Monday, October 11, 2010

Building Schools in Stockton

The report to Cabinet for this coming Thursday makes sober reading.  Not a single replacement building for a secondary school in the last 30 years means that Stockton's secondary school estate is showing distinct signs of age.  Some are rapidly nearing the end of their useful life and most could do with a bit of an update.  It's a great pity that the BSF process was so bureaucratic.  If Labour had just had the courage to trust elected local authorities at least some of our schools would have been underway now.  As it is, we spent a huge amount of money on jumping through government hoops and have nothing but a lot of ideas to show for it.  The money spent would have gone a long way towards refurbishing a school.
But every set back is also an opportunity and now we have the opportunity to use the best ideas out of the previous work and look at the entire borough, not leaving out the Yarm-Eaglescliffe-Ingleby triangle. The council can work out what's needed most and where as well as possible ways to achieve it and then as soon as there's any whiff of money available a bid can go in and we hope to get enough to get on with the action.  Certainly now that the fetters of BSF are off we in Eaglescliffe can push for the necessary investment in a replacement building here to cater for the needs of children in the 21st century, and not just children from 9-4 but the out of school hours activities that help to make a real community.

Meanwhile Yarm Fair approaches - the High St is closed tomorrow evening from 5.30 till 9 to allow the caravans, rides etc to get into the High St and parked up ready for the next day.  The showmen will spend Wednesday assembling and testing their rides and the Fair will open on Thursday.  Although it causes some traffic disruption and a few people complain about it many more appreciate the tradition of having the Fair on the High St rather than shipped off to Preston Park or some such place. 

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