After the incredible length of time it took the education department to:
a) come up with their proposal (they said it would be September, in the end it was November 2012)
b) respond to consultees’ submissions during the formal consultation phase (ultimately we only got ‘thanks for your letters’ responses after I wrote to complain that we had heard nothing at all for nearly 7 weeks since the close of the consultation!)
c) move to statutory consultation (the period between consultation periods was over 2 1/2 months)
…now we find out that due to lack of ‘clarity’ over the way they worded the Statutory Notice published in the Argus and around the community, they are re-publishing the notice on 22nd April, and the consultation will last for a month and a day.
Here’s the letter some have received (but not the schools or the governing bodies as yet, I got this from a friend who had already submitted his opposition last week):
“To all consultees on the school reorganisation proposal for the Gaer Schools
Re: Republished Statutory Notice
I am obliged to republish the statutory notice in the South Wales Argus on the 22nd April, and to launch a new ‘one month and one day (allowing for the May Day bank holiday) statutory notice period’ from that date.
I have worked with Welsh Government to bring some clarity to the wording of the notice for parents. In the event that a decision is taken to amalgamate the schools, there will be no move to transport pupils away from this site during any redevelopment work. Education delivery would continue within the current site during that time.
Any and all objections received in respect of the first statutory notice published on the 10th April up to midnight on the 21st April will be accepted by this authority and designated as objections within the second statutory notice period.
I will make personal contact with those consultees who set any comments or objections within that time to ensure they are content with this approach.
I also invite all comments and objections to continue to be issued to the email@example.com email address or in writing to the Chief Education Officer.
Amanda B Davies
Assistant Head of Education , Planning”
Seriously?! If we can’t trust the Council to correctly write a simple Statutory Notice, how on earth can have faith in them that their lengthy proposals are accurate too?! WE CAN’T! Not to mention the WASTE of TAXPAYERS’ MONEY in having to pay again for the notice in the Argus, all the man-hours of extra work this lack of ‘clarity’ (read: mistake) will entail…
(If you have already written in since 10th April, don’t worry they will not disregard your submission, so you don’t need to write a third time!)
I have no confidence in the ability of certain senior council employees to deliver quality education on the Gaer. If they can’t even get a simple Statutory Notice correct………