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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

School closures and PFI

Gordon Diesel's signI've lifted the photo to the right from Hebrides News.

The question asked by Gordon MacLennan and Iain Don MacIver, as the joint spokespersons for the campaign - is highly pertinent, incisive but aimed at the wrong target.

During the 2007 election, Labour suggested that voting SNP would result in the £52m (or so) schools redevelopment being abandoned. The SNP refuted this argument, promising that the policy would be delivered.

At the time I warned that promising to match a ill-thought out and unworkable proposal was not the best position to adopt as a long-term policy, but that was the approach taken.

The current policy is determined by the Scottish Government who insist that five schools for part of the PPP/PFI project as this is 'the only way to attract developers'. The Scottish Futures Trust was supposed to reform this entire process, but the SNP have now locked the Council into a (death) spiral of over-priced and under-functional building. Or nothing, as the alternative.

The new school in Portree is currently thinking about extending the range of facilities to the public. This requires Highland Council to negotiate with the private sector Facilities Manager who negotiates with the builder to see if they can agree a price to be paid to the Developer and Manager for allowing the Brownies to use a hall for an extra 30 minutes on Wednesdays.

That is where this is going.

Gordon MacLennan used to employ our MSP and Iain Don MacIver was/is an SNP member. They should be asking our MSP why the Council is being forced to adopt a discredited Tory policy of rebuilding for the benefit of the developers instead of being give the ability to deliver an education system for the benefit of the pupils.

Shoot your bullets, lads, but aim at the target not the Aunt Sally.

(Added 9/6) None of which excuses the Council from pursuing ill-thought through policies.


Anonymous said...

You know I have strong views on this Angus and I don't always agree with you on this issue, but you're right in what you say here. It looks like we're going to pay the price for the SNP government embracing an astronomically expensive Labour policy and glossing over the name on the front cover. I would suggest that our MSP is really quite thankful for the billboards appearing all over the place because he's found the perfect place to hide himself away. He's so silent (and incompetent?) that he's not even attempting the odd little peek-a-boo from behind the billboard.

Anonymous said...

Can we get our parking place back now ! Townie.