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

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Oh! For a coherent rural policy

I've spent the past few days trying to help various relatives who are affected by the schools closures to work out how they can oppose, reverse or just object to the closures.

My message to them has been quite blunt: the battle was fought a few years back, and you lost.  You just didn't know or realise it.

Of course, I'm not quite that heartless, but I'm not giving false hope, as I am most definitely not in a position to do so.  But it is still quite difficult telling people that they are almost certainly going to lose.

Some years back the Council made a strategic decision based upon class numbers, depopulation and a big bag of money dangled by the Government.  The Council was offered two choices (a) brand new shiny schools part funded by Government, or (b) find your own money to maintain dilapidated and largely-empty schools.

An invidious choice, but such is the nature of politics.

And time moves on and the new SNP Government pledges that no rural schools will close with the approval of the Minister and only after proper consultation.  Which has the effect of dragging out the process, rather than actually changing the outcome.

And all the time the Government(s) came the major changes in land ownership and the absolute support for rural communities to grow thrive and, er, educate their children in far off places.

Why are crofters being encouraged to buy their own crofting estates to regenerate their communities, when with the other hand the Government is forcing - through financial mechanisms - the closure of the schools in the area?  And the care units will follow shortly in the name of rationalisation.

Now, I am not one to back limitless public spending, but you cannot deliver on a policy that you deliberately undermine.  That is not a policy, it is a press release.

A Councillor gave me some insight into the issues.

Moves to try to keep some of the rural schools open - in exchange for modifications to the centralising impact of the new schools project - were stymied when the MSP refused to get involved in negotiations with the Government.  As the Education Minister is his former boss, the tone of the MSPs banal, and utterly hollow, press release decrying the closure decision betrayed a total lack of interest in the issue.

I am told that three years ago he was asked by the Council to help broker a deal that would have saved some rural schools.  The MSP declined, and backed the Government financing and closure package against the Council.

Hence where we are today.

Good to know who your friends are.


Anonymous said...

This explains why the PHoney Doctor Allan was carrying the bags for the previous education minister on her grand tour and not speaking to or for the Council.

He's given our school no help or support, beyond letters that are a waste of time and space, and I now realise why.

He's Edinburgh's man in the islands, keeping the natives quite with a few babbles.

Time for a change, I believe.

Anonymous said...

You say trying to help various relatives who are affected by the schools closures.

Absent Allan has no family, no relations or real ties to the islands, which means he is the perfect empty vessel to do exactly as he is told by Salmond.

Which means the islands suffer for having elected a placeman.

Anonymous said...

The SNP are approving windfarms and pylons right across Scotland.

How long before they do that here, despite the promises they made at the last few elections?

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope that they do approve ALL windfarm applications from the Island very Quickly.

Anonymous said...

And so do I 10:41pm.

NO Turbines in the Pairc said...

10:41 & 9.53

TOO Bl***y late SSE have pulled the interconnector!


Power to the people