Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 27th October 2010.

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Photo of Rob Flello Rob Flello Shadow Minister (Justice) 11:30 am, 27th October 2010

The Prime Minister will be aware that by 7 July the Education Secretary would have already understood the financial situation and the "state of the books", as the Prime Minister is so keen to keep stating, so why on 7 July, in this House, did the Education Secretary say:

"One announcement that I was able to make on Monday was that Stoke-on-Trent, as a local authority that has reached financial close, will see all the schools under Building Schools for the Future rebuilt"?-[ Hansard, 7 July 2010; Vol. 513, c. 490.]

Is there some confusion between the Prime Minister and the Education Secretary?


Mike Johnson
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 9:05 am (Report this annotation)

is there some confusion between Labour and the truth?
I would like a new house, but I don't allow my present house to fall into decay. I maintain it. The same is true of the schools that Stoke-on-Trent have allowed to fall into decay through lack of maintenance. the oldest places of education are to be found in Oxford, hundreds of years old, and delivering the best education in the world. Good job they are not in Stoke, we would soon have demolished them in favour of a "prefab"and an education to match.

Nicky Davis
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 11:01 am (Report this annotation)

I have to agree with Mike Johnson. The labour controlled council allowed schools to deteriorate because of unfulfilled promises of rebuilds over many years. I could speculate this was to make the people so desperate to have their schools improved that they would accept anything, even sponsor controlled academies, in order to get some upgrade of the buildings. But some of us were wise to this. We realised the so called building schools for the future aimed to close schools down and locate new builds where people didn't want them. Ordinary people have battled against labour, tory and libdem locally and in many cases won. To be fair our labour MPs were on our side in some battles but our labour councillors have behaved atrociously.

One obvious saving this government could now make is to halt the plans for the new build 'Discovery' academy set to go on the Willfield site where nobody wants it! Labour locally before the 2010 election said their policy was to keep a school on the Mitchell school site, but since the election they plan to close the Mitchell school, this is an utter betrayal of the voters. Save the waste of rebuild money. A smaller sum will be needed to refurbish the existing Mitchell and Edensor schools instead and the other rebuilds and refurbishments do need to go ahead because of the desperate need from years of neglect. But scrapping the Willfield school will save a bit of money and make local communities happy at the same time!

The behaviour of the labour controlled council in Stoke-on-Trent has been dictatorial and detrimental to our city, as has been the previous labour government's intervention in our education system and in our local government, removing our democracy by reducing our elections from 3 to 1 in 4 years, in opposition to the wishes of the full local council.

What we want in Stoke-on-Trent is a bit of democracy with local views taken into account properly, without always having to have big battles to be taken a little notice of.

The conservatives promise us localism. Please deliver. Scrap the Discovery academy on the Willfield site. Keep a school on the Mitchell site.