STRAIGHT TALK: Crowland deserves a proper say over school

POLITICIANS just love consultations don’t they?

It’s where they have to peek out from behind the curtains at ivory towers and meekly ask us, the great unwashed, who voted them into their positions, what we actually think about their latest daft idea - often using terms that are completely meaningless so that we don’t know what they are really on about.

OK, that’s pretty cynical, and they are not all like that, but I’m sure people do feel like that sometimes. Certainly some in Crowland do at the moment.

People are about to be asked their views on the possible creation of an academy in Holbeach which would cater for the George Farmer and St Guthlac schools, and cause the Crowland one to shut.

That all seems straightforward but the water is muddied somewhat when you consider that education bosses feel the St Guthlac is doomed regardless of what happens to the academy.

According to Coun Patricia Bradwell it has “always been the plan” to close the school when funding became available to develop the George Farmer at Holbeach.

That being the case, does she really then expect the people of Crowland to believe that their responses to the public consultation will matter at all?

If the school is going to close anyway then the consultation for people in Crowland is pointless and Lincolnshire County Council should admit it.

If it is not then Coun Bradwell should apologise.

And there should be no hiding behind the fact that the email read out by Paul Przyszlak from Coun Bradwell was “confidential”. Politicians are not entitled to keep secrets, especially not just to save embarrassment.

It’s that attitude that creates the type of “ivory towers” cynicism at the start of this column.

The cat is out of the bag now. Be open with parents and don’t patronise them.

There are some great teachers at both schools and they, and the children they now teach and will be teaching in the future, deserve better. The focus should be solely on what is best for them, and not a phoney consultation on a matter long-since decided at HQ in Lincoln.

• On Wednesday, just to add to the fun of deadline day, we were struck down by a power cut.

While we were in the dark making alternative plans to get the paper out a colleague nipped home to file some copy through on an email and just happened to head out via the Station Approach/Winsover Road junction.

With the power down there and lights out you’d think it would be pretty dangerous. But when she drove out the coast was clear. Much calmer, in fact, than normal.

Proof, perhaps, that the lights in Winsover Road do make things worse...