Sunday, 15 March 2009

Support For Campaign Against Course Closures Come From Far Afield

South-coast local authority representatives Cllr John De Mierre and Cllr Pat Arculus have offered official backing from West Sussex County Council to help the campaign against Reading University's proposed closure of its School of Health and Social Care.

The councillors, who are the West Sussex Cabinet members for Adults’ Services and for Children and Young People’s Services respectively, have written to Secretary of State Ed Balls to say that "With the present shortage of social workers nationally, such a proposal causes us deep concern."

Conservative-dominated West Sussex is one of eight councils across the country reported by Ofsted for providing 'inadequate' levels of care for children, but according to Ombudsmen still has 'a long way to go' to make sufficient improvements.

The government has intervened with nine councils, as 22 local authorities showed a decline in performance. A massive shake-up in assessment has been announced following the loss of confidence in the system of 'star-ratings'.


  1. I've not seen any reasoning identified as to why the VC is pushing so hard with this closure. It is said to be revenue neutral so he will not gain any extra cash. My recall was that the social work courses were run out of Bulmershe. What if the VC has identified running down Bulmershe courses, transferring those that make sense keeping to elsewhere on the Uni campus, then selling the Bulmershe campus for redevelopment. The Uni can sweeten WDC with a gift of the green space next to the Bulmershe and William Gray schools playing fields, RBC will keep quiet in order to try and get the allotments into the part of the deal & therefore some much needed housing & WDC gains green space, a brownfield site for development, ties up Woodley Lib-Dems campaigning against a development & finds sites for housing away from its voters elsewhere in Wokingham. OK, all falls down if assumptions are wrong, or it is just seeing too much paranoia and links where there are none.

  2. Nail on head, hit

  3. I think you need to ask what political sympathies exist within the inner circle on the University's executive council.

    We know whose expense it will be at, so it is a matter of is this about personal gain, club gain or community gain?

    I should note that BBC South Today interviewed Rob Wilson MP (it's no longer available here) in which he made the financial argument as grounds for his decision not to oppose the closure.

    At this point I think it is fair to ask questions about party funding arrangements.


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