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Oct 01 2014

The School in Dave’s Backyard – An Almighty Cock-up

20141001_daves_feetIf Nero fiddled whilst Rome burned, we can only imagine what Cllr Dave Perry is doing on his sun lounger whilst his own pet project – a spanking new school build in Marlborough, his own ward – is slowly turning into a disaster, before it’s even built.

According to getwestlondon, parents are taking the view that the temporary school, cobbled together in a forgotten corner of the Civic Centre car park, is ‘not fit for purpose’.  Firstly, the school opened late. Then the playground quality was far below what the Headteacher felt was acceptable for children. Now there’s concerns about lack of traffic calming, poor drainage, overcrowding and car fumes – so much so, that year 3 children have been moved into temporary buildings back at the old school. Good Lord, Dave.  You must know a couple of lovely Irish lads, with a bit of tarmac left over from doing some road repairs, just round the corner? Bit of the ol’ cash in ‘and would have sorted that.

Surprised at the mess? You probably shouldn’t be. The ‘strategic masterplan’ delivered all the confidence of something written on the bag of a fag packet – something we pointed out in February this year. Dave, Dave, Dave. You’re a bloody builder. Couldn’t you have got your mates down to do this? Nice little council contract?

“We are pleased to say that early teething problems with play and PE were rectified…” said the council, as if running schools was something of an alien concept to them. Isn’t running schools something that the council ought, perhaps, have had a little experience and skill in doing?

Dave, meanwhile is on holiday somewhere – sunning himself on a sunbed, and probably drinking tequila daiquiris, whilst his ward – and the rest of the borough – goes to hell in a handcart. At the end of the day, it’s the children and staff that you have to feel sorry for, having to make do with a shabby teaching environment, whilst trying to deliver the best education they can. But unfortunately, this is probably only the first of very many botched half-arsed school builds we’re going to see, as the Labour-run administration continues to cuts corners on delivery of school build projects.

Nice one Dave. Enjoy your holiday. When you come back, grow a pair and find out what went wrong.

Footnote: Thanks to John Shammas for allowing us to quote from his article on getwestlondon.

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3 comments

  1. Concerned Harrovian

    Congratulations to leader Dave on his wedding and I hope he comes back refreshed from his honeymoon and ready to deal with Harrow’s numerous problems.

    What baffles me is why they did not start on the work to demolish Marlborough school during the summer when the children were on holiday. Also the temporary site and playground at the Civic Centre could have undergone a health and safety inspection during this time as well.

    As Voltaire says ” Common sense is not so common!” Dictionaire Philosphique (1764)

    1. Watching from a distance

      Just as well that demolition of the old school DIDN’T start over the summer, as the Civic (which was planned to be ready to move into by July at the latest) ended up still not being ready to move into two months later in September!

  2. Timeforchange

    Ironic really that when the headmistress was showing around prospective new parents/pupils this time last year she mentioned the school may be temporarily moving to the Harrow Arts Centre.

    If they had chosen this rather than the Civic Centre presumably the labour administration wouldn’t now be trying to close the arts centre?!

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