Monday, 23 January 2012

Welcoming Committee

I must comment on the reception usually given by Carmarthenshire Council to those who petition, peacefully protest or otherwise challenge decisions by presenting their arguments on the steps of County Hall.
Whether it's the closure of a day centre or the closure of a secondary school, they're on their own. If you're very lucky a messenger may be sent out to quickly grab the petition or whatever, only to dart back into the security of the hallowed halls before any awkwards questions are asked. Any request for a senior officer or Executive Board Member (who are responsible for the decisions) to engage with the 'rabble' will always fall on deaf ears.
I was surprised therefore to see that there is an entirely different attitude when the representations are in support of council policy. I am avoiding the argument over the siting of the new Furnace School in Llanelli - that is entirely a matter for those directly involved - my concern is with the council's attitude to those who dare oppose the latest 'masterplan'.
A photo in last week's Evening Post featured a group of children and a school governor presenting a petition on the steps of County Hall, supporting the council's preferred school site - and who else were on the steps, nestled in amongst the throng, beaming with delight? None other than the Director of Education Mr Rob Sully and Executive Board Member for Education Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge!


Nospin said...

looks like a council sponsored initiative then.

Anonymous said...

i missed this feature - since it is out of the council's hands, i don't quite see the point of being in a photo as that would not influence the welsh minister's decisiion, and can only act as a pr stunt and seeking self-publicity.

it would have been better for the pro-school lobby to have been photographed on their own, and maybe even have been naive in allowing themselves for him to join them. talk of acting quickly, he couldn't get out of his office fast enough (#2)

Anonymous said...

Apparently a letter went out from the Head teacher to the whole school asking for their support when presenting the petition. There are not many there considering they want to build a new school for 480 pupils.

Some of the claims from the Governor are exaggerated. “"All the parents want a new school building and are in full support of the development.” From what I can make out most agree that a new school is needed, but many don’t like the size and think the location will cause traffic chaos. I think the lack of support for the presentation contradicts what the Governor is claiming.

She also said "Children are being taught in the corridors…”. That is strange when there is an empty classroom at the school – a luxury many other schools don’t have. A bit of exaggeration that the council don’t feel the need to correct?

And a parent in the back of the photo is chairman of one of the organisations that joint owns the land that the council will be buying. Every picture tells a story…