27th Jan 2014
To our representatives at Pembrokeshire County Council,
Here’s a letter, written last night and brought on, as it were, by the public meeting held at St David’s City Hall. There, 200 people were united against what they feel to be your obvious disingenuousness re- the process towards change in Pembrokeshire schools. (For disingenuousness read illegality, in fact. The allegation will be made that your agents – as well as being involved in a wider sham – gave explicit assurances that have now been… how shall we say? Contradicted.) Which is why my letter had a furious, arguably unhelpful tone. I leave it untouched, however, on the grounds that you – our representatives – need to know how we feel about you.
This morning I know I should be calmer, less confrontational. I should be thinking that another angry letter will change nothing, will only make you bridle and ‘dig in’ to your already embattled positions. Let’s face it, you must by now be used to public humiliation. Why would you even listen to me, to us?
I have two answers to that question.
1. Because you are our representatives
2. Because we believe you have broken the law and we will root out every error and misrepresentation from Pembs County Council in this whole, tawdry affair.
Oops. That sounded a tad hostile again. Let me re-phrase.
We, the folks of the peninsula, the St David’s posse, believe significant irregularities are present in the handling of the schools issue. We believe it is criminally wrong to close Ysgol Dewi Sant. We mistrust the entire ‘consultation process’. We demand that the Council throws out the proposal to close several schools and fail to re-open Ysgol Dewi Sant in another form, on the same site. We are exploring all avenues to fight this.
Here’s my letter of last evening-
To our representatives on Pembrokeshire County Council,
Wow. You’ve excelled yourself, people. Known throughout the land for setting the bar hilariously low on matters of ethics and professionalism and integrity, you guys have engineered a tour-de-force to top the previous lamentable efforts. I refer of course to the monument to Kafkaesque lunacy that is your move towards closing umpteen schools, including the finest one in the county – Ysgol Dewi Sant. It’s an extraordinary – I say it again, even for you! – achievement.
It began of course with the spectacular all-new and hugely trumpeted ‘consultation process’ – the one where you would set new standards in inclusivity, practically cuddling all those of us who troubled to go to the public meetings arranged for ‘our voices to be heard’. They were slick, they were well choreographed and they were, as we now know, utterly irrelevant. Because erm… remarkably the upshot has been your wise men (and a particularly active wise woman, we suspect) plumping for an option that she has practised before, elsewhere. Put simply, the public have been betrayed; again.
Let me make just a little of the case for those who will now fight the Ysgol Dewi Sant corner – and my family include ourselves amongst that number. We attended a public meeting in which
a) a huge wedge of valuable time was spent through the sagacious representatives of the Education Dept and Council reminding us that this was the most comprehensive consultation process the universe had ever witnessed… and
b) the public were promised that in the event of any school closing pupils could only be transferred to a ‘better school’.
It was also said – indeed the very notion was scoffed at – that the best school in Pembrokeshire simply could not (therefore) be closed. And now look.
To be clear, I /we are saying that not only do we feel that the selective use of particular chunks of information helpful to their agenda meant the Council has made a mistake, we are clear that diabolical porkies have been told, in a public place. And there will – as there should be – serious consequences arising from this.
Minutes taken by locals who sadly through experience cannot trust the council, confirm the truth of things… and these will be part of the case against PCC.
I could go on but believe me I/we are not in the business of revealing the full inviolable force of our many arguments against you. Much powder will be kept dry as the wit and the integrity and the diverse talents amongst the St Davids community gathers itself. You, our representatives have been warned. You will never be able to regain either the trust or respect of this community; never. But you can do the right thing, this once, and consign the proposal to close Ysgol Dewi Sant to the bin.
a YDS parent.