Tuesday, 31 August 2010

let's bash Wokingham!

er, let's not.  Green councillor Rob White (Park ward, Reading, Reading East constituency) posts as reproduced below.  I would have thought better of him.  This is a tired Reading Labour argument from the 1990s and has not improved with time.  Even Reading Labour, when it was still voicing the "Tory Wokingham keeping Reading children out of its schools" trope, did not believe it.  The Labour Group supported the Madejski Academy in south Reading, which gave real opportunities to Reading children, to the extent that Mr Salter took the Madejski shilling and became a governor of the academy, may still be one for all I know.  Reading should be looking to provide an education for its children that everyone can be proud of, not exporting its disadvantage to Wokingham, whose democratically elected council can do precisely what it likes with its school catchment areas.  I hope the current Reading Borough Council will have none of this crap.  Anyway, I have never fisked a Green before, so here goes:

Rumours are circulating so this piece is based on no facts at all, just something someone told you in the pub that Wokingham Council is having another go at excluding Reading children -- from the Alfred Sutton primary school area -- from Maiden Erlegh secondary school.

I am currently in the process of trying to get an up-to-date briefing from Reading Borough Council. You're a councillor, you can get whatever briefing you want, especially now that the unlamented Dictatorship Dave "moronic members of the public" Sutton is no longer in post to intercept mail, try a bit harder As soon as I have more information I will post again. Yeah right, and if this turns out to be rubbish will you tell us so?
For those of you out of the loop what loop would that be, the word in the east Reading pubs, where they talk of little else? (Not), as I understand it the rumour is that Wokingham is seeking to make September 2011 the last year for Alfred Sutton as a catchment school, also:
-- No Alfred Sutton school children except for siblings of current children from September 2012 this sounds a lot more like a briefing than a rumour, it also sounds as though you know about it but have not bothered actually to do anything about it, my advice to you is do not post until you know what you are talking about
-- There will be a consultation meeting on September 6 in Wokingham for people to put their views -- views on what?  on a rumour in the east Reading pubs? if this meeting is happening it must have a topic and an agenda, it is only next week, Wokingham council will provide information to anyone who (unlike me) can be bothered to make the effort to find out more details once I have them.
Rest assured I will be fighting for Reading children. so you should, as a Reading councillor, going to fight for Reading council to provide decent education for its children rather than sending its inconveniently working-class children out of the borough so as not to offend the Guardian readers?  People voted for you because they wanted change and a new voice, not more of the clapped-out Reading Labour boys' sub-Howarthian crap.  Get real boyo.


Anonymous said...

Jane, if I may, could I proffer a small piece of advice? Pupils at Alfred Sutton School have many characteristics, but being significantly "working class" is not one of them nowadays. Park Ward is much more University Junior Lecturer territory now - Guardian readers perhaps, but not exactly horny handed sons of toil.
No doubt Mr Peter Kayes, the Chair of Governors, will be on the case as well.

jane said...

I am aware of the demographic; a great many Alfred Sutton parents are recipients of middle-class welfare benefits and read the Guardian. My point was a general one, but applies especially to south Reading as I was talking about the Madejski Academy: Reading Labour historically wants as little to do with working-class people as possible, and prefers their children to go elsewhere to be educated. Mr Kayes, former councillor and self-hating Jew, is presumably aware of this too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - the point I was trying to make was that the area has become a lot more middle class since you last pounded the pavements here. Of course, one of the best tests to see if an area is middle class is to count the number of Green councillors.
(And my "verification letters" spell out "palin". I am shocked!)

jane said...

Never mind, perhaps it meant Michael not Sarah

Anonymous said...

Nice to see someone having a proper look at some of the things which come out of the Rob White public information machine.

A couple of posts later he is talking about going on a
march / demo to protest against the Conservative
Party Conference. Presumably he actually means "protest at" the conference as I assume that he isn't against Tories being allowed to have conferences in general.


Anonymous said...

Berkshire County Council did not see fit to provide sufficient secondary places for pupils living within Reading Borough, within Reading Borough. And that was the situation they handed over to Reading Borough when BCC was abolished in 1998. As you will recall. Do tell us what you did as MP for Reading East to get sufficient secondary school places provided in-Borough for East Reading children?

Does anyone know whether Reading County Borough did have enough secondary places when it was downgraded in 1974 and education handed over to BCC?

jane said...

I lobbied very hard for more secondary school places in east and south Reading. This fell on deaf ears in the Labour Group, who were only interested in Reading children going to Wokingham schools. Any secondary schools money received by Reading, whether as a result of my lobbying or not, was kept right away from Reading East. There was even an attempt to deny facilities to Highdown School in north Reading following my campaigning with the school.

theflashingblade said...

Anonymous 8:55 Yes. Alfred Sutton was a secondary school in 1974 and was closed by Berkshire in, I believe, the 1980's and the land and buildings given to Reading Technical College (As it then was) before Margaret Thatcher nationalised colleges taking the land and buildings out of council control.

But hey, that's over twenty years ago, Berkshire hasn't existed for 12, surely if the councillors of East Reading over that time wanted to do something about education in the area they could have. As Jane says they spent their time campaigning for Reading children to get into Wokingham schools often, as in the case of Ryeish Green, ahead of the interests of Reading pupils in Reading schools.

Anonymous said...

Read this article: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/education/s/2077440_parents_livid_at_maiden_erlegh_catchment_review

Basher Mackenzie is onto the campaign - so with his record it will fail!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 22:09

Maybe he's protesting at 49 year old Foreign Secretary’s sharing hotel bedrooms with their 25 year old "special advisors".

Anonymous said...

Pray tell me where these extra secondary places in east Reading would have been physically located? Given that Maggie and Major's Tories took the Kings Road and of the Alfred Sutton sites used by TVU out of local authority control.

Anonymous said...

These problems result partly from the deal made by corrupt council leaders to keep the current authorities rather than create a Greater Reading Council.

The Tories did hint about taking education away from local authorities.

Anonymous said...

The way I heard it, using existing council boundaries was the only option the Tory Minister John Gummer could get past the county's Tory MPs and hence get through Parliament.

The problem with creating a Greater Reading is what to do with the rumps of the councils which have lost population - particularly West Berks.