One of our readers attended Bristol’s E-Democracy Day yesterday – ‘Modern Methods of governance – democracy in action or mob rule? – and reports that the city council will be
encouraging things like petitions even if they could be seen as “inconvenient”.
Here at The Blogger, where we don’t get out very much, we will of course be testing this claim to destruction; starting soon with an attempt to set up a petition on the city council’s e-democracy website to get rid of our utterly useless Education Director Heather Tomlinson.
Just to recap briefly about Heather: she’s paid £140k a year; she spends a further £1m a year on her management team; she squanders a further £1m on consultants; she’s now worked at Bristol City Council three years; there’s been no improvement in results; truancy rates have increased; her strategy to rebuild secondary schools under the government’s ‘Rebuilding Schools for the Future’ scheme is, as predicted, leaving the schools undersubscribed but the PFI corporate money men developers quids-in; the city council’s only non-PFI build, the in-house Redland Green School development, came in £6m over budget this year; the city’s long-term secondary school strategy – such as it was – is in chaos after two independent schools (Colston Girls and the Cathedral School) unilaterally decided to become academies; a new primary school strategy is currently being designed around the needs of PFI developers and their desire to maximise profits through new school developments; the education budget is already £2.2m overspent this year and so kids with Special Educational Needs are being targeted for cuts; at the authority Tomlinson came from, Nottingham, results have actually improved since she left and, the ultimate insult, when she left Nottingham three years ago, she brazenly announced in a press release of her reasons for coming to Bristol: “I am looking forward to fewer hours on the road and a little more time on my boat.”
Enough is enough. Tomlinson is simply not worth the money. She must go! Therefore after a few enquiries to our e-democracy office regarding the absolute confidentiality and exact nature of the information people have to provide to them when signing their petitions – we don’t want all those teachers and heads rushing to sign up only for their bosses to be handed this personal information do we? – a petition will be put forward, probably by the end of next week, demanding the resignation of Tomlinson.
Anyone care to predict the odds that it’ll be allowed?