of the council.

The statutory consultation runs from 27th February to 9th April. However, it was only Friday 13th March that the meeting dates were formerly announced! We should have an opposition that can take the Conservative council to task over this mockery of a consultation.

Unbelievably, in other areas of the country, it is Labour who is putting forward proposals to close schools and reopen them as academies, resulting in Conservative oppositions’ objecting to the proposals!

In the foreseeable future there will be more instances in Croydon where those affected will come to realise how their valid views can be dismissed. The building of an incinerator could be the next issue fitting this pattern and it could be a community near you that it will affect.

As long as there is the width of a cigarette paper between the two main parties, it is up to local communities to rally around an issue to form the genuine opposition. Please go along to the consultation meetings listed below:

Thursday 2 April: Ashburton Infant School and Junior School – 5pm-6.30pm
Tuesday 31 March: Haling Manor High School – 5.30pm -7pm
Thursday 2 April: Ashburton Community School – 7.15pm – 8.45pm

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party

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