Thursday, December 10, 2009

Photos in the Park

It sounds idyllic but it was work. The photographer from the local paper came to take photos of people who want to keep the Park as a park. They don't have a united view on where the school could go, but they certainly are united in where it shouldn't go. I had to spend a lot of time explaining that this wasn't a planning application, that a decision hasn't yet been taken and that the study of different sites really is a genuine study.
It's very hard for people to understand that just because an MP says it's a good idea doesn't mean that it's a done deal.
In the photo are some of the residents who were happy to have photographs used on political leaflets and the like - there are many more who prefer to stay out of the limelight in that way.
I hope that the report being prepared by the SBC officers produces a suggested site which is acceptable to all parties even if it isn't anyone's first preference. The staff, students and parents need some certainty on what's going to happen. If we don't get that, we don't stand a chance of getting the funding for the rebuild and we desperately need that.
After an hour in the park there was just time for some personal jobs before an update meeting on the issues surrounding children, young people and social care in the borough. There are ongoing problems across the country with recruiting staff following the tragic case of baby Peter in London and so existing staff are having to cope with increased workloads. Add to that the fact that we're expecting Ofsted to descend at any time and it's a recipe for a stressed workforce. Unfortunately for social workers the Christmas break often means an increase in problems rather than a decrease as families try and fail to be something they're not.
Peace and Goodwill? I wonder.
But then I read a Christmas letter from friends overseas and remember that, as my mother would say, there's always someone worse off than yourself. Imagine having children in your care run off and murder someone - it doesn't bear thinking about.

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