Thursday, February 14, 2008

Democracy!

Despite my long-held belief that benign dictatorship (from an open-minded and community-orientated person like, ahem, myself) is perhaps the ideal political model (apart from issues of succession planning) I must concede that there might be mileage in democracy yet.

As I alluded in my last post, the Schools Estate site and scope were to be determined (subject to ratification by the full council) at the ERCS meeting on the 30th January. I was expecting this to be round three after two seminars of extremely vigourous debate where I was fighting to retain KGS at Papdale for the very good reasons I have explained elsewhere. Consequently I had prepared and edited my arguments to fit the time limits and rules of the committee meeting and discussed all manner of scenarios for days in advance, until finally the moment came to debate the recommendation that KGS should be rebuilt at its present site... and it was agreed without dissent!

Now obviously I'm very pleased about this, as it was a big issue for me, and it is unquestionably the right decision. (It is also the only decision that allows flexibility to save more money, as that would require retaining facilities such as the existing hostel or pool, only possible at that site.) Back in May however it wasn't going to be an option, and I have to raise my tammy to the senior officials who listened and put it on the agenda, and ultimately backed it. Also to my fellow councillors who took on board all the arguments at the site and scope seminars- there has been give and take on both sides, and I think we have a genuine consensus that'll let the whole project crack on and succeed.

However until the full council agrees it I'll keep sweating. If this happens we are into a more exciting phase where the argument will be to see what community facilities we can incorporate, and how to make the school a place where everybody wants to go. Good ideas always welcome.