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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pool of fools over rebuild....

Its about this time every month residents in K&C receive through their letter boxes the other local rag from the Council imaginatively titled "Royal Borough". Quite how they came about giving it this mast head name is beyond Hornet.  As with most people it finds itself placed directly from the doormat into the dustbin (unless of course there is a rabbit or guinea pig in the garden that would graciously grace its pages).

 It was not so long ago that Nasty Nick PB (the Chief Whip) proclaimed to the world "It is wonderful to see that people are taking advantage of the offer and making use of our facilities. I hope that it will encourage them to use some of the other magnificent facilities that our leisure centres have to offer." when he was banging on about free swimming schemes.

Not a mention of how bad any of the boroughs facilities are, or that the buildings are nearing the end of their natural life. The Leisure Centre has recently been refurbished, used by many and any right minded person giving it the "eyeball test" is that it is a perfectly satisfactory facility. No need for an expensive knock down and rebuild.

So why then in the latest offerings from the Ministry of Truth's very own Pravda does it suggest that Kensington Leisure Centre [makes] poor use of [its location] it is also reaching an age where major investment will be needed to keep it operating"?  Why indeed!

This is the rationale behind the Dear Leaders plan to demolish a perfectly sound building that neither requires nor warrants major refurbishment to make way for a "state of the art school and leisure complex" especially in light of the dire state of the nations finances.

The ConDems Education chap, Michael Gove has already signalled the way forward to drive up literacy and improve the lot of the kids passing through schools is smaller class sizes, acadamies, and crucially to allow parents and community groups to open smaller more focussed schools - so exactly where does the Dear Leaders new super school fit in?

Let no one be in any doubt over how the Dear Leaders cock-eyed schemes come about. There is a need for more school places in the north of the borough, and what happened to the only secondary school in that area?

The Dear Leader arranged for part of the grounds to be sold off to a developer to build accommodation and then £100million can be found to re-design the site but critically not providing one extra school place!

This Trophy project (his House of Lords marketing programme) delayed the planning for a new school in the North and now Schools for the Future is dead, and with the suggested demolition of the Leisure Centre and rebuild, now is not the time for yet another £100 million capital project.

It would be more in keeping with the times to bring back into service one of the secondary schools in the North that were abandoned in the 60's when there was a vogue for big comprehensives and everyone was dumped into Holland Park. The council currently occupy such a school in Lancaster Road which is used as council offices.

Hornet questions the leadership of the council for the shortsightedness of these suggestions, and believes the question that should be asked is, is the right people to carry us forward, the same as the people who got us to where we are?

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