Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Should community facilities be run by primary schools?

The consultation on what form the St Neots East Expansion should take has started. Lots of this goes over my head. But one thing struck me. The consultation proposes that any community halls should run by each of the two proposed primary schools.

Whilst schools are part of the community they aren't run by the community. I, as a resident, have no say on schools policy, appointments or budgets. I don't have a say in the appointment of unelected Governors. So why is HDC proposing to hive off community facilities to these unelected bodies? Of course it does sound like a good idea. Combining schools with community facilities sounds like a good idea. It always does. But there will be conflict between what are the schools priorities and the communities.

Community buildings and public halls should be, by their very nature, open to anyone in the public to hire and should be open at reasonable times. Would the British National Party or the Socialist Workers Party be allowed to hire this community facility within a school. And if they were refused to hire who would they turn too?

Would this be school first or community first? With an ageing population, would say a pensioners lunch club be able to use the facilities at lunch time? Would a wedding be able to take place during the day or at the weekend?

Whoever dreamt this idea up at HDC needs to have a lesson in Freedom and Democracy. HDC is not good at either.

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