Following yesterday’s post, a brief piece of YouTube footage is now available of the slightly bizarre hosting of a “discussion” on the future use of the Sawyers Hall College site on PhoenixFM by Cllr Chris Hossack.
In this piece of film Cllr Hossack demonstrates his apparent misunderstanding of the requirement for a public consultation. More concerningly for an elected representative of local residents, when appraised of the need for a consultation for a second time by Cllr Mike LeSurf, he seems to be suggesting that local residents should not be allowed to have their say.
Perhaps Cllr Hossack knows more than we are party to in declaring the establishment of Becket Keys Church of England School as “a done deal”, but while a statutory public process is required to take place he should be encouraging Brentwood residents who wish to understand more about the governance and funding of the proposed school to be able to do so.
The Department for Education are sufficiently keen to make sure that, in the eyes of the local population, potential “free schools” match the claims of their proposers to feel a consultation period is necessary. Crucially, in the absence of direct control from any local authority, this is an opportunity to understand how the school will be accountable to the community and also how state funds will be used to operate it.
As a councillor for a party promoting localism a response of “let’s face it, it’s happening” seems somewhat contradictory.
Educating Brentwood encourages Cllr Hossack to join us in pressing for the consultation to be held in time for parents to make an informed decision for their children and publicising it to ensure that those who wish to participate are able to do so.
Brentwood deserves to be consulted.